Michael Rectenwald


Master Teacher of Liberal Studies Program

Ph.D Carnegie Mellon University- Literary and Cultural Studies

M.A. English Literature, Case Western Reserve University

B.A., English Literature, University of Pittsburgh

Area of Interests: History and philosophy of science; secularism; science and literature; future(s) of science and technology; composition theory and pedagogy

Course(s) Taught: Cultural Foundations II & III, Intro to STS, Writing I & II


    Research Challenge Grant Recipient, fall 2014.
    Research Challenge Grant Recipient, summer 2012.
    NYU Curricular Development Challenge Fund Grant Recipient, summer 2011.
    Technology Academy Grant, summer 2011.
    Research Challenge Grant Recipient, summer 2010.
    NYU Curricular Development Challenge Fund Grant Recipient, summer 2009.

Intellectual Autobiography

Teaching Statement:

Over the course of sixteen years of teaching, I have found that working with students has proven to be the key to my own scholarship and intellectual life. I also believe that I serve students as a conduit, not merely to their disciplinary futures, but more importantly to their development as critically engaged and culturally literate citizens and human beings. I see the classroom as a forum for students to practice the communicative and interpretive skills necessary for life and work in evolving, complex societies. My class meetings are scheduled conversations in which all are invited participants expected to contribute.

In my teaching of writing within NYU Liberal Studies and Global Liberal Studies (GLS), I work with students to help them envisage writing as means of questioning, problem-posing, analyzing, synthesizing, and contributing to academic discourses. I believe that the most effective learning happens when students are invited to actively produce their educations, rather than when they are treated as passive recipients of information. I ask my students to envision and position writing as the cornerstone in this active process of discovery and creation.

In my Sophomore Approaches seminars within GLS, I encourage students to become active theorists of their cultural and social worlds, producing explanations of various aspects of culture and society while drawing on theoretical models as diverse as psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism, post-structuralism, semiotics, post-colonialism, the sociology of scientific knowledge, and media studies.


Associate Editor, International Agnostic Journal.

Peer Reviewer, Configurations, The John Hopkins University Press.

Member, Modern Languages Association.

Member, The Dickens Universe, The University of California, Santa Cruz.

Treasurer, The American Friends of the Charles Dickens Museum



Rectenwald, Michael. Secularism, Science and Religion in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Houndsmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK; New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (Under contract.)

Rectenwald, Michael and Rochelle Almeida, Eds. Global Secularisms in a Post-Secular Age. Boston: De Gruyter. (Under contract.)

Rectenwald, Michael and Lisa Carl. Academic Writing, Real World Topics. Peterborough, Ont: Broadview Press. (Forthcoming, January 2015)

Rectenwald, Michael. "Secularism." George Eliot in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. July 2013. PP 271-278.

Rectenwald, Michael. "Secularism and the cultures of nineteenth-century scientific naturalism." The British Journal for the History of Science. 46.2 (June 2013): 231-254. (Copyright, British Society for the History of Science.)

Rectenwald, Michael, "The Singularity and Socialism.” Insurgent Notes: Journal of Communist Theory and Practice. October 5, 2013.

Rectenwald, Michael. "Postmodernism, the Academic Left, and the Crisis of Capitalism." Insurgent Notes: Journal of Communist Theory and Practice. March 11, 2013.
Rectenwald, Michael. "Craig on God and Morality." Co-authored with Thomas W. Smythe. International Philosophical Quarterly. Vol. 51, No. 3, Issue 203 (September 2011): 331-338.

Rectenwald, Michael. "Local Histories, Broader Implications:" Review of Patricia Donahue and Gretchen Flesher Moon, eds. Local Histories: Reading the Archives of Composition. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007. Series in Composition, Literacy and Culture. College Composition and Communication. Vol. 60, No. 2 (December 2008): W53-W57.

Rectenwald, Michael. "Darwin's Ancestors: The Evolution of Evolution." The Victorian Web. December, 2008.

Rectenwald, Michael. "The Construction and Deconstruction of Science in Middlemarch." The Victorian Web. December, 2008.

Rectenwald, Michael. “Reading Around the Kids.” Constance Coiner and Diana Hume George, eds., The Family Track: Keeping Your Faculties while You Mentor, Nurture, Teach, and Serve. University of Illinois Press, 1998, pp. 107-13.

Popular and Creative:

Rectenwald, Michael. "Launching Pad." Ductsorg RSS. N.p., Issue 31. 01 June 2013.

Breach: Collected Poems, Apogee Publishing, 2013

The Thief and other Stories, Apogee Publishing, 2013.

The Beat Generation Meets The E-Generation,” review of Orpheus Emerged by Jack Kerouac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sunday, February 11, 2001.

Who's afraid of a Woolf Biography? Scholarly, Feminist Examination of Writer's Life Discards Romantic Bravado,” review of Virginia Woolf by Hermione Lee, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sunday, August 24, 1997.

Milton Finds and Loses Paradise in the New World,” A review of Milton In America by Peter Ackroyd, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sunday, July 13, 1997.

The Landscape Of Yeats' Life Emerges From A Personal Perspective,” review of W.B. Yeats: The Man And The Milieu by Keith Alldritt, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sunday, June 8, 1997.

An Apprentice's Appreciation: Learning And Growing As A Poet, With Allen Ginsberg For A Guide: A Eulogy for Allen Ginsberg,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sunday, April 20, 1997.

The Eros of the Baby Boom Eras, Bethesda, MD: Apogee Books, l991 (Poetry).

"The Eros of the Baby Boom Eras," The New York Quarterly, 44, 1990.

Poems appeared in Pig Iron Press, 13 (1987).

Professional website: http://www.michaelrectenwald.com
Blog: http://www.apogeepublishing.com/blog/
Updated on 11/17/2014