Robert Fanuzzi

Associate Professor
Ph. D., 1993, Northwestern University, EnglishM.A., 1987, Northwestern University, English, Presidential FellowB.A., 1983, College of William and Mary, English and Philosophy, magna cum laude

Robert Fanuzzi, Ph. D. is 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. 

English 670:  Studies in Nineteenth Century American Literature
English 738:  Aesthetics of Meaning
English 730:  Literature and Culture of the Eighteenth Century
English 3390:  Special Topics in American Literature
English 4994:  Seminar in Themes and Genres
English 4994:  Seminar in Themes and Genres
English 3350:  American Women Writers
English 3330:  African-American Literature


Abolition’s Public Sphere. Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 2003.

and Michael Wolfe, ed.  Recovering 9/11 for New York. Newcastle:  Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014.

Articles and Reviews

“Frederick Douglass’s ‘Ever-Living Now,’” Rhetoric Review 37.1 (2018). 58-67.

Lydia Maria Child’s Abolition Democracy, and Ours,” Legacy 34.1 (2017). 25-28.

“Historical Scholarship and the Personal Guise.” Legacy 32.2 (2015).  181-184.

“’The French Name Still Haunts Our Land,’” J 19:  the Journal of the Society of Nineteenth Century Americanists 3.2.  (Fall 2015).  399-407.

“30,000 Degrees:  Steps toward the Formation of a Staten Island Higher Education Partnership,” Metropolitan Universities 26.1 (2015):  155-172.

“Abolition.”  In Keywords for American Cultural Studies.  2nd Edition.  New York:  New York University Press, 2014.

"French Connection II": Review Essay of The French Atlantic Triangle, by Christopher Miller, Castorland Journal, edited by John Galucci, and Translating Slavery, edited by

Doris Y. Kadish and Francoise Massardier-Kenny, American Literary History 26.4 (2014).  775-790.

“Introduction.”  Recovering 9/11 in New York.  Newcastle:  Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014.  1-9.

“Lincoln’s Hemispheric Relations,” in The Cambridge Companion to Abraham Lincoln.  Ed. Shirley Samuels.  Cambridge:  Cambridge UP, 2012.  183-194.

“Relevance,” Early American Literature 46.3:  (2011) 615-619.

“How Did Mixed Race Politics Enter the United States?  Lydia Maria Child’s Appeal.  ESQ:  A Journal of the American Renaissance 56.1 (2010):  71-104.

“What is an American?  The Problem of the West.”  The Humanities Review 6 (2007):  53-74. 

“Taste, Manners, and Miscegenation:  French Racial Politics in the United States.”  American Literary History 19 (2007):  573-602.

“Abolition.” In Keywords for American Cultural Studies.  Ed. Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler.  New York:  New York University Press, 2007.

Book Review, Clotel, or the Daughter of a President, edited by Robert S. Levine, Resources for American Literary Study 27 (2001):  294-297.

“Frederick Douglass’s ‘Colored Newspaper’:  Identity Politics in Black and White.”  In The Black Press:  New Historical and Literary Essays.  Ed. Todd Vogel.  New Brunswick:  Rutgers University Press, 2001.  55-70.

“The Trouble with Douglass’s Body,” American Transcendental Quarterly 13 (1999):  27-49.

“Everybody’s Faneuil Hall:  The Imaginary Institution of Democracy.” Arizona Quarterly54 (1998):  1-23.

“‘The Organ of an Individual’:  William Lloyd Garrison and The Liberator.”  Prospects:  An Annual of American Cultural Studies 23 (1998):  107-27

“Thoreau’s Urban Imagination,” American Literature 68 (1996): 321-46.

“Empire of Tears.” James Fenimore Cooper:  His Country and His Art 9 (1993): 37-51

“Schools of Abolition:  In Search of the Black University,” C-19:  The Society for Nineteenth Century Americanists, Albuquerque NM, March 2018

“Public Humanities and Community (Dis)Organizing:  African American Histories of the Present,” American Studies Association, Chicago IL, November 2017

Turning the Tables:  Lydia Maria Child, Harriet Jacobs and The Freedmen’s Book,” Society for the Study of American Women Writers, University of Bordeaux, July 2017

“Slavery’s Public Sphere: A Commentary on Elizabeth Dillon’s New World Drama:  The Performative Commons in the Atlantic World,” American Studies Association, Denver, October 2016

“The End and the Beginning of Lydia Maria Child,” Annual Convention of the American Literature Association, San Francisco, May 2016

“Humanities Lost and Found,” Society for the Study of American Women Writers Biannual Convention, Philadelphia PA, November 2015

“Every English Major Needs a Tractor License, or How to Apply the Humanities,” Ethical Culture Society of Westchester, White Plains NY November 2015

“Schools of Abolition,” Annual Convention of the American Studies Association, Toronto ON, October 2015

“Lydia Maria Child and the Contemporary,” Lydia Maria Child Social Justice Roundtable, American Literature Association, Boston MA, May 2015

“Colleges and Careers:  A Love Story,” Staten Island Economic Development Expo, Staten Island NY, May 2015

“From Pigsties to Parks and Back Again: Food Politics and the Sustainable City”, St. John’s College Dean’s Interdisciplinary Forum,” St. John’s University, New York, February 2015

“The Curricula of American Studies and the Assimilation of Immigrants,” “Recent Immigration Initiatives: Resolutions & Challenges, An Interdisciplinary Dialogue,” Center for Center for Latin  American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), St. John’s University, November 2014

“From Higher Education Outreach to College Impact:  Toward the Formation of the Staten Island Educational Partnership,” Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities Annual Meeting,  Syracuse NY, October 2014

“Plantation, the Archive, and the Market:  The Triangular Trade in Americanist Discourse,” John Carter Brown Library Bernard Bailyn Atlantic History Seminar Lecture, Providence RI, February  2014

“American Debt, French Capital,” Annual Meeting of the Charles Brockden Brown Society, Paris, October 2013

“The Campus Community Partnership and the Local Food System,” Annual Convention of Imagining America, Syracuse NY October 2013

“The Triangle Trade in Creole Patriotism:  The Travels of Moreau de St. Mery,” Columbia University Seminar in American Studies; Columbia University, February 2013.

 “Staten Island’s Antislavery Movement,” Staten Island Museum/College of Staten Island Symposium on Antislavery and the Underground Railroad on Staten Island; Staten Island Museum,   February 2013

“St. Domingue, America:  French Colonial Creole Patriotism,” Annual Convention of American Studies Association, San Juan PR, October 2012

“Rousseau’s Inequality:  European Selves, American Others,” St. John’s College Dean’s Interdisciplinary Lecture, St. John’s University, New York, March 2012

“Relevance,” Annual Convention of the American Studies Association, San Antonio, TX, October 2010

 “French Geographies of American Geography:  Core/Periphery/Nation,” Early American Borderlands, Annual Conference of the Society of Early Americanists, St. Augustine FLA May 2010

“Creolization and Americanist Discourse:  Las Casas/Raynal/Jefferson,” Annual Convention of the American Studies Association, Albuquerque, NM (also panel organizer), October 2008