Jessica Hughes, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of English
On Faculty since 2016


Ph.D. in English, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, 2015 
Dissertation: The Quest for a Novelistic Jesus: Literary Relationships with Jesus in Victorian Realism

M.A. in English, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, 2014 

M.A. in Theological Studies, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada, 2010

B.A. in English, summa cum laude, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA, 2000

Areas of Specialization

  • Britain's Long 19th Century
  • The Novel
  • British Church History and Historical Theology
  • Narrating Motherhood
  • The American Wilderness Tradition


  • American Association of University Women
  • American Society of Church History
  • Conference on Christianity and Literature
  • Midwest Victorian Studies Association
  • Modern Language Association
  • North American Victorian Studies Association


"Dickens's The Life of Our Lord and the Problem of Jesus." "Perplext in Faith:" Essays on Victorian Beliefs and Doubts. Ed Julie Melnyk and Alisa Clapp-Itnyre. Cambridge Scholars, 2015.

"'Not an Average Man': Jesus and the Commonplace Heroic of Adam Bede." VIJ.· Victorians Institute Journal (forthcoming)


"Our Victorian Heritage-Ethics, Authority, and Sentiment in Late Nineteenth-Century Britain" The Joint University of Chicago and University of Notre Dame Graduate Student Conference: Religious Ethics and Sources of Moral Authority. Notre Dame, IN, 21-22 May 2015

"Jesus and Adam Bede - Reworking Type in Light of German Higher Criticism." North American Victorian Studies Association: Victorian Classes and Classifications. London, ON, 13-15 November 2014.

"Atonement Theology: A Secularizing Force?" Western Conference on Christianity and Literature: The Religious Turn: Secular and Sacred Engagements in Literature and Theory. Santa Barbara, CA, 15-17 May 2014.

"Conversion Re-Figured: Changing Theologies in Kingsley's Alton Locke." Mellon-ISLA Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Workshop: Conversion and Literature. Notre Dame, IN, 20 January 2014.

"Dickens and the Problem of Jesus." Midwest Victorian Studies Association Annual Conference: Victorian Belief/Victorian Doubt. Cleveland, OH, 12-14 April 2013.

"What about the Rest of Us?: Women, Heroes, and the American Frontier." Conference of Graduate Language and Literature Students in the North American Pacific Northwest: Forming Connections, Connecting Forms. University of British Columbia. Vancouver, Canada, 7 March 2009.

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