Ben Murphy is a PhD candidate, teacher, and writer studying American literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research articles appear in Mississippi Quarterly and Configurations. Other writing—including essays and reviews—can be found at The Millions, symploke, boundary2 online, Gulf Coast, Full Stop, and The Carolina Quarterly. He tweets @benjmurph.
Readers of Library of America's collection of Whitman's late in life thoughts will be hard-pressed to miss the priorities—or their timely relevance—of his clarion call that "American must welcome all—Chinese, Irish, German, pauper or not, criminal or not—all, all, without exceptions: become an asylum for all who choose to come."
Alex Garland relied on HeLa easter eggs to proffer a "key" to the Shimmer in Annihilation, but his interpretation mimics the instrumentalization decried throughout Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.