English Prof Kramer's Music to Be Performed at Poets House

Lawrence Kramer, Distinguished Professor of English, is among those whose compositions will be performed at a free concert titled "Resonating Bodies: Music for Voice and Strings," on Saturday, January 31 at 5pm at the Poet's House, 10 River Terrace, New York City. With performances by Sharon Harms, soprano, and Zentripetal: Lynn Bechtold, violin, and Jennifer DeVore, cello, the concert will feature music by Dan Cooper, Daniel Felsenfeld, Lawrence Kramer, Earl Maneein, Milica Paranosic, Gene Pritsker, and Heitor Villa-Lobos.

To reach 10 River Terrace: Take the 1, 2, 3, A or C subway lines to Chambers Street Station. Walk west along Chambers Street all the way to the end (Rockefeller Park, along the Hudson River). Turn left and walk along River Terrace two blocks - Poets House is at the corner of  Murray and River Terrace.

James Van Wyck on Evangelical Emotions

Fordham English PhD student James Van Wyck is arguing in his dissertation that 19th-century Evangelical texts relied heavily on an appeal to readers’ emotions, a technique born from a sentimentalist ethos that continues to inform Evangelical reading habits today. His research has led him to curate an exhibition on evangelical fiction at Drew University, and was recently covered in an extensive story in Inside Fordham.  

From Inside Fordham:

Evangelical Christians have long acknowledged that anti-intellectualism has plagued their religious tradition. As Evangelical historian Mark Noll put it in 1994, “The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.”

Scholars have linked this anti-intellectual bent to a variety of influences—for instance, the growing insularity of the Evangelical community, or the sway of charismatic church and political leaders. However, James Van Wyck, an English doctoral student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, believes that it in fact stems from something seemingly innocuous: the last century-and-a-half of fictions that Evangelicals have been reading and writing.

To prove his point, Van Wyck has taken a daunting plunge into the archives to chronicle Evangelical literary trends and how these have influenced contemporary Evangelical thought. He argues in his doctoral dissertation that 19th-century Evangelical texts relied heavily on an appeal to readers’ emotions, a technique born from a sentimentalist ethos that continues to inform Evangelical reading habits today….. Read the full story by Joanna Mercuri.

From the Drew University website:

In the mid-19th century, writers of Christian fiction had to be creative to get their stories to a population that was spread out geographically and didn’t always have easy access to books.

It became popular for writers to serialize their books through magazines, newspapers and other periodicals that were published weekly and monthly. Those articles included dramatic soap-opera style stories, children’s parables and other evangelical fiction, some written by bestselling authors.

While conducting research for his dissertation in Drew’s United Methodist Archives, James M. Van Wyck, a Fordham University doctoral student, came upon several examples of Christian evangelical fiction from the mid-19th century, offering a glimpse at popular fiction from over 100 years ago.

Van Wyck and Christopher Anderson, Head of Special Collections, Archives, and Methodist Librarian for the Drew University Library, have joined forces to present an exhibit highlighting some of these historic gems. Drew’s rich collection reflects an array of authors—women authors, bestselling novelists, African-American authors and writers of children’s stories…..Read the full story on Drew University’s site. 

From Old English to O’Hare: The busy ministry of Fr. Martin Chase

Given that Fordham professor Martin Chase, S.J., focuses on medieval studies in his scholarly work, it is fitting that he came to the Bronx by way of Denmark.

Though American-born, Fr. Chase was teaching at a Jesuit secondary school in the northern European country when the religious order shut down the school in 1999. He wanted to return to America, and had a strong interest in teaching at Fordham.

“I needed to come home,” Fr. Chase said. “And I had several friends at Fordham because of its strong medieval studies program.”

Old English Text from Beowulf

Old English Text from Beowulf

Fr. Chase soon joined their ranks as an associate professor in the English department. Among the courses he teaches is History of the English Language, which was the undergraduate class that first got him interested in Old English; this dialect has become one of his main areas of study....Read the full article by John Bonazzo on Fordham Daily

Dinika M. Amaral Published in The Iowa Review

Fordham's own Dinika M. Amaral has published the short story "No Good Deed Unpunished" in this winter's Iowa Review. The story also earned her the Review's Tim McGinnis Award.

Amaral earned her BA at Fordham before enrolling at New York University, where she received her MA and MFA. Her work has appeared in the Times of India and Golden Handcuffs Review and is forthcoming in the Denver Quarterly and Guernica. Amaral is currently a writing coach at NYU’s Stern School of Business and substitute-teaches creative writing at the University of California, Berkeley.

Cassuto is One of NYC's Leading Professors, says NY Observer

Leonard Cassuto

A January 21 story in the New York Observer profiles eight of "NYC's Leading Professors." "What’s the key to being a good professor?" they ask.  Among those answering the question is Fordham English Professor Leonard Cassuto.

Cassuto, writes Observer reporter Cynthia Cotts, “has written or edited seven books on American literature, including Hard-Boiled Sentimentality: The Secret History of American Crime Stories. But he may be best known for maintaining relationships with former students—in one case, as he recounted in a recent essay, even after she developed dementia. ‘I have many former students who are friends,’ says Mr. Cassuto. ‘One of the best parts of the job is making relationships, and it’s artificial to cut them off at the end of class.’ Instead, he seeks to create a ‘mutually supportive community’ of scholars who learn from their peers. Glenn Hendler, who chairs Fordham’s English department, says Mr. Cassuto is the graduate students’ most frequent choice for adviser and his courses are ‘consistently packed.’"

“Lauren Navarro, a Cassuto protégé who got her Ph.D. in August and now teaches English at LaGuardia Community College, calls her former teacher a ‘sage’ and credits him with helping her land a job. ‘I don’t think I would have gotten here if not for the extra work and care he puts in,’ says Ms. Navarro. What’s more, Ms. Navarro notes, Mr. Cassuto’s devotion has a ripple effect: ‘I’m now in touch with students I had as undergraduates.’”

Congratulations to Lenny Cassuto for getting this recognition for himself, and for the great mentoring that characterizes Fordham’s English department!

Enelow Discusses Acting with Martha Plimpton on WNYC

Shonni Enelow, Assistant Professor of English, was a guest on the "Please Explain" segment of The Leonard Lopate Show on New York City's public radio Station, WNYC.

The discussion was titled "Inside the Mind of an Actor," and you can listen to it here. As the station put it:

When Martha Plimpton agreed to host the Leonard Lopate Show this week, we already knew we were in for a treat. But when it came time for a Please Explain segment on the craft, psychology, and cognitive science of acting, Martha gave us all a lesson. Listen here for all of her advice and insight!

The show aired Friday January 16 at noon on 93.9 FM and AM 820, and was rebroadcast at midnight on 93.9FM. 



Bricolage Call for Submissions

Bricolage, Fordham University’s student-run journal of Comparative Literature, has extended its call for submissions to the print journal to January 20th.

Published annually in the spring, Bricolage features both critical and creative writing in multiple languages –– the only Fordham University journal to do so. It also publishes photography and art.

Members of the student editorial board have control over both the structure and the content of the journal. The editors are currently looking for online and print submissions. See their guidelines here.

Suggested prompts for online submissions can be found here.

Questions should be directed to litstudies@fordham.edu.