Skip to Main Content
Skidmore College
English Department

BenzonPaul Benzon

Assistant Professor

B.A., Williams College
M.A. and Ph.D., Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Office: PMH 333
Phone: (518) 580-5162
Email: pbenzon@skidmore.edu

Teaching and Research Interests:

  • Contemporary Literature
  • American Literature, 1865-present
  • Media Studies and Media History
  • Digital Culture
  • Graphic Narratives
  • Electronic Literature
  • Literature and Theory of the Archive

Courses Taught:

  • EN 105: Digital Identity
  • EN 110: Introduction to Literary Studies
  • EN 211: Fiction
  • EN 228: Graphic Narratives Comic Books
  • EN 229: Literature in the Digital Age
  • EN 363: American Realism
  • EN 364: Remixes, Memes, and Mash-ups
  • EN 375: Senior Seminar, Critical Digital Studies
  • MF 101: INtroduction to Media Studies

Research

Professor Benzon is currently at work on a book entitled Archival Fictions: Materiality, Form, and Media History in Contemporary Literature. Archival Fictions explores how contemporary literature traces a speculative history of media technology through the practice of formal experimentation. In Archival Fictions, he argues that a materially inflected attention to literary form offers new critical purchase on how we understand modern and contemporary media history. Considering charged moments of textual experimentation by authors including Andy Warhol, Kevin Young, Don DeLillo, and Hari Kunzru alongside material histories of technological phenomena ranging from protocinematic toys and mid-century typewriters to the circulatory mechanisms of the internet, Archival Fictions develops a methodology for reading contemporary print texts as media artifacts that self-consciously model a new history of media change defined by partiality, ephemerality, recursion, and uneven development.

Selected Publications

  • “Boredom as Form: Work, Play, and the Banality of the Digital.” Humans at Work in the Digital Age: Forms of Digital Textual Labor. Eds. Shawna Ross and Andrew Pilsch. New York: Routledge, forthcoming 2019.

  • Weather Permitting: Shelley Jackson’s Snow and the Ecopoetics of the Digital.” College Literature 46.1, January 2019.

  • “Hello Again: An Untimely Requiem for the Flip Phone.” Invited contribution to The Routledge Companion to Media Technology and Obsolescence. Ed. Mark Wolf. New York: Routledge, 2018.

  • “Lost in the Clouds: A Media Theory of the Flight Recorder.” The Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities. Ed. Jentery Sayers. New York: Routledge, forthcoming 2016.

  • "On Unpublishing: Fugitive Materiality and the Future of the Anthropocene Book." Publishing as Artistic Practice. Eds. Annette Gilbert and Priscilla Posada. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2016.

  • The Aesthetics of Erasure.” Introduction and Special Issue Guest Editor for Media-N, Journal of the New Media Caucus of the College Art Association 11.1, Spring 2015.