Josh Gidding




1988-94: Ph.D., English, University of Southern California.

Major field of concentration: English Romantic Literature.


1986-88: M.A., English, University of Southern California.


1972-76: B.A., Classics (High Honors and General Academic Distinction), University of California, Berkeley.


1969-72: Classical Diploma (Honors), Phillips Exeter Academy.



“Byron After Wordsworth: Byron’s Poetic Relation to Wordsworth”.  Identifies and interprets Byron’s poetic response to the poetry of Wordsworth.  Directed by Peter J. Manning.



Fall 2017-Fall 2018: Adjunct Instructor, Dept. of English, Highline College.  Courses taught: English Composition and Introduction to Creative Writing.


Fall 2016: Lecturer, Program in Writing and Rhetoric, Stony Brook University.  Courses taught: Composition.


1997-2016: Professor and Chair, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor, Dept. of English, Dowling College.  Courses taught included Creative Writing (Introductory and Advanced, Screenwriting, Fiction Writing, Creative Nonfiction, Blogging, Horror & Fantasy, Playwriting), Composition (Introductory and Advanced), Literature (British, American, European, World, Classical and Biblical), First-Year Experience, and English Grammar.


1994-97: Visiting Assistant Professor, College of the Holy Cross.  Courses taught included Creative Writing, Composition, and a wide range of English, American and World Literature.


1989-93: Assistant Lecturer and Writing Instructor, Thematic Option Program (an interdisciplinary honors program in the Humanities), University of Southern California.  Courses taught included Composition and a range of Classical, Biblical, English and World Literature.



2019: “Of Cider-Jugs and Sunbeams: Wordsworthian Reflection on Autobiography and Memory”, Entropy Magazine (March 14, 2019).

“Narrative Care”: Review of International Perspectives on Reminiscence, Life Review and Life Story Work, ed. Faith Gibson.  Published on Feb. 26, 2019 on

Completed essays: “My Special Place”; “On the Desire for Validation”; “The Dioramic Imagination”; “My Exceptionalism”.


2018: “The Light of Homer”, AGNI Magazine (blog), Oct. 29, 2018.

Completed essays: “The Conversion” “The Four Mornings”, “The Irrecoverable”, “Living in the Past”, “On Not Being a Genius”, “The Purveyor”.


2017: “On the Desire for Future Biographers”, AGNI Magazine (blog), April 10, 2017.

Completed essays: “Unpublished”, “My Facebook Problem”, “A Biographical Fantasia”, “The Gift”.


2016: completion of trilogy book manuscript, Out From Under the Rug: A Post-American Autobiography (consisting of 1. Failure: An Autobiography, 2. The Widower: An Afterlife, and 3. Shame: A Transgression)

Completed essays: “Bloody Stumps and Donald Trump”; “The End of the Minor Period”; “My Racism”; “My Minordom”; “Carlo Agonistes”; “Joßche”; “Self-Abuse”.


2015: Shame: A Transgression (completed book manuscript, represented by Straus Literary Agency, New York/San Francisco)


2014: “The Impossible Writer”: Review of Franz Kafka: The Poet of Shame and Guilt, by Saul Friedlander.  Published on on Jan. 12, 2014.


2013:  Attendance at River Teeth Creative Nonfiction Conference at Ashland University, Ohio (May 2013).  Manuscript conference on The Widower’s Guide to the Afterlife: A Memoir (completed manuscript) with Joe Mackall, Editor of River Teeth.

Read chapter from The Widower’s Guide at faculty research presentation, Dowling College (April, 2013).


2012: Presented revised chapter of The Widower’s Guide at “Summer Literary Seminars” (sponsored by Concordia University) in Vilnius, Lithuania.  (Seminar leader: Ander Monson.)  Manuscript completed and accepted for representation by Jonah Straus Literary Agency (Manhattan and San Francisco).


2011: Work on manuscript then entitled The Afterlife: A Widower’s Memoir.  Presented chapter, “The Lonely Landscapes of My Dreams”, at Nonfiction Writing Workshop held at Norman Mailer Writing Center, Provincetown, MA (Aug. 30- Sept. 2).  Workshop leader: J. Michael Lennon.

Made presentation, “Bardo Themes in The Afterlife”, at workshop, “Buddhism and the Rhetoric of Modernity”, at University of Massachusetts, Boston  (June 30).


2010: Review of Memoir: A History, by Ben Yagoda (published on on March 9, 2010).


2009: Review of Death in the Classroom: Writing about Love and Loss, by Jeffrey Berman (published on on June 30, 2009).

Organized panel presentation and discussion, “Autobiography in the Classroom”, at 2nd Annual Writing Conference at Suffolk County Community College (April 25).


2008: “On Not Being Proust: An Essay in Literary Failure”, AGNI Magazine 67 (Spring 08), 126-133.  (Listed as a “Notable Essay of 2008” in Best American Essays, 2009).

Gave presentation on “Using Blackboard to Teach Writing” at 1st Annual Creative Writing Festival at Suffolk County Community College (April).

Gave presentation on William Blake’s poetry at Sayville Rotary Club (February).


2007: Failure: An Autobiography (London & New York: Cyan Books, 2007).


2006: “On the Desire for Future Biographers” (paper delivered at the “Narrative Matters” conference at Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, June 2006).

“Lives of the Philosophers” (book review of Autobiography as Philosophy: The Philosophical Uses of Self-Presentation, eds. Mathien & Wright, on


2004-2006: Writing of manuscript of Failure.


2003: “The Science, and Art, of Consciousness” (review of David Lodge’s Consciousness and the Novel: Connected Essays, published on

“Telling It Like It Wasn’t” (review of James Olney’s Memory & Narrative: The Weave of Life-Writing, published on


2002: “HyperProust: The recherche as Hypertext”, in Proust in Perspective: Visions and Revisions, eds. Armine Kotin Mortimer and Katherine Kolb (Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2002), 271-280.

The Bohemian Period (completed novel manuscript).


2001: “The Book of Life (and Vice Versa)” (review of recent works on and by Marcel Proust, published on

Comments on Proust, Wordsworth and the novel in Partisan Review, vol. 