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Robert Pattison

Professor of English

A.B., Yale UniversityM.A., University of SussexPh.D., Columbia University


Robert Pattison joined the faculty of English at Southampton College of Long Island University in 1978. Dr. Pattison served as director of the Humanities Division from 1992 to 2003, when he relocated to the Brooklyn Campus, where he is currently professor of English. He was for many years president of the Southampton College Federation of Teachers. He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations and is the author of five books, including “On Literacy” (Oxford University Press, 1982), “The Triumph of Vulgarity” (Oxford University Press, 1987) and “The Great Dissent: John Henry Newman and the Liberal Heresy” (Oxford University Press, 1991).


British Literature, History of Ideas


  • Author, “The Great Dissent: John Henry Newman and the Liberal Heresy” (1991)
  • Author, “The Triumph of Vulgarity” (1987)
  • Author, “On Literacy” (1982)
  • Author, “Tennyson and Tradition” (1980)
  • Author, “The Child Figure in English Literature” (1978)
  • Author, “Can Education Civilize?” published in Academic Questions (2004)
  • Author, articles on Walter Bagehot, Evolution, Football, Edmund Gosse, A.E. Housman, Lord John Russell and Leslie Stephen, published in The Encyclopedia of the Victorian Era (2004)
  • Author, “Rock and Romanticism: On the Road to Nowhere,” published in “Vi har alltid vært romantiske: En bok om det moderne” (2001)
  • Co-author, "A Guide to the Pronunciation of the Scientific Names for Harmful Algae," published in The Journal of Applied Phycology (2000)
  • Author, "The Mean Machine," published in The Nation (1988)
  • Author, "The Stupidity Crisis," published in the ADE Bulletin (1988)
  • Author, “Review: E.D. Hirsch's ‘Cultural Literacy and Allan Bloom's Closing of the American Mind,’” The Nation (1987)
  • Author, "Connect the Dots," published in The Nation (1987)
  • Author, "A Mirror for Magistrates," published in The Nation (1986)
  • Author, "Literacy: Confessions of a Heretic," published in “Language, Schooling, and Society” (l985)
  • Author, "Trollope among the Textuaries," published in “Reconstructing Literature” (1983)
  • Author, “Review: Various books on Edwin Drood,” published in the Dickens Studies Newsletter (1983)
  • "Gray's `Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat': A Rationalist's Aesthetic," published in the University of Toronto Quarterly (1979/80)
  • Author, "John Henry Newman and the Arian Heresy," published in Mosaic (1978)
  • Author, "Being a Disquisition wherin were told whats happening to english," published in The New York Times (1974)


  • Recipient, Guggenheim Fellowship for a revaluation of John Henry Newman (1986-87)
  • Recipient, Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to complete “On Literacy”
  • Recipient, Guggenheim Fellowship to complete “On Literacy” (1980-81, declined)
  • Recipient, Long Island University Trustees Award for Scholarship (1979, 1985)