Office Number: 14N-415
Phone Number: 617-715-5371

Benjamin Mangrum

Associate Professor

Benjamin Mangrum specializes in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature in English. He is the author of Land of Tomorrow: Postwar Fiction and the Crisis of American Liberalism (Oxford 2019), which examines twentieth-century literary fiction and popular philosophy to understand shifts in American liberalism after the Second World War.

Mangrum has also published articles in PMLA, Diacritics, New Literary History, Modern Fiction Studies, American Literature, American Literary History, Contemporary Literature, and elsewhere. He received the 2023 Levitan Prize and is a past member of the Michigan Society of Fellows.

Mangrum is at work on two book projects. The first examines the uses of comedy in the culture and professional discourse surrounding computation. The second book is a cultural history of environmental rights.


Subjects taught the current academic year:

21L.021 Comedy: Modern Times (Fall 2024)

21L.434 Science Fiction and Fantasy: The Science Fiction of Freedom (Fall 2024)

Subjects taught in recent years:

21L.003 Reading Fiction: Computers and the Novels that Read Them (Fall 2022)

21L.512 American Authors: Race, Environment, and Modern American Fiction (Fall 2022)

21L.707 Problems in Cultural Interpretation: Posthumanism (Spring 2023)



Land of Tomorrow: Postwar Fiction and the Crisis of American Liberalism (Oxford University Press, 2019)

Peer-Reviewed Articles

“The Ecologies of Data Visualization.” Diacritics 48.4 (November 2021): 52-75.

“Rachel Carson, Environmental Rights, and the Publicity of Aesthetic Judgments.” ELH 88.3 (Fall 2021): 765-793.

“Market Segmentation and Shirley Jackson’s Domestic Humor.” American Literary History 33.1 (Spring 2021): 50-74.

“Print Culture, Queer Form, and No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger.” Modern Fiction Studies 66.4 (Winter 2020): 650-675.

“Flannery O’Connor, the Phenomenology of Race, and the Institutions of Irony.” Twentieth-Century Literature 65.3 (September 2019): 237-260.

“Tragedy, Realism, Skepticism.” Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture 51.3 (December 2018): 209-236.

“Aggregation, Public Criticism, and the History of Reading ‘Big Data.’” PMLA 133.5 (October 2018): 1207-1224.

“Audre Lorde, Theodor Adorno, and the Administered Word.” New Literary History 49.3 (Summer 2018): 337-359.

“Global Provincialism: Orhan Pamuk and William Faulkner in the Age of World Literature.” Contemporary Literature 59.1 (Spring 2018).

“Nature, Necessity, and the Philosophy of Metaphor in Walden.” Nineteenth-Century Prose 44.2 (Fall 2017): 49-70.

“Genre, History, Ecology: James Welch’s Fools Crow and the Reagan Anti-Environmental Revolution.” Arizona Quarterly 73.2 (Summer 2017): 37-59.

“The Age of Anxiety: Patricia Highsmith, Existential Psychology, and the ‘Decline’ of American Naturalism.” American Literature 87.4 (December 2015): 769-98.

“Bourdieu, Cavell, and the Politics of Aesthetic Value.” L&T 29.3 (September 2015): 260-283.

“Accounting for The Road: Tragedy, Courage, and Cavell’s Acknowledgment.” Philosophy and Literature 37.2 (October 2013): 267-90.

“Silencing the Politics of Literature in Woolf’s The Voyage Out.” Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture 45.2 (Summer 2012): 269-98.

“Democracy, Justice, and Tragedy in Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men.” Religion & Literature 43.3 (Autumn 2011): 107-33.

“Bringing ‘Fullness’ to Naomi: Centripetal Nationalism in The Book of Ruth.” HBT 33.1 (Fall 2011): 62-81.

“‘The Old, Old Battle of the Room’: The Politics of Space in A Room With a View.” The Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies 17.1 (Spring 2011): 80-92.

“Violating the Feminine: War, Kristeva, and The Things They Carried.” The Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas 41 (November 2010): 33-43.

Book Chapters

“Liberal Education and the Politics of Discussion.” Forthcoming in Politics and Teaching, edited by May Hawas and Bruce Robbins.

“Fiction: The 1960s to the 1980s.” American Literary Scholarship, 2020 (Duke University Press, 2022): 283-303.

“Big Data.” Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Fiction, edited by Patrick O’Donnell, Stephen J. Burn, and Lesley Larkin (Wiley, 2022), 1-10.

“The City and the Landfill: Teaching Waste, Toxicity, and Southern Environmental History in Suttree.” In Teaching the Works of Cormac McCarthy, edited by Stacey Peebles and Benjamin West (Modern Language Association, 2022), 60-68.