Holly Faith Nelson
Professor and Chair of English; Co-Director of the Gender Studies Institute


Holly Faith Nelson, Ph.D. is Professor of English and Co-Director of the Gender Studies Institute at Trinity Western University. She has co-edited The Broadview Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Verse and Prose (Broadview), Eikon Basilike with Selections from Eikonoklastes (Broadview), Of Paradise and Light: Essays on Henry Vaughan and John Milton in Honor of Alan Rudrum (University of Delaware Press), James Hogg and the Literary Marketplace: Scottish Romanticism and the Working Class Author (Ashgate), Through a Glass Darkly: Suffering, the Sacred, and the Sublime in Literature and Theory (Wilfrid Laurier University Press), Robert Burns and Transatlantic Culture (Ashgate), French Women Writers: The Significance of the Spiritual (1400-2000) (University of Delaware Press) and Topographies of the Imagination: New Approaches to Daniel Defoe (AMS Press). Her articles have appeared in journals such as Studies in English Literature, Studies in Philology, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, English Language Notes, the George Herbert Journal, Connotations, Scintilla, and Studies in Hogg and His World, as well as in a number of collections on British literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. She cofounded and coedited with Dr. Katherine Ellison Digital Defoe: Studies in Defoe & His Contemporaries, an online, peer-reviewed, multi-media scholarly journal (2009-2015). She cofounded and codirects the Gender Studies Institute at Trinity Western University. She is also the creator/author/editor of the James Hogg Blog. She is currently completing a SSHRC-funded monograph with Dr. Sharon Alker, entitled Besieged: Early Modern British Siege Literature, 1642-1722, and an essay collection with Dr. Jim Daems, entitled Games of War in Early Modern English Literature; and she recently helped to organize the second World Congress of Scottish Literatures: Dialogues and Diasporas (June 21-25, 2017). 

Research & Scholarship


B.A., Ph.D. in English (Simon Fraser University)

Continuing Education:

University of Oxford: Digital.Humanities@Oxford

     Introduction to the Digital Humanities (July 2014)

University of Victoria: Digital Humanities Summer Institute

     Digitization Fundamentals and their Application (June 2014)

     Text Encoding Fundamentals and their Application (June 2012)

University of Glasgow: FutureLearn

      Robert Burns: Poems, Songs and Legacy (February 2016)

Awards & Honors

  • SSHRC Connections Grant. Co-Applicant, World Congress of Scottish Literatures: Dialogues and Diasporas (with Leith Davis, Principal Investigator, and Scott Mackenzie, Co-Applicant) (2017).
  • SSHRC Standard Research Grant (2011-2014). Principal Investigator of "The Spaces of War: Representations of Combat Zones in British Literature, 1642-1715"
  • Canadian Society for the Study of Women in Education Recognition Award for the Gender Studies Institute (2012)
  • Invited Lecturer, "The Edge of Scottish Romanticism: James Hogg, 'king o' the mountain and fairy school.'" Joseph Schick Lecture Series: Literature, Languages, or Lexicography prior to 1900, November 15, 2012 (with Sharon Alker).
  • Visiting Scholar, English Department, University of British Columbia (2009-2010)
  • SSHRC Research Workshop Grant. Collaborator: "Robert Burns and Transatlantic Culture" (2008)
  • TWU Research Grant: Principal Investigator: Gender and Religion Research Symposium (2008)
  • Invited Lecturer, "The Other Scottish Bard: James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd," Centre for Scottish Studies at Simon Fraser University SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia (2008)
  • Priscilla and Stanford Reid Trust Grant (with Lynn Szabo) (2007)
  • Invited Symposium Conferee, "Liberty, Monarchy, Regicide: The Trial and Execution of Charles I," Liberty Fund Conference, Cleveland, Ohio (2007)
  • Invited Roundtable Speaker: "From the Monarch to the Mob: Editing Early-Modern Religious Works," Roundtable on Scholarly Editing, Christianity and Literature Study Group, ACCUTE, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (2006).
  • SSHRC Small Research Grant (SSHRC Institutional Grant) (2006)
  • Davis Distinguished Teaching Award (2005)
  • SSHRC Small Research Grant (SSHRC Institutional Grant) (2005)
  • SSHRC Small Research Grant (SSHRC Institutional Grant) (2004)
  • SSHRC Small Research Grant (SSHRC Institutional Grant) (2003)
  • Professional Research Fund Travel Grant (2002)

