Bret Benjamin

Associate Professor in the Department of English and Department of Globalization Studies

University at Albany; SUNY

Bret Benjamin joined the University at Albany faculty in 2000. He teaches in both the English Department and the Globalization Studies Program, with classes on Marxism, Globalization Studies, Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies, among other topics.

He is the author of Invested Interests: Culture, Capital and the World Bank (U of Minnesota P, 2007) which develops a cultural critique of the World Bank. From the political context in which the Bank was chartered to its current role as the primary interventionist development agency, the book explores the Bank’s central role in the global dissemination of Fordist-Keynesianism, its conflicted support for nationalism and the nation-state, and its emerging awareness of the relationships between economics and culture. It contends that the Bank shapes, and is in turn shaped by, historical pressures of the age—most significantly the rise of third world national liberation movements. 

He has recently authored two essays on the contradictions of anti-colonial national liberation movements the Bandung era. The first, “Bookend to Bandung: The New International Economic Order and the Antinomies of the Bandung Era" appeared in the journal Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development. 6:1 (Spring 2015). The second essay, which examines the Bandung era in relation to the crisis of value as conceived by German Wertkritik theorists, is under review at the Journal Mediations.

Benjamin is currently working on a second book that examines Marxist intellectuals of the decolonizing era, with a particular focus on CLR James, Frantz Fanon, and George Padmore.

Benjamin has also played an active role in United University Professions—the largest higher education union in the country—, serving as Albany Chapter President and member of the statewide Contract Negotiations Team.