Jennifer Hardy Williams


Professor Williams completed her undergraduate and graduate work at the University of California, Irvine. She received her bachelor of arts summa cum laude in English literature, with a minor in European history. She went on to complete her master of arts and PhD in English literature with a dissertation titled Ghosts in the Machine: Modernism's Religious Other. Professor Williams joined the Calvin College English department in 2005.


Favorite Books

  • Lord Jim and The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • The Gift of Death by Jacques Derrida
  • the Sandman series and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Hellsing by Kohta Hirano
  • Black Butler by Yana Toboso
  • Alice in the Country of Hearts by QuinRose


  • Drinking coffee
  • Altered books
  • Photography
  • Gardening
  • Watching movies (the quirkier the better) with husband Dale
  • Searching for the perfect shade of violet for her dining room
  • Playing with her kids Nathan and Zelda
  • Laundry (she finds folding clothes very soothing)
  • All things vampiric
  • Drinking more coffee

Additional information

Academic interests

  • British modernism
  • Critical theory
  • Ethics and literature
  • Deconstruction
  • Comics and graphic novels
  • Mini-comics
  • Popular culture
  • Anime and manga
  • Mixed-media arts
  • Twentieth-century aesthetic theory

Courses taught


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Professor Williams is currently finishing a book on the ways in which female authors in the modernist period use religious discourse to form and contest identity. She received a grant from the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship for the 2008-09 school year to do research for that project. She is also working on a project with Prof. Chris Smit from CAS on Lady Gaga and the erotics of consumer culture.


  • Sabbatical, Calvin College, Spring 2014
  • Participant at the School of Criticism and Theory Cornell University, Summer 2013
  • Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship Small Grant, Calvin College, 2013-2014

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