Fordham Medieval Dramatists Produce Extraordinary Version of "Everyman"

The FCLC Medieval Dramatists, comprised of the students of Professor Andrew Albin's ENGL 3102: Medieval Drama in Performance, made their debut on April 26 at Summit Rock in Central Park (83rd Street & Central Park West) with their performance of the fifteenth-century morality play Everyman. Their production, free to the public, told the story of Everyman, who finds himself on Death’s doorstep and in need of guidance before he goes to meet his Maker. As he travels the road to the grave, Everyman encounters those things dearest to him and comes face to face with the choices he has made during his life. Everyman represented the culmination of ENGL 3102’s semester-long immersion in the dramatic texts and traditions of late medieval England; the result was a medieval play reinvented for modern audiences, one that melds festivity, community, and ethical searching with comedic flair and New York savvy. 

The production was inspiring, to say the least. Designed and realized from the ground up by the FCLC Medieval Dramatists, the performance of Everyman loosely modeled itself on medieval modes of play-making. Over the course of the spring semester, students worked as a tight-knit collective to read, discuss, adapt, and stage the play, with recourse to the wealth of talents they each brought to the playing space. Guided by Professor Albin, students read deeply into the corpus of medieval English drama in the original Middle English, accompanied by works of criticism, theater history, and modern critical dramaturgy. For the performance of Everyman, though, Prof. Albin took a back seat, facilitating students in their own creative exploration of the play they themselves chose to perform.

Though Everyman perishes at the end of the play, the Medieval Dramatists’s Everyman promises to have a life beyond its performance on April 26. Students recorded the live performance to create a film that will form the centerpiece of a media-rich digital archive of their efforts. Students contribute critical reflections on the play and their experience of performing it, expanding the public reach and creative dialogue of their semester’s work. Such an interdisciplinary project has benefitted greatly from the support of a variety of departments, programs, and offices, including English, Theatre, Medieval Studies, Media and Communications, New Media and Digital Design, Instructional Technology Academic Computing, and the Dean's Office.

A more appropriate debut performance for Fordham’s medieval theater troupe could not be imagined. Everyman asks difficult questions about our values, our ties to the world around us, our bonds with each other, and our relationships to ourselves.  In the hands of the Medieval Dramatists, it has become a thoroughly local play, in dialogue with the culture of New York City and taking place in Central Park at the heart of Manhattan. Mindful of its rootedness in the Catholic culture of the Middle Ages, Everyman turns a critical eye on that culture and interrogates it, asking us to do the same for our own through laughter, inquiry, and play.

To see the continued activity and media surrounding this production, go to Twitter and Instagram: @fordhameveryman #RIPEVERYMAN, Facebook, or write the Medieval Dramatists at fordhammedievaldramatists@gmail.com or Prof. Andrew Albin at aalbin@fordham.edu.


May 16: 2015 Fordham Commencement

The 2015 University Commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at the Rose Hill Campus.  

All degrees are conferred at the University Commencement ceremony. However, diplomas are not individually distributed to the graduates until the school diploma ceremonies. More...

 

Congratulations to all graduates and especially to our English majors, minors, and our English Graduate Program MA's and PhD's.

PhD Student to Participate in Digital Humanities Summer Institute

Will Fenton, Ph.D. Candidate in English, has been accepted to participate in the New York Metro American Studies Association 2015 Summer Institute on “The Digital City: New Approaches in the Digital Humanities.” According to NYMASA: “This four-day institute seeks to enhance innovative research, teaching, and scholarship in American Studies by creating a dynamic environment for learning about new digital technologies that are transforming teaching, research, scholarly communication, and preservation.”
 
The project Fenton brings to the institute is an outgrowth of one he conceptualized and presented as a HASTAC scholar last spring: a gamified syllabus for Comp II. Fenton's interest is not so much to integrate video games into the course as it is to apply their pedagogical strategies to the classroom. He aims to integrate peer assessment and contextual feedback; increase student engagement and decentralize class authority; and create a space where students can safely—and generatively—fail. To that end, he has adapted his Comp syllabus using four gamification features: skills, objectives, quests, and points systems. While he is developing his curriculum using several excellent models, Will believes that the NYMASA institute will help him to anticipate logistical challenges before he puts his new curriculum into practice.

April 28th: Creative Writing Prizes Reading

Fordham University's Creative Writing Program cordially invites you to celebrate the winners of the 2015 Creative Writing Prizes. 

On Tuesday, April 28 at 5:00 pm in the Lincoln Center 12th Floor Lounge, the Program will host the 2015 Creative Writing Prizes Reading. The following students will read their award-winning work:

Academy of American Poets Prize
Anna Marie Anastasi, "3 Secrets"
 
Margaret Lamb/Writing to the Right-Hand Margin Prizes
Rachel Federman, "The Parts I Don't Believe"
Thomas Layman, "Almost Three"
Michael Grund, "Exponential Growth"
Mary Kate Crenny, "His Eyes Won't Be Blue"
 
Ully Hirsch/Robert F. Nettleton Poetry Prizes
Wallis Monday, "Lonesome Years in the West"
Samantha Norman, "New West"
 
Bernice Kilduff White & John J. White Creative Writing Prize
Frank Sivilli, "South of the House"

The Reid Family Prize
Patrick Skea, "Stateside"

Julie Kim Recognized for Work with Senior English Major David Buchanan

Senior English major David Buchanan, with Professor Julie Kim. 

Senior English major David Buchanan, with Professor Julie Kim. 

Julie Kim, Assistant Professor of English, was recognized this year by the FCRH Undergraduate Research Program with a Faculty Mentor Award. Two of these awards are given out each year at Rose Hill: one goes to a faculty mentor of undergraduate research in the humanities and the other to a faculty mentor in the sciences. The award was announced on April 15, 2015, at Rose Hill’s eight annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, at which undergraduates who received research funding in 2014-2015 presented their findings to other students and faculty.

Prof. Kim received the award this year for her work with senior English and Economics major David Buchanan. Since Fall 2014, David has been working with Prof. Kim on a senior thesis on the contemporary Caribbean novel and globalization. His thesis looks in particular at Margaret Cezair-Thompson’s A True History of Paradise and its exploration of political turmoil and neocolonial violence in 1980s Jamaica. David’s thesis grew out of earlier courses he took with Prof. Kim on Caribbean literature, the history of which is a focus of Prof. Kim’s research. He also received crucial help from the Undergraduate Research Program, which provided him with funding to visit and interview Cezair-Thompson, who lives in Boston and teaches at Wellesley College.

David’s thesis recently won the Bernice Kilduff White and John J. White Prize, awarded annually by the English department for excellence in the study of literature. He is also receiving the Margaret G. Amassian Award, which goes to the graduating English major with the highest overall GPA. David is receiving the Economics Award for academic excellence as well, and he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. His future plans include pursuing a Ph.D. in English. “I am extremely proud of all that David has achieved,” said Prof. Kim. “Working with students like David is what motivates me to be a mentor of undergraduate research.”

Congratulations to David Buchanan and Prof. Kim!