Pickford Benjamin

Pickford Benjamin

Contact Curriculum Research Teaching Publications

Research areas

Littérature et culture du XIXe siècle

Littérature et culture nord-américaine

Littérature en relation avec l'économie et le marxisme

Littérature en relation avec la philosophie et la théologie



Autres projets

Monograph in Preparation - Capital in American Poetics
The nineteenth-century was the epoch of political economy in Europe. In the United States, however, no economic theory of note appeared between the Constitutional period and the professionalization of economics as a discipline at the end of the century. This book will argue that the poetic practices of three nineteenth-century American authors-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Henry Adams-constituted forms of economic thinking hitherto unrecognized by orthodox economic theory. Through modes of depersonalized authorship, these writers realized in literary form an impersonal and transcendental epistemological structure appropriate to capital's decontextualization of labor and the conditions of circulation.

Monograph in Preparation - Some Other Garden: Ralph Waldo Emerson's Career in Poetics
An intellectual biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson's life in text, Some Other Garden reveals how Emerson's remarkably versatile literary persona was the conscious product of his philosophically-informed poetic practice. It presents Emerson as the most coherent poetic theorist of his era, and an exemplar of the nineteenth-century's immanent theories of literary intentionality and the socio-cultural functions of authorship.




My teaching and writing focuses on American literature and culture of the long nineteenth-century. I am particularly interested in intersections between literature, theology, philosophy, and economic and political theory; the relationship between American and European thought; critical theory (and Marxism in particular) and poetics. My current monograph projects are concerned with the legacies of American Transcendentalism, cultural labor, and the nonexistence of a nineteenth-century American critique of capitalism. I am membership office and sit on the steering committee of the British Association of Nineteenth-Century Americanists (BrANCA)
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