Dr. Denae Dyck

Dr. Denae Dyck

Recent PhD


BA (Ambrose), MA (Dal), PhD (UVic)

Area of expertise

Victorian literature; nineteenth-century literature; literature and religion; biblical criticism; hermeneutics

My research and teaching specialities include nineteenth-century British literature and culture, literature and religion/spirituality, life writing, and rhetoric and composition. I’m especially interested in how Victorian writers turned to wisdom literature, a genre that privileges questioning and dialogue, to reframe their experiences of uncertainty and doubt. My current book project (provisionally entitled Forming Wisdom: Victorian Hermeneutics and the Literary Imagination) argues that Victorian debates about the interpretation of sacred texts generated new concepts of writerly authority and readerly agency that still matter to literary and cultural studies today.

My work has been generously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at UVic, and the Visiting Scholars Program of the Armstrong Browning Library.  I am honoured to have received UVic’s Governor General’s Gold Medal Award (2021).

I am an active member of several scholarly associations, and I am passionate about community engaged learning and outward-facing initiatives. Since 2018, I have co-convened the Religion and Spiritualities caucus of the North American Victorian Studies Association. I am a collaborator on the Crafting Communities project (2020 - ongoing), a series of virtual events and open education resources on Victorian material culture. I also work for the Stigma-Free Society as a content writer and support group co-facilitator, where I focus on building cultures of inclusion and hope.

In the classroom, my goal is to create opportunities to pursue intellectually challenging questions in the spirit of respectful conversations. Courses taught include ENGL 386: Victorian Poetry (Fall 2019; Spring 2021), ENGL 387: Victorian Culture and Thought (Fall 2020), ENGL 200C: English Literature, 1800-1914 (Spring 2021; Spring 2022), and ENGL 135 / ATWP 135 Academic Reading and Writing (Fall 2018; Spring 2020; Fall 2020; Spring 2021; Fall 2021).

Selected Publications
“Falling into Hope: Wisdom Poetry and the Reinterpretation of Suffering in Elizabeth Barrett
Browning’s A Drama of Exile.” Victorian Poetry vol. 58 no. 1. (Spring 2020), pp. 27-51. doi:10.1353/vp.2020.0001.
“From Denunciation to Dialogue: Redefining Prophetic Authority in Elizabeth Barrett
Browning’s ‘A Curse for a Nation.’” Victorian Review vol. 46 no. 1 (Spring 2020), pp. 67-82. doi:10.1353/vcr.2020.0011.

“The Risorgimento.” The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women’s Writing, edited
by Lesa Scholl and Emily Morris. Palgrave Macmillan. Web. 29 Feb 2020.
“Gathering and Scattering in ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’: Poetic Form, Biblical
Criticism, and Coleridge’s Tropes of the Imagination.” European Romantic Review vol.
29 no. 6 (December 2018), pp. 768-96.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10509585.2018.1534688.
“Garden-Variety Holiness: Bessie Head’s ‘reverence for ordinary people’ in A Question ofPower.” ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature vol. 49 no. 1 (January 2018), pp. 53-78. Jointly and equally authored with Tim  Heath.   https://doi.org/10.1353/ari.2018.0002.
“The ‘sensation’ of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Poem’s before Congress (1860): Events, Politics, Reception.” BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History, edited by Dino Felluga. Extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. Web. 5 July 2017. Jointly and equally authored with Marjorie Stone. (28,500 words)
“Writing Wisdom: George Herbert’s Synesthetic Poetics.” Christianity and Literature vol. 66 no. 1 (December 2016), pp. 39-56. https://doi.org/10.1177/0148333116677459.333116677459