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Joshua Bennett, C’10

Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing, Dartmouth College

Harvard Society of Fellows

Hanover, NH / Cambridge, MA

Africana Studies and English Major

The people in my family, they weren’t professional writers, they weren’t academics, they were working people. My parents both worked for the Post Office, and so my sense of what work should be always was very physical …. My father carried a bag of mail from a truck to a conveyor belt for 10 hours a day, every day for 40 years. When he would drop me at school he would say, “I go to that job so you can have choices.”

I didn’t know what a professor was when I was 17. Cornel West was the first professor I ever knew of. I was like, oh okay, you can do this for a living, there is such a thing as African American studies? What is that? You can study Black literature, Black culture, you can make a living from that, you can make a life from that, something I had never really fathomed before.

What’s exciting to me now is that I get the chance to play with new ideas, to learn from my students, to be in community with them, to hear from them about how campus maybe needs to change or what can be better, to learn about myself as an educator in this different environment. — October 5, 2018 • Photo by Alex Schein