Recent Publications


Selected Articles

  • “Literary Print Culture in Restoration Scotland.” The International Companion to Scottish Literature, 1600-1800. Ed. Leith Davis and Janet Sorenson. Forthcoming Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 2019 (with Sharon Alker).
  • “Collaboration in the Humanities: The Art of the Academic Dance.” Forthcoming Eighteenth Century Fiction (Summer 2018) (with Sharon Alker).
  • “Anon. The Progress of the Christian Pilgrim.” The Cambridge Guide to the Eighteenth Century Novel, 1660-1820. Ed. April London. Forthcoming 2018. Cambridge University Press.
  • Alker, Sharon, and Holly Faith Nelson. “Scottish Literature, Periodization and the Liberal Arts Curriculum.” Studies in Scottish Literature 43.1 (2017): 37-45.
  • "A Good Christian, and a Good Natural Philosopher': Margaret Cavendish's Theory of the Soul(s) in the Early Enlightenment." Forthcoming Studies in Philology 113.4 (Fall 2016).
  • “Elizabeth Melville, Lady Culross,” “Anne Murray, Lady Haskett,” “Lilias Gillespie Skene,” and “William Lithgow.” Edinburgh Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Writers. Forthcoming Edinburgh University Press.
  • “James Hogg.” Edinburgh Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Writers. Forthcoming Edinburgh University Press (with Sharon Alker). 
  • "Transatlantic Vaughan: The 'Translation' of Silex Scintillans in Early American Periodicals." Love, Knowledge and the University. Ed. John S. North. Waterloo: North Waterloo Academic Press, 2015. 91-106. 
  • "'Perfect according to their Kind': Deformity, Defect and Disease in the Natural Philosophy of Margaret Cavendish. The Idea of Disability in the Eighteenth Century, Bucknell University Press, 2014 (with Sharon Alker).
  • "Daniel Defoe and the Scottish Church." Digital Defoe: Studies in Defoe & His Contemporaries 5.1 (2013): 1-19.
  • "(Re)writing Spaces of War: Daniel Defoe and Early Modern Siege Narratives." Topographies of the Imagination: New Approaches to Daniel Defoe. Ed. Katherine Ellison, Kit Kincade, and Holly Faith Nelson. New York: AMS Press, 2013 (with Sharon Alker).
  • "Spiritum nolite extinguere': Reading Religion in the Works of Christine de Pizan." In French Women Authors: The Significance of the Spiritual (1400-2000). Ed. Kelsey L. Haskett and Holly Faith Nelson. Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 2013.
  • "Transatlanticism and Beyond: Robert Burns and the World Wide Web." In Robert Burns and Transatlantic Culture, ed. Sharon Alker, Leith Davis, and Holly Faith Nelson. Aldershot: Ashgate 2012 (with Sharon Alker).
  • "Teaching Oroonoko as a War Narrative." In Approaches to Teaching Behn's Oroonoko. Ed. Cynthia Richards and Mary Ann O'Donnell. Forthcoming New York: Modern Language Association, 2013 (with Sharon Alker).
  • "Writing Science Fiction in the Shadow of War:  Margaret Cavendish's Blazing World." In Expanding Worlds: Travel, The New Science, and Literary Discourse. Ed. Judy Hayden. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012 (with Sharon Alker).
  • "Hogg and Working-Class Writing." In The Edinburgh Companion to James Hogg. Ed. Ian Duncan and Douglas S. Mack. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012 (with Sharon Alker).
  • "Dis/ability, Medicine, and Metaphysics in the works of Lady Anne Conway." In Science and Women's Literary Discourse in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: Paving the Way for Frankenstein. Ed. Judy Hayden. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011 (with Sharon Alker).
  • "The Subaltern in Academia: Advancing an Ethos of Equity." In Academic Apartheid: Waging the Adjunct War, Ed. Sylvia M DeSantis. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011.
  • "Caroline Devotional Poets." In Dictionary of Christian Spirituality. Gen. Ed. Glen G. Scorgie. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2011.
  • "John Donne." In Dictionary of Christian Spirituality. Gen. Ed. Glen G. Scorgie. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2011.
  • "Pamphlet Wars: Tropological Union in Defoe's Anglo-Scottish Works." In Form, Function,Genre: Positioning Daniel Defoe's Non-Fiction." Ed. Aino Mäkikalli and Andreas Mueller. Newcastle upon Tyne:  Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010 (with Sharon Alker).
