portrait of Kelly Bezio, Associate Professor

Kelly Bezio

Associate Professor
College of Liberal Arts

Kelly L. Bezio is Associate Professor of English at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi where her research and teaching intersect with and inform the areas of cultural studies, biopolitical theory, American Literature before 1900, critical race studies, literature and science, and health humanities. Her interdisciplinary scholarship foregrounds how insights from the past help us understand how to combat inequity in our present moment. Her intellectual commitments privilege convergent collaborations across disciplines that address how knowledge making is related to the most pressing issues society faces—and how to solve them.

Currently, she is focused on analyses of structural oppressions based in racial, gender, and class biases. Her book-length study, Why Don’t Black Lives Matter? An Early American Literary Answer to a Modern Biopolitical Problem, takes up the nexus of literature, medical care, and politics in early America in order to examine how the intersection of these disciplines resulted in the racisms endemic to the United States. Since coming to TAMU-CC, she has enjoyed exploring how humanities qualitative methodologies can elaborate the interaction of human and natural systems with faculty from STEM and Nursing departments. She brings to such collaborations expertise in how cultures, languages, and narratives create the conditions through which humans approach each other and the environment.

Her work on quarantine, inoculation, pandemic teaching, medical secularity, and pastoral racism has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as American Literature, Pedagogy, Symbiosis, Digital Defoe, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, Literature and Medicine, and Studies in Religion. She has served as guest co-editor of special issues on the topic of religion and medicine in the latter two journals. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. in English, History, and French, with a minor in German, from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.