University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Benjamin Nolan

Professional Title: 

Graduate Student



B.A. McGill University; M.A. University of Chicago


Benjamin is a PhD candidate working in historical and contemporary political theory. His research focuses on the politics underlying transformations in international and activist human rights discourses in the period stretching from the post-World War II moment through to the present. His critical perspective draws especially on the interwar political and theoretical writings of W.E.B. Du Bois, Simone Weil, and Walter Benjamin as they pertain to questions of history, humanity and interpretive method. He has been an Amherst Program in Critical Theory fellow since 2015. He was a fellow in the UMass Interdisciplinary Studies Institute’s 2018 Seminar, and was a 2018 summer graduate fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Center. He was the founding organizer of the “Breakfasts With Du Bois” multi-disciplinary reading group that has met in the Du Bois Center every Monday morning since January 2019. He grew up between Montreal and Western Canada, speaks fluent French, and is trying his best to learn Arabic and Spanish.


  • Political Science