Meet the Scholar
Nathan K. Hensley, Ph.D, Associate Professor of English, Georgetown University
About the Scholar
Nathan K. Hensley (San Joaquin Memorial, ’95) is Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University, where he works on nineteenth-century British literature, critical theory, environmental humanities, and the novel. His first book, Forms of Empire: The Poetics of Victorian Sovereignty (Oxford, 2016, paperback 2018), explores how Victorian writers expanded the capacities of literary form to account for the ongoing violence of liberal modernity. A second project is about action, and draws on ecological thinking to understand how literary works imagine categories like will and personhood in the context of failing systems. With Philip Steer (Massey University, NZ), he has coedited a collection of essays, Ecological Form: System and Aesthetics in the Age of Empire (Fordham, 2019). With Thomas S. Davis, he co-edited a cluster on Modernism/Modernity’s Print + platform called “Scale and Form; or what was Global Modernism” (2018); and in 2020 edited, with Molly Clark Hillard, a cluster of essays for Victorian Literature and Culture on “Commitment.” At Georgetown, has been awarded the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Hensley was born in Fresno, California and attended San Joaquin Memorial (’95), where he played many sports and didn’t do enough homework. He holds degrees from Vassar College (B.A.), the University of Notre Dame (M.A.), and Duke (Ph.D), where he was also a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow. Before coming to Georgetown, he was assistant professor of English at Macalester College. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his family, and was lucky to have been able to visit Fresno–contact free and Covid-safely– over the holidays this past year.
I would like to thank, among many others, Brianna Calix, John Capitman, Andrea Castillo, Pastor DJ Criner, Debbie Darden, Bob Mitchell, Tania Pacheco-Werner, Reis Thebault, and Miriam Zuk for generously helping me learn about Fresno’s disavowed histories.
Works by the Scholar
- “Remapping White Childhood: On Fresno Redlining” (Read the Los Angeles Review of Books)
- “Our Ghosts: On Japanese Internment in Fresno” (Read the Los Angeles Review of Books)
- Forms of Empire: The Poetics of Victorian Sovereignty (Oxford University Press), particularly the conclusion, “Endless War, Then and Now”