John Barnard, 2019–2020

The Edible and the Endangered: Food, Empire, and the Biopolitics of Extinction

Donnelley Family Fellowship, 2019-20

Assistant Professor of Comparative & World Literature, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


John Levi Barnard is an assistant professor in the Program in Comparative and World Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he specializes in American literature, African American literature, and the environmental humanities. He is the author of Empire of Ruin: Black Classicism and American Imperial Culture (Oxford UP, 2018), and his writing has appeared or is forthcoming in PMLA, American Literature, and American Quarterly. His current book project, The Edible and the Endangered: Food, Empire, Extinction, is a work of environmental cultural studies examining the interrelated histories of U.S. empire, industrial animal food systems, and mass extinction.

Selected Publications

  • Barnard, John Levi. “The Bison and the Cow: Food, Empire, Extinction.” American Quarterly (Forthcoming 2020).
  • Barnard, John Levi. Empire of Ruin: Black Classicism and American Imperial Culture. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • Barnard, John Levi. “The Cod and the Whale: Melville in the Time of Extinction.” American Literature 89, no. 4 (2017): 851–79.
  • Barnard, John Levi. “Ruins amidst Ruins: Black Classicism and the Empire of Slavery.” American Literature 86, no. 2 (2014): 361–89.
  • Barnard, John Levi. “Ancient History, American Time: Chesnutt’s Outsider Classicism and the Present Past.” PMLA 129, no. 1 (2014): 71–86.
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