Winter Jade Werner

Associate Professor of English
Coordinator of Digital Humanities
Jane E. Ruby Chair in Humanities and Social Sciences
Coordinator of the Scholar Development Advisory Committee for (Inter)national Fellowships & Scholarships


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

  • Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Fellowship  2022
  • 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)



“Spreading the Word, Shaping the World: Foreign Missionary Presses and the Rise of Nineteenth-Century ‘World Literature.’” In progress.

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

Edited Collection

Constructing Nineteenth-Century Religion: Literary, Historical, and Religious Studies in Dialogue. Joshua King, co-editor. Religion, Literature, and Postsecular Studies Series. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Press, 2019.

Edited Journal Issues

“Religion, Empire, and the State of the Field.” Sebastian Lecourt, co-editor. Victorian Studies.
Issue 66.2 (2024). Forthcoming.

“Religion, Criticism, and the Postcritical.” John Wiehl, co-editor. LIT: Literature InterpretationTheory. Issues 32.1 & 32.2 (2021)

Journal Articles

“The Hikayat Abdullah, the Missionary Press, and the Making of Nineteenth-Century ‘World Literature.’” Comparative Literature. Forthcoming 2024.

“Spatial Contingency: Digital Networks, James Hogg, and the Religious Politics of Space.” Special issue on “Romantic Contingency.” Romantic Circles. Forthcoming 2024.

“Little Dorrit and the Structure of Belief.” Literature and Theology. 37.3 (2023). 241-55.

“How to See Global Religion: Comparativism, Connectivity, and ‘Undisciplining’ Victorian Studies.” Meryl Winick, co-author. Special issue on “Talking About Religion in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Literature.” MLQ. 83.4 (2022). 499-520.

“‘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 (2018). 293-325.

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

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

“Professional Victorianisms: Immediacy, Urgency, and Interdisciplinarity in/at Work.” Christie Harner, Paula Krebs, and Elizabeth McCabe, co-authors. 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.

Book Reviews

Duc Dau, Sex, Celibacy, and Deviance: The Victorians and the Song of Songs (Ohio State UP, 2024). Review 19. Forthcoming 2024.

Sean Dempsey, Words Made Flesh: Formations of the Postsecular in British Romanticism (Virginia UP, 2022). Wordsworth Circle. Forthcoming 2024.

Jessie Reeder, The Forms of Informal Empire: Britain, Latin America, and Nineteenth-Century Literature (Johns Hopkins UP, 2020). Modern Language Review. 118.1 (January 2023).

Lesa Scholl, Hunger, Poetry and the Oxford Movement: The Tractarian Social Vision (Bloomsbury, 2020). Victorian Studies. 64.3 (Spring 2022).

Jenny Gribble, Dickens and the Bible (Routledge, 2020). Dickens Quarterly (June 2022).

Mark Knight, Good Words: Evangelicalism and the Victorian Novel (Ohio State UP, 2019). Review 19 (July 2020)

Jennifer Airey, Religion Around Mary Shelley (Penn State UP, 2019). Studies in Romanticism. 59.2 (Summer 2020)

Aakanksha Virkar Yates, The Philosophical Mysticism of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Routledge 2018). Victorian Studies. 62.1 (Autumn 2019).

Neil Hultgren, Melodramatic Imperial Writing: From the Sepoy Rebellion to Cecil Rhodes (Ohio UP, 2014). Literature and History. 24.1 (Spring 2015).

Book Chapters

“Mission.” The Cambridge Companion to Religion in Victorian Literary Culture. Ed. Mark Knight. Cambridge UP. Forthcoming 2025.

“Religion.” The Cambridge History of Victorian Women’s Writing. Ed. Carolyn Dever and Amy Kahrmann Huseby. Cambridge UP. Forthcoming 2025.

“Teaching the Gothic Ethnography of Cranford.” Approaches to Teaching Elizabeth Gaskell. Ed. Deborah Morse and Deirdre d’Albertis. MLA Approaches to Teaching. Forthcoming 2025.

Other Peer-Reviewed Writings & Projects

“Constructing Religion and Empire in Nineteenth-Century Literature.” Charles LaPorte, peer rev. Sebastian Lecourt and Winter Jade Werner, syl. clust. dev.; Sophia Hsu, syl. guide.
Undisciplining the Victorian Classroom. 2024.

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

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
  • FYE: Adaptations (with Professor Sarah Leventer)
  • ENG 401: Asia in Translation: East and Southeast Asia in the Making of “World Literature”

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.

My current book-in-progress, “Spreading the Word, Shaping the World: Foreign Missionary Presses and the Rise of Nineteenth-Century ‘World Literature'” examines how foreign missionary presses helped consolidate nineteenth-century ideas of “world literature.” Focusing on missionary presses located in East and Southeast Asia, it illuminates how concepts of “world literature” were defined and articulated at the peripheries of empire through interreligious encounters.