Dr. Jantina Ellens

Sessional Assistant Professor of English and the Core program

Phone: (905) 648-2131   Ext:4212

Email: jantinaellens@redeemer.ca

Office: 239A

Programs: English Literature, English Writing


Ph.D. (2021), English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON
Dissertation: Incarnational Fruit: Authorization and Women’s Anonymous Seventeenth-Century Devotional Writing


M.A. (2012), English, Western University, London, ON

B.A. (2011), Honours English, Redeemer University, Ancaster, ON


  • Ways of Reading: Fiction (ENG-103)
  • Ways of Reading: Poetry and Drama (ENG-104)
  • Western Culture & Tradition I (HUM-110)
  • Expository Writing I (ENG-201)
  • Expository Writing II (ENG-302)
  • Western Culture & Tradition II (HUM-120)


Dr. Jantina Ellens’s interest in the early modern period was ignited by a love for the poetry of the English Reformation and fanned into flame by a curiosity about the absence of women in the early modern canon. Her thesis was born after stumbling upon a series of devotions written by women anonymously during the seventeenth century. Despite Virginia Woolf’s oft paraphrased truism that “Anonymous was a woman,” we have little evidence that women writing in the early modern period published anonymously or would have found it valuable to do so. Instead, Jantina’s research reveals that women like the author of Eliza’s Babes (1652), An Collins in Divine Songs and Meditacions (1653) and Susanana Hopton in her works (1673-1701) used anonymous devotion to identify themselves with a community of the faithful. The seemingly individualistic act of anonymous authorship becomes an act of community formation. An understanding of this communal approach to authorship challenges assumptions about authorial genius, the role of the reader, and the voice of the marginalized in early modern literature. Jantina continues to explore the implications of a communal voice and the relational text in her research and teaching. She is working on developing her thesis into a book length study of anonymity in early modern devotional texts written by women. She also enjoys inviting students into the study of English, the Humanities, writing and Shakespeare through the courses she teaches at Redeemer and McMaster University. In addition to teaching and research, Jantina gardens and bakes while trying to keep up with her five sons.

Research Interests

  • Early modern poetry and prose
  • Literature written by women
  • Devotional literatory
  • Anonymity, readership, and the relationality of literature

Research Funding

Social Science and Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship, 2016-2018.

Research Publications

Devotions in the Ancient Way of Offices: Medieval Domestic Devotions in the Seventeenth Century.” Religions 11, no. 10 (2019): 546.

“Wishing for the Watchface in Swift’s ‘Progress of Beauty’ (1719).” ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830 8, no. 1 (2018): article 1.

“‘Skrue up the Heightened Pegs of Thy Sublime Theorboe’: Tuning the Senses in Quarles’s Emblemes (1635).” Emblematica: Essays in Word and Image 1 (2017): 1-29.