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C.W. Post English Professor Thomas Fahy Stages Modern American Life


Gina Bigelow,Associate Director of Public Relations
C.W. Post Campus,
Long Island University

Brookville, N.Y. -- While celebrated for their poetry and fiction, Edna St. Vincent Millay, E. E. Cummings, and John Dos Passos's efforts as playwrights have been largely overlooked by literary scholars and theatre enthusiasts alike. Long Island University English Professor Thomas Fahy's new book Staging Modern American Life: Popular Culture in the Experimental Theatre of Millay, Cummings, and Dos Passos examines the radical impact of 1920s popular culture on their theatrical works.

"An intelligent, extremely well written study, Fahy's text expands our knowledge of the subject," explained Townsend Ludington, author of John Dos Passos: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey. "He enables us to better comprehend the non-realistic (expressionist, perhaps even post-modern) theatre in America, and to understand the writers themselves. "

Professor Fahy's work, released October 2011 by Palgrave MacMillan, has received critical acclaim for its exploration of topics such as film, burlesque, the circus, restaurant culture, minstrel shows, suburbia, automobiles, and airplanes. As theatre scholar and author Kimball King notes, "Fahy's insights are extremely perceptive, and he is not only influenced by famous critics, such as Bahktin, Cohn, Foucault, Pizer, and Nicoll, but also by major new authorities such as Bay-Cheng, Kasson, Ludington, and Wagner-Martin. A fine contribution to literary scholarship."

Thomas Fahy is an associate professor of English and director of the American Studies Program at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. He is the author of Freak Shows and the Modern American Imagination as well as three novels, and he has edited several collections on theatre, film, and television, including The Philosophy of Horror, Considering Aaron Sorkin, Considering Alan Ball, and Peering Behind the Curtain: Disability, Illness, and the Extraordinary Body in Contemporary Theatre.

For information on Professor Fahy's Staging Modern American Life and his other publications, please visit

Posted 12/14/2011

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