- Literary and Cultural Studies
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 has published the following articles and book chapters:
"The Flâneur in Paris and Mexico City: Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera’s Transnational Search for Modern Beauty.” Decimonónica: Journal of Nineteenth Century Hispanic Cultural Production / Revista de Producción Cultural Hispánica Decimonónica. 13.2 (2016) 1-18.
“The Artist as Impressionistic Critic in José Asunción Silva’s De sobremesa: Transatlantic Borrowings from Walter Pater, Oscar Wilde, and British Aestheticism.” Revista de Estudios Colombianos. 41-42 (2013) 14-22.
“The Clash of the Foreign and the Local in Martí and Carpentier: From ‘Misplaced Ideas’ to ‘Trasculturation.’” Hipertexto 11 (2010) 51-62.
“Masculinidad rechazada: El artista recluído y no productivo en Rubén Darío y José Asunción Silva.” Latin American Literary Review 37.73 (2009) 26-46. (Reprinted as a book chapter in Entre hombres: masculinidades del siglo XIX en América Latina. Eds. Ana Peluffo and Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado. Madrid: Iberoamericana Editorial Vervuert. 2010.)
“Reflections on the Relationship between Art and Life in Aestheticism.” Introduction. Art and Life in Aestheticism: De-Humanizing and Re-Humanizing Art, the Artist, and the Artistic Receptor. Ed. Kelly Comfort. Hampshire, U.K. and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008: 1-20.
“The Critic as Artist and Liar: The Reuse and Abuse of Plato and Aristotle by Wilde.” The Wildean 32 (2008).
“Art for the Artist’s Sake or Artist for Sale: Lulu’s and Else’s Failed Attempts at Aesthetic Self-Fashioning.” Women in German Yearbook: Feminist Studies in German Literature and Culture 22 (2006) 189-210.
“Colonial Others as Cuba’s Protonational Subjects: The Privileged Space of Women, Slaves and Natives in Gómez de Avellaneda’s Sab.” MESTER: Journal of Spanish and Portuguese Studies 32 (2003) 179-194. (Translation by Pedro Llanes published in volume 69 of the Cuban journal Temas. English reprint published in the multi-format library reference volume Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism.)
Dr. Comfort has a forthcoming textbook entitled Cien años de identidad: Introducción a la literatura latinoamericana del siglo XX, which is forthcoming in January 2018 from Georgetown University Press.
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, the Class of 1940 W. Howard Ector Outstanding Teacher Award, and the 2014 University System of Georgia Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award.