I am an Assistant Professor of English at Skidmore College, where I also teach in the Media and Film Studies Program. I received my Ph.D. in Literatures in English from Rutgers University, New Brunswick. In my research, I explore how the material and formal extremities of textual artifacts reveal cultural histories of modern and contemporary media technology. My work has appeared in PMLA (where it won the William Riley Parker Prize in 2010), electronic book review, Narrative (where it received the James Phelan Prize in 2013), College Literature (where it won the Schachterle Prize in 2019), the edited collection Publishing as Artistic Practice (2016), and the Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities (2018). I also guest-edited and contributed to the Spring 2015 volume of Media-N, the journal of the New Media Caucus of the College Art Association, on “The Aesthetics of Erasure,” and am currently editing a special issue of ASAP/Journal on “New Inscriptions: Writing in the Expanded Field.”
My first book, Archival Fictions: Materiality, Form, and Media History in Contemporary Literature, is under contract with University of Massachusetts Press as part of the series Page and Screen. Archival Fictions traces a speculative history of media technology by reading the practice of formal experimentation in contemporary literary writing. In Archival Fictions, I argue that a materially inflected attention to literary form offers critical purchase on how we understand the stakes of modern and contemporary media history. Using theoretical approaches from media archaeology, film studies, and the digital humanities to approach questions of form in literary works by authors ranging from Andy Warhol and Don DeLillo to the electronic literature collective Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries, I show how literary authors who engage technology through form self-consciously imagine a new role for print literature at the end of the twentieth century.
I am currently at work on a second project tentatively titled Unbound Things: Fragments of Print at the End of the World. In Unbound Things, I consider how contemporary literary and artistic experimentations in print textuality, codex form, and alphabetic design represent and engage with questions of dystopia, historical trauma, and social justice.
For more information, please view my current curriculum vitae. You can also contact me at pbenzon at skidmore dot edu, or follow me on Twitter at @pbenzon.
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