Texts and Contexts

Lin-Manuel Miranda says "Bravo" to Fordham students

It's not every day that Lin-Manuel Miranda sends a handwritten thank-you note to a group of Fordham students. But students in Linda Goldberg's Texts & Contexts course on "The Immigrant Experience" were pleasantly surprised to hear from the author of Hamilton: The Musical last week. 

Miranda changed the modern landscape with his dynamic reimagining of Alexander Hamilton's life. Hamilton is the story of America as a nation of immigrants, and proved a perfect complement to Professor Goldberg's course. In addition to reading various texts on immigration from various parts of the world, students were assigned to research their families' immigrant experiences and to present their findings to the class in a creative format. 

According to Professor Goldberg, Hamilton proved inspirational in two ways: First, it could "demonstrate to students thad their own histories may produce unexpected riches and rewards in stories, family connections, research, and their own personal family record." Beyond that it gave students the opportunity "to examine the language of the authors studied." Goldberg challenged the group to  "create a 'class' rap, inspired by [Miranda's] music to demonstrate the way rhyming language may be used to tell a story and be put to music."

Using the music of the now iconic opening number, "Alexander Hamilton," the students wrote bilingual lyrics about their studies and their family histories." Their version had the refrains "There's a million books we haven't read but just you wait" and "At Fordham you can be a success."

After recording the project, Professor Goldberg sent the finished product to the Richard Rogers Theatre, where Hamilton plays to a full house every night. To her and the students' delight, Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a note to them, warmly expressing his gratitude:

Dear Students of Fordham,

Your Project was not only a brilliant concept but was also executed perfectly! the thought of inspiring such deep investigation into what an immigrant is is one of the most rewarding things to come out of Hamilton. Bravo!


EP 11.0: Available in Print and Online

This year’s issue of EP collects eight exemplary essays written by Fordham Lincoln Center students in sections of Composition and Rhetoric I, II, or Texts and Contexts. Congratulations are also due to the wonderful professors and instructors—Andrew Albin, Julia Barclay-Morton, Elisabeth Frost, Boyda Johnstone, Christy Pottroff, and Alexis Quinlan—who taught the courses from which this great work emerged.

EP 11.0 marks the first year that the journal will be available in both printed and electronic forms, enabling even more readers to access, read, and enjoy this exceptional collection of essays. In addition to ushering EP into the digital age, the editors have instituted the publication’s first blind peer review process. Modeled upon the process used at Rhētorikós, each submission received anonymous consideration from two members of a peer review board comprised of ten English graduate students at the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses.

With an acceptance rate of just 23 percent, EP 11.0 may be the most rigorous issue to date.

The co-editors, Will Fenton and Matt Lillo, join Professor Anne Fernald in hoping you will enjoy this issue and use it in your classes. EP 11.0 is available today in print at Lincoln Center in Lowenstein 924 and online via English Connect.  Thank you for reading this issue and nominating your students’ writing for the next! And a special thanks to the EP peer review board: Rebecca Aberle, Ruth Adams, Julia Cosacchi, Will Cronin, Jessica D’Onofrio, Bronwen Durocher, Callie Gallo, Laura Radford, Patrick Skea, and Ian Sullivan.