Ben Bascom

Ben Bascom

Assistant Professor of English

Curriculum Vitae


Room:RB 242

Ben Bascom is a scholar and teacher of early and nineteenth-century American literatures. He draws upon a queer studies methodology that follows the relationship between power and desire, gender and sexuality, in American literary cultures.

Currently he is working on a book project, titled “Feeling Singular: Masculinity and Desire in the Early United States,” that examines the paradoxical nature of masculine self-promotion in the early United States. Before the nineteenth-century valorization of self-reliance, men who appeared too unduly attached to their own singularity were perceived as outsiders. Bringing these figures into the center of early national culture, he draws on a queer studies approach that uncovers how their fraught private desires shaped a public masculinity increasingly at odds with the disinterested norms of republican public culture.

Curriculum Vitae

Download CV (PDF)



University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research and Publications

  • “‘A thought struck me’: John Fitch and the Federal Republic.” Early American Literature 48.1 (Spring 2013): 153–76

Course Schedule
Course No. Section Times Days Location
Intro Queer Lit Quee 217 1 1000 - 1050 M W F RB, room 361
19th-Century America 346 1 1200 - 1250 M W F RB, room 361
Early American Lit 641 01 1830 - 2110 M RB, room 129