Andrew Majeske

Andrew Majeske

Associate Professor
Phone number: 
646.557.4697 (office)
Room number and address: 
7.65.11NB

Education

PhD    University of California Davis

JD       Loyola University of Chicago   

MA      Duquesne University     

BA       John Carroll University

      

Bio

Andrew Majeske, associate professor of English, received his doctorate from the University of California Davis, where he worked at the intersection of law, literature & political philosophy, and studied under Margaret Ferguson and Larry Peterman. He also holds a law degree from Loyola University of Chicago, where he studied under George Anastaplo. He was a practicing attorney from 1986 to 1997. In 2006 his book entitled Equity in English Renaissance Literature: Thomas More and Edmund Spenser was published by Routledge Press. In 2009 his edited collection Justice, Women, and Power in English Renaissance Drama, was published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

Professor Majeske’s current scholarship directly connects literary texts with contemporary political-social developments. Essays arising out of this work include:

  • "Shakespeare's As You Like It and the Problems of Relativity." In Law and the Humanities: Cultural Perspectives (2109 De Gruyter, Eds Chiara Battisti & Sidia Fiorato). pp. 173-188.

  • “Donald Trump, American Caesarism & The Legacy of Leo Strauss.” American Studies Journal 65 Web. 12 Nov. 2018. DOI 10.18422/65-07.(Gottingen, Germany). This is an "Open Access" journal, and the article can be accessed at: http://www.asjournal.org/65-2018/donald-trump-american-caesarism-and-the...  (Gottingen, Germany).

    A "Director's Cut" of this essay is available at the following link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1g9EjVv24b0fZc2H3GOgnYMhGSPCIG9Si/view?u...Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer is the literary text dealt with in this essay--the title for this essay was proposed on the day before the New Hampshire Primary in February of 2016.

  • "Women, Power & the Decline of the West: Richard Sherwin’s Ethical Wisdom, Krzysztof Koslowski’s Tricolor-Red, & Machiavelli’s Mandragola.” Pólemos (2018) 12.1, 185-20.

 

Professor Majeske is currently editing for publication three other such essays

  • "Francis Bacon's The New Atlantis & The Climate Change Crisis"
  • “Affect Theory, The Decline of the West & The Peculiar Vitality of Law & Literature”
  • “Law, Literature & the Idea of Justice: The Case of Amartya Sen v. George Anastaplo.”

 

Professor Majeske has completed and is revising for eventual publication a fiction manuscript in which, within a scaffolding inspired by Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, he weaves a narrative about Galileo's first public lecture, a 1588 address to the Florentine Academy on the assigned topic of comparing two competing geographies of Dante's Inferno.

Professor Majeske is based in the English Department, where the courses he teaches include Shakespeare and other Medieval and Early Modern literature offerings, various law and literature courses, Bible as Literature & Classical Literature. Professor Majeske also teaches in the Humanities and Justice Program where he has taught the Justice in the Western Tradition & Justice in the Non-Western Tradition courses. He has also taught the ‘Common Good’ themed seminar in John Jay’s Honor’s Program. Those students interested in going on to law school will be interested to know that in addition to his experience practicing law, he spent two years as one of the writers/test developers of the LSAT, he is currently teaching an online contracts course to masters of law students at McGeorge School of Law, and he has taught legal writing and appellate advocacy at Temple Law School. 

Course Taught

John Jay College of Criminal Justice (current):

Lit 230 Classical Literature

Lit 231 Medieval and Early Modern Literature

Lit 260 Introduction to Literary Study

Lit 305 Foundations of Literature and Law

Lit 313 Shakespeare

Lit 314 Shakespeare and Justice

Lit 327 Crime & Punishment

Lit 362 The Bible as Literature

Lit 370 Topics in Ancient Literature: Plato’s Laws

Lit 372 Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Literature

Lit 405 Senior Seminar in Literature and Law

HJS 250 Justice in the Western Tradition

HJS 310 Justice in the Non-Western Tradition

Honors 201 The Common Good

 

McGeorge School of Law (current):

Law 101: Contracts (for Masters of Law students)

 

CUNY Graduate Center:

Engl 71000/MALS 70500/WSCP 81000 English Early Modern/Renaissance Lyric Poetry

 

Drexel University (Pennoni Honor’s College):

Science, Math, and Literature

Machiavelli and Shakespeare

Law, Literature, and Film

 

Temple University Beasely School of Law:

Legal Writing & Appellate Advocacy

 

Mill College:

Shakespeare

 

University of California Davis:

ENL 043 Introductory Topics in Drama

ENL 117 Shakespeare (Middle Period)

English 1 (Expository Writing)

English 3 (Introduction to Literature)

UWP 101 (Advanced Composition)

UWP 104b (Legal Writing)

Scholarly Work

Books:

Justice, Women, and Power in English Renaissance Drama. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2009. Coeditor and contributor.

