Rohan Maitzen

Associate Professor

headshot RMaitzen

Phone: 902-494-6921
Mailing Address: 
Room 3185, McCain Building, 6135 University Avenue
PO BOX 15000, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Victorian literature
  • Gender studies
  • Ethical criticism
  • Early 20th century women's fiction
  • Detective fiction


  • BA (UBC)
  • MA, PhD (Cornell)

Research and Writing

My early research and publications focused on intersections between historical and fictional writing in 19th-century Britain. The major result of this work was my first book, Gender, Genre, and Victorian Historical Writing. I have also done research drawing together contemporary work on fiction and ethics and Victorian theorizing about the novel; this work led to my essays “The Soul of Art: Victorian Ethical Criticism” and “The Moral Life of Middlemarch: Martha Nussbaum and George Eliot’s Philosophical Fiction, as well as to my second book, the anthology The Victorian Art of Fiction: 19th-Century Essays on the Novel. For the past few years I have been particularly interested in bridging the divide between academic criticism and the broader sphere of reading and critical inquiry. From 2010 to 2017 I was an editor and regular contributor at the online literary journal Open Letters Monthly; I have also published reviews and essays in other venues including the Times Literary SupplementQuill & QuireCanadian Notes and Queries, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. I am currently working on a book project about 19th- and early 20th-century women writers of ‘novels with a purpose.’ For more information, including a full list of my published essays and reviews and my full curriculum vitae, visit my personal website.


My main undergraduate and graduate teaching area is Victorian literature. In addition to our two classes on the 19th-century novel, I regularly offer upper-level seminars on the Victorian ‘woman question’ and Victorian ‘sensation fiction,’ and graduate seminars on Victorian women writers and George Eliot. Another main teaching interest of mine is mystery and detective fiction: I frequently offer both a survey of developments in the genre from Poe to the present and an upper-level seminar focused more narrowly on women and detective fiction. I have supervised MA and Ph.D. theses on a wide range of 19th-century British literature from Jane Austen to Wilkie Collins.

Selected Publications

  • Widening the Skirts of Light: Essays on George Eliot (Pier Glass Press, 2019)
  • Middlemarch for Book Clubs (Pier Glass Press, 2016)
  • Gender, Genre, and Victorian Historical Writing (Garland, 1998).
  • The Victorian Art of Fiction: 19th-Century Essays on the Novel. (Broadview, 2009).
  • 'The Soul of Art': Understanding Victorian Ethical Criticism," English Studies in Canada  31:2-3 (June-September 2005).
  • “The Moral Life of Middlemarch: Martha Nussbaum and George Eliot’s Philosophical Fiction.” Philosophy and Literature 30:1 (April 2006).
  • “Scholarship 2.0: Blogging and/as Academic Practice.” Journal of Victorian Culture 17:3 (September 2012).