Winter Jade Werner

Associate Professor of English
Coordinator of Digital Humanities


Phone: 508-286-5499


Ph.D., English, Northwestern University (2014)


I specialize in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Romantic and Victorian literature and culture, with interests in the novel, imperialism, religion and secularization, as well as cosmopolitanism and postcolonial theory.

Awards and Fellowships

  • New England Humanities Consortium Grant for “Reactivating and Reshaping Humanities Communities: Collaborative Humanistic Inquiry in Nineteenth-Century Britain and Today” with Christie Harner (Dartmouth College) (2020)
  • Mellon Foundation New Course Development Grant with Karen McCormack, Lindsay Flynn, and Kelly Goff (2019)
  • Mellon Foundation Grant for Faculty Interdisciplinary Group on “Digital Humanities and Public Audiences” with Kent Shaw, Leah Niederstadt, and Sarah Leventer (2018)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar Participant, “Postsecular Studies and the Rise of the English Novel, 1719-1897,” University of Iowa (2016)
  • Jean H. Hagstrum Prize for Best Dissertation (2015)
  • Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (2013-2014)
  • Josephine de Kármán Fellowship (2013-2014)
  • Midwest Victorian Studies Association Walter L. Arnstein Dissertation Prize (2012)



Missionary Cosmopolitanism in Nineteenth-Century British Literature. “Religion, Literature, and Postsecular Studies” Series. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Press. (June 2020)

Edited Volumes and Special Issues

King, Joshua, and Winter Jade Werner. eds. Constructing Nineteenth-Century Religion: Literary, Historical, and Religious Studies in Dialogue. “Religion, Literature, and Postsecular Studies” Series. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Press, 2019.

Werner, Winter Jade, and John Wiehl, eds. “Religion, Criticism, and the Postcritical.” LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory. (forthcoming)

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

“‘Altogether a Different Thing’: The Emerging Social Sciences and the New Universalisms of Religious Belief in Kim.” Special issue on “New Religious Movements and Secularization.” Nineteenth-Century Literature. 73.3 (December 2018). 293-325.

“All in the Family? Missionaries, Marriage, and Universal Kinship in Jane Eyre.” Nineteenth-Century Literature. 72.4 (March 2018). 452-86.

“Cranford and the Gothic Everyday.” Dickens Studies Annual. 49.1 (March 2018). 155-81.

Harner, Christie, Winter Jade Werner, Paula Krebs, and Elizabeth McCabe. “Professional Victorianisms: Immediacy, Urgency, and Interdisciplinarity in/at Work.” Nineteenth-Century Contexts. 39.4 (2017). 249-67.

“William Ellis, John Williams, and the Role of History in Missionary Nation-Making.” Journal of the Midwest Modern Languages Association. 46.1 (Spring 2013). 71-91.

“Competing Cosmopolitanisms in Bleak House.” Victorians Institute Journal. 40 (2012). 7-31.

“’The breaking asunder’ of Fanny Kemble: Trauma and the Discourse of Hygiene in Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839.” Negotiating Identities: Constructed Selves and Others. Ed. Helen Vella Bonavita. Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, 2011. 155-170.

Book Reviews

Review of Mark Knight, Good Words: Evangelicalism and the Victorian Novel, 2019). Review-19. (Summer 2020)

Review of Jennifer Airey, Religion Around Mary Shelley (University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2019). Studies in Romanticism. 59.2 (Summer 2020)

Review of Aakanksha Virkar Yates, The Philosophical Mysticism of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Abingdon; New York: Routledge 2018). Victorian Studies. 62.1 (Autumn 2019)

Review of Neil Hultgren, Melodramatic Imperial Writing: From the Sepoy Rebellion to Cecil Rhodes (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2014). Literature and History. 24.1 (Spring 2015)

Other Writings

“Reading Indexically: An Assignment on Indexing and the Digital Humanities.” Studies in the Novel: Teaching Tools Website.“reading-indexically”-assignment-indexing-and-digital- humanities. Nov. 2016.

Teaching Interests

My courses explore eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature and culture; imperialism and postcolonialism; the Romantic and Victorian novel; Victorian publishing practices; nineteenth-century religion and secularization; Gothic literature; digital approaches to literary criticism; and expository writing. The interdisciplinary First-Year Experience I co-taught with Professors Karen McCormack (Sociology), Lindsay Flynn (Political Science), and Kelly Goff (Visual Art) focused on “Addressing Inequality,” with my portion examining specifically “Storytelling for Social Change.”

Here are the courses I currently teach in rotation:

  • ENG 101: Writing about Travel and Exploration
  • ENG 224: The Gothic
  • ENG 235: Empire, Race, and the Victorians
  • ENG 236: Sex, God, and the Victorians
  • ENG 271: Nineteenth-Century Narrative
  • ENG 290: Approaches to Literature and Culture
  • ENG 325: The 18th-C. Novel: Gender, Madness, and the Rise of the Novel
  • ENG 326: Digital Victorians

Student Projects

My students’ honors theses and independent studies have focused on topics including rural politics and the Victorian novel; aestheticism, decadence, and the female ghost; Charles Dickens’s London; and Jane Austen.

Students in my courses do a lot of writing, of course! But they have also created websites showcasing archival material, made podcasts, generated digital maps of novels, worked on digitally annotating historical texts, and, in one case, composed an original piece of electronic music based on a nineteenth-century collection of poetry. In the past, students from my courses have presented projects and scholarship at conferences in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Chicago.

Research Interests

My book, Missionary Cosmopolitanism in Nineteenth-Century British Literature (Ohio State University Press 2020), studies the relationship between nineteenth-century British missionaries and shifting notions of cosmopolitanism in the metropole. Drawing on a range of archival resources, including sermons, pamphlets, and periodicals, I examine how nineteenth-century expressions of cosmopolitanism proved inextricable from the global turn of evangelical religion. Authors examined include Robert Southey, Sydney Owenson, Charlotte Brontë, and Charles Dickens.

My co-edited book with Joshua King, Constructing Nineteenth-Century Religion: Literary, Historical, and Religious Studies in Dialogue (Ohio State University Press 2019), brings together literary critics, historians, and religious studies scholars to examine the ways that nineteenth-century religion was constructed, commodified, and practiced.

Current research projects are driven by the following questions: how do religious commitments impact the ways we read and critique literature? How do nineteenth-century novels provide unexpected resources for addressing today’s problems of social alienation, as well as information overload and discerning fact from fiction? Can we create a practice of literary inquiry that is less cloistered, more public-facing and transformative for scholars, students, and readers alike?