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 speculative fiction. My first novel, Dry Land, came out in fall 2023. 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 


  • Dry Land, UW Press, 2023
  • Published short fiction in Strange Horizons, Slate Future Tense Fiction, Lightspeed, The Offing, and elsewhere
  • “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 

Fall 2024

  • Wed 9:00-12:00

Teaching Schedule 

Fall 2024

  • 4954/101 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Lalumiere Hall 184
    • Seminar in Creative Writing 

Faculty & Staff Directory


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

Contact Us


Facebook Twitter Instagram


Report an accessibility problem

To report another problem, please contact wendy.walsh@marquette.edu.