Benjamin Balthaser


  • Nineteenth and twentieth century multi-ethnic U.S. literature
  • American studies in a transnational context
  • Transnational social movements
  • Modernism in a global context
  • Creative writing
  • Poetry and poetics
  • Literature of U.S. expansionism, nineteenth and twentieth century
  • Film and popular culture

Courses Recently Taught at IU South Bend

English L354:  U.S. literature from 1914-1960
English W203/6:  Introduction to Creative Writing
English T190/390:  Labor and Literature
English L680:  Radical Modernism
English E110:  Diversity and U.S. Literature
English L379:  Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States
English T190: Beyond Cowboys and Indians:  Myths of the U.S. Frontier
English 130/131: Composition
English W513:  Writing Poetry
English L460: African-American Literature from 1845-present
English L501:  Reading Richard Wright
English L371: Contemporary African American Literature
English L351:  Antebellum U.S. Literature

Recent Publications

Anti-Imperialist Modernism: Race and Transnational Radical Culture from the Great Depression to the Cold War, University of Michigan Press, Class/Culture Series, December 2015.

Dedication, a collection of poetry based on the lives of Jewish labor activists, from Partisan Press, fall 2011,

"The Dialectics of Race: Proletarian Literature, Richard Wright, and the Making of Revolutionary Subjectivity," Historical Materialism, 29(2), 119-142

"Mike Gold, the Writer Who Believed Workers Could Speak for Themselves," Jacobin Magazine (July 2021)

"On Thoreau: Staying Behind," Another Chicago Magazine (June 2020)

"On Hearing the News of a Friend's Death While in Honolulu, November 2019," Big City Lit (Summer 2021)

"Ghazal for Foley," What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump, Martín Espada, ed.

"When Anti-Zionism Was Jewish: Jewish Racial Subjectivity and the Anti-Imperialist Literary Left from the Great Depression to the Cold War​"
American Quarterly Volume 72, Number 2, June 2020

"Horror Cities: Contesting the Ruins of Capitalism in Contemporary Genre Cinema"
Camera Obscura (2020) 35 (1 (103)): 139–159.

"Travels of an American Indian into the Hinterlands of Soviet Russia:  Re-thinking Indigenous Modernity and the Popular Front in the Work of Archie Phinney and D'Arcy McNickle," American Quarterly, Volume 66, Number 1 (March 2014).

"Death and Life of the Jewish Century", Boston Review, March 2019,

"Killing the Documentarian:  Richard Wright and Documentary Modernity," Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts, 55.3 (Fall 2013).

Mass Shooting and the Spectacle of Whiteness, Public Seminar, April 13, 2018:

"Racial Violence in Black in White: Lynching Photography and the Documentation of Police Violence," Boston Review, (July 2016), reprinted and translated into French for Contreligne - Rédaction. 

"The Fatal Machine: The Post-War Imperial State and the Radical Novel, 1941-1949," American Literature in Transition, 1940-1950, edited by Chris Vials, Cambridge University Press.

"The Race of Class: The Role of Racial Identity Production in the Long History of U.S. Working Class Writing," Working-Class Literature(s): Global and Comparative Perspectives, edited by Magnus Nilsson and John Lennon, Stockholm University Press.

"Modernism or Barbarism: Marshall Berman and Modernism in the Streets" Jacobin Magazine, May25, 2017.

"Colonies and Capital: Archie Phinney and Indigenous Marxism," Jacobin Magazine, November 16, 2016.

"For Jim Foley, October 18, 1973 -- August 19, 2014," Massachusetts Review, September 2015, 56 (4)

"Epitaph for a Bronx Accent," Tablet, November 2016