Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

Kelly Comfort

Kelly Comfort PhD

Associate Professor - Spanish

Contact Information

Office: Swann 224
Phone: 678-877-1659

Dr. Kelly Comfort received her PhD in Comparative Literature with a designated emphasis in Critical Theory from the University of California, Davis. She joined the Georgia Tech faculty as an Assistant Professor of Spanish in the School of Modern Languages in 2005 and became Associate Professor in 2012.

A specialist in Latin American literature and transatlantic modernisms, Dr. Comfort's research agenda focuses primarily on the intersections between Latin American modernismo and contemporaneous turn-of-the-century literary movements in Europe such as aestheticism and decadence. 

Her book, European Aestheticism and Spanish American Modernismo: Artists Protagonists and the Philosophy of Art for Art’s Sake (Palgrave MacMillan, June 2011, 192 pages) examines the changing role of art and the artist during the turn-of-the-century period and considers the multiple dichotomies of art and life, aesthetics and economics, production and consumption, and center and periphery. 

Her edited volume, Art and Life in Aestheticism: De-Humanizing and Re-Humanizing Art, the Artist, and the Artistic Receptor, (Palgrave MacMillan, 2008) rethinks the relationship in aestheticism between the aesthetic and the human realms over the past two hundred years. 

She published an article entitled “Art for the Artist’s Sake or Artist for Sale: Lulu’s and Else’s Failed Attempts at Aesthetic Self-Fashioning” in the 2006 issue of Women in German Yearbook: Feminist Studies in German Literature and Culture.  Another article, “The Critic as Artist and Liar: The Reuse and Abuse of Plato and Aristotle by Wilde”—which appeared in the January 2008 edition of The Wildean—considers how Wilde’s “The Decay of Lying” and “The Critic as Artist” engage in a curious fin-de-siècle rereading of Plato’sRepublicand Aristotle’sPoetics. Kelly has also published three articles related to Latin American literature:  “Masculinidad rechazada: El artista recluído y no productivo en Rubén Darío y José Asunción Silva” (Latin American Literary Review. 37.73 (2009) 26-46), “The Clash of the Foreign and the Local in Martí and Carpentier: From ‘Misplaced Ideas’ to 'Trasculturation’” (Hipertexto. 11 (2010) 51-62), and “Colonial Others as Cuba’s Protonational Subjects: The Privileged Space of Women, Slaves and Natives in Gómez de Avellaneda’sSab” (MESTER: Journal of Spanish and Portuguese Studies.32 (2003) 179-194).  Another article, “The Artist as Impressionistic Critic in José Asunción Silva’sDe sobremesa: Transatlantic Borrowings from Walter Pater, Oscar Wilde, and British Aestheticism,” is forthcoming with Revista de Estudios Colombianos(37 (2010)). 

Dr. Comfort frequently teaches courses on Spanish conversation and Latin American literature as well as her "Spanish Service-Learning in the Hispanic Community" and "Hispanic Community Internship" classes.  She is also faculty director of Georgia Tech's International House (a ThinkBig Living and Learning Community) as well as faculty advisor of the student organization "Gringos y Latinos: Atlanta's Spanish Service Society" (GLASSS).  Dr. Comfort received the 2010 CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award.

Academic Research Fields


aestheticism, modernismo

Additional Keywords

art for art's sake, capitalism and market economy, artist narratives, nation formation in Latin America, Cuban literature and culture, exile
781 Marietta Street, Atlanta, GA 30332-0525