Thomas J. Ferraro
Professor of English
Professor Ferraro is an aficionado of the great American stuff--Emily Dickinson, Edward Hopper, the Marx Brothers, and Nina Simone--who writes on literature, film, and the performing arts. He is the author of Feeling Italian: The Art of Ethnicity in America
(NYU, 2005; winner of a 2006 American Book Award), Ethnic Passages: Literary Immigrants in 20th-Century America
(U Chicago, 1993), the editor of Catholic Lives, Contemporary America
(Duke, 1997), and a contributor to The Columbia History of the American Novel
, Scribner's Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History
, and The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature
. Contrary by temperament, at least as a scholar-critic, he is currently at work on a Marian Catholic pedagogy of the great American novel: a revisionist account of the interplay among violative self-making, transgressive sexuality and redemptive sacrifice, in an effort to recapture both the aesthetic wonder and social danger of the canonical warhorses (from Hawthorne's A Scarlet Letter
and Melville's Billy Budd
to Chopin, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Hurston) . Of course his arguments don't always turn out as projected--witness the recent accounting of Willa Cather's The Professor's House,
in which the resurgent discourse of sin
gives Ferraro, like the title character, his comeuppance.
Fall 2019 Office Hours
Mondays 2:15-3:30 pm, Thursdays 3:15-4:30 pm and by appointment.
323 Allen Building
Durham NC 27708-0015
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