Benjamin Bateman

Associate Professor of English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
College of Arts and Letters
Department of English
Office Location: ET 615

Benjamin Bateman received his Ph.D. from The University of Virginia and is Associate Professor of English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. From 2011 to 2015, he directed the Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities. His areas of research include global modernism, contemporary anglophone fiction, queer and disability theory, and critical environmental studies. His publications have recently appeared in Modern Fiction Studies, KudzuTwentieth Century Literature, Henry James Review, Studies in American Culture, and a variety of edited collections.

His first book, The Modernist Art of Queer Survival, which is under contract with the Modernist Literature and Culture series at Oxford Univeristy Press, argues for a modernist archive that understands survival not as the extension of an individual life into the future but as the distension of various life forms in the present across imperial, species, animate, and gender divides. This interdisciplinary project includes chapters on Oscar Wilde, Henry James, E.M. Forster, and Willa Cather, and its critical framework is informed by queer theory, close reading, animality and precarity studies, and psychoanalysis. It also stages the first sustained conversation between literary studies and the thought of contemporary psychoanalyst Michael Eigen. Benjamin's next book, Minimal Impact, implicates the neoliberal pursuit of leading an "impactful life" in environmental destruction, including climate change, and draws upon contemporary literature and popular culture (from the experimental prose of Thalia Field and Lydia Millet to the blockbuster television show The Big Bang Theory) to argue for already existing practices of physical attenuation, such as sleeping and philosophizing, that blunt human impact on the natural world and provide opportunities to dream the Anthropocene differently. Benjamin is also the guest co-editor (with Elizabeth Adan) of Emergent Precarities and Lateral Aesthetics, a special focus section of Minnesota Review, as well as a colloquy titled Precariousness for Stanford University's online project Arcade: Literature, the Humanities, and the World (also with Elizabeth Adan).  

Benjamin teaches courses on modern and contemporary literature, critical theory, and popular culture; and he advises a number of Master's students seeking to hone their critical and close reading skills in preparation for doctoral work in the humanities. In Fall 2016, his courses include ENGL/TVF 3830: Gender and Sexuality in Popular Culture, WGSS 3650: LGBTQ Cultural Production, and ENGL 5400: British Literature (focus on E.M. Forster). In Spring 2017, he will offer WGSS 4050: Queer Theory and ENGL 3200: Readings in Theory.