Lecturer in Post-1900 British Literature
Benjamin studied English and political science as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, where he remained for his graduate study. After completing his doctorate in 2009, he taught and served as the director of The Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities at California State University, Los Angeles. He joined The University of Edinburgh in 2018 as a lecturer in post-1900 British literature.
Benjamin's primary research interests lie in modern and contemporary literature, queer theory, and the environmental humanities. His first book, The Modernist Art of Queer Survival--published by Oxford University Press in 2017--examines precarious and collaborative forms of survival in the fiction and autobiographical prose of Oscar Wilde, Henry James, E.M. Forster, and Willa Cather. In his newest work on 'queer diminution,' Benjamin is bringing novels by Forster and Cather into conversation with more recent LGBT and climate change fiction to explore how queer communities' stubborn attachments to despair, discretion, deprecation, and disappearance offer a counterpoint to the ecologically destructive and self-inflationary hyperproductivity of contemporary biopolitics and neoliberalism. Early material from this project will soon appear in ISLE and Contemporary Women's Writing.
Benjamin is interested in bringing his teaching and research in contemporary LGBT fiction and climate change fiction into conversation with local schools, nonprofits, community organizations, and book clubs.
- Up in Smoke With José Muñoz
- 'On the Edge of Despair: Andrew Holleran's Dune Creatures'
- 'Speciation as Speculation: Foucault, Holleran, and Queer Value'
[Review of] Dead Letters Sent: Queer Literary Transmission Old Futures: Speculative Fiction and Queer Possibility Circulating Queerness: Before the Gay and Lesbian Novel Melodrama: An Aesthetics of Impossibility
A flattened protagonist
Avian, anal, outlaw
The Modernist Art of Queer Survival