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Lorraine Janzen Kooistra

Dr. Lorraine Janzen Kooistra

Professor Emerita and Director Emerita of Centre for Digital Humanities
EducationPhD, McMaster University
Memberships/ServicesDirector Emerita, Centre for Digital Humanities
Areas of ExpertiseVictorian illustrated books and periodicals; digital humanities and textual editing; publishing history and the book arts; women and print culture


Lorraine Janzen Kooistra is Professor of English and founding Director Emerita of Ryerson’s Centre for Digital Humanities (external link)  (CDH); she served as Chair of English in 2005-2008 and as the department’s first Undergraduate Program Director in 2010-13. A member of the Yeates School of Graduate Studies, she contributes to the English MA in Literatures of Modernity and the interdisciplinary joint graduate program in Communication and Culture. She received her MA and PhD in English at McMaster University in Hamilton, where she was honoured with the Governor General’s Gold medal for her dissertation on illustration and the book arts in fin-de-siècle Britain. Her research focuses on Victorian illustrated books and periodicals and on their critical re-mediation in digital editions. She characterizes her subject as “the production of visual knowledge”– the ways in which the interaction of picture and word shape how readers interpret texts, conceptualize identities, and form cultural values – in other words, how they know about themselves and the world.

Janzen Kooistra is Principal Investigator on Visualizing the Unmarked: The Social Politics of Fin-de-siècle Periodicals and Digital Humanities Mark-up Practices, funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant (2016-2022). A digital edition of The Dial (1889-1897) for Yellow Nineties 2.0, external link (external link)  is generously supported by a Linda H. Peterson Fellowship awarded by the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals and funded from the bequest of the Eileen Curran estate. In the editorial markup, scholarly commentary, and digital affordances for the study of eight “little magazines” that characterized avant-garde print production at the turn of the last century, she aims to demonstrate the transnational cultural reach of the “little,” the marginal, and the diverse. 

An early adapter of digital pedagogy and editing, Janzen Kooistra participates on a number of international Victorian digital humanities projects, including Orlando 2.0, external link (external link) , the Rossetti Archive, external link (external link) NINES, external link (external link)  (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship), and COVE, external link (external link)  (Central Online Victorian Educator). She has collaborated on a number of open-access digital editions on COVE, including Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market, external link (external link) , Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s “A Sonnet, external link (external link) ,” and Clemence Housman’s The Were-Wolf, external link (external link) .  Her essay on the COVE Teaching site, Teaching Transformation, external link (external link) , describes the process by which Housman’s novella was edited, peer-reviewed, and published by graduate students in her Digital Publishing course in 2018.

In her undergraduate and graduate teaching, Janzen Kooistra aims to add experiential components in courses that include topics in nineteenth-century literature and culture, book history, research methods, and digital publishing. Her innovative 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).


Poetry, Pictures, and Popular Publishing: The Illustrated Gift Book and Victorian Visual Culture 1855-1875. Ohio University Press, 2011.

Christina Rossetti and Illustration: A Publishing History. Ohio University Press, 2003.

The Artist as Critic: Bitextuality in Fin-de-Siècle Illustrated Books. Scolar Press, 1995.

Selected Editions

The Evergreen: A Northern Seasonal: Digital Edition. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2016-2018., external link (external link) 

The Culture of Christina Rossetti: Female Poetics and Victorian Contexts, edited by Mary Arseneau, Antony H. Harrison, and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra. Ohio University Press, 1999.

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

 “Floating Worlds: Wood Engraving and Women’s Poetry.” Cambridge Companion to Victorian Women’s Poetry, edited by Linda K. Hughes, Cambridge University Press, 2019, pp. 277-98

“Victorian Women Wood Engravers: The Case of Clemence Housman.” Edinburgh 

Companion to Women, Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, 1830s-1900s: The Victorian Period, edited by Alexis Easley, Clare Gill and Beth Rodgers, Edinburgh University Press, 2019, pp. 277-300.

“Clemence Housman’s The Were-Wolf: Querying Transgression, Seeking Trans/Formation.” Special issue on Trans Victorians in Victorian Review, vol. 44, no. 1, 2018, pp. 51-64.

Wood-engraved Borders in Strahan’s Family Magazines: Toward a Grammar of Periodical Ornament.” Victorian Periodicals Review, vol. 51, no. 3, 2018, pp. 380-407.

 “Prototyping Personography for The Yellow Nineties Online: Queering and Querying History in the Digital Age.” Alison Hedley (lead author) and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra. Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminist Digital Humanities, edited by Elizabeth Losh and Jacqueline Wernimont, Debates in the Digital Humanities Series, University of Minnesota Press, 2018, pp. 157-72.

“Reconstruire les Réseaux Historiques de la Circulation des Imprimés à l’ère Numérique: The Yellow Nineties Online et les Périodiques Esthètes Fin-de-Siècles.” [Rebuilding Historical Networks of Print Circulation in the Digital Age: The Yellow Nineties Online and Fin-de-Siècle Aesthetic Periodicals], translated by Évanghélia Stead. Europe des revues II, edited by Hélène Védrine and Évanghélia Stead, Les Presses de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne (PUPS), 2018, pp. 803-23. 

“The Legacy of Oscar Wilde: Fairy Tales, Laurence Housman, and the Expression of ‘Beautiful Untrue Things.’” Oscar Wilde and the Cultures of Childhood, edited by Joseph Bristow, Routledge, 2017, pp. 89-118.

 “Illustration.” Journalism and the Periodical Press in Nineteenth-Century Britain, edited by Joanne Shattock, Cambridge UP, 2017, pp. 104-25.