Monika Barbara Hilder, PhD

Professor of English
“Joy is the serious business of Heaven” (C.S. Lewis), and few things are as joyous as growing the moral imagination through studying literature in community.

Monika B. Hilder is Professor of English and the co-founder and co-director of the Inklings Institute of Canada at Trinity Western University. She has her BA and MA in English from The University of British Columbia and her PhD in literature education from Simon Fraser University. She is an international speaker and has published a three-volume study on C. S. Lewis and gender metaphor (The Feminine Ethos in C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, The Gender Dance: Ironic Subversion in C. S. Lewis’s Cosmic Trilogy, Surprised by the Feminine: A Rereading of C. S. Lewis and Gender) and co-edited The Inklings and Culture. She has published book chapters and articles on George MacDonald, Madeleine L’Engle, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and literature education. Her fiction book on fairy tales and the moral imagination, Letters to Annie: A Grandmother’s Dreams of Fairy Tale Princesses, Princes, & Happily Ever After, is dedicated to her students. She is currently working on a fiction book about C. S. Lewis. Next to spending time with her family, she loves to dream in the hammock and glide in their green canoe. See her blogs at:

  • PhD in Education (Simon Fraser University)
  • Professional Teachers Certificate (Simon Fraser University)
  • MA in English (University of British Columbia)
  • BA in English (University of British Columbia)


The literature of C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Madeleine L’Engle, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and Milton; children’s literature; fantasy literature; moral education; literature and spirituality; literature and gender.

Awards & Honors

  • Keynote Address: “Creating TWU Community and Beyond: Conversation with the Inklings Institute of Canada.” Trinity Western University Create Conference, August 26, 2022.
  • Invited Address: “C. S. Lewis’s Advice to ‘The Gudewife’” Obedience? What Was He Thinking?” The Center for the Study of C. S. Lewis & Friends, Taylor University, Indiana, July 17, 2020.
  • Keynote Address: “The Language of Joy: C. S. Lewis’s Legacy as a Christian Communicatory to Contemporary Culture.” Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi, Romania. November 22, 2018.
  • Invited Addresses: “Is the Bible a Myth?”; “Is the Bible Anti-Women? What I Learned from C. S. Lewis”; “Why I trust the Bible.” Dig & Delve 2016 (Apologetics Conference), Ottawa, November 4-5, 2016.
  • Invited Address: “Fairytale’s ‘Happily Ever After’? What C.S. Lewis thought about Sex, Love, and Human Identity.” University of Ottawa, November 3, 2016.
  • Invited Address: Fairytale’s ‘Happily Ever After’? What C.S. Lewis thought about Sex, Love, and Human Identity.” Middlebury College, Vermont. October 3, 2016.
  • The Priscilla & Stanford Reid Trust Award (with Stephen M. Dunning) (2016)
  • Finalist: Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies (2015)  
  • Invited Lecture: “The Freud-Lewis Connection: Is Life Mere Sex Or is There ‘Joy Beyond the Walls of the World’?” City Stage New West, preview public lecture for Freud’s Last Session, New Westminster Public Library, January 14, 2014.
  • Plenary Address: “St. George and Jack the Giant-Killer: As ‘Wise as Women are’?” George MacDonald Society Conference: “Re-Imaging the Inklings: The Victorian Roots of Modern Fantasy.” Magdalene College, Oxford. August 15, 2014.
  • Clyde S. Kilby Research Grant from the Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton College, Illinois (2011)
  • Faculty Research Grant, Trinity Western University (2009)   
  • Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal for Academic Excellence for the PhD., Simon Fraser University. (2004)
  • Graduate Fellowship, Simon Fraser University (2003)
  • President’s PhD Research Stipend, Simon Fraser University (2003)
  • Dr. M. Sheila O’Connell Graduate Scholarship in Children’s Literature, Simon Fraser University (2003)

Recent Publications


  • Letters to Annie: A Grandmother’s Dreams of Fairy Tale Princesses, Princes, & Happily Ever After. FriesenPress, 2022.
  • The Inklings and Culture: A Harvest of Scholarship from the Inklings Institute of Canada. Co-edited with Sara L. Pearson and Laura N. Van Dyke. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020.
  • Surprised by the Feminine: A Rereading of C.S. Lewis and Gender.  Peter Lang, 2013. 
  • The Gender Dance: Ironic Subversion in C.S. Lewis’s Cosmic Trilogy. Peter Lang, 2013.
  • The Feminine Ethos in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. Peter Lang, 2012.

