Prof. Joshua King

Professor of English



Welcome to my personal homepage.   I am a Professor of English at Baylor University, specializing in nineteenth-century British literature. From 2014 to 2021, I served as the Margarett Root Brown Chair in Victorian Studies at Baylor’s Armstrong Browning Library.  Much of my previous research and publication centered on nineteenth-century British poetic form, religion, and print culture. My recent and ongoing research has focused on intersections between nineteenth-century British poetry, ecology, and religion.  This constellation of concerns has shaped talks at conferences and universities,  journal 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 until recently said little about the ways nineteenth-century British poets 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.

Also related to my investment in ecology and religion  is a flightless, carbon-reduced, multisite conference that I organized for Sept. 18-21, 2019 on “Ecology and Religion in Nineteenth-Century Studies.”  The conference digitally interlinked events held at five universities in the US and UK and also reached audiences online around the world. As you will see in my “Publications and Professional Activities” page, I have often been involved in directing conferences. I am pursuing my commitment to more sustainable forms of conferencing by joining Prof. Dino Felluga (Purdue), Dr. Chris Adamson (Dakota State U), and an international team of scholars to organize a flightless conference in 2024 on the theme “Event” that combines digital events and interactions across the year with in-person conferences at 17 hubs across the globe.  It is jointly sponsored by the North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA), the British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS), the Australasian Victorian Association (AVSA), the Victorians Institute (VI), and DACH Victorianists (DACH-V). Click here to visit the conference website.

I have become involved in interdisciplinary environmental education at Baylor, striving to ground such education in action in the community.  With the support of a University Teaching Exploration Grant from the Academy for Teaching and Learning, I collaborated with faculty across campus and organizations in the surrounding Waco community to create a new minor in Environmental Humanities at Baylor.  This minor offers students a path of study that explores the cultural dimensions of how humans relate to nature. In transformative dialogue with the sciences, the environmental humanities explore the aesthetic, imaginative, religious, and ethical components that not only drive our environmental crisis but also provide us with the cultural resources to bring about healthy, flourishing futures. This minor invites students to dig into the cultural roots of environmental vitality and distress in order to cultivate awareness, take local action, and prepare for diverse paths of care and advocacy.  Through engaged learning courses and student projects in partnership with frontline communities, we are co-creating solutions to food and environmental justice in Waco, with activity focused on the Baylor Community Garden in partnership with the Sustainable Community and Regenerative Agriculture Project (SCRAP).  I am on the SCRAP coordinating team, and our work has been supported by several grants, including a $300,000 matching grant from the Funders Network and Cooper Foundation in 2023-2024.

Please see my “Publications and Professional Activities” page for further 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  Baylor’s 19th C. Research Seminar to which I still contribute (please click to visit the website for more information).  Since 2018, I have helped to coordinate the Religion and Spiritualities Caucus for the North American Victorian Studies Association.