Benjamin Barasch is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. He received his BA in Humanities from Yale in 2009. His dissertation is on the idea of vitality and its relation to style in American literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. His academic interests include philosophical aesthetics, American intellectual history and cultural criticism, modern poetry, and the history and theory of music, European and American. He is currently a Contemporary Civilization preceptor in Columbia's core curriculum, and has been an American Studies advisor since 2014.