I am a literary critic, specialising in 19th- and 20th-century English literature, and literary theory, with a particular focus on the work of Jacques Derrida. In addition to having written or edited more than 40 books of criticism, I have also published a novel, Silent Music, and two collections of poetry, Draping the Sky for a Snowfall and The Grand European Bestiary, the latter a bilingual collection, in Polish and English (Polish translations by Monika Szuba).


I studied at the University of Sussex, Clark University, and the University of Southern California


Selected publications


2016 Haunted Experience: Being, Loss, Memory Axminster: Triarchy Press

2016     Draping the Sky for a Snowfall: Poems and Essays Axminster: Triarchy Press.

2016     Wielki bestiariusz europejski / The Grand European Bestiary. Gdansk: Wydawnictwo Maski.

2015     Portuguese translation of Derrida: A Guide for the Perplexed, 2nd edition (Colibri)

2014     Silent Music: A Novel (Triarchy)

2013     (with Maria Dick) The Derrida Wordbook (Edinburgh University Press)

2012     Dickens’s London (Edinburgh University Press)

2010     Literature, in Theory: Tropes, Subjectivities, Responses, Responsibilities (Continuum)

2010     Chinese translation of Introducing Criticism at the 21st Century (Nanjing University Press)

2010     Portuguese translation of Derrida: A Guide for the Perplexed (Colibri)

Edited and co-edited collections

2015     Introducing Criticism in the 21st Century, 2nd rev. and expanded ed. (Edinburgh University Press)


2014     (with Kenneth Womack and Ruth Robbins), Key Concepts in Literary Theory, 3rd rev. and expanded ed. (Edinburgh University Press)

Contributions to books

2016     (in press) ‘Ghostly Possibilities: Memory, Loss, and That Which Remains (Unseen)’, in Martin Middeke and Christoph Reinfandt, eds., Theory Matters: The Place of Theory in Literary and Cultural Studies Today (Palgrave Macmillan)

2014     ‘Re-Presenting the urban past: ghostly London’, in Marie-Luise Kohlke and Christian Gutleben, eds., Neo-Victorian Cities: Re-Imagining Utopian and Dystopian Metropolises (Rodopi)

2014     ‘Time passes through me: the Spectral Touch of the City’, in Christina Lee, ed., Spectral Spaces and Hauntings (Palgrave Macmillan)

2014     ‘Transgression’, in Sebastian van de Mije, Robert Segal, Kocku von Stuckrad, eds., Vocabulary for the Study of Religion (Brill)

2014     ‘Trope’, in Sebastian van de Mije, Robert Segal, Kocku von Stuckrad, eds., Vocabulary for the Study of Religion (Brill)

2014     ‘Richard Marsh’ in Dino Felluga, Pamela K. Gilbert, and Linda K. Hughes, eds., The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Victorian Literature (Blackwell)

2014     ‘Hardy’s losses re-membered: the trace of the folkloric in the Short Stories’, in Juliette B. Schaeffer, ed., Thomas Hardy’s Short Stories (Ohio State University Press)

2013     ‘“A hair’s breadth of time”: anachrony, contretemps and the challenge to the conventions of realism in the short stories of Thomas Hardy’, in Jane Thomas, ed. Between the Real and the Imaginary: New Essays on Thomas Hardy (Palgrave Macmillan)

2013     ‘The Unremarkable Chesterton’, in Matthew Beaumont, ed. Chesterton and London (Bloomsbury)

2013     ‘Notes towards a Poethics of Spectrality: The Examples of Neo-Victorian Textuality’, in Kate Mitchell and Nicola Parsons, eds., Reading the (Re)Presented Past (Palgrave Macmillan)

2012     ‘Dickensian Architextures’, in Jeremy Tambling, ed., A Library of Essays on Charles Dickens (Ashgate)

2012     ‘Spectrality’, in Andrew Smith and David Punter, eds., The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of the Gothic (Blackwell)

2012     ‘Gothic’ and Poststructuralism’, in Andrew Smith and David Punter, eds., The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of the Gothic (Blackwell)

2012     ‘Dwelling with Dickens and Heidegger’, in Chiara Briganti, ed., Domestic Space: An Interdisciplinary Reader (Toronto University Press).


2012     ‘Required Reading or, “Some of us, at least”’, in J. Hillis Miller, Reading for Our Time” Adam Bede and Middlemarch Revisited

Articles in Journals

2015     ‘Burke / Anti-Burke: A Response to J. Hillis Miller’, in Derrida Today, 8:1 (May): 34-40.


2015     ‘”Otherwise in London” or, the “Essences of Things”: Modernity and Estrangement in the Nineteenth-Century Cityscape’, in Victoriographies:

Blog Posts



    My current project aims to investigate the advent, impact and continued transformations effected by the various phenomena that are understood as belonging to modernity (forms of tele-technologies, mass media, and so on, increased national and international mobility, migration, the effects of diaspora, changes in language use), in relation to cultural memory and subjectivity formation. The principal question concerns the relation and tensions between global or cosmopolitan manifestations of modernity within particular nations, and the transformation of local and regional cultures and identities as a result. Are there regional modernities, how does modernity transform regional cultures, how do regional cultures ‘translate’ the modern and integrate it, and how are differences registered in aesthetic formations (literature, painting, film)? In what ways do the local and global contest and accommodate one another, what becomes erased, or preserved, and how? What is the relationship between perceptions of the present and narratives of the past individually and collectively? in what ways are modes of aesthetic representation shaped, mediated and, in turn, mediate historical and material conditions? In asking such questions, I shall investigate notions of self and home, the other, and possible regional subversions of national and global hegemonic narratives, discourses and practices. Three specific cultures in particular historical moments will be investigated: England, and the rural south and south-west (1880-1920); Germany, particularly Schleswig-Holstein and the Hünsruck (1930-1970); Poland, specifically Kashubia and Pomerania, during the late communist and post-communist period (1970-present).

    Upcoming Talks and Conferences


    2016     (September) ‘Spectrality, and the tele-technologies of the Modern’, Keynote, conference on Spectrality at Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun Poland

    Julian Wolfreys

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