Meet Our Faculty

Office Location

Room 111
Parker Building

(912) 583-3103

Dr. Grant Lilford

Division Chair of Christian Studies and Humanities

Professor of English

Division of Christian Studies and Humanities


  • PhD, University of Cape Town (Rondebosch, South Africa), 1996
  • MA, University of Sussex (Falmer, England), 1992
  • BA, Vassar College, 1990


Dr. Lilford originally comes from Norton, a small farming community in central Zimbabwe, where for three generations, his family raised tobacco and other crops. His parents immigrated to the United States, allowing him to complete high school in Shelbyville, Kentucky. While he has subsequently lived in larger communities, he prefers a small-town, rural existence, which is a factor that drew him to Mount Vernon.

Dr. Lilford has worked in the Research Triangle of North Carolina, initially as temporary administrator, before progressing to become a technical writer and process consultant. He cites this experience as proof that a degree in English can take you anywhere.

He has taught at universities in South Africa, North Carolina, Uganda, Botswana, and Trinidad and Tobago. His teaching experience includes remedial reading and writing, graduate supervision, and everything in between. He is an advocate for the Liberal Arts and the particular value of an English degree. 

Dr. Grant Lilford is married to Reshoketjoe and they have four children and three grandchildren. They homeschool, which has been especially useful with all that moving about.

Interesting Fact About Me

  • I played bagpipes in The Last King of Scotland with Forrest Whittaker and James McAvoy. Unfortunately, the bagpiping scenes were cut from the final film, but I am visible in the deleted scenes and promotional material.

Research Interests

  • Christian Poetry: my current research is on Welsh Priest-Poets: R.S. Thomas and George Herbert
  • British Literature, particularly Seventeenth- and Twentieth-Century Poetry
  • Southern African Literature
  • African Intellectual History

Professional Organizations/Memberships

  • Conference on Christianity and Literature
  • George Herbert Society

Favorite Classes Taught at BPC

  • ENG 101 Writing and Rhetoric
  • ENG 102 Rhetoric and Literature
  • ENG 407 The Bible as Literature
  • ENG 440 Topics in Global Anglophone Literature

Favorite Bible Verse


“The African Liberal Arts: Heritage, Challenges and Prospects” in The Evolution of Liberal Arts in the Global Age. Edited by Peter Marber and Daniel Araya. New York: Routledge. 150-163.

“Motswana ke mang? Tswana Culture and Values in Plaatje, Head, and McCall Smith” in The Life and Work of Bessie Head: A Celebration of the Seventieth Anniversary of her Birth. Edited by Mary S. Lederer, Seatholo M. Tumedi, Leloba S. Molema, and M. J. Daymond. Gaborone: Pentagon Publishers. 85-104.

1999 “Traces of Tradition: The Probability of the Marecheran Manfish” in Emerging Perspectives on Dambudzo Marechera. Edited by Anthony Chennells and Flora Veit-Wild. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press. 283-297.

“Allegories of Drought and Paradise in a Shona Narrative” in Cross-Cultural Voices: Investigations into the Post-Colonial. Edited by Claudio Gorlier and Isabella Maria Zoppi. Rome: Bulzoni. 113-153.


“Approaching the Cross: George Herbert and R. S. Thomas” in Christianity & Literature. Vol. 66, No. 1 (December 2016). 139–157.

“Madness or Mysticism? The Unconscious Ascetics of Power and Hunger” in Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa. Volume 26, Issue 2, 2014: Special Issue: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Publication of Bessie Head’s A Question of Power (1973). 162-168.

“The Liberal Arts in Anglophone Africa” in Journal of General Education. Vol. 61 No 3 (2012). The Pennsylvania State University Press. 189-210.

“Kingship and Prophecy in Thomas Mofolo’s Chaka” in Christianity and Literature. Vol. 61, No. 3 (Spring 2012). 377-397.

“Transformations of a Manfish: Changing Allegories of the Njuzu in Zimbabwean Literature” in Journal des Africanistes. Tome 69 Fascicule 1. Paris. 199-219.


Five entries: “Thomas Tlou” (Co-Authored with Maitseo Bolaane), “Dominic Mulaisho,” “Thomas Mokopu Mofolo,” “Charles Muzuva Mungoshi” and “Alexander McCall Smith,” in Dictionary of African Biography. Edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr and Emmanuel Akyeampong. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.


“Language and Curriculum Reform in Uganda” in LEAPnews: Newsletter of the Language in Education in Africa Project. Number 14, August 2007. Cape Town. 16-17.


“George Herbert, R.S. Thomas and Renunciation” presented at The Marcher Metaphysicals Conference. Gregynog Hall, Powys, Wales. 31 October 2015.

“Word, Cross and Sacrament in George Herbert and R.S. Thomas” presented at Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature, 2015. University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Belton, Texas. 2 October 2015.

“The Liberal Arts in Anglophone Africa” presented at Looking Back & Moving Forward: the Next 100 Years of Liberal Arts: Confronting the Challenges. International Conference on the Liberal Arts. St Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. 2 October 2010.

“The Ethics of Leadership in Southern African Literature of the Colonial Period.” Presented at the Seventh International Conference on Ethics and International Development: “Accountability, Responsibility, and Integrity in Development: The Ethical Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa and Beyond” Organized by The International Development Ethics Association (IDEA) with The Ethics & Public Management Programme, Makerere University. Kampala, Uganda, July 19-22, 2006.

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