Richard Santana Headshot

Richard Santana

Associate Professor

Department of English
College of Liberal Arts

585-475-4414
Office Location

Richard Santana

Associate Professor

Department of English
College of Liberal Arts

Education

AA, LaGuardia Community College; BA, City College of New York; MA, Hunter College; Ph.D., City University of New York Graduate School and University Center

Bio

My research interests vary broadly depending on who asks and when. I have recently publish a book with my colleague, Greg Erickson on religion and American popular culture, which interrogates eruptions of religious tropes in diverse cultural productions from advertising to video games. I am most interested in the ways in which language, broadly defined, influences and sometimes shapes perception, and ultimately reality. My next project will examine the development of science in the early modern and entlightment period as related to what I see as a shifting function of language.

585-475-4414

Currently Teaching

ENGL-210
3 Credits
In this course, students will study literature, movements, and writers within their cultural contexts and in relation to modes of literary production and circulation. Students will hone their skills as attentive readers and will engage with literary analysis and cultural criticism. The class will incorporate various literary, cultural, and interdisciplinary theories--such as psychoanalytic theory, feminist and queer theories, critical race studies, and postcolonial theory. Using these theoretical frameworks in order to study texts, students will gain a strong foundation for analyzing the ways literary language functions and exploring the interrelations among literature, culture, and history. In doing so, they will engage issues involving culture, identity, language, ethics, race, gender, class, and globalism, among many others.
ENGL-302
3 Credits
The short story has been one of the most dynamic and innovative genres in literature. This course uses the genre of the short story to provide material for critical commentary and cultural understanding. Students read a variety for short stories to develop an understanding of the form and its impact on culture.
ENGL-304
3 Credits
From Oedipus Rex to Hamlet dramatic characters have come to represent human archetypes for millennia. Drama captures both current sociological trends and the universal everyman. In this course students will explore the literary elements that comprise the genre of Drama. Drama is the only literary art that requires an extra step to come to full expression. Playwrights, unlike the novelists or poets, create their work to be performed by others. In this course, students will read a selection of plays and discuss questions of historical relevance, reception, and ask why this form of literature has been so enduring and socially potent.
ENGL-308
3 Credits
In this course students will read, study, and discuss some of Shakespeare's dramatic work in an attempt to determine the nature of his significance. What political and institutional factors account for the reverence accorded to Shakespeare? In addition to reading a range of Shakespeare’s plays, the course will develop deeper understandings of contemporary literary theory and practices that allow various interpretations of these plays. The approach will be comparative and reflect on the influence and effect of Shakespeare’s work on contemporary culture. Attention will be paid to issues of gender, historicity, iconicity and textual analysis among others
ENGL-309
3 Credits
This course explores the evolution of an influential literary form ( the short story, drama, poetry, autobiographical literature, or the novel). Reading a series of variations on this literary form, likely bridging cultural or historical contexts or themes, the course develops critical perspectives and artistic insights into this genre of writing. Criticism and theory appropriate to the genre will be discussed as a way to understand the form, its social functions, and its cultural and political significance. The course can be taken up to two times, for a total of 6 semester credit hours, as long as the topics are different.
ENGL-325H
3 Credits
A critical examination of themes, topics, theories and practices in a literary or writing studies area associated with existing courses in the English curriculum, or with a special topics area. The approach to this literary or writing studies topic will be specially geared to honors students and others who wish to participate in a more in-depth and rigorous exploration of a literary or writing set of topics.
ENGL-418
3 Credits
This course provides an in-depth look at literary giants and the masterpieces of prose or poetry they have created; it's an opportunity to see the role they played both within the context of their own time and within the larger span of literary history. These great authors confront key questions of modernity that continue to occupy us to this day; they ask the question of what it means to be human and explore fundamental human themes. They give us a fresh perspective on the past and on ourselves.