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Professor Carl Plasa

BA (Oxon); MA, PhD (Southampton)


School of English, Communication and Philosophy

+44 (0)29 2087 5013
2.13, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Available for postgraduate supervision

I am part of the School's English Literature and Critical and Cultural Theory research groups.

I am currently a Professor of English Literature at Cardiff, having worked previously at the Universities of Manchester and Cork.









  • Plasa, C. 2010. Saccharographies. In: Emig, R. and Lindner, O. eds. Commodifying (Post)Colonialism: Othering, Reification, Commodification and the New Literatures and Cultures in English. Cross/cultures Vol. 127. Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp. 41-61.














My current teaching portfolio includes first-year lectures on Transforming Visions: Text and Image, together with a second-year module on African American literature from Frederick Douglass to Toni Morrison. I also teach an MA option entitled Postcolonial Brontë.

I am currently working on a monograph entitled Enduring Images: Contemporary Literature and the Art of the Slave Trade for publication by Edinburgh University Press as part of its “Critical Studies in Atlantic Literatures and Cultures” series. The book’s core consists of five chapters, covering a wide array of post-1990 literary responses to five well-known paintings and prints relating to the trade, all produced between c.1780 and 1840. By analysing this rich body of work, the monograph develops current scholarship on the slave trade’s visual archive, which has hitherto tended to approach it either historically or in terms of how it has been reinterpreted by visual artists, but less often with regard to how it has been taken up in contemporary literature.

Research interests

  • Literary and visual representations of slavery
  • African American literature 
  • Caribbean literature
  • Ekphrasis

I would welcome applications from students working in any of my main research areas:

  • Literary and visual representations of slavery
  • African American literature 
  • Caribbean literature
  • Ekphrasis

Additional areas in which I offer supervision are:

  • Charlotte Brontë
  • Afred, Lord Tennyson

Past projects

I have supervised the successful completion of some fourteen PhDs to date, across a wide array of topics ranging from the Harlem Renaissance to Richard Wright and from Dickens and empire to Wordsworthian legacies in Victorian poetry. Details are given below:

2016: Caleb Sivyer, “The Politics of Gender and the Visual in Virginia Woolf and Angela Carter” (finishing supervisor)

2014: Jayne Thomas, “From Allusion to Intertext: Reading Wordsworth in Tennyson, Browning and Hopkins”

2014: Mohamed Maaloum, “The Loss of the Referent: Identity and Fragmentation in Richard Wright’s Fiction”

2013: Phillip Roberts, “Cinema and Control” (finishing supervisor)

2013: Theresa Wray, “A Reappraisal of the Short Stories of Mary Lavin” (finishing supervisor)

2011: Anthony Austin, “‘The Great Dread of Our Age’: Reading Alzheimer’s and the Gothic”

2009: Renée Chow, “Postcolonial Hauntologies: Creole Identity in Jean Rhys, Patrick Chamoiseau and David Dabydeen”

2008: Jodie Matthews, “Reading the Victorian Gypsy”

2004: Dale Duddridge, “‘Ein Anderer Schauplatz’: Theatrical Visions in Freudian Psychoanalysis”

2002: Sean Purchase, “Dickens’s Silent Empire”

2001: Adam Woodruff, “Walter Benjamin and Modernism: Towards a Poetics of Urban Representation”

1999: Tiffany Atkinson (currently Professor of Creative Writing, University of East Anglia), “The Dissenting Flesh: Corporeality, Representation and Theory”

1998: Simon Lee-Price, “Racial Hybridity and the Harlem Renaissance: History, Literature, Theory”

1996: Alan Grossman, “‘Things Welsh’: Identities on the March(es)”