Benjamin Miller earned his B.A. in English and Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 2010. Since encountering Kerouac at the outset of his undergraduate education, the Beat Generation has been the focus of his academic interests, with specific attention to William S. Burroughs. In 2011, Benjamin earned his MA in American Literature from University College Dublin, where, inspired by his own expatriate experiences, he began researching the various formations of cultural and political transnationalism in the life and work of Burroughs. Benjamin is currently in the first year of his PhD at the Clinton Institute of American Studies (UCD) and is continuing his research on Burroughs, American expatriatism, and the American literary tradition.
Benjamin’s current research into Burroughs’s experiences in Tangier and their portrayal in Naked Lunch hopes to illuminate some of the implications of expatriatism in regard to the effects of and transactions between (neo)colonialism, nationalism, and the peripheral hybrid. In its various formations and representations, is the American expatriate’s foreign encounter necessarily imperialistic? Benjamin will be exploring some of these issues at the 2012 EBSN Inaugural Conference in a paper entitled “‘El Hombre Imperial’: Vision, Visibility, and the Image in Naked Lunch.”