English Department Spotlight: Kendra Slayton

Whenever the Clemson University family receives a new addition, it is always an exciting time! On February 22, the Unbound team had the opportunity to speak with Kendra Slayton, Clemson’s newest English professor. Slayton specializes in medieval literature studies, focusing on Chaucer, gender, medieval theology and philosophy studies. 

Slayton transferred to Clemson from Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia. When asked why she chose Clemson, Slayton stated, “I was teaching freshman composition courses and working as assistant director of Georgia Tech’s writing center. However, I am trained in medieval studies and wanted to teach something along those lines. So, when I saw a job posting in September for medieval literature at Clemson,  I thought, ‘Well, that’s pretty close to Atlanta. I should check it out.’” Not long after that, Slayton arrived at Clemson University. 

Slayton is currently teaching Clemson’s Chaucer, Gender and Free Will course, as well as British Literature Survey I. 

For Slayton, medieval literature is something special. “I love studying the language and history surrounding it. Initially, in my first  year of college, I had a very enthusiastic British literature professor who made medieval studies seem tangible and exciting. At first, it felt foreign and irrelevant, but I soon realized many medieval issues directly translate into modern life.” 

Whether it be free will, gender norms or just about anything in between, the issues surrounding medieval literature and modern-day life are present in Slayton’s coursework, making for a fascinating class filled with invigorating discussion. 

To conclude the interview, Slayton discussed how exciting it is to be able to teach more English students than she has ever before. She stated “This is the first time I’ve ever had a class of mostly all English majors. Previously, I was teaching composition to mostly STEM kids. I do think I get better engagement with more English students in the more specialized medieval courses. It’s not too drastic, but there is something to be said about students taking a class because they want to versus taking a class because they have to.” 

Slayton will be teaching various medieval literature courses at Clemson during the Fall 2022 semester. If you’re interested in taking one of these courses, consider speaking with your advisor to find out more information! 

Written by: Browning Blair


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