  • "From Scotland to the Holy Land: Renegotiating Scottish Identity in the Pilgrim Narrative of William Lithgow." Connotations: A Journal for Critical Debate 19.1-2 (2009/2010): 176-202 (with Sharon Alker).
  • "Upon the Rack": George Herbert, William Cowper, and the Hermeneutic of Dis/ability." George Herbert Journal 32. 1-2 (2008/2009):54-67 (with Laura E. Ralph). [An earlier version of the article was published in The Cowper and Newton Bulletin, 8.1 (2009): 8-18].
  • "Trauma and Transcendence: An Introduction," Through A Glass Darkly: Suffering, the Sacred, and the Sublime in Literature and Theory. Ed. Holly Faith Nelson, Lynn R. Szabo and Jens Zimmermann. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2010. xv-xxvii.
  • "Defoe 2.0: An Editorial Introduction," Digital Defoe 1.1 (2009) (with Katherine Ellison).
  • "The Science of Nature: Colonial Resistance in Hogg's 'The Pongos,'" James Hogg and the Literary Marketplace.  Ed. Sharon Alker and Holly Faith Nelson. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009 (with Sharon Alker). 201-217.
  • "Memory, Monuments, and Melancholy Genius in Margaret Cavendish's Bell in Campo.Eighteenth Century Fiction 21.1 (Fall 2008): 13-35 (with Sharon Alker).
  • “Staging the Shifting Nation: Macbeth, the Jacobean Scot, and the Politics of the Union.” Studies in English Literature 47.2 (Spring 2007): 379-401 (with Sharon Alker). [Reprinted in Shakespeare Criticism, vol. 128. Gale / Centage, 2012.]
  • John Donne. In "Milton and Poetry, 1603-1660." In The Year's Work in English Studies. Oxford University Press / English Association. 87 (2008): 559-569.
  • "Historical Consciousness and the Politics of Translation in the Psalms of Henry Vaughan." Studies in Philology 104.4 (2007): 501-525. [Reprinted in John Donne and the Metaphysical Poets. Bloom's Modern Critical Views.  New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 2010.]
  • John Donne, "Milton and Poetry, 1603-1660." In The Year's Work in English Studies. Oxford University Press / The English Association. 86 (2007): 514-526.
  • "James Hogg as Working Class Autobiographer: Tactical Maneuvers in a 'Memoir of the Author's Life." Studies in Hogg and His World 18 (2007): 63-80 (with Sharon Alker). [Reprinted in James Hogg, 1770-1735.Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism Gale / Centage, 2012.]
  • "The 'Second Sex' in Cyberspace: Decoding the Discourse of Techno-Utopianism." MP: An International Feminist Online Journal 1.5 (1007) (with Christina Belcher and Alma Barranco-Mendoza).
  • "'Make all things new! And without end!' The Eschatological Vision of Henry Vaughan." Scintilla: The Journal of the Usk Valley Vaughan Association 10 (2006): 222-235.
  • John Donne. In "Milton and Poetry, 1603-1660." In The Year's Work in English Studies. The English Association/Oxford University Press. 85 (2006): 495-506.
  • "Nascent Christian Feminism in Medieval and Early Modern Britain." In Being Feminist, Being Christian: Essays from Academia. Ed. Allyson Jule and Bettina Tate Pedersen. New York. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 157-80.
  • "'Ghastly in the Moonlight': Wordsworth, Hogg and the Anguish of War." Studies in Hogg and His World 15 (2005): 76-89. (with Sharon Alker).
  • John Donne. In "Milton and Poetry, 1603-1660." In The Year's Work in English Studies. Oxford University Press / The English Association. 84 (2005):515-23.
  • "Biblical Structures in Silex Scintillans: The Poetics and Politics of Intertextuality." In Of Paradise and Light: Essays on Henry Vaughan and John Milton in Honor of Alan Rudrum. Ed. Donald R. Dickson and Holly Faith Nelson. Newwark: University of Delaware Press, 2004. 165-191.
  • "Alicia D'Anvers." In New Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • "Lady Sarah Piers." In New Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • "Gender, Nature and Politics in the Writings of Henry Vaughan." Scintilla: The Journal of the Usk Valley Vaughan Association 7 (2003): 99-115.
  • "'Worms in the dull earth of ignorance': Female Authorship and Zoosemiotics in the Works of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle." English Language Notes (2002):13-25.
  • "Marginal Voices and Transgressive Borders in Hogg's Epic Queen Hynde." Studies in Hogg and His World 12 (2001): 25-39. (With Sharon Alker).

