Hanson (M.A. '09) to Join NYU Faculty

Lenora Hansen and NYU Logo
by Erin Chambers Mon, 01/23/2017 - 16:59

University of Nebraska-Lincoln alumna Lenora Hanson has accepted an offer from New York University. She will be joining their English faculty this fall as an assistant professor.

Lenora Hanson earned her Masters degree from the Department of English in 2009, where she built foundations in both British Romanticism and critical theory before pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Hanson specializes in Romanticism, political economy, biopolitics, and the emergence of the life sciences, and has been active in organizing autonomous political spaces, including the MLA Subconference, the #Ferguson2MLA march, and the graduate student labor union at UW-Madison.

During her last semester at UW-Madison, Hanson is completing her dissertation with a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Entitled Riotous Life: The Rhetoric and Politics of Romantic Organisms, it argues for an important affinity between figures of nonhuman life and riotous political events throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Insisting on the negativity that the nonhuman indexes in Romanticism, her project looks to writing on food riots, slave marronage, anti-nationalism and communism in which figures of machines, plants and animals trace the destruction of the human as the horizon of radical politics.

"My time at UNL prepared me for my future in literary studies by giving me a rigorous and deep grounding in the critical and philosophical traditions that have shaped my field," says Hanson. "I left the English department ready to engage with the most exciting and difficult scholars because I was always asked to think about the humanities capaciously there. The diligent, generous mentorship of UNL faculty gave me the resources to think expansively while also challenging me to develop my own research interests."

Hanson acknowledged her committee members, Professors Marco Abel, Stephen Behrendt, Laura White, and Nick Spencer, who oversaw her Masters thesis. "In particular, Marco Abel remained committed to my academic development long after I left UNL," she says. "Even though we work in completely different fields and periods, Marco has been a model of support in a time of widespread job insecurity, always reminding me that true intellectual engagement is neither a finite resource nor a specialized matter."