Equity in English Renaissance Literature: Thomas More and Edmund Spenser: Series: Literary Criticism and Cultural Theory. New York: Routledge Press, 2006. (edited collection)

Symposium Volume:

Majeske, A (Ed) (2010). John Jay College of Criminal Justice 2008 Literature and Law Conference Symposium. Literature and Law. University of California Press. 22.2

Recent Articles:

"Shakespeare's As You Like It and the Problems of Relativity." In Law and the Humanities: Cultural Perspectives (2109 De Gruyter, Eds Chiara Battisti & Sidia Fiorato). pp. 173-188.

“Donald Trump, American Caesarism & The Legacy of Leo Strauss.” American Studies Journal 65 Web. 12 Nov. 2018. DOI 10.18422/65-07.(Gottingen, Germany). This is an "Open Access" journal, and the article can be accessed at: http://www.asjournal.org/65-2018/donald-trump-american-caesarism-and-the...  (Gottingen, Germany).

A "Director's Cut" of this essay is available at the following link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1g9EjVv24b0fZc2H3GOgnYMhGSPCIG9Si/view?u...Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer is the literary text dealt with in this essay--the title for this essay was proposed on the day before the New Hampshire Primary in February of 2016.

"Women, Power & the Decline of the West: Richard Sherwin’s Ethical Wisdom, Krzysztof Koslowski’s Tricolor-Red, & Machiavelli’s Mandragola.”  Pólemos (2018) 12.1, 185-20.

“Unreliable Sources for Law: Dying Declarations in Shakespeare’s King John, Othello & King Lear,” Pólemos (2015)19.1, 51-60.

“The Transformation of Lady Justice in Renaissance Europe.” Turn pre-ordinance and first decree into the law of children: Sapienza giuridica nel teatro shakespeariano.) R. Ruggiero and E. Siciliani (eds) Lecce-Brescia, Pensa Multimedia, 2012 (series: "Mandala. Diogenes 'tub") pages 151-162

“Equity’s Absence: The Extremity of Claudio’s Prosecution and Bernardine’s Pardon in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, Law and Literature. University of California Press. 21.2 (Summer 2009) 169-184.

“Striking a Deal: Portia’s Trial Strategy in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice,” Justice, Women and Power, eds Andrew Majeske and Emily Doetmer Goebel, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2009, 153-173.

“Equity in Book V of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.” Law and Literature. University of California Press. 18:1 (Spring 2006) 69-99.

 

 

Research Summary

Research Summary (forthcoming conference papers and workshops):

Law, Culture & the Humanities Conference (Quinnipiac Law Schjool, North Haven, CT, March 6-7, 2020)

  • Panel Organized (Chair): Flexibility and the Law: The Role of Jury Nullification in Law and Culture.
  • Accepted Paper: “Beyond Good and Evil: Jury Nullification in Fiction and Real Life”
    • Abstract: A healthy and sustainable rule of law requires that those subject to the rule believe that the law, when applied to specific cases, produces (or at least can produce) fair and equitable outcomes. This belief needs to be engendered in a variety of ways because laws are general in design, whereas cases are specific—a disjunction Aristotle dwelt on in Book V of his Ethics, and one which has endured for two and a half millennia. Flexibility is necessary to make it appear that law can produces just results; it does so by adjusting the outcome in spite of what rigid laws may require. But such flexibility is almost always suspect, particularly in liberal democratic societies like ours. 

               One situs of flexibility in Anglo American jurisprudence is located in the jury’s power to nullify law in cases it decides. This power can be deeply problematic, however, as will be reflected in three “case studies”, two fictional, and one real, in which juries decided cases in ways contrary to the law their oaths required them to apply, and the evidence produced at trial.  The fictional situations are derived from the novels To Kill a Mockingbird and Anatomy of a Murder; in one of these, the jury rejects the law and evidence to convict the innocent Tom Robinson; in the other, the jury rejects the law and evidence to acquit the guilty Lt. Manion. The real-world case I will address involves a 2016 jury for which I was elected the foreman. 

Midwest Political Science Association Conference (Chicago, April 16-18, 2020)

  • Accepted Paper: 

    “Greta Thunberg, Climate Change, and the Need for Tyranny”

    • Abstract: 

      In 1950 Alexandre Kojève replied to Leo Strauss’ 1948 book On Tyranny with the essay “Tyranny & Wisdom.” Strauss’ book, Kojève’s essay, and Strauss’s surreply, are of immediate and profound relevance to an outgrowth of what Hannah Arendt, in her 1951 book On the Origins of Totalitarianism, called “the crisis of our times,” but which Strauss characterized as the “crisis of modernity.” Taking only the climate crisis, scientists tell us that to effectively address it, immediate, concerted and coordinated worldwide action is needed, action that will require the imposition of radical and massive social and cultural change. Liberal democracy is woefully ill-equipped to handle this crisis since it moves slowly, relying as it does upon compromise among competing factions, resulting frequently in gridlock; it is a system that divides and balances the more or less limited governmental powers amongst executive, legislative and judicial branches. The action required needs centralized and consolidated power of tremendous scope, deployed by a unified executive. That is, the political option we seem to need is authoritarian in nature, and worldwide in scope. The time has come to learn, with the help of Strauss, Kojeve & Arendt, the lessons of how, when and why authoritarian regimes arise, and how, once they do, they can be made as beneficent as possible. As Greta Thunberg said at the UN, “The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”.

       

Download C.V.