Area of Study
Email Address
List Hall 112B

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

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).
  • “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


Educational Background

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

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