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Jessica Hooten Wilson, Ph.D.

Dr. Wilson is the Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence for Humanities and Classical Education in the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts.

Areas of Expertise

  • Christian literature, primarily 20th-21st century, including the Inklings & Catholic renascence (especially Flannery O'Connor and Walker Percy)
  • Hermeneutics, reading as a spiritual practice
  • Dante
  • Dostoevsky 


  • Ph.D. Religion and Literature, Baylor University (2006-2009)
  • Master of English, University of Dallas (2004-2006)
  • B.A. Creative Writing, Pepperdine University (2000-2004)

Academic Appointments

  • University of Dallas, Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence, Humanities & Classical Education (2020-2021) 
  • John Brown University, Associate Professor, Humanities (2013-2020) 
  • University of St. Thomas, Catholic Studies, Distance Education, Graduate Instructor (2019) 
  • Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, Fulbright Scholar (2014) 
  • University Mary Hardin-Baylor, Assistant Professor, English (2009-2013)
  • Director, Study Abroad in London (Spring 2013)                 
  • Baylor University, Honors College, Instructor of Great Texts (2007-2009)

Recent Courses

Spring 2021:
HUM 6V77 Ancient Epics
HUM 6v78 The Inklings

Selected Publications

Recent Articles

10 Books You Need to Read Before You Graduate College

Education Before Training: Seven Books on Learning Well
Bodying Forth the Classics: A Manifesto


  • Solzhenitsyn and American Culture: The Russian Soul in the West . Co-edited with David Deavel. University of Notre Dame Press, October 2020.
  • Why Do the Heathen Rage?: An Unfinished Novel by Flannery O’Connor. Editor. In Progress. FSG first rights of refusal.
  • The Scandalous Holy: Following Literary Saints on the Path to a Fuller Life. In Progress. With Brazos Press.
  • How to Read: A Spiritual Practice in a Utilitarian Culture. In Progress. With Brazos Press.
  • To This You Were Called: A Reader on Vocation and Faithful Learning. Co-edited with Jacob Stratman. In Progress.
  • Reading Walker Percy’s Novels. Louisiana State University Press, April 2018.
  • Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky and the Search for Influence. Ohio State UP for Literature, Religion and Postsecular Studies Series, November 2017. 
  • Giving the Devil his Due: Demonic Authority in Flannery O’Connor’s and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Fiction. Cascade Books, February 2017. 

For additional publications see CV.

Awards & Honors

  • Hiett Prize in the Humanities Recipient 2019. The Hiett Prize in the Humanities is an annual award of $50,000 aimed at identifying candidates who are ascending in a career devoted to the humanities and whose work shows extraordinary promise to have a significant impact on contemporary culture.
  • Christianity Today “Culture and the Arts” Book of the Year Award 2018 for Giving the Devil his Due: Flannery O’Connor and Fyodor Dostoevsky, Cascade Books 2017 
  • Emerging Public Intellectual Award 2017 from Redeemer University College, CARDUS, Acton Institute, Henry Institute, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Center for Public Justice
  • Research Fellow, Biola University Center for Christian Thought, Grant from Templeton Trust (Fall 2017) 
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute on Dante in Florence, Italy (Summer 2014) 
  • Fulbright Scholar Grant, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic (Spring 2014) 
  • Lehrman American Studies Center, Summer Institute for Junior Faculty at Princeton University (June 2010)