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:

  • “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

  • “Shakespeare’s As You Like It & The Problems of Relativity”
  • “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, and he has taught legal writing and appellate advocacy at Temple Law School.

Course Taught

John Jay College of Criminal Justice:

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

 

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:

“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 (Ottawa, Canada, March 22, 23, 2019)

  • Accepted Paper #1: “Reading the Trump Presidency: Aristophanes’ The Frogs, Michael Anton’s “The Flight 93 Election,” and the “White Washing” of American Democracy”
    • Abstract: Former National Security Council member Michael Anton, the Donald Trump enthusiast and author of The Flight 93 Election essay, has, in the wake of his (voluntary) departure from the Trump Administration pursued an agenda that includes implementing various means of restricting the ability of immigrants and minority groups to vote, and undermining the 14th amendment’s establishment of birth right citizenship. Anton’s agenda and his means of promoting it, which cannot be separated from his vigorous efforts to get Donald Trump elected, are brought starkly into focus when Anton’s efforts are examined in light of Aristophanes’ underlying objective in his play The Frogs. The objective of The Frogs is to persuade the Athenians to turn power in Athens over to the despotic Alcibiades, and to reintroduce into Athenian society the arch conservativism of Aeschylus, whose guiding motive is to make men love war. This change is needed in order to turn the tide of the war with Sparta, and to make Athens great again. To accomplish this objective, The Frogs must persuade the Athenians to reject the cosmopolitanism of Euripides, which, among other things, allowed Athenian women some voice in public affairs. The strong implication, both in Aristophanes’ The Frogs & in Anton’s The Flight 93 Election is that what is needed to save the Polis/Nation, is an overthrowing of democracy in favor of despotic rule. Implicitly, both Aristophanes and Anton defend their efforts as being patriotically motivated—they claim to be doing what they must to save their countries.

 

  • Accepted Paper #2: “A woman fit to rule a kingdom:” Machiavelli’s Mandragola, and Affect Theory’s Power to Combat “Toxic Masculinity” in the “#MeToo” Era.
    • Abstract: In the Mandragola, Machiavelli’s only original comedy, the main female character, Lucrezia, is compelled by an elaborate fraud to have sex with a man not her husband in order to cure her infertility. The main point of the play, from the perspective of Machiavelli’s political project, is teaching men how to contain and subjugate a remarkable woman, one who, according to Machiavelli’s alter ego, the character Ligurio, is “fit to rule a kingdom,” a women who cannot be subdued to the will of men simply by force. Less potent women, Machiavelli suggests elsewhere, can be controlled by force alone (Prince Ch 25). This paper will explore the potential for affect theory to change radically the behavior of certain men, in a comparable way to what Machiavelli teaches men to accomplish with regards to women like Lucrezia. That is, this paper will explore the potential of affect theory, when scientifically harnessed and applied, to treat what is commonly referred to as “toxic masculinity” at a precognitive level before it can cause problems for society. The vehicle for this exploration will be an engagement with a contemporary novel, Naomi Alderman’s The Power, and an analysis of the problems that are likely to arise when a gendered power dynamic (assuming here a gender binary) suddenly shifts.

 

Midwest Political Science Association Conference (Chicago, April 4-6, 2019)

  • Accepted Paper: 

    “’Why Slavery is Evil?’ or ‘Why Not Slavery?’”: Harry V. Jaffa’s Complex Legacy”

    • Abstract: 

      Harry Jaffa’s works on Abraham Lincoln firmly align him with Lincoln’s position that slavery is evil because it violates the Declaration of Independence’s universally expressed principles that the only just, the only legitimate government, is one that derives from the consent of those governed, and that such consent is necessary because all people are equal in the crucial political respect. But some of Jaffa’s followers, especially those affiliated with the Claremont Institute, have advocated strict restrictions on immigration and voting, and are proposing, inter alia, the outright revocation of birth right citizenship. These followers also seem to have aligned themselves with nationalist elements of the so called “alt right,” if not even the “white” nationalist wing of this movement. These followers, in brief, seem to have embraced the philosophy of John C. Calhoun and his successors, a philosophy Jaffa argued against his entire career, and one which he definitively exposed and rejected in his final book, A New Birth of Freedom. The question this paper will address is whether Harry Jaffa’s legacy should be what is evident is his writings, or whether it should be tarnished by the words and actions of a portion of his followers.