Mullarkey Forum will be on Multimedia Texts and Performances

On Wednesday, November 19, from 2 to 6 pm, Fordham English Department faculty who work on periods from medieval to contemporary will share work on the theme of "Multimedia Texts and Performances" at the annual 2014 Thomas F.X. and Theresa Mullarkey Research Forum. Join Stuart Sherman, Lea Puljcan Juric, Sarah Zimmerman, Andrew Albin, Trish McTighe, and Elizabeth Stone for presentations and discussion in the O'Hare Room on the 4th floor of Walsh Library on Fordham's Rose Hill (Bronx) campus

To RSVP, please email Carole Alvino at by Wednesday, November 12.

Graduate Program Open House on November 13

The Director of Graduate Studies 

Invites You to Attend Our


Thursday, November 13, 2014 – 5:45 - 7:45 pm

Every fall, we hold an Open House for prospective applicants to Fordham’s graduate English programs. This event includes a brief presentation by the Director of Graduate Studies, followed by a question and answer period. English department graduate faculty and current graduate students will also be available to talk with interested students about our program. 

This year the event will be held on Thursday, November 13th at 5:45 at our Rose Hill Campus in Duane Library, Butler Commons (3rd Floor).  Refreshments will be served. Please call or email Martine Stern at 718-817-4029 / to RSVP.

Please view our GraduateDegrees In English and web pages and let us know if you have any questions.
     Ph.D. Applications: 
          January 7, 2015
     Spring M.A. Applications (without financial aid consideration):
          October 8, 2014
     Fall M.A. Applications (with financial aid consideration):
          January 7, 2015
     Fall M.A. Applications (without financial aid consideration):
          April 8, 2015

For directions, go to:

Apply THIS WEEK to be an English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration

Deadline: November 1st
Apply Here

Premised on the belief that the study of literature and the practice of writing are mutually reinforcing, the English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration emphasizes the inter-relations among creative writing, digital media, criticism, and scholarship. As a concentration with a dual focus on literature and creative work, fully integrated within the English department, this degree offering combines literature courses, small writing workshops, and practical industry training to prepare students for advanced study or careers in writing, media, and publishing. In addition, students benefit from the resources provided by New York City— a worldwide center for literary publishing.


Admission to the English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration is competitive and is based primarily on the strength of your submitted writing sample. Fifteen students total will be admitted each year.

Applicants must:

  • Be in their sophomore or junior year
  • Have and maintain a 3.0 overall G.P.A.

Submit an application and writing sample by completing the online Application Form. The first deadline for applications is November 1st and you will learn whether you are accepted by December 1st.

Course Requirements

The English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration consists of a total of 11 required courses.

  • 1 Junior Theory Course
  • 5 Literature Electives (at 3000 level or above). At least two courses must be about a literary-historical period before 1800.
  • 5 Creative Writing Courses
  • 1 (Non-Credit) Capstone Course. This course will have students working collaboratively to put together a public exhibition of a creative writing project as a culminating experience.



As a creative writing concentrator, you will get guidance from full-time creative writing faculty members to help you choose courses in a manner that provides a coherent focus across writing genres and historical periods, at the same time allowing you to pursue an interest-driven, individualized course of study. Advisors will initially be assigned at random, but you will have the opportunity to adjust your advisor assignment as you develop a mentoring relationship with different faculty members.

Publications & Internships

Creative writing concentrators are encouraged to be involved with one of the publications on campus, including CURA, The Observer (and its literary section, The Comma) and The Ram. Class credit may be earned by working on any of these publications. Creative writing concentrators are also encouraged to explore internships relevant to their course of study.

New Media Colloquium: The Future of Publishing

Éclairs, Kindles, Twitter-bots, and the Gutenberg printing press all came our way during the Creative Writing Program's New Media Colloquium.  

Allison Parrish and Benjamin Samuel duke it out over the role technology will play in the future of publishing.

Allison Parrish and Benjamin Samuel duke it out over the role technology will play in the future of publishing.

On October 8th,  Fordham Writer in Residence, Allison Parrish and Benjamin Samuel, editor at large at  Electric Literature spoke on an array of ways that the publishing and writing worlds are continuing to change and evolve. 

“People don’t really understand technologies before they dismiss them,” said Samuel.  "Some critics thought that Gutenberg’s printing press would destroy culture. Critiques of Kindles and iPhones may seem equally outdated in the future."

Still, Samuel cautions that no one can truly know the future of publishing.

“I don’t know what the future of publishing is,” he said, “and anyone who tells you they do is trying to sell you something. Our collective decisions right now as creators and consumers will determine the future. We just need to let people read what they want to how they want to,” he said. “The future of publishing isn’t a computer. It’s us.”

