Dr. Ben Pladek

Ben Pladek
Dr. Ben PladekMarquette University

Marquette Hall, 250

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-1651
Curriculum Vitae

Director of Graduate Studies, Associate Professor


My primary research fields are British Romanticism (with a particular emphasis on poetry), literature and medicine, and Narrative Medicine. My first book, The Poetics of Palliation: Romantic Literary Therapy, 1790–1850 (Liverpool University Press, 2019), examines how Romantic literary writing engaged with British medical ethics and beliefs about pain in the 18th and 19th century and how these beliefs shape contemporary work in the health humanities.  

I also write literary speculative fiction. I’m currently working on a second novel and several essays.  

Before coming to Marquette, I received my Ph.D from the University of Toronto and taught in the Foundation Year Programme at the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

Courses Taught

  • 18th- and 19th-century British literature 
  • Literature and medicine 
  • Creative writing 
  • Poetry and poetics  

Research Interests

  • 18th- and 19th-century British literature and culture 
  • Literature and medicine 
  • Medical humanities 
  • Poetry and poetics 


  • “Health Humanities and British Romanticism.” Literature Compass 18.8 (2021).  
  • The Poetics of Palliation: Romantic Literary Therapy, 1790-1850. Liverpool University Press, 2019. 
  • "Beyond the Poet-Physician: Letitia Landon's Reader-Centered Therapy."The Future of Feminist Eighteenth-Century Scholarship: Beyond Recovery, ed. Robin Runia. Routledge Studies in Eighteenth-Century Literature. New York: Routledge, 2017. 71-88. 
  • "‘In Sickness Not Ignoble’: Soul-making and the Rejection of Relief in the Hyperion Poems.” Studies in Romanticism 54.3 (2015), 401-428. 
  • “‘Soothing Thoughts’: Romantic Palliative Care and the Poetics of Relief.” European Romantic Review 23.3 (2012). 
  • Short stories in several magazines of speculative fiction. 

Honors and Awards

  • 2018-19 Marquette University Summer Faculty Fellowship 
  • 2018-19 Marquette University Regular Research Grant 
  • 2011-12 University of Toronto Fellowship 
  • 2007-11 University of Toronto Connaught Scholarship 

Additional Information

Office Hours 

Spring 2023

  • Tues 10:00-12:00
  • Wed 10:00-12:00

Teaching Schedule 

Spring 2023

  • 3242/101 MW 3:30-4:45 Wehr Chemistry 111
    • Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • 3242/102 MW 2:00-3:15 Wehr Chemistry 111
    • Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy

Faculty & Staff Directory


Department of English
Marquette Hall, 115
1217 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-7179

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