- Senior Lecturer (English Literature)
- Comparative Cultural Studies in the Romantic Period
- Radical Intellectual Culture in the Romantic Period
- Scottish Enlightenment Studies
- Theories of the Public Sphere & National Media
Dr. Alex Benchimol is Senior Lecturer in English Literature and has been teaching in the department since 2003. He is the founder, and currently co-convenes, the Scottish Romanticism Research Group in the School of Critical Studies: click here. Alex is a native of Phoenix, Arizona and was educated at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio where he studied English and History, and holds Masters degrees in Cultural Studies and English from the Universities of Glasgow and Toronto, respectively. He completed a doctorate in the Department of English Literature at the University of Glasgow in 2001.
Dr. Benchimol’s primary research interests include Romantic period studies, British cultural studies, cultural theory, periodical history and the Scottish Enlightenment and ecological writing (he was recently co-investigator on an AHRC-funded research network, Values of Environmental Writing: click here). His monograph (published by Ashgate in 2010) charts the contested development of cultural criticism in Britain during the early nineteenth century: Intellectual Politics and Cultural Conflict in the Romantic Period: Scottish Whigs, English Radicals and the Making of the British Public Sphere: click here.
His research and review essays have been in published in journals such as Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Textual Practice, Romantic Circles Reviews, Romanticism, Thesis Eleven, Radical Philosophy, The European Legacy and most recently, the Romantic Circles Praxis Series: click here. In 2007 Dr. Benchimol co-edited with Professor Willy Maley a volume of essays on the public sphere from a distinguished line up of international contributors: Spheres of Influence: Intellectual and Cultural Publics from Shakespeare to Habermas (Peter Lang European Academic Press): click here.
His current research explores the development of the national public sphere in Scotland over the long eighteenth century, including the emergence of a distinctive Scottish print culture and national press, reflected in his recent contribution to The Edinburgh Companion to Scottish Romanticism: click here. His next monograph project, Printing Enlightenment: The National Press and Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century Scotland, applies theoretical insights from the Scottish legal philosopher Neil MacCormick and the German critical theorist Jürgen Habermas to highlight issues of national identity and the institutional expression of cultural solidarity in the eighteenth-century Scottish public sphere.
Dr. Benchimol also co-organized the 12th Biennial International Conference of the British Association for Romantic Studies: Enlightenment, Romanticism & Nation (click here), and the Before Blackwood's: Scottish Journalism in the Age of Enlightenment symposium (click here).
Co-I, 'Values of Environmental Writing' AHRC Network Grant, 2010-11 (PI: Dr. Hayden Lorimer, Geographical and Earth Sciences; Co-I: Dr. Rhian Williams, English Literature).
Dr Benchimol is particularly interested in supervising postgraduate research on any aspect of radical intellectual culture of the romantic period, periodical culture of the long eighteenth century, and theoretical approaches to British intellectual and cultural history. Alex has supervised postgraduate research projects in Brazilian Romanticism, Victorian diaries and life-writing, postcolonial modes of hospitality in Scott's Waverley novels, radical aesthetics in the Modernist novel, and currently supervises projects investigating the relationship between literary aesthetics and Scottish national identity in the long eighteenth century and imagination and genre in the writing of David Hume.
Dr. Benchimol teaches nineteenth and twentieth-century American Literature, Romantic Literature, cultural theory, and ecological writing from the eighteenth century to the present. He was made a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2009. He has administered and convened many programmes for English Literature and was overall Postgraduate Convener for the department from 2008-11.