• Professor, English

Research Statement

I am currently working on three scholarly projects. I am, first, the editor for Classical Studies, volume seven in The Collected Works of Walter Pater, forthcoming from Oxford University Press. I am also writing two scholarly monographs. The first is a study of references to political events in the writings of late nineteenth-century authors associated with the decadent and aesthetic movements, tentatively entitled "The Poetics of Political Disorder." The second, entitled "The Aesthetics of Secrecy in the Nineteenth Century" is a history of changing representational conventions for depicting secrets and secrecy among Romantic and Victorian writers.


  • "The Aesthetics of Secrecy," University of Helsinki (cancelled). Invited Talk/Keynote, Other, 05/07/2020.
  • "Revolutionary Desires," British Studies Research Interest Group. Presentation, Presented, 11/02/2018.
  • "Gentrifying Decadence" (Roundtable Presentation), NAVSA Conference, St. Petersburg, FL. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/13/2018.
  • "Revolutionary Desires," Curiosity and Desire Conference, Los Angeles, CA. Conference Paper, Presented, 05/11/2018.


  • Matthew Potolsky, "Decadence and Politics," in Decadence: A Literary History, ed. Alex Murray (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020, pp. 152-65. Published, 10/06/2020.
  • Matthew Potolsky (2020). Review of Michel Winock, Décadence fin de siècle. H-France Review. Published, 06/16/2020.
  • Matthew Potolsky (2018). "Fin de Siècle". Victorian Literature and Culture. Vol. 46, 697-700. Published, 10/11/2018.
  • "Whither Secrecy?" ALH 28.4 (2016):789-99. Published, 12/15/2016.
  • "Hardy, Shaftesbury, and Aesthetic Education," rpt in Short Story Criticism. Vol 227. Ed. Lawrence J. Trudeau. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2016. Originally published in SEL 46, 4 (2006): 863-78. Published, 07/15/2016.
  • Potolsky, Matthew (2015). Eros and Revolution: Rossetti and Swinburne on Continental Politics. Victorian Studies. Vol. 57, 585-610. Published, 12/15/2015.
  • Matthew Potolsky (2015). Beyond Fiction: The NSA and Representation. Secrecy Machine. Published, 10/09/2015.
  • "In Praise of Decadence: The Epideictic Mode from Baudelaire to Wilde." Decadent Poetics, ed. Alex Murray and Jason Hall. Published, 08/23/2013.
  • The Decadent Republic of Letters: Taste, Politics and Cosmopolitan Community from Baudelaire to Beardsley (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012). Published, 11/2012.
  • "The Substance of Shadows: Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Mimesis." Victorian Poetry 50, 2 (2012): 167-187. Published, 08/2012.
  • Matthew Potolsky (2010). Literary Communism: Pater and the Politics of Community. Victorian Aesthetic Conditions. Published, 07/2010.
  • "Leo Spitzer and the Returns of Philology." Western Humanities Review 63 (2009): 56-67. Published, 03/15/2009.
  • "The Decadent Counterpublic" Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net 48 (2007). Published, 02/20/2008.
  • Matthew Potolsky (2006). Mimesis. Routledge. Published, 01/07/2006.