Book Chapters

  • ”A Holy Grief: The Pilgrim’s Path to Consolation.” The Undiscovered C. S. Lewis: New Thoughts and Directions in Lewis Studies. Essays in Memory of Christopher W. Mitchell. Ed. Bruce R. Johnson. Winged Lion Press, 2021, pp. 290-306.
  • “Introduction.” The Inklings and Culture: A Harvest of Scholarship from the Inklings Institute of Canada. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020, pp. 1-15.
  • “Identity Theft: Reading the Signs of the Times in C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia.” The Inklings and Culture: A Harvest of Scholarship from the Inklings Institute of Canada. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020, pp. 372-385.
  • “St. George and Jack the Giant-Killer: As ‘Wise as Women Are’?” Informing the Inklings: George MacDonald and the Victorian Roots of Modern Fantasy. Eds. Michael Partridge and Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson. Winged Lion Press, 2018, pp. 181-98.
  • “Mythic Re-Enchantment: The Imaginative Geography of Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet.” Children's Literature and Imaginative Geography. Ed. Aïda Hudson. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2018, pp. 243-260.
  • "Jack, the 'Old Woman' of Oxford: Sexist or Seer?" Women and C.S. Lewis: What His Life and Literature Reveal for Today’s Culture. Eds. Carolyn Curtis and Mary Pomroy Key. Lion Hudson, 2015, pp. 173-86.
  • “Surprised by the Feminine: A Rereading of Gender Discourse in C.S. Lewis’s Perelandra.” C. S. Lewis's Perelandra: Re-shaping the Image of the Cosmos. Eds. Judith Wolfe and Brendan Wolfe. Kent State UP, 2013, pp. 69-82.
  • “Metaphors for Spirituality in Public Educational Settings.” Metaphors We Teach By. Eds. Harro Van Brummelen and Ken Badley. Wipf and Stock, 2012, pp. 120-138.
  • “Consolation in Un/certainty: The Sacred Spaces of Suffering in the Children’s Fantasy Literature of George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis, and Madeleine L’Engle.” Through a Glass Darkly: Suffering, the Sacred, and the Sublime. Western Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature. Eds. Holly Faith Nelson, Lynn R. Szabo, Jens Zimmermann. Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2010, pp. 235-241.
  • “The Ethos of Nurture: Revisiting Domesticity in L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.” L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables: A Children’s Classic at 100. Ed. Holly Virginia Blackford. University of Calgary Press, 2009, pp. 211-227.
  • “Imagining the Ultimate Kindred Spirit: The Feminist Theological Vision of L.M. Montgomery.” Feminist Theology with a Canadian Accent: Canadian Perspectives on Contextual Feminist Theology. Ed. Mary Ann Beavis with Elaine Guillemin and Barbara Pell. Novalis, 2008, pp. 307-330.
  • “George MacDonald’s Education into Mythic Wonder: A Recovery of the Transcendent.” Sublimer Aspects: Interfaces Between Literature, Aesthetics, and Theology. Ed. Natasha Duquette. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007, pp. 176-193.
  • “This Three-Horned Bronco of a Life.” The Madwoman in the Academy: 43 Women Boldly Take on the Ivory Tower. Eds. Deborah Keahey and Deborah Schnitzer. University of Calgary Press, 2003, pp. 35-39.

Selected Articles & Other Publications

  • “St. Valentine's Day & Happily Ever After matters.” Light Magazine BC, February 5, 2023.
  • “If (on the Autobahn to Dresden).” Poem. [spaces]: Literary Journal of Trinity Western University, 14 (2020), p. 39.
  • The Language of Joy: C.S. Lewis’s Legacy as a Christian Communicator to Contemporary Culture.” Linguaculture: International Journal of the Iași Linguaculture Centre for (Inter)cultural and (Inter)lingual Research, 10.2 (2019): 141-155.
  • “‘The Packed Reality of Heaven’: C.S. Lewis’s Imaginative Re-education of the Modern Pilgrim.” Sehnsucht: The C.S. Lewis Journal 12 (2018): 93-119.  
  • “‘Happily Ever After’ for the Twenty-First Century? Sex, Love, & Human Identity in C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.” Ed. Bruce R. Johnson. Sehnsucht: The C.S. Lewis Journal 10 (2016): 83-101. 
  • “We Are All Bad Poets.” Ed. Mervyn Nicholson.  Anniversary Edition in memory of Northrop Frye, ESC: English Studies in Canada 37.2 (June 2011): 29-32.
  • “Teaching Literature as an Ethic of Care.” Teaching Education 16.1 (2005): 43-52.
  • “The Enemy’s Gospel: Deconstructing Exclusivity/Inventing Inclusivity Through the Power of Story.” Journal of Curriculum & Supervision 20.2 (2005): 158-81.
  • Van Brummelen, H., Franklin, K., & Hilder, M. (2005). Creating space for personal meaning in schooling. ICCTE Journal: Journal of the International Community of Christians in Teacher Education 1(1).
  • “’That Unholy Tendency to Laughter’: L.M. Montgomery’s Iconoclastic Affirmation of Faith in Anne of Green Gables.” Canadian Children’s Literature/Littérature canadienne pour la jeunesse 113-114 (Spring-Summer 2004): 34-55.
  • “The Foolish Weakness in C.S. Lewis’s Cosmic Trilogy: A Feminine Heroic.” Seven: An Anglo-American Literary Review 19 (2002): 77-90.
  • "L.M. Montgomery."  Encyclopedia of Christian Literature. Ed. George Thomas Kurian, James D. Smith III. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press (2010).
  • “The Half Idiot.” You in Me, Me in You: Narratives of Learning and Teaching.  Ed. Meguido Zola. Faculty of Education: Simon Fraser University, 2006, 11. (Fiction)
  • The Balloon Party. Colorado Springs, Co.: Meriwether, 1997. (Drama).
  • “The Royal Harbinger.” Esprit: The Magazine of Evangelical Lutheran Women. January/February 1995, back cover. (Poetry).
  • “Flesh Bonds.” Esprit: The Magazine of Evangelical Lutheran Women. July/August 1994, 13. (Poetry).