 Book Reviews

  • Review of Misty G. Anderson, Imagining Methodism in Eighteenth-Century Britain: Enthusiasm, Belief, and the Borders of the Self. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012. Digital Defoe: Studies in Defoe & His Contemporaries 9.1 (2017).
  • Holly Faith Nelson. Review of Meiko O’Halloran, James Hogg and British Romanticism: A Kaleidoscopic Art. Houndmills, Basingstoke, 2016. The British Association for Romantic Studies Review 49 (2017). http://www.bars.ac.uk/review/index.php/barsreview/....
  • Review of Lisa Walters, Margaret Cavendish: Gender, Science and Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Forthcoming  Early Modern Literary Studies 2016.
  • Review of Sean Lawrence, Forgiving the Gift: The Philosophy of Generosity in Marlowe and Shakespeare. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press, 2012.  Early Modern Literary Studies 17.1 (2014).
  • Review of Scotland and the Nineteenth Century World. Ed. Gerrard Carruthers, David Goldie, and Alastair Renfrew. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2012. Scottish Historical Review 93 (2014): 158-60.
  • Review of Robert Burns in Global Culture. Ed. Murray Pittock. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2011. Scottish Literary Review 4.2 (2012) 178-182.
  • Review of James Hogg, Midsummer Night Dreams and Related Poems, ed. Jill Rubenstein, compl. Gillian Hughes, with Meiko O'Halloran. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008. Studies in Hogg and His World 22 (2012): 105-108.
  • Review of Kate McLoughlin, Authoring War: The Literary Representation from the Iliad to Iraq. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. War, Literature and the Arts 23 (2001):
  • Review of Walter Scott, The Betrothed, ed. J. B. Ellis, with J. H. Alexander and David Hewitt. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009. Studies in Hogg and his World 21, (2011): 118-120.
  • Review of Chantel M. Lavoie, Collecting Women: Poetry and Lives, 1700-1780, Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2009. Aphra Behn Online: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts 1640-1830 1.1 (2011). www.aphrabehn.org/aphraonline/volume1/reviews/nels...
  • Review of The Collected Letters of James Hogg, Volume III, 1832-1835, ed. Gillian Hughes et al. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008. Scottish Literary Review (2011).
  • Review of Jason McElligott, Royalism, Print and Censorship in Revolutionary England. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2007. Royal Stuart Journal, 1(2009):59-61.
  • Review of Reid Barbour, Literature and Religious Culture in Seventeenth-Century England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Seventeenth-Century News 63, nos. 3-4 (2005): 161-164.
  • Review of Gillian Hughes, ed. A Series of Lay Sermons on Good Principles and Good Breeding. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1997. SCOTIA: Interdisciplinary Journal of Scottish Studies 29 (2005): 61-62.

 Work in Progress

  • Besieged: Early Modern British Siege Literature, 1642-1722​. [Monograph in progress, co-authored with Sharon Alker.]


late medieval women's writing, early modern British literature, British civil war literature, literature of the long eighteenth century, Scottish literature, gender and literature, theology and literature, and politics and literature

Courses Taught

Undergraduate Courses:

English 103                      Introduction to Poetry and Short Fiction

English 104                      Introduction to Drama and the Novel

English 213                      Major Authors

English 219                      Studies in Short Fiction

English / Drama 351         Shakespeare I

English / Drama 352         Shakespeare II

English 392                      Fantasy Literature

English 422                      Chaucer

English 430                      Medieval Literature (Mysticism)

English 451                      Drama to 1642 Excl. Shakespeare         

English 453                      Milton

English 454                      Renaissance Poetry and Prose

English 456                      Seventeenth-Century Women Writers

English 466                      The Early English Novel

English 490                      Literary Theory (I)

English 495                      Literary Theory (II)

Graduate Courses:        

English 553                      Milton

English 556                      Seventeenth-Century Women Writers

English 600                      Text and Interpretation

English 607                      Shakespearean Trauma

English 607                      The Works of William Cowper

English 607                      The Eighteenth Century Novel

English 607                      The Works of Samuel Johnson

English 607                      Milton and the Romantics

English 610                      Research in English Studies

English 615                      Early Modern Devotional Literature

English 640                      Science Fiction 1600-1900