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Robert Fanuzzi

Associate Professor and Associate Provost
English
Ph. D., 1993, Northwestern University, English
M.A., 1987, Northwestern University, English, Presidential Fellow
B.A., 1983, College of William and Mary, English and Philosophy, magna cum laude

Robert Fanuzzi, Ph. D. is Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Director of Civic Engagement and Public Programs for the St. John’s University Staten Island campus and an Associate Professor of English in St. John’s College.  He develops academic programs and partnerships, educational and enrollment outreach strategies, and faculty research projects that connect the university to the community.  He represents St. John’s in community affairs throughout the borough, including the civic engagement initiative, 30000 Degrees:  College Readiness for a Stronger Staten Island.  

Dr. Fanuzzi is also the co-founder and director of the Staten Island Alliance for Interdisciplinary Studies and is the director of the American Studies Interdisciplinary Minor in St. John’s College. 

Dr. Fanuzzi is a scholar of African American literature and history, trans-Atlantic slavery and antislavery movements, and French imperialism in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.  He is the author of Abolition’s Public Sphere and many articles on race, history in a contemporary context, and Franco-American literary relations.  His current book project, “The Empire Left Behind:  French Colonial Modernity in the Age of American Nationalisms” explores the impact of French imperialism on formation and study of American democracy.  He is the co-editor of Recovering 9/11, an anthology of essays on the local impacts of the World Trade Center attacks, and has written and lectured widely on the future of the humanities and the public purpose of higher education. 

Dr. Fanuzzi’s undergraduate and graduate teaching fields include hemispheric American literature, African-American and Afro-Caribbean studies, US-Haitian literature, Critical Race Studies, and Critical University Studies.  He is a winner of St. John’s University’s St. Vincent de Paul Teacher-Scholar Award and the Vincentian Institute for Social Action Award for Academic Service Learning for his many engaged, interdisciplinary courses in food studies and food justice; urban agriculture and sustainable development; urban design; and public history.  In 2016, he was awarded a New York Council for the Humanities Action Grant for “Sandy Ground at St. John’s:  Faces of the Underground Railroad,” a public humanities and educational outreach program that grew out of his long partnership with the Sandy Ground Historical Society.