A. Keith Lawrence

Associate Professor, English

4175 JFSB


Research Areas: , , , ,

Teaching Experience

Teaching the intellectually and spiritually rich students of BYU is a gift. In respect for them I try never to teach the same class twice. I want to learn along with them.

My best classes are highly non-traditional, requiring students to own their learning and to discover motivations apart from simple grades. In harmony with larger BYU aims, I want students to become lifelong learners in the humanities, to hone skills enabling them to always savor redemptive influences of good literature.


Following a Church mission in Japan as a young adult, and after more than four years abroad at universities in Japan and China, I have acquired an abiding love of Asian peoples and cultures. This love, in turn, had inspired a deep interest in the lives and experiences of all Asian Americans.

Although my PhD dissertation explored American ethical writings before 1800, my primary research field since 1995 has been Asian American literature, particularly texts and writers before 1965.

Research Interest: World literary studies.

Selected Publications

I was lead editor of the volume I edited with Floyd Cheung, RECOVERED LEGACIES (Temple UP, 2005); I have just completed ASIAN AMERICAN LITERATURE: A STUDENT ENCYCLOPEDIA (Greenwood, 2021); and I am finishing the manuscript for SHIPWRECKED IN AMERICA: THE EARLY ASIAN AMERICAN MALE WRITER, 1870-1950.


Citizenship is a way to “give back” beyond the classroom and beyond the campus itself. It is a way to make at least a local part of the world my personal campus and to find ways to lift and enrich others.

Citizenship assignments

For the past decade I have served on the board of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters and am the languages/literature chair. For nearly that long I have also served on the board of PIONEER, the central publication of the national organization of Sons of Utah Pioneers. Within the English Department, I serve on the Graduate Advisory Council and overview English 201 and 202 and other departmental GE courses. I provide public service lectures at Springville and Orem Public Libraries.