Parrish, however, struck a different tone. Parrish creates experimental art through computer programming and she said she found the interaction of computers and readers “beautiful.”

Among Parrish’s creations include a video game that she describes as “Boggle and Super Mario at the same time” among other quirky and inventive projects. Perhaps her most notable endeavor, however, is the popular Twitter account @everyword, which  tweets every word of the English language alphabetically. Because of a programming fluke, @everyword tweeted the word “éclair" after the last word beginning with "z," infuriating many Twitter followers.

Aside from the laughter Parrish’s story elicited, Parrish felt there was an important lesson within @everyword.  “Words aren’t empty vessels. @everyword brings that to the surface.”

When Samuel stated that he felt computer generated writing could never replace writing written by people, Parrish playfully retorted “I disagree. Wherever there’s a program that makes text, there’s a someone who programmed it.”

This event was co-sponsored by New Media and Digital Design.

Creative differences resolved... for now.

Creative differences resolved... for now.

Scholars Gather to Rethink Realist Acting

Tony-winning director Kenny Leon joined theater and film scholars from Fordham and around the world to discuss the prospect of “Rethinking Realist Acting” as part of a highly successful symposium in mid-September. The event was organized and hosted by Shonni Enelow and Keri Walsh, both assistant professors in the English Department at Fordham University, in partnership with Mary Luckhurst of the University of Melbourne in Australia, and administered by Callie Gallo, a doctoral student in the Fordham English department. The event, held at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus from September 18-20, was very well-attended both by members of the Fordham community (faculty, administrators, graduate students, and a large number of undergraduates) and by members of the scholarly and creative communities of New York.

One of the paradigms for “rethinking” included the temporal boundaries of the subject, which is typically dated to the late nineteenth century (and the plays of Henrik Ibsen).  Speakers at the event helped re-frame the topic as something worth pursuing further back into the 19th and even the 18th centuries.  Fordham’s Stuart Sherman explored the use of prologues and epilogues on the eighteenth century stage to complicate our understanding of the topicality of these plays, and the ways they played with the boundaries between the real and the imagined (for instance in tragic death scenes followed by lively parting epilogues).  In “Partitur: Scoring the Role,” Yale’s Joseph Roach discussed the 18th Century practice of “scoring the role,” developing the term partitur to describe these proto-subtextual scores, which he described as the beginning of realist acting.  Sharon Marcus, Orlando Harriman Professor of Humanities at Columbia University, used the career of Sarah Bernhardt to suggest that the appearance of realism emerges more from a break with the conventions of the preceding generations’ acting styles than it does with anything actually more essentially “natural” in the particular performances.  Sharon Marie Carnicke’s talk, “Acting Realism at the Moscow Art Theatre,” made a similarly relativizing claim, showing how in Chekhov’s The Seagull, scenes we recognize as bearing the hallmarks of “realism” emerge from the contrast with scenes performed in older theatrical styles, so that their realism emerges in dialectic with earlier melodramatic and declamatory styles.

In addition to reaching back further in history for the roots of realism, scholars at the conference also questioned common assumptions about the class, gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality of “realism” as a genre. Rosemary Malague’s paper, “Realism and the Feminist Actress” presented the career of Stella Adler (teacher of Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, and many others) in the context of the pressures on mid-century women’s lives that would be diagnosed by Betty Friedan in The Feminine Mystique, urging us to view Adler’s transformation from actor to teacher at mid-century in the social context of nascent feminism. 

The conference featured several contributions from practitioners and original research on the process of acting. Mary Luckhurst of the University of Melbourne drew on interviews with actors including Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep to understand the process of playing “real people” (that is, historical figures like Margaret Thatcher).  Kenny Leon, Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre at Fordham for 2014-15 and director of the Tony Award-winning production of A Raisin in the Sun, performed a monologue from Fugard, Kani and Ntshona’s Sizwe Banzi is Dead and then discussed the exercises he uses in the acting classroom to help students understand the distinction between “realism” and “real life.”

Jacob Gallagher-Ross explored the relationship between acting and technology—especially audio recording technology—in Lee Strasberg’s work at the Actors Studio, demonstrating the centrality of audio recording to Strasberg’s ideas about realism and authenticitiy. To conclude the day’s talks, Cynthia Baron reflected on what constitutes realism on the screen, and studied some of the diverse realist styles to be found in American independent cinema since the 1970s.

Taken all together, the talks powerfully demonstrated what is to be gained from returning to realism to estrange or unsettle critical commonplaces about it.  The project of rethinking realism in acting benefits from new thinking about realism in literature and also recent work in feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, cultural studies, and interdisciplinary modernism.

