American Studies Faculty

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Faculty Highlights

Brian Torff

New Music: New Duke's Brian Torff (professor of music and American Studies) funk style composition "Workin' On a Bassline" honoring jazz bassist Milt Hinton's journey from the south to fame. Driving horns with vocals by lead singer Darryl Tookes with Torff.

 Tracks from New Duke’s recording can be heard on their


Peter Bayers

“Reconstructing Native Masculinity in Chris Eyre’s Smoke Signals,”  Western Literature Association, Victoria, BC, November 2014. 

Forthcoming Publications: 
“A New American Adam? White Western Masculinity and American Indians in Dan O’Brien’s Buffalo for the Broken Heart: Restoring Life to a Black Hills Ranch,” WAL:  Western American Literature, forthcoming, Issue 49.4, 2015. 

“From Father to Son:  Affirming Lakota Manhood in Luther Standing Bear’s My People the Sioux (1928)” SAIL: Studies in American Indian Literatures, forthcoming, Issue 26.4, 2015. 

Mary Ann Carolan

 ‌Dr. Carolan wrote a book on the influence of Italian cinema on American film.  She presented The Transatlantic Gaze:  Italian Cinema, American Film in the United States (New York, New Haven, and Fairfield)  and Italy (Florence and Rome). The San Francisco Book Review reviewed the work favorably. This book was the basis for her recent American Studies seminar, "Visions of Italy and America in Film" that was taught in spring 2014.

Philip Eliasoph 

Presented in collaboration with the University of California's Grateful Dead Archive at UCSanta Cruz and the San Jose State College, the four day conference Nov-5-9 gathered over 120 academics, film and media artists, original band members, journalists and surviving members of the Sixties cultural revolution in SF Bay area.  Professor Eliasoph's presented "The Art History of the Grateful Dead: Principles, Methods and Zeitgeist Contexts" and chaired a panel with other artists and art historians. 

Nicholas Meriwether, Grateful Dead Archivist and Senior Editor of the University of California Press publications "Dead Studies" organized the programs.  Meriwether will be speaking at Fairfield's American Studies conference on March 28th. 

Martha S. LoMonaco

 ‌"American Theater in a Humble Connecticut Barn," on the history of the Westport Country Playhouse will be featured in the spring 2015 issue of CONNECTICUT EXPLORED magazine. 

Earlier this year, Marti directed Shakespeare's MEASURE FOR MEASURE as a punk rock adventure set in New York City in the 1970s and 80s. American Studies hosted a post-show talkback discussing the parallels between the play and New York's economic and political decline of that period as well as the larger phenomenon of Shakespeare in American culture. She also hosted New York graffiti artist, Sharp (Aaron Goodstone), for a lecture on graffiti and street art of the 1970s and 80s, after which he led company members and American Studies graduate students in an interactive graffiti workshop, which resulted in the painting of the stage set. 

Elizabeth Petrino

0000_faculty-profile_petrino_06062017Recent publications:
Jesuit and Feminist Education: Intersections in Teaching and Learning for the Twenty-First Century, co-edited with Jocelyn Boryczka.  New York: Fordham University Press, 2012.

Winner of the Alpha Sigma Nu Award for 2013 in “Professional Studies.”        

 “‘The Personal Is Political’: At the Intersections of Feminist and Jesuit Education,” Jesuit and Feminist Education: Intersections in Teaching and Learning for the Twenty-First Century, co-edited with Jocelyn Boryczka.  New York: Fordham University Press, 2012. 75-85. 

Winner of the CT ACE Award for "Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award" with Jocelyn Boryczka in 2014. 

Lydia Willsky-Ciollo

0000_faculty-profile_willsky-ciollo_06062017‌Welcome the new faculty member Dr. Lydia Willsky-Ciollo, assistant professor of religious studies.  

Brief Bio: 
Dr. Willsky-Ciollo is an historian of religion in America, specializing in religion of the "long" 19th century.  In her courses she seeks to explore how secular, political, literary and cultural historical narratives interact with the lives and stories of religion and religious people in America.  She also seeks to explore how diversity based on gender, race, ethnicity, class, and belief complicates the telling of American religious history. 

Book Project: Between Scripture and Progress: American Unitarianism and the Protestant Search for Religious Authority, due to Lexington Books May 2015.  

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