Terryl Givens was born in upstate New York, just the other side of the Finger Lakes from Palmyra, and graduated from Brigham Young University. He did his graduate work at Cornell and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Intellectual History and in Comparative Literature. He has published articles on Greek aesthetics, literary theory, and European Romanticism, in addition to books in religious studies, including Viper on the Hearth, By the Hand of Mormon, and People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture, released in July 2007. Dr. Givens’ presentation is from a work in progress When Souls Had Wings: Pre-Mortal Existence in Western Thought.
Dr. Givens is currently Professor of Literature and Religion and holds the James Bostwick Chair of English at the University of Richmond, where he has been named a Distinguished Educator and teaches courses in nineteenth century studies.