Two related Film Studies events took place in the days leading up to the conference. September 19 featured a panel on the burgeoning field of “star studies” and the work of the British Film Institute’s (BFI) “Film Stars” series.  Students and faculty from various departments gathered to hear Fordham’s own Jacqueline Reich (Chair of Communication and Media Studies) as well as Martin Shingler of the University of Sunderland (UK) and series authors Cynthia Baron (Associate Professor of Theater and Film, Bowling Green) and Keri Walsh (Fordham), who spoke of their contributions and shared the various joys and difficulties of writing and publishing their scholarship. Martin Shingler opened the panel with a discussion of his role as the co-editor of the BFI’s film stars series.  He explained his goals to spotlight less frequently studied actors (from non-Western celebrities to animated characters like Donald Duck) and to rediscover many actors who have been largely forgotten over time.

Cynthia Baron, Keri Walsh, and Jacqueline Reich then each highlighted their work on one specific actor, beginning with Baron, who explored the difficulties of reconciling divergent opinions on Denzel Washington.  Walsh then described her Mickey Rourke “obsession” and the groundbreaking scholarship of Richard Dyer, which influenced Walsh not only by focusing on celebrity in a scholarly forum but also by writing in the “confessional” tone of a fan, with which Walsh immediately identified.  Lastly, describing her work on the prolific Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni, Reich recounted the deceptively difficult task of writing about a celebrity as well as the insights Mastroianni’s work provides into notions of masculinity in early-twentieth-century Italy. Following these talks was an engaging question and answer period, which included questions about the changing legacies of deceased celebrities and the extension of star studies to include “low-culture” celebrities like Kim Kardashian. 

On Thursday, September 18 Martin Shingler delivered a lecture in Walsh Library entitled “The Acting Prince: John Barrymore at Warner Bros., 1924-1931” in which he explored the continuities between Classicism, Neo-romanticism and Realism, acting styles which Barrymore employed not in succession (ie. leaving one behind to embrace another) but rather, in perpetual rotation as the various roles he took demanded. Following Shingler’s talk, graduate students and faculty (Eve Keller, Corey McEleney) joined together for a discussion of Paul Rudnick’s I Hate Hamlet, a 1991 comedy about an actor visited by the ghost of John Barrymore while preparing to play the role of Hamlet in Central Park, and a work its author described as a “tribute to actors.” 


Sharon Marie Carnicke, Shonni Enelow, Cynthia Baron, Mary Luckhurst, and  Rose Malague

Sharon Marie Carnicke, Shonni Enelow, Cynthia Baron, Mary Luckhurst, and  Rose Malague

Sponsorship for all events came from Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Science, the English Department, Theatre Department, the Programs in Comparative Literature and Women’s Studies, and the University of Melbourne.

CURA Magazine Accepting Submissions

CURA: A Literary Magazine of Art and Action is now accepting submissions for 2014-2015.  CURA contributors have won Rockefeller, Guggenheim, American Book, and National Endowment for the Arts awards.  Past issues have featured work by:  Brenda Hillman, Robert Bly, Evie Shockley, Patricia Smith and Idra Novey.

In keeping with our partnership with The Doe Fund, magazine submissions should be based in some way on the theme of "Borderlands." Through its pioneering program, Ready, Willing and Able, The Doe Fund combines paid transitional work and a holistic, individualized service package to catapult individuals into the workforce and out of cycles of homelessness, crime, and addiction. All magazine publication proceeds directly benefit The Doe Fund.   

Submissions are accepted from October until March.

Lincoln Center undergrads publish in EP 10.0

Announcing a very special 10th anniversary issue of EP, a journal dedicated to promoting excellence in first year composition at the Lincoln Center campus.

The idea of eloquentia perfecta has long been central to Jesuit education, and EP draws on the best of that tradition while bringing it into the 21st century. You will find perfect eloquence here in this expository prose, and you will also find extended play: essays that take an idea and break it apart, look at it from a new angle, and remix it, showing it to us anew. 

This year’s issue of EP collects eleven essays, each written in the last year by a Fordham student in a Composition course or in a "Texts and Contexts" course.  Essays investigate family origins and struggles with depression; the nation’s celebrity obsession and the hidden gender assumptions of financial commercials; the effects of smart phones on conversation and the rise of “food deserts;” Radiohead’s critique of modern alienation and street artists’ struggles for societal acceptance; as well as a close reading of Victor Frankenstein’s renegotiation of human boundaries.

These essays represent some of the best Fordham has to offer, and we hope that it impresses, instructs, and inspires others to excel in their writing. The authors and their professors should celebrate the results, as do co-editors Peter Murray and Will Fenton and their faculty advisor Anne Fernald. Pick up a copy today!