My name is Benjamin Hagen, and I am an Assistant Professor of English at the University of South Dakota. Sketching a Present, does not represent the views of USD's faculty or its administration. It is merely a self-indulgent—even if somewhat professional—project of pain and pleasure that hopes to bump into the lives of others occasionally. This site is a space for my hobbyhorses—reading poetry aloud, working slowly through a difficult book—but it's also a drawing board where I sketch out some ideas I may explore in my research or teaching.