W. R. Johnson's current research interests include: problems in literature and technology; gender and queer theory with emphasis on Greece and Rome; narratology, Greece and Rome, with emphasis on Genette; Macherey and theories of literary production, distribution and consumption; theories of colonialist literature, emphasis on Greece and Rome; Barthes on aesthetics and rhetoric.
- Horace and the Dialectic of Freedom. Townsend Lecture Series. Cornell Studies in
Classical Philogy. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993.
- Momentary Monsters: Lucan and His Heroes. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987.
- The Idea of Lyric: Lyric Modes in Ancient and Modern Poetry. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982.
- Darkness Visible: A Study of Vergil's Aeneid. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976.