Michael Benveniste

Mike BenvenisteAssistant Professor, English

BA, MA, University of California-Santa Barbara, 2000, 2003
PhD, Stanford University, 2012

Michael Benveniste earned his M.A. from U.C. Santa Barbara in 2003 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2012, where he held a Whiting National Dissertation Fellowship. In 2013 he received Stanford’s Alden Dissertation Prize. His primary teaching and scholarly specialization is U.S. literature from the 20th century to the present. Professor Benveniste’s scholarly interests include multiethnic U.S. literatures, materialist and sociological approaches to literature, narrative theory and theories of fiction, and Cold War culture. In particular, Professor Benveniste is interested in the relationship between Cold War political thought, the institutionalization of literary production, and experimental narrative form in the U.S. novel. 

With his friend and co-author Angus Fletcher, he has published the articles “Defending Pluralism: The Chicago School and the Case of Tom Jones” (New Literary History, 2010) and “A Scientific Justification for Literature: Jane Austen’s Free Indirect Style as Ethical Tool” (Journal of Narrative Theory, 2013). He is currently at work on a book manuscript tentatively entitled, The American Ideology: Narrating Culture since 1945.

For the Department of English, Professor Benveniste teaches upper-level courses in 20th C. and post-45 U.S. fiction, such as Race and Realism since 1945, Detective Fiction, Labor and Identity in the U.S. Novel, and Contemporary Historical Fiction, as well as genre- and era-specific courses.  He teaches the introduction to the English Major, surveys of 20th C. American Literature, and first-year Seminars in Scholarly Inquiry.