Assistant Professor of Literature
Assistant Professor of Literature. Prof. Benson teaches across a wide span of American literary and cultural history. In his classes, students connect the close reading of poetry and fiction with the analysis of music, film, and visual culture; with philosophies of everyday language use; and with the social and ecological wake of North American colonization. Courses cross-listed in Experimental Humanities have included “Jeanne Lee’s Total Environment,” “Soundscapes of American Literature,” and “Introduction to American Studies.” Prof. Benson’s writing has appeared in journals including PMLA, Small Axe, Leviathan, Narrative, and Criticism. His forthcoming first book, Sound-Blind, explores the politics of transcription across literature, ethnography, and popular media, while a second book project in development focuses on narratives of species extinction. (A part of the latter project has recently been published in the edited volume Contesting Extinctions: Decolonial and Regenerative Futures.) He received both his BA (in Rhetoric) and his PhD (in English) from the University of California, Berkeley.