Michael Catanzaro

Assistant Professor Michael Catanzaro

Michael Catanzaro, an Assistant Professor of English, teaches courses in composition and literature and is a member of the graduate faculty. Professor Catanzaro's research interests include Nineteenth Century American and British literature with a focus on gay issues. He has presented at national and international conferences and has published articles on Victorian poetry, fiction, and drama. He is a member of the English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, and the Spanish Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi.

Professor Catanzaro is very proud that his article "Sexual Literary Freedom vs. Societal Hypocrisy and Ignorance: The Artistic Challenge" was included in the Studies in English Literatures collection entitled Decadence: Morality and Aesthetics in British Literature edited by Paul Fox. His most recent publication is a book of poems entitled Beating Hearts: Expressions of Life. Both of these books are available in the library at Tennessee State University.

Currently, he is at work on a book-length manuscript that is a comparative study of selected representative works of British and North American Victorian authors as a continuing exploration of writings that express the gay presence as an active part of Victorian society and culture and illustrate the development of the emerging gay voice from implicit to explicit in an encoded text. This study applies a reader-response approach and explores the progression of understanding from real author to real reader, examining the encoded way in which the real author relies on the knowledge of the real reader to decode his message through a process of anagnorisis (recognition not only of a person but also what that person represents) or camp (an ironic attitude that involves analysis and exaggeration by people who are willing to make fun of themselves) since the works of literature discussed can be read as marked by consciousness of their probable reception. This study concludes with the importance of removing qualifying labels such as homosexual or heterosexual as an introduction to a discourse on literary texts.


August 2011

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