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Brooklyn College English Department
MA English and MA English Teacher Programs

Brooklyn College Image Ana Acosta, associate professor; Ph.D., Columbia. Acosta's teaching and research interests include Restoration and 18th-century literature; early modern women writers; critical theory of the 18th century; comparative literature of the Enlightenment (British, French, German, Spanish); libertine fiction; religion, science and enlightenment; dictionaries, encyclopedias, and Biblical translation and interpretation; peninsular and Latin American literature; utopias. She is co-author of Literature: A World of Writing (Longman, 2010).

Moustafa Bayoumi, professor; Ph.D., Columbia. Author of How Does It Feel To Be a Problem: Being Young and Arab in America (Penguin), and co-editor of The Edward Said Reader (Vintage) Bayoumi is a specialist in post-colonial literature and in literary theory. He has published essays on literature, music, history, architecture, and politics in Transition, The Yale Journal of Criticism, Souls, Arab Studies Quarterly, Interventions, Amerasia, Middle East Report, The Village Voice, The London Review of Books, and other publications. He served a three-year term on the National Council of the American Studies Association, and is currently an editorial committee member of Middle East Report.

Elaine Brooks, professor and deputy chair for administration; Ph.D., New York University. Brooks specializes in second language composition, applied linguistics, interdisciplinary collaboration on linked courses, and content-based instruction. She has written Making Peace, a textbook centered on global community, "Evaluating ESL Writing" (in Dialogue on Writing, ed. DeLuca, et al), and presented on a number of topics, including "Teaching Strategies for ESL Students in the Composition and Literature Classroom." In addition to serving as deputy for the ESL Program, she facilitated a faculty development seminar on Writing Across the Curriculum.

Rachel M. Brownstein, professor; Ph.D., Yale. Brownstein is the author of Becoming a Heroine: Reading about Women in Novels (1982), Tragic Muse: Rachel of the Comedie-Francaise (1993), and Why Jane Austen? (2013), as well as numerous essays and reviews. She teaches 19th century literature, women's studies, and biography in the English Ph.D. Program and the Liberal Studies Program at the CUNY Graduate Center, as well as at Brooklyn College.

James Davis, professor and deputy chair for graduate studies; Ph.D., Indiana University. Davis, who also teaches in the American Studies Program, has published essays on Henry James and Ida B. Wells, a book about the intersection of race and emergent U.S. consumer culture entitled Commerce in Color (University of Michigan Press, 2007), and Eric Walrond: A Life in the Harlem Renaissance and the Caribbean Diaspora (Columbia Univ Press, 2015). He is a recipient of a fellowship for 2008-2009 at the Leon Levy Center for the Study of Biography at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Martin Elsky, professor; Ph.D., Columbia. Elsky is articles editor of Renaissance Quarterly and former Coordinator of the Renaissance Studies Certificate Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. He has published on Renaissance devotional literature, Humanist language theory, Early Modern print culture, and the ideology of the Renaissance country house. A contributor to the Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, he has published essays and book chapters on Donne, Milton, Jonson, Bacon, Herbert, Burton, and Vives. He is currently at work on two projects: German emigre scholars, especially Erich Auerbach, and the formation of US medieval-renaissance literary criticism, and the material history of Early Modern English domestic architecture and personal consciousness in sixteenth and seventeenth-century poetry and prose.

Joseph Entin, associate professor; Ph.D., Yale. His primary interests include American literature, cultural studies, visual culture, and the arts of social protest. He is the author of Sensational Modernism: Experimental Fiction and Photography in Thirties America (University of North Carolina Press, 2007) and co-editor of Controversies in the Classroom: A Radical Teacher Reader (Teachers College Press, forthcoming). His essays and reviews have appeared in The Yale Journal of Criticism, Novel, American Quarterly, New Labor Forum, Radical Teacher, Workplace, and The Novel and the American Left (University of Iowa Press, 2004).

Wendy W. Fairey, professor; Ph.D., Columbia. Fairey teaches courses in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British, American, and Anglophone literature, especially the novel, in women's studies, and in creative writing, among other fields. Her essays on George Eliot, Willa Cather, Edith Wharton, and on women's biography and autobiography, have appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review and the Journal of English and Germanic Philology. She has a particular interest in Indian (South Asian) English fiction and contemporary transnational texts. She is the author Full House (SMU Press), a collection of short stories, and One of the Family (W.W. Norton), a family memoir. Her current project, a work that combines personal narrative and literary criticism, is entitled From Orphan to Immigrant: Life Lived in Fiction.

