Meet Dr. Fanuzzi

Dr. Fanuzzi began teaching at St. John’s University’s Staten Island campus in 1993 and has been teaching on both the Staten Island campus and Queens campus since 1999.  Dr. Fanuzzi is currently Assistant Chair of the English department and is the first English professor to be awarded the Academic Service-Learning Faculty Award in 2012 for the fascinating and important service projects that he organizes for students in his courses at the Staten Island campus.

Dr. Fanuzzi teaches American literature, African American literature and Food Studies, and his scholarly expertise is in the slave trade and anti-slavery movements of the Americas.  In many courses, he has examined American literature’s trans-Atlantic, Latin American, and French Caribbean ties using both colonial and post-colonial perspectives. His first book, Abolition’s Public Sphere, was on the US abolitionist movement, but he has since published many essays and is writing his second book on the colonial and civil rights politics of race mixing in the Americas.

Dr. Fanuzzi’s approach to learning and teaching has always been interdisciplinary, so as to understand a topic from multiple perspectives.  He advocates for literature that teaches students how to act and make an impact on social problems.  In Dr. Fanuzzi’s ENG 2100 course, for instance, students study both food culture and food history but also public policy, urban planning, and public health issues relating to immigrants and the poor.  With the benefit of community partnerships with City Harvest and Snug Harbor’s Heritage Farm, Dr. Fanuzzi also takes his students into the fields, literally, helping a new generation of urban farmers and learning how non-profit organizations work.   He has said that the topic of food is a great way to engage English students, and the humanities, in their local community.  His senior seminar on African-American literature is currently working on a service project with Sandy Ground Historical Museum, a local museum commemorating the first settlement of freed slaves in North America.

Dream future book title: “Why an English Major Needs a Tractor License”

What students should know about Dr. Fanuzzi: He is constantly inventing new approaches and new career possibilities for English majors.  He is really devoted to reinventing literary studies to show its impact on the world and give students a chance to make an impact.  Please see Dr. Fanuzzi if you’re an English major who would love to teach but who would also want to know the incredible value of an English degree in any career.

Books he recommends: Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History, and Walter Mignolo’s The Idea of Latin America.

About Steve Mentz 661 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and early modern literature at St. John's in New York City.

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