Dr. Robert Fanuzzi


Dr. Robert Fanuzzi

Associate Professor

B.A., College of William and Mary

M.A., Northwestern University

Ph.D., Northwestern University


Research Focus: 18th and 19th Century American Literature; African-American Literature

Robert Fanuzzi, Ph. D. is Associate Professor of English in St. John’s College and scholar of African-American studies, 18 th and 19 th century trans-Atlantic antislavery movements, and French colonialism in the Americas. He is the author of Abolition’s Public Sphere, an analysis of the 19 th century US abolition movement, and many articles on slavery, antislavery, and patterns and cycles of racism in the US and in the Caribbean. A current book project, “The Empire Left Behind:  French Colonial Modernity in the Age of American Nationalisms” explores the legacy of French colonialism in North America and the Caribbean on the field of American studies.

Dr. Fanuzzi is also Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Civic Engagement on St. John’s Staten Island campus. In that capacity, he is an advocate and practioner of the public humanities, particularly as applied to problems of racial inequality and to the potential for black studies. 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,” an educational outreach and community partnership program based on Staten Island’s black history and ongoing African immigration. He has recently been awarded a Community Partnership Grant by the American Studies Association, In Search of the Black University: A Community Curriculum for the Pan-African Library of CANVAS Institute” to engage educational leaders and St. John’s students with a newly created black studies library. Dr. Fanuzzi thanks all students from Spring semester’s English 150: Critical Race Studies: University Edition for inspiring and informing this proposal. Dr. Fanuzzi’s public humanities partnerships and many lectures and articles on the future of higher education are the basis of a second book project, “Scholarship in Action: From the Public Humanities to Abolition Democracy.” He is also the co-editor of  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.

A winner of St. John’s University’s St. Vincent de Paul Teacher-Scholar Award, Dr. Fanuzzi teaches undergraduate courses in American literature and African-American studies to 1900 on the Staten Island campus and graduate courses on colonialism and racial capitalism, US-Haitian literature, 1960s and 70s black radicalism, 20 th and 21 st century black studies, and Critical University Studies.  He has been awarded the Vincentian Institute for Social Action Award for Academic Service Learning for his engaged, interdisciplinary courses on food studies and food justice, urban agriculture and sustainability; and black public history.