Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies
Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin.
Transnational Cultural Studies; Globalization, Anti-globalization, and Social Movements; Marxist Theory; Postcolonial Studies.
Bret Benjamin joined the University at Albany faculty in 2000. He is the author of several books about computers and pedagogy including Connections: A Guide to Online Writing. His most recent work is in transnational cultural studies, studying the relation between culture and economy, and various aspects of globalization and alter-globalization social movements. His most recent book project, Invested Interests: Culture, Capital and the World Bank, develops a cultural critique of the World Bank. The project argues that the World Bank has, from its inception, trafficked in culture. From the political context in which the Bank was chartered to its evolution into an interventionist development agency with vast, unchecked powers, the project 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. Reading a broad array of midcentury archival materials, Benjamin examines not only the Bank’s own growing attentiveness to cultural work but also its prominent place in the thinking of such anti-imperialist intellectuals as Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, and Richard Wright, as well as the more recent social formations of the World Social Forum.
Benjamin's full list of publications as well as links to his class websites and authored software are available at http://www.albany.edu/%7Ebret.