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Janzen Kooistra, Lorraine


Professor; Co-Director, Centre for Digital Humanities; FRSC


BA Honours (Brock); MA and PhD (McMaster)




416-979-5000 ext 7420

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Lorraine Janzen Kooistra is Professor of English and a member of the Yeates School of Graduate Studies, contributing to the MA in Literatures of Modernity and the interdisciplinary joint graduate program in Communication and Culture. She is founding Co-Director of Ryerson’s Centre for Digital Humanities (CDH), located in the Library close to Archives & Special Collections (LIB407). She works at the intersection of Victorian illustrated print culture and the digital, and directs the Yellow Nineties 2.0 project, an open-access, peer-reviewed electronic resource for the study of seven aesthetic periodicals produced in Britain in the 1890s. An early adapter of digital pedagogy and editing, she participates on a number of international Victorian DH projects, including the Rossetti Archive, NINES (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship), and COVE (Central Online Victorian Educator). She has collaborated on a number of open-access digital editions on COVE, including Clemence Housman’s The Were-Wolf, Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s “A Sonnet.” Her essay, Teaching Transformation, published on the COVE Teaching site, describes the process by which Housman’s novella was edited, peer-reviewed, and published by students in her graduate class on Digital Publishing.

A specialist in history of the book and periodical studies with a focus on illustration, Janzen Kooistra has published numerous essays on Victorian illustrated books and periodicals and authored The Artist as Critic: Bitextuality in Fin-de-Siècle Illustrated Books; Christina Rossetti and Illustration: A Publishing History; and Poetry, Pictures, and Popular Publishing: The Illustrated Gift Book and Victorian Visual Culture 1855-1875. She has edited an online edition of The Evergreen: A Northern Seasonal (1895-1896/7) and co-edited digital editions of The Yellow Book (1894-97) and The Pagan Review (1892) as well as the print collection, The Culture of Christina Rossetti: Female Poetics and Victorian Culture. She is currently working as principal investigator on Visualizing the Unmarked: The Social Politics of Fin-de-siècle Periodicals and Digital Humanities Mark-up Practices (2016-2021), funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).  Other areas of research interest include textual ornaments, wood engraving, and women artists and activists.

Dr. Janzen Kooistra served as Chair of English 2005-2008 and the department’s first Undergraduate Program Director 2010-13. Her pedagogy has been recognized by the Provost’s Experiential Teaching Award (2012), the Ontario Confederation of Faculty Associations (OCUFA) Teaching Award (2013), and the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2016). In 2018, she was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Research Interests:

Victorian illustrated books and periodicals; publishing history, the book arts, and visual culture; the digital humanities; Victorian poetry; women’s writing and design; digital editing and publishing.