Michael Du Plessis

Associate Professor (Teaching) of Comparative Literature and English

Contact Information
E-mail: duplessi@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-0102
Office: THH 161

Curriculum Vitae


  • BA , Univ. of Pretoria, 12/1983
  • MA , Univ. of Pretoria, 12/1988
  • Ph.D. Comparative Literature, University of Southern California, 1/1993
  • MA , University of the Witwatersrand, 12/1998
  • MA Master of Professional Writing, USC, 12/2014

  • Conferences and Other Presentations

    Conference Presentations
    • ""‘Towards the 21st-Century Novel of Adultery: Notes on Marriage as Insistent Narrative Failure"", "&Now: A Conference of Innovative Writing and the Literary Arts", Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Abstract, Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, Fall 2009   
    • ""‘Electrical Scheherazade’: Occult Networking and the Fin-de-Siècle"", "Modernism and Global Media," Modernist Studies Association 10, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Paper, Nashville, Vanderbilt University, Fall 2008   
    • ""Cashing in on Death: Franchising ‘Snuff’ for Late Capitalism."", Presented as part of the panel, "Cinema/Life/Money: Reading Cinema in the Era of Biocapital" at the , Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Long Beach , American Comparative Literature Association, Spring 2008   
    • ""Propping Up Fiction," presented as part of the panel, "Dysfunctional Fictions."", "&NOW 2008: A Festival of Innovative Literature and Art," (17 April 2008), Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Chapman University , Chapman University, Spring 2008   
    • ""Hand-Painted Mass Reproductions from the Dream of Modernist Capital: Winsor McCay in Slumberland"", Presented as part of the panel, "Translating Visual Styles: The Transformation and Displacement of B, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Long Beach, Modernist Studies Association 9, California State , Fall 2007   
    • ""Decadent Commodities and Narrative Objects in Gustav Meyrink's _Sonderbare Geschichten_ ('Strange Tales')"", "'A Leap from the Temple of Culture into the Abyss': Decadence in Central and Eastern Europe", Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Columbia University, The Harriman Institute, Columbia University, Spring 2007   


    Book Chapter
    • Du Plessis, M. (2007). "'Goth Damage' and Melancholia: Reflections on Posthuman Gothic Identities." In _Goth: Undead Subculture_. pp. 155-168. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press.

    Book Review
    • Du Plessis, M. (2010). Review of Marianna Torgovnick, _The War Complex: World War II in Our Time_. _Oxford Literary Review_ , Edinburgh University Press. pp. 249-255.
    • Du Plessis, M. (2007). "Fantasies of the Institution: The Films of Georges Franju and Kate Ince’s _Georges Franju_." Review of _Georges Franju_ by Kate Ince. _Film-Philosophy_.. pp. 94-102.

    • Du Plessis, M. (2010). "The Terrors of Governmentality: _The Crazies_.". (Filippo del Luchese, Ed.). Florence. _Jura Gentium Cinema: Cinema and Globalization_. University of Florence.

    Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

    • Poetry chapbook, A poetry chapbook, "Songs Dead Soldiers Sing," with the poetry chapbook press, Transparent Tiger Press, in Chicago, Illinois, in April 2007., 2006-2007   
    • Installation , Installation piece. _1,000 Points of Light._ For the exhibition, _WITNESS: Veteran Activists Remember ACT UP/LA_, at Highways Gallery, Santa Monica, 30 November 2007-31 January 2008. , 2008-2009   
    • Chapter of a novel published in an anthology, "The Carpet out of Time." In _The &Now Awards: The Best Innovative Writing_. Robert Archambeau, Davis Schneiderman, and Steve Tomasula, eds. Lake Forest, Illinois: Lake Forest College Press, 2009. 127-128. , Fall 2009   


    Other Advisement or Time Devoted to Students
    • Served as director for Shaia Moore, honors thesis, "Gertrude Stein to Graphic Novels: The Image in Time," Comparative Literature, Spring 2010., Spring 2010   
    • Served as director for Bryan Susman, "Fragmenting the Grand Narrative: _The Point_ of the Postmodern?," Comparative Literature, Spring 2010. , Spring 2010   
    • Served as reader to Sarah Vita, "The Mystery of the Mysterious: Detective Fiction and Film Noir," English, Spring 2010., Spring 2010   
    • Served as reader for Kaelin Burns, honors thesis, "Retelling and Recreating Adam and Eve in Science Fiction," English, Spring 2008., 2007-2008   
    • Served as reader for Matthew Cieplak, honors thesis, "None of the Above: Postmodernism and Historical Fiction," Creative Writing and English, Spring 2008. , 2007-2008   
    • Taught a two-day micro-seminar, "Reading Animals in Comic Books: Between Words and Images," as part of the "Welcome Week" for new students, University of Southern California, 23 and 24 August 2007. , Fall 2007   

    Service to the University

    Other Service to the University
    • Organized an event for College Commons, "Too Human: Law, Humanity, Limits", Fall 2010   
    • Faculty Showcase presentation, Freshman Orientation: "Introduction to Visual Cultural Studies", Fall 2010   
    • Organized College Commons event, "Projecting Mapping", Fall 2009   
    • Faculty mentor, Learning Communities, USC College Advising, Fall 2009   
    • Presented "Signs, Words, Images: Reading Visual Culture" as a "Faculty Showcase" presentation as part of the "Freshman Orientation Session," 22 July 2008 , Spring 2009   
    • Presented "Signs, Words, Images: Reading Visual Culture" as a "Faculty Showcase" presentation as part of the "Freshman Orientation Session," 22 July 2008 , Spring 2008   

  • USC Dornsife Department of English
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Taper Hall of Humanities 404
  • University Park
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0354
  • Fax: (213) 741-0377