Associate Director of EKU Honors
Associate Professor in the Department of Language and Cultural Studies, Anthropology, and Sociology
Department: EKU Honors Program
Office: McCreary 217
Mailing Address: McCreary 115
Erik Liddell is associate professor of Comparative Humanities and associate director of the Honors Program.
After completing a Liberal Studies degree based on the Great Books tradition at Brock University (Ontario, Canada), Erik earned his M.A and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto, where he took courses in French, Latin, Critical Theory, Early Modern Literature, Drama, Postmodernism, Fictional Worlds and Narratology, and where he wrote a dissertation on narrative structural metaphors in Augustine, Rousseau and Proust.
Before coming to EKU in 2009, Erik taught at universities in Ontario, Georgia and Nova Scotia. His scholarly interests, which remain very broadly interdisciplinary, include literary aesthetics, critical theory, the study of narrative, adaptation and translation studies, Latin literature, the Classical age, Early Modern Culture, especially French Renaissance and Enlightenment studies, and the work of Marcel Proust. He has presented and published work on writers and thinkers such as Voltaire, Rousseau and Goethe, authored the first English translations of essays by Emilie du Châtelet and Alexandro Malaspina, contributed a number of translations to the Collaborative Translation Project of the Encyclopedia of Diderot and d’Alembert, and most recently published the first English translation of Giuseppe Verdi and Salvadore Cammarano’s opera libretto, Alzira (itself an adaptation of Voltaire’s tragedy, Alzire). Erik teaches in and co-directs the KIIS Italy study abroad program, is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society and serves on the editorial board of the interdisciplinary Lincoln Humanities Journal.
Erik is currently coordinating and teaching the Honors Thesis Seminar, Native American Voices and Visions (with Dr. Rick Mott) and The Examined Life. His other teaching in Honors has included Rhetoric, Opera as Cultural Drama, Opera from Page to Stage, Revolutions in the Arts: The Avant-Garde, The Golden Ages of Athens and Rome, Love and Politics from Renaissance to Revolution, Modernity and Global Humanities, and Making and Remaking Italy.
During his recent sabbatical, in addition to finishing the translation of Alzira, Erik completed a certificate program in Modern Italian Literature through the Galileo Galilei Institute of Florence and continued to develop his Italian language and conversation skills through programs with the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles.
In his free time, Erik enjoys playing music (guitar, fiddle, trumpet, drums, and more). He fronts a local band and once upon a time was in an original indie alt-rock band that recorded and released both a cassette tape (!) and a CD (!), receiving college and national airplay in Canada, touring from Buffalo and Toronto to Ottawa and Montreal. He continues to experiment with songwriting and home recording and still loves to get out and play live. He also enjoys walking and hiking, and especially birdwatching. Erik regularly participates in Cornell University’s E-Bird programs such as the Great Backyard Bird Count, and he spent one spring as a volunteer with the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, identifying 104 different species of mating pairs in a 100 square kilometer area of the Niagara Peninsula.