Dr. Kremena Todorova

Associate Professor of English

Dr. Kremena Todorova

“One of my primary goals as a teacher is to provide learning experiences that highlight the importance of community, both the community within the classroom and the communities beyond it.”

Bringing together the community through tattoos of words from a poem. Documenting the intricacies of the lives of Lexington’s drag queens and kings through photos and short written vignettes. Photographing area residents seated on the furniture they had left at the curb—and then convincing them to share personal stories related to the discarded items. Hiding handmade dolls in nooks and crannies along the Limestone Avenue corridor and encouraging local residents to find the dolls and give them good homes.

These are just a small sampling of the types of community projects Kremena Todorova has pursued with her favorite collaborator, Transylvania art professor Kurt Gohde. Some projects, such as the 1,000 Dolls project and temporary mural installations, have been associated with the Community Engagement Through the Arts class that Todorova and Gohde teach at Transylvania. Not only do students eagerly embrace collaborating with area residents on these art projects, but the local denizens frequently come to class. 

Todorova’s goal is to nudge students beyond the confines of the Transylvania campus and out of their comfort zones. She wants her students to develop a curiosity about the world and the people in it so they can “sympathize with lives and experiences that are unlike their own,” much the same way we do when we read. By opening our imaginations, we become better readers, better writers, and better citizens.

This interdisciplinary, community-based approach is one of the advantages that Todorova believes Transylvania offers its students. Her role is to “enable each student to find his or her voice by creating a classroom environment that thrives on intellectual curiosity and openness.” With small classes, the English faculty can give the personal attention students need to feel comfortable stepping away from the familiar and embracing bold new ideas.

“I enjoy most the opportunity to be with young people whose capacity for wonder and for idealism seems limitless.”

Ph.D., M.A., English, University of Notre Dame, 2003, 2001
B.A., English, Hope College, 1997
American Literature Post-1945
Early Twentieth-Century American Literature, 1900–1945
Literary Interpretations
African American Literature
American Women Writers and Ethnicity
Passing in American Literature
Fictions of Identity
Dramas of Desire
Contemporary Immigrant Narratives
Writing for Writings Sake (with Martha Gehringer)
Perspectives on Literature
Introduction to Fiction
Community Engagement Through the Arts (with Kurt Gohde)
Creative Disruption (with Kurt Gohde)
"The Lexington Tattoo Project." NoLi CDC, 2014.
"Discarded Documents." North of Center 2, February 2011: 2. Co-authored with Kurt Gohde.
"Passing through Laramie to Find Humanity in Lexington." Progress Lexington, April 22, 2010. Co-authored with Kurt Gohde.
"Stitching the community together: Transy Students and North Limestone." North of Center, January 13, 2010: 1, 2. Co-authored with Kurt Gohde.
"'A splinter in the toe': Mothering and Democracy in Grace Paley's Fiction." The Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering 11.1 (Spring 2009): 291-301.
"Building Community on North Limestone." Peaceways, August 2008: 3. Co-authored with Kurt Gohde.
"Community, art and economics on North Limestone." Business Lexington, 16 May 2008: 29. Co-authored with Kurt Gohde.
"'Oy, a good men!': Urban Voices and Democracy in Henry Roth's Call It Sleep." Texas Studies in Literature and Language 48.3 (Fall 2006): 250-272.
"'I will say the truth to the English people': The History of Mary Prince and the Meaning of English History." Texas Studies in Literature and Language 43.3 (Fall 2001): 285-302.
20th- and 21st-century American literature
Identity politics
Urban theory
Community-focused art
Interventionist art
Modern Language Association
College Art Association
Boulder Arts Commission Grant for the Boulder Tattoo Project, March 2014 (with Chelsea Pohl)
2013 Ace Weekly Model Citizens (with Kurt Gohde), December 2013
Bingham Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2012
Dr. Byron and Judy Young Faculty Development Grant for DISCARDED: Indianapolis, March 2012
Jones Faculty Development Grant for DISCARDED: LA, February 2012
Jones Faculty Development Grant for DISCARDED: LA, Summer 2011
Jones Faculty Development Grant for The Nightgown Project, Summer 2010
Monroe Moosnick Memorial Award for teaching, lifelong learning, and service to students, Transylvania University, 2010
LexArts Community Project Grant for Community Engagement Through the Arts, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010
Transylvania University 225 Celebration of Diversity Award, 2009
Phi Kappa Tau Faculty Member of the Year Award, Transylvania University, 2009
Jones Faculty Development Grant to write and present a paper at the International Conference on Art in Society, Venice, July 2009
Kentucky Oral History Commission Grant for Passing II, Winter 2009
Adviser for Jones Student Research, Transylvania University, Summer 2008
Kentucky Oral History Commission Grant for Passing, Summer–Fall 2008
Jones Faculty Development Grant for Passing, Summer 2008

Additional Information

  • "The Lexington Tattoo Project." NoLi CDC, 2014.
  • "Discarded Documents." North of Center 2, February 2011: 2. Co-authored with Kurt Gohde.
  • "Passing through Laramie to Find Humanity in Lexington." Progress Lexington, April 22, 2010. Co-authored with Kurt Gohde.
  • "Stitching the community together: Transy Students and North Limestone." North of Center, January 13, 2010: 1, 2. Co-authored with Kurt Gohde.
  • "'A splinter in the toe': Mothering and Democracy in Grace Paley's Fiction." The Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering 11.1 (Spring 2009): 291-301.
  • "Building Community on North Limestone." Peaceways, August 2008: 3. Co-authored with Kurt Gohde.
  • "Community, art and economics on North Limestone." Business Lexington, 16 May 2008: 29. Co-authored with Kurt Gohde.
  • "'Oy, a good men!': Urban Voices and Democracy in Henry Roth's Call It Sleep." Texas Studies in Literature and Language 48.3 (Fall 2006): 250-272.
  • "'I will say the truth to the English people': The History of Mary Prince and the Meaning of English History." Texas Studies in Literature and Language 43.3 (Fall 2001): 285-302.