Joshua Brandon Bennett

Academic Appointments

Professor of English and Creative Writing

Dr. Joshua Bennett is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. He is the author of The Sobbing School (Penguin, 2016)—which was a National Poetry Series winner and a finalist for an NAACP Image Award—as well as Being Property Once Myself: Blackness and the End of Man  (Harvard University Press, 2020), Owed  (Penguin, 2020), and The Study of Human Life (Penguin, 2022). Bennett holds a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University, and an M.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Warwick, where he was a Marshall Scholar. In 2021, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Award in Poetry and Nonfiction. He has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, MIT, the Ford Foundation, and the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. 

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Dr. Bennett’s teaching and research interests include 20th and 21st century African American literature, environmental studies, black poetics, animality studies and affect theory. His first collection of critical prose, Being Property Once Myself: Blackness and the End of Man, focuses on both the literary imagination and broader set of ethical concerns that have emerged from African American experiences of being configured as socio-legal nonpersons: a sub-genre of the human, always already positioned in fraught proximity to animal life. By working at the intersections of black studies and animality studies, his goal is to illumine the ways in which the black radical tradition provides us with the tools necessary to conceive of interspecies relation anew, and to ultimately abolish the forms of anti-black thought—i.e., the figure of the black as a kind of intermediate category separating beast and Man—that have historically served to maintain the caesura between human and animal.

Dr. Bennett is also currently at work on a book of narrative nonfiction, Spoken Word: A Cultural History, which is forthcoming from Knopf. 

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B.A. University of Pennsylvania
M.A. University of Warwick
M.A. Princeton University
Ph. D. Princeton University