John Plotz

John PlotzDepartment Chair
Professor of English
PhD, Harvard University
Editor, "B-Sides" (Public Books)

pronouns: he / him / his

Research Interests

Victorian literature, the novel, politics and aesthetics.


Selected Publications

BooksSemi-Detached book cover

Books and Articles (for a General Readership)

Academic Talks Available Online

Referenced Articles and Book Chapters

Edited Collection

Selected Reviews

Current Projects

His current project, "Semi-Detached: Aesthetic Experience from Dickens to Keaton" (forthcoming in Fall, 2017 from Princeton University Press) asks: When you've half lost yourself in a book, what happens to the half left behind? Artworks are like virtual worlds, which allow their audiences to feel that they are simultaneously inside and outside an artwork: both in an art gallery looking at a painting, and somehow within the world that painting depicts. This is not complete immersion, like a gloves-and mask kind of virtual reality, but a kind of semi-detachment, which is compelling to its audiences because it never lets them forget their real-world location. The artists and writers he studies include George Eliot, John Stuart Mill, Henry James, Laurence Alma-Tadema, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Robert Browning, and William Morris.

Selected Courses Taught