Jayne Hildebrand

Assistant Professor of English


English, First Year Foundation


401D Barnard Hall
On leave, 2022-23


Jayne Hildebrand specializes in nineteenth-century British literature, with a focus on the Victorian novel and the history of science. Her research and teaching interests also include nineteenth-century poetry, science fiction, and environmental humanities. She is currently at work on a book project entitled Ambient Worlds: Description and the Concept of Environment in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction, which examines how Victorian novelists used description to engage with the emerging concept of the environment in nineteenth-century science. An article from this project is forthcoming in ELH. She has also published articles on William Morris, fin-de-siècle socialism, and Victorian psychology; early Victorian working-class poetry; and eighteenth-century georgic poetry. Hildebrand joined the English faculty after completing her graduate work at Columbia University (Ph.D., 2018) and Concordia University (M.A., 2010), and her undergraduate work at the University of Winnipeg (B.A., 2008).

  • Ph.D., M.A., Columbia University
  • M.A., Concordia University
  • B.A., University of Winnipeg

  • Victorian literature and culture
  • The novel
  • Literature and science
  • Environmental humanities

  • First-Year Seminar: Worlds of Science Fiction
  • The Victorian Age in Literature: The Novel
  • The English Colloquium on the Enlightenment
  • Victorian Science and Science Fiction

  • NAVSA Graduate Essay Prize, 2015.
  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2011-2015.

  • North American Victorian Studies Association
  • Modern Language Association

George Eliot’s Medium." CUNY Victorian Seminar at the Graduate Center. November 5, 2019.

"Genre Instability and the Environments of the Rural Sketch." North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA). Columbus, OH. October 17-19, 2019.

"Description and Environmental Desire in The Mill on the Floss." Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS). Dallas, TX. March 21-24, 2019.

"Middlemarch's Medium: Description, Sympathy, and Realism's Ambient Worlds." Victorians in the World: North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA). Honolulu, HI. July 9-12, 2015.

"The Ghostly Architectures of Hardy's The Woodlanders." Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE). NAVSA-sponsored panel on Victorian Materialities. Ottawa, ON, Canada. June 2, 2015.

"Environmental Desire, Water Law, and the Bildungsroman in The Mill on the Floss." Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA). Harrisburg, PA. April 3-6, 2014.

"The Ranter and the Lyric: Ebenezer Elliott's Corn Law Rhymes and the Poetic Languages of Reform in the 1830s." Conference on "The Politics of Form." Columbia University, New York, NY. April 22, 2011.

"Pleasurable Habits: News from Nowhere and William Morris's Aesthetics of Unreflectiveness." Scale and Perspective: Annual Conference of the North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA). Montreal, Quebec, Canada. November 11-13, 2010.

"Middlemarch’s Medium: Description, Sympathy, and Realism’s Ambient Worlds.” English Literary History. 85.4 (Winter 2018): 999-1023..

“Cowper’s Theatrical Blank Verse: Shakespeare, Garrick, and The Task.” SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900. 55.3 (Summer 2015): 579-602.

“The Ranter and the Lyric: Reform and Genre Heterogeneity in Ebenezer Elliott’s Corn Law Rhymes.” Victorian Review. 39.1 (Spring 2013): 101-124.

News from Nowhere and William Morris’s Aesthetics of Unreflectiveness: Pleasurable Habits.” English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920. 54.1 (2011): 3-27.