Jason Frydman, associate professor, Ph.D. Columbia. Frydman is author of Sounding the Break: African American and Caribbean Routes of World Literature (University of Virginia Press, 2013). His teaching and research interests include Caribbean, African diaspora, U.S. ethnic and world literatures; critical race theory; global modernism; dancehall and Jamaican cultural studies; Arabic slave narratives and new world Orientalism.

Renison Gonsalves, professor; Ph.D. The CUNY Graduate Center. His major interests include linguistics, semantics, the philosophy of language, and the West Indian novel. He has published on such topics as "The mental representation of word meaning," and "Locke's definitional semantics." He has been a participant in NEH summer seminars on such topics as "Language and Man" and "Reference; Language and Reality.".

Carey Harrison, professor, M.A., Cambridge. Harrison is the author of many novels, including Richard's Feet, Cley, and Egon, which have been translated into nine languages, and plays for stage, radio, and television. He has directed Elizabethan, Jacobean and contemporary drama at the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain, the Arts Theatre, Cambridge, and elsewhere. Of his own dramatic writings, his 100th play to be recorded in a UK studio was broadcast in 2005.

Rosamond S. King, associate professor, Ph.D., New York University. King's research and teaching interests include Caribbean and African literature and culture, as well as sexuality, carnival, and performance studies. Her published articles include "Sex and Sexuality in English Caribbean Novels – A Survey from 1950," "Sheep and Goats Together – Interracial Relationships from Black Men's Perspectives," and "Dressing Down: Male Transvestism in Two Caribbean Carnivals." King's poetry has appeared in over a dozen journals and anthologies, and she recently held a Fulbright Fellowship in The Gambia, West Africa.

Patricia Laurence, professor, Ph.D., CUNY Graduate Center. Her teaching and research areas include twentieth and twenty-first century British, Irish and Anglophone literatures; Virginia Woolf; Bloomsbury; Comparative Modernisms and History of the Novel. She is the author of The Reading of Silence: Virginia Woolf in the English Tradition and Lily Briscoe’s Chinese Eyes: Bloomsbury, Modernism and China.  She is a frequent reviewer for Review of Contemporary Fiction, and has recently served as a member of the MLA Twentieth-Century Literature Division Executive Committee. She is currently at work on a biography of Elizabeth Bowen, and recipient of a Mellon Foundation Grant for research at the Harry Ransom Center.

Nicola Masciandaro, professor, Ph.D. Yale. A specialist in medieval literature, Masciandaro is the author of The Voice of the Hammer: The Meaning of Work in Middle English Literature (Notre Dame, 2007) as well as articles and essays on the animal/human boundary, eros, sorrow, and mysticism. His current book project is entitled The One with a Hand: Labor, Embodiment, and the Animal/Human Boundary. Masciandaro is editor and founder of the online journal Glossator: Practice and Theory of the Commentary.

Geoffrey Minter, lecturer; Ph.D., Harvard. General interest in American literature from the Puritan era to the current century. Other, specific interests: the Enlightenment and related literary modes (Romanticism, the Gothic, etc.); the traditions of English lyric poetry, chiefly from Spenser to Stevens; Aestheticism and Decadence; Queer Representation and Theory; boys and boyhood as literary subjects; Literature, History, and New Historicism; Biography and Autobiography; Opera and Film. Has written on the cultural importance of boyhood before and after the American Civil War, and other topics in American literature through the 19th Century.

Janet Moser, professor and Director of Freshman Composition; Ph.D., CUNY Graduate Center. Her most recent articles focus on topics in composition (personalizing the research paper), on the use of examples from the rhetoric of canonical literature as models for analysis and imitation in basic composition courses (Proust, Nabokov), and on the use of electronic resources to integrate socially, culturally and historically relevant sounds and images into the study of literature (using the arts to teach Proust; the modern city in Balzac and Dostoevsky).

Martha Nadell, associate professor; Ph.D., Harvard. A specialist in African-American literature, her book Enter The New Negroes: Images of Race in American Culture (Harvard UP, 2004) examines image-text relationships in the Harlem Renaissance. She also teaches and writes about literary representations of Brooklyn.

Jonathan Nissenbaum, assistant professor; Ph.D., M.I.T. His research, which has been funded by the NIH/NIDCD as well as the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Fonds de recherche du Québec Société et culture, focuses on syntax and semantics: the abstract structures that are formed subconsciously during language comprehension and production, and how these structures help determine sentence meaning. He is also interested in phonetic representation, and has a project that uses MRI to capture the movements of vocal articulators during speech production. His work has appeared in journals such as Natural Language Semantics and Linguistic Inquiry.

