Karl E. Martin, Ph.D.

  • Chair, Department of Literature, Journalism and Modern Languages
  • Professor of Literature


  • B.A., Point Loma Nazarene College
  • M.A., Ph.D., University of Minnesota


Dr. Karl Martin graduated with a degree in literature from Point Loma College (now Point Loma Nazarene University) in 1981.
After completing his MA and PhD in American studies from the University 
of Minnesota and teaching for ten years at the college level,
he returned to his alma mater in 1998 to join the faculty in the department of Literature, Journalism, and Modern Languages.
He served the 
department as chair from 2003-2008 and returned to that role in the summer of 2014.

Martin has served the university on a variety of committees since his arrival including the General Education Committee and the Provost Search Committee.
He was twice asked by President Brower to 
address the graduating undergraduate class at the university’s commencement ceremony (in 2004 and 2008).

Along with teaching first year writing and general education literature courses, Dr. Martin teaches a variety of American literature courses.
He has particular interest in post-World War II literature, African 
American literature, and the American novel.

Dr. Martin has presented work at conferences and published scholarship on the Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor.
His essays on O’Connor have been published in various journals, and he contributed a chapter 
to Dark Faith: New Essays on Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away. 

Martin is also an active scholar of popular culture with published scholarship on the film Magnolia, the graphic novel Watchmen, and the Canadian singer Bruce Cockburn in addition to conference presentations on the music of Bruce Springsteen. As a part of Point Loma’s Writers Symposium, Martin has interviewed musicians Jon Foreman, Greg Laswell, Chris Hillman, and Richie Furay.

He is also interested in American religious expression and its relationship to questions of American national identity.
His wife, Brenda, is a music faculty member at Point Loma. Martin’s outside interests include baseball, movies, and music.