  • “Foreword to the 2013 Reprint Edition.” Rolland Hein, The Harmony Within: The Spiritual Vision of George MacDonald.  Wipf & Stock, 2013. i-iv.


  • Review of Rolland Hein, Doors In: The Fairy Tale World of George MacDonald. Forward by Olga Lukmanova (Wipf and Stock, 2018). VII: Journal of the Marion E. Wade Center 36 (2019): e132-e134.
  •  “Between Blasphemy and Belief.” Review of Sharon Jebb, Writing God and the Self: Samuel Beckett and C.S. Lewis, Pickwick, 2011, for Sehnsucht: The C.S. Lewis Journal 5/6 (2011-2012).
  • The Environmental Visions of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.”  Review of Matthew Dickerson and Jonathan Evans, ents, elves, and eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien. (Lexington, Kentucky: UP of Kentucky, 2006); and Matthew Dickerson and David O’Hara, Narnia and the Fields of Arbol: The Environmental Vision of C.S. Lewis. (Lexington, Kentucky: UP of Kentucky, 2009), for Flourish Magazine (Winter 2011): 1-6.
  • Review of J.S. Ritchie and D.E. Wilson's Narrative as Critical Inquiry: Rewriting the Script. New York: Teachers College Press. University of Birmingham, for the Journal of Education for Teaching 28.2 (July 2002): 189-92.
  • Review of Mary Aswell Doll’s Like Letters in Running Water: A Mythopoetics of Curriculum. With Meguido Zola. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2000, for Teaching Education 13.3 (2002): 364-65. 

Media Presentations

Affiliations & Memberships

  • The Inklings Institute of Canada
  • Association of Canadian College & University Teachers of English
  • Christianity & Literature Study Group
  • Imaginative Education Research Group
  • Canadian Society for the Study of Education
  • Canadian Society for the Study of Practical Ethics

Undergraduate Courses

  • ENGL 101 Introduction to Writing
  • ENGL 103 Introduction to Poetry and Short Fiction
  • ENGL 104 Introduction to Drama and the Novel
  • ENGL 213 Major Authors
  • ENGL 214 Major Authors
  • ENGL 219 Studies in Short Fiction
  • ENGL 390 Studies in C. S. Lewis
  • ENGL 390 Studies in George MacDonald
  • ENGL 391 Children’s Literature
  • ENGL 392 Fantasy Literature
  • ENGL 400 Practicum in English
  • ENGL 450 Honours Essay
  • ENGL 453 Milton
  • ENGL 490 Literary Theory and Criticism I
  • ENGL 492 The Inklings and Friends

Graduate Courses

  • ENGL 553 Milton
  • ENGL 590 Studies in C. S. Lewis
  • ENGL 591 Children’s Literature
  • ENGL 592 George MacDonald, Hardy, & Brontë
  • ENGL 593 Fantasy Literature
  • ENGL 594 Studies in George MacDonald
  • ENGL 607 Studies in Fairy Tale
  • ENGL 607 Studies in Madeleine L’Engle
  • ENGL 607 Fantasy Literature and Christological Motifs
  • ENGL 610 Research in English Studies
  • ENGL 613 Graduating MAIH Essay
  • ENGL 650 Studies in C.S. Lewis