Dr. Joshua King

Associate Professor, English



Welcome to my personal homepage.   I am an Associate Professor of English at Baylor University, specializing in Romantic and Victorian literature. I recently served (2014-2021) as the rotating Margarett Root Brown Chair in Victorian Studies at Baylor’s Armstrong Browning Library.  Much of my research and publication has been on nineteenth-century British poetic form, religion, and “print culture.” By “print culture” I mean the social interaction and meaning-making enabled by the production, circulation, and reception of printed media.  Within these areas, I have actively published in three subfields: (1) nineteenth-century British print culture and religion; (2) Romantic poetic form and theory, focusing on connections between meter, ethics, and social norms; (3) Victorian poetic form and theory, emphasizing theological views of poetic form. In recent years, I have also focused on intersections between nineteenth-century British poetry, ecology, and religion.  This constellation of interests has shaped a number of talks at conferences and symposia, recent and forthcoming articles and book chapters, and my next book project, The Body of Christ, The Body of the Earth: Nineteenth-Century Poetry, Ecology, and Christology.  The robust body of scholarship on nineteenth-century literature and the environment has said next to nothing about the ways nineteenth-century British poets pursued what is now regarded as unconventionally “green” in modern religious leaders such as Pope Francis: they affirmed the solidarity of the Church, Christ’s body, with creation, stressing the interconnection of Christians, Christ, and creatures through sacred spaces, worship, theological reflection, and the medium of poetry.  This book tells this overlooked story through four case studies of poets from different quarters of British Christianity—William Wordsworth (Anglican), Christina Rossetti (Anglo-Catholic), Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Nonconformist), and Gerard Manley Hopkins (Roman Catholic).  It would be inaccurate to understand these poets as simply “greening” an anthropocentric Christian heritage. Rather, their poetic visions of Christ’s body and creation innovatively develop previous and contemporary Christian theology and practice in ways that often anticipate current ecologically sensitive incarnations. Meditation on Christ and the Church motivated their—often conflicted, sometimes contradictory—ecological reflection and ecopoetics. Also related to my investment in ecology and religion  is a conference that I organized for Sept. 18-21, 2019 on “Ecology and Religion in Nineteenth-Century Studies.”

Please see my “publications” page for information about my publications.  You can read more about my book, Imagined Spiritual Communities in Britain’s Age of Print, (Ohio State University Press, 2015) by visiting the webpage linked to the title.  It is in Ohio State’s Literature, Religion, and Postsecular Studies book series.  For the same series, I coedited a collection with Winter Jade Werner titled Constructing Nineteenth-Century Religion: Literary, Historical, and Religious Studies in Dialogue(May 2019).

In 2010, I founded and still contribute to Baylor’s 19th C. Research Seminar (please click to visit the website for more information).