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Assistant Professor of English
Labry Hall, Room 230
The Millard and JJ Oakley School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.A., Alvernia College
M.A., Claremont School of Theology
M.A., University of Leeds (United Kingdom)
Ph.D., University of Leeds (United Kingdom)

Rory Sellgren earned a B.A. in English and Theology from Alvernia College in 2005. He then finished two M.A. degrees in New Testament studies from the Claremont School of Theology (in Claremont, CA) and Medieval Studies from the University of Leeds (in Yorkshire, UK) between 2009 and 2010.

Sellgren began teaching as an adjunct professor at Alvernia University (nee College) in 2011. He split his teaching load between Foundations of Theology and English Composition and Research. His passion for medieval literature, especially Dante’s Commedia, brought him back to the University of Leeds in 2013 to begin his doctoral studies.

Sellgren’s Ph.D. research took an interdisciplinary approach to consider the influence of St. Augustine of Hippo’s Biblical hermeneutics on Dante’s Commedia. (Fancy words for answering the question: “Where is Jesus Christ in the Divine Comedy, and what’s he doing?”). While he did not acquire a Yorkshire accent during his time in The North, he developed his passions for football, proper full English breakfasts, assorted brews, rainy and gray days, and choir singing.

Upon the completion of his studies, Sellgren returned to the United States and resumed teaching theology and English composition courses at Alvernia University and, later, at Albright College (both located in Reading, PA). He moved to Middle Tennessee and joined the Cumberland University faculty as an adjunct professor in 2019, teaching English Composition I & II. He became a full-time faculty member in 2022. Sellgren welcomes any and all opportunities to teach Dante, be it in a special topic course or World Literature course.

Outside of the classroom, Sellgren is devoted to spending time with his partner, family, and his pet cats (he’s a proud “cat-dad”). He is also an avid LEGO collector and fan. He looks forward to the day he can rejoin a church choir and finally finish the multiple Dante research projects he has stashed on his computer… As well as finding spare time to build his hobbies.