New Faculty 2015-16: Gavin Benke


It’s great to have you in the BU WP, Gavin. How are you finding the move from Texas?

In Texas, it was sometimes so hot that I began to wonder if the sun had something against me, so this is a nice change. In general, I’m really enjoying Boston, though I’m still getting to know it.

What courses are you teaching?

This semester, I’m teaching sections of WR100 called “Heroes and Villains in American Business,” which looks at the ways corporations and businesspeople have been depicted in books and movies throughout the 20th century. In the spring, I’m teaching two different topics of WR 150, “Narratives of Finance” and “Postindustrial Geographies.” In my research, I focus on the intersection of business and culture, so it’s been great to be able to teach writing through that material.

 As a first-year instructor what has been most helpful to know?

For me, one of the most helpful experiences this semester was the Visual Rhetoric Seminar in November. A lot of really good ideas for lesson plans came up in those discussions. I’ll definitely use some of them next semester. It was also a great way to meet some more folks in the Writing Program.

Gavin Benke teaches writing through a focus on the history and culture of capitalism. Much like his teaching, Dr. Benke’s research examines how language and culture shapes business practices and institutions. His work has appeared in journals such as American Studies, Enterprise & Society, and Storytelling. His current book project uses the Enron scandal to explore these issues and is under contract with the University of Pennsylvania Press. Before arriving at BU, Dr. Benke held postdoctoral fellowships with Southern Methodist University’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies and at the University of South Florida as a part of the Provost’s Global Change in a Dynamic World initiative.


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