Jennifer Holberg

Jennifer Holberg


Professor Holberg was granted a bachelor of arts in English and history from New Mexico State University in 1990; she graduated with the highest honors as the university's valedictorian. She went from there to the University of Washington, where she completed her master of arts and PhD in English in 1991 and 1997. She joined the English department faculty at Calvin in 1998.


Recent Activities

Professor Holberg co-directs the Calvin Center for Faith and Writing, the home of not just the biennial Festival of Faith and Writing but a host of other initiatives. Her interest in the intersections of faith and literature also shows up in her biweekly contributions as one of The Twelve (since 2012), a blog about contemporary issues through a Reformed Christian lens, as well as in her book, Shouts and Whispers: 21 Writers Speak About Their Writing and Their Faith, published by Eerdmans in 2006, which received a coveted starred review from Publishers Weekly. The first woman “Professor of the Year” at Calvin, she is passionate about teaching, both in her classroom and in her scholarship as the founding co-editor of the Duke University Press journal, Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020. Holberg has served on numerous departmental and campus committees, including serving as Associate Director of the Honors Program, Head Teaching Fellow of the Teaching and Learning Network, and faculty leader of the Faculty Senate for six years; she currently chairs the all-university Educational Policy Committee. An enthusiastic advocate of public scholarship, she teaches CALL (Calvin Academy of Lifelong Learning) each semester and frequently speaks to churches and other community groups. Best of all: she takes students to Florence every other year for interim!

Favorite Books

  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield
  • The short stories and essays of Flannery O’Connor
  • The work of Marilynne Robinson
  • Dante’s Divine Comedy
  • The poetry of Christian Wiman, Jane Kenyon, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Christina Rossetti, Alfred Tennyson

Additional Information: 

Upcoming events

Academic interests

  • The scholarship of teaching
  • 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century British literature
  • the "middlebrow" woman novelist (currently working on a book-length study of the writer E.M. Delafield)
  • the intersections of faith and literature


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