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Jules Law

Professor of English and Comparative Literature

Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University
  • 847-491-5526
  • University Hall 313
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays 2-4 or by appointment, via Zoom


Jules Law, Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies, is a specialist in literary theory and Victorian literature. His various essays on Derrida, Joyce, Wittgenstein, and other theoretical topics have appeared in PMLA, Critical InquirySIGNS, New Literary History, and other journals.  He is the author of The Rhetoric of Empiricism (Cornell 1993) and The Social Life of Fluids:  Blood, Milk, and Water in the Victorian Novel (Cornell 2010). Essays from his current book project, Virtual Victorians:  Technologies of Immediation in the Nineteenth-Century Novel, have appeared in ELH, Nineteenth Century Literature, and Novel: A Forum on Fiction. He has received numerous teaching and public-service awards, including the Charles Deering McCormick Professorship of Teaching (2007) and the Centro Romero Community Leadership award (2008).


Victorian, Gender Studies, Literary Theory



  • "Victorian Virtual Reality," in BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth Century History (online), Feb. 2020.
  • "The Victorian Stereoscope," in BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth Century History (online), Dec. 2019.
  • "Virtual Evidence," Victorian Studies 56.3 (Spring 2014), pp. 411-424.
  • "Collateral Melancholy," review of Alejandro Zambra, Ways of Going Home, Public Books, August 2013.
  • "Material Suppositions," Victorian Studies 55.2 (Winter 2013), pp. 222-229.
  • "There's Something about Hyde," Novel: A Forum on Fiction 42.3 (2010): pp. 504-510.
  • "Transparency and Epistemology in George Eliot's Daniel Deronda," Nineteenth-Century Literature 62 (September 2007): 250-277.
  • "Being There: Gothic Violence and Virtuality in Frankenstein, Dracula, and Strange Days," ELH 73 (Winter 2007): pp. 975-996
  • "Cultural Ecologies of the Coast: Space as the Edge of Cultural Practice in Mary Kingsley," in Nineteenth Century Geographies, ed. Helena Michie and Ronald R. Thomas (New Brunswick: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2003), pp. 109-122.
  • "The Politics of Breastfeeding: Assessing Risk, Dividing Labor," Signs 25.2 (Winter 2000): pp. 407-450.
  • "Political Sirens," in Ulysses: En-Gendered Perspectives, ed. Kimberly J. Devlin and Marilyn Reizbaum (Columbia: Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1999), pp. 150-166.
  • "Sleeping Figures: Hardy, History, and the Gendered Body," ELH 65 (1998): pp. 223-257.
  • "A 'Passing Corporeal Blight': Political Bodies in Tess of the D'Urbervilles," Victorian Studies 41 (Winter 1997): pp. 245-270.
  • "Wittgenstein," in The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Criticism and Theory, ed. Michael Groden and Martin Kreisworth (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1994), pp. 737-740.
  • "Water Rights and the 'Crossin o breeds': Chiastic Exchange in The Mill on the Floss," in Rewriting the Victorians: Theory, History, and the Politics of Gender, ed. Linda M. Shires (New York: Routledge, 1992), pp. 52-69.
  • "'Pity They Can't See Themselves': Assessing the 'Subject' of Pornography in Ulysses," James Joyce Quarterly 27.2 (Winter 1990): pp. 219-239.
  • "'Resetting the Agenda': A Response to Jacques Derrida's 'Paul de Man's War'" (with John Brenkman), Critical Inquiry 15:4 (Summer 1989): pp. 804-811.
  • "Reading with Wittgenstein and Derrida," in Redrawing the Lines: Analytic Philosophy, Deconstruction and Literary Theory, ed. Reed Way Dasenbrock (Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1989), pp. 140-168.
  • "Simulation, Pluralism, and the Politics of Everyday Life," in Coping with Joyce: Essays from the Copenhagen Symposium, ed. Morris Beja and Shari Benstock (Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Press, 1989), pp. 195-205.
  • "The Home of Discourse: Joyce and Modern Language Philosophy," in New Alliances in Joyce Criticism, ed. Bonnie Kime Scott (Newark: Univ. of Delaware Press, 1988), pp. 48-55.
  • "Uncertain Grounds: Wittgenstein's On Certainty and the New Literary Pragmatism," New Literary History 19.2 (Winter 1988): pp. 319-336.
  • "Joyce's 'Delicate Siamese' Equation: The Dialectic of Home in Ulysses," PMLA 102.2 (March 1987): pp. 197-205.