Mark Patkowski, professor, and Director of the Linguistics Program; Ph.D., New York University. His major interests include linguistics, applied linguistics, second language acquisition, and semiotics. His research has been published in journals such as Applied Linguistics, Language Learning, IRAL: International Review of Applied Linguistics, and TESOL Quarterly, and in edited volumes such as Child-Adult Differences in Second-Language Acquisition, First and Second Language Phonology, and Mainstreaming: Case Studies in TESOL Practice Series. He has also received a Fulbright lecturing award in linguistics and recently taught at the University of Paris-8.

Tanya Pollard, professor; Ph.D., Yale.  Her Research and teaching interests include Shakespeare, early modern drama, Greek drama, genre theory, theater in performance, literature and science, early modern mind/body relations, history of medicine, science, and gender.  She is the author of Drugs and Theater in Early Modern England (Oxford UP, 2005), the editor of Shakespeare’s Theater: a Sourcebook (Blackwell, 2003), and the editor (with Katharine Craik) of Shakespearean Sensations: Experiencing Theater in Early Modern England (Cambridge UP, forthcoming 2013).

W.J.Reeves, professor, Ph.D., Notre Dame. He has written about time and drugs in The Maltese Falcon, co-won the Ohaus award for an essay The Hard-Boiled Chemical Detective, and published three gritty E-books. He's at work on his latest novel The Blonde with Half a Face. His neo-noir screenplay Betrayal in Brooklyn is circulating in Tinseltown (film clip at YouTube).

Marie Rutkoski, associate professor; Ph.D., Harvard. Rutkoski teaches courses in English Renaissance literature and history, children’s literature, and fiction writing. She has published articles on children in English Renaissance drama in Studies in English Literature and Criticism. Her published novels for children and young adults include The Cabinet of Wonders (Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux 2008) and The Celestial Globe (Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux 2010).

Jessica Siegel, assistant professor; M.S., Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, M.A. Teachers College. She is both a journalist and a teacher educator. She has published articles about education, the arts and social issues in journals such as Schools Watch, The Village Voice, and Harvard Magazine. She has worked as a managing editor both at The Bergen Record, the second largest newspaper in New Jersey, and for Electronic Learning. Currently, she is working on a project on the history of the Jews in the Caribbean. Her own teaching was the subject of Small Victories by Samuel G. Freedman, which was nominated for a National Book Award.

Karl Steel, associate professor; Ph.D., Columbia. A medievalist, Steel's research focuses on relationships between humans and animals. He has published on the dominant medieval conception of being human ("How to Make a Human," in Exemplaria 20 (2008): 3-27), and has articles forthcoming on the deliciousness of human flesh in medieval anthropophagy narratives (in Fragments for a History of a Vanishing Humanism (Ohio UP)) and on Shakespeare's short elegy, "The Phoenix and Turtle" (in the anthology Shakesqueer (Duke UP)). He participates in the medievalist blog "In the Middle" (

Ellen Tremper, professor and chair of the English Department; Ph.D., Harvard. Specializing in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British poetry and fiction, Tremper has published many articles on Henry James, Virginia Woolf, and children's literature and is the author of "Who Lived at Alfoxton?": Virginia Woolf and English Romanticism (Bucknell University Press) and I'm No Angel: The Blonde in Film and Fiction (University of Virginia Press, 2006).

Albena Vassileva, associate professor; Ph.D., Emory University. Her major areas of interest are twentieth-century English and East European literatures, Romanticism, and contemporary literary criticism. She has contributed to journals such as Studies in the Humanities, Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures, Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature, The College Language Association Journal, CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, World Literature Today, and others. She is currently working on her book Reference, Trauma, and History: The Testimonies of American and Russian Postmodernisms.

Robert Viscusi, professor; Ph.D., New York University. Viscusi has published a critical study entitled Max Beerbohm, or the Dandy Dante: Rereading with Mirrors (Johns Hopkins UP, 1986), the novel Astoria (Guernica, 1995; American Book Award 1996), the long poem An Oration upon the Most Recent Death of Christopher Columbus (VIA Folios, 1993), a poetry collection entitled A New Geography of Time (Guernica , 2004), a critical history entitled Buried Caesars, and Other Secrets of Italian American Writing (SUNY Press, 2006), and numerous essays on Italian American literature and culture. He is a Broeklundian Professor, an executive officer of the Wolfe Institute for the Humanities, the president of the Italian American Writers Association, and he has held fellowships from the NEH and the Calandra Italian American Institute.