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Benjamin Widiss


Benjamin Widiss
Benjamin Widiss

Associate Professor of Literature

On leave 2017-18
Root Hall 112
315-859-4137

Benjamin Widiss specializes in twentieth-century and contemporary American literature and film. He wrote Obscure Invitations: The Persistence of the Author in Twentieth-Century American Literature. Widiss is working on a second book that explores a constellation of relationships between mass production and individual bodily presence, conceptions of temporality and loss, and constructions of adolescence and maturity as a means to articulate the aesthetic postures of an emergent post-postmodernism. He received a doctorate in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor's degree from Yale University.

Recent Courses Taught

Dream/Life
U.S. Modernisms
Literary Theory and Literary Study
Contemporary American Fiction
Poetry and Poetics
Faulkner and The South
Contemporary Graphic Narrative

Selected Publications

  • Obscure Invitations: The Persistence of the Author in Twentieth-Century American Literature (Stanford University Press, 2011).
  • “Reverse Entropy.” Forthcoming in The Pocket Instructor: Literature. Eds. Diana Fuss and William Gleason. Princeton University Press.
  • “Faulkner and Post-45 American Fiction.” In The Cambridge Companion to William Faulkner. ed. John T. Matthews (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
  • “Comics as Non-Sequential Art: Chris Ware’s Joseph Cornell.” In Drawing from Life: Memory and Subjectivity in Comic Art. ed. Jane Tolmie (University Press of Mississippi, 2013).
  • “Autobiography with Two Heads: Quimby the Mouse.” In The Comics of Chris Ware: Drawing is a Way of Thinking. eds. David M. Ball and Martha B. Kuhlman (Jackson: U P of Mississippi, 2010).
More... Less...
  • “Parade of Sameness” (review of Stuart Burrows’ A Familiar Strangeness: American Fiction and the Language of Photography, 1839-1945). Novel 46:3 (fall 2013): 464-68.
  • “Fit and Surfeit in As I Lay Dying.” Novel 41:1 (fall 2007): 99-120.

Professional Affiliations

Modern Language Association
Modernist Studies Association
American Comparative Literature Association
Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present

Appointed to the Faculty: 2014

Educational Background

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
B.A., Yale University

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