Jessica Ann Hughes, PhD

Chair, Department of Language and Literature

Associate Professor of English

Teaching and Research Interests

  • The long 19th century
  • The novel
  • Religion in 19th-century Britain
  • Bible as literature
Jessica Ann Hughes

Jessica Ann Hughes has lived in four countries on three continents, taught everything from piano to kindergarten literacy to continuing adult ESL, and even worked in the hospitality industry more than once. Before teaching at George Fox, she taught high school in Budapest (Hungary) and Sydney (Australia), was a visiting assistant professor at Wheaton College, and the head of English and Communication at Holy Cross College.

Here at George Fox, Jessica serves as chair of the Department of Language and Literature and teaches classes like Faith and Story, which asks how stories (and especially the biblical story) might redeem the past and shape the future. She also teaches classes on relatively modern British literature (since about 1800), including The Victorian Novel and Post Colonial & Commonwealth Literature, that consider the role of religious faith in shaping institutions and imaginations.

Jesus in the Victorian Novel

Jessica’s academic research focuses on the intersection of faith and popular culture, with publications on how the novel shapes understandings of Jesus in the Victorian period and on the influence of the Bible on 19th-century literature. Her first book Jesus in the Victorian Novel: Reimagining Christ looks at how the popular novel changed theology around Jesus in 19th-century Britain.

Nerd that she is, Jessica can’t imagine anything more fun than spending a day romping through the twists and turns of a biblical text with friends or talking long into the night about a TV show or novel. And she genuinely believes that the incarnation and bodily resurrection of Jesus are the most important events in history. So she’s always up for a long conversation about what it means to follow Jesus.

When not being a book worm, answering emails, or brushing up on Greek and Hebrew, Jessica is a home-renovating, gardening, baking, camping, hiking, swimming, and traveling wife and mother. She’s a life-long Notre Dame football fan, loves Australian cricket and rugby, is learning to appreciate Christmas in the summer with her Aussie family, and is learning to love her new Oregon home.

Watch video: Jessica Hughes: Meet the Professor

Learn more about her work at

Or follow her on Instagram & Twitter: @DrJessHughes