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heather hess
By Appointment

Heather Hess

Assistant Professor of English


On Faculty Since 2022

Curriculum Vitae

As an alumna (‘09) who returned to join the faculty, I can attest to the delight of being a student AND a professor in Covenant’s English Department. At the center of that delight, for me, is our collective acknowledgement that human imagination is an important aspect of God’s image in us, and that, therefore, literature of all sorts can direct our loves back to God--the original author of all things. This makes for a congenial and energetic community of thinkers, readers, and writers, as we seek to glorify and enjoy God through our diverse literary pursuits. 


  • BA - Covenant College
  • MA - University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • PhD - University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Interests / Specialization

  • British Romanticism
  • Victorian Studies
  • The British Novel
  • Inklings Studies
  • Children's Literature

Selected Professional Work

  • “Powerful Innocence: George MacDonald’s Legacy in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,” in Victorians and Videogames, edited by Lin Young and Brooke Cameron. Forthcoming.
  • “Loss, Gardening, and I. Lilias Trotter,” North Shore Fellowship, 18 September 2022, Chattanooga, TN.
  • “Christina Rossetti: Embodying Christ in Literature and Life,” North Shore Fellowship, 7 November 2021, Chattanooga, TN.
  • “Lewis’s Metanarrative: Surprised by Joy as Romantic Autobiography,” public lecture sponsored by the Christian Study Center of Chattanooga, 7 October 2019, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
  • “Romantic Necrophagy in Silas Marner and Bleak House” at the Victorians Institute Conference, 9-10 November 2018, Asheville, NC.
  • “‘The Crash!’: Writing the Great Depression in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘Babylon Revisited,’ ‘Emotional Bankruptcy,’ and ‘Crazy Sunday.’” Journal of Modern Literature, Fall 2018.

Get to know your professor

Q. Favorite movie?
A. Sabrina (Bogart and Hepburn are good, but I prefer the 1995 with Ormond and Ford)

Q. Favorite local restaurant?
A. The Rosecomb

Q. Favorite food?
A. A full English breakfast (MUST include the beans)

Q. What is one thing that instantly makes your day better?
A. Poetry by Anne Porter or William Wordsworth, the smell of roses, reading to my kids, Sufjan's Carrie & Lowell

Q. Personal Interests/Hobbies
A. I enjoy gardening, music, gaming, chatting over tea/coffee, and listening to audiobooks. I'm also in a fabulous book club with several fellow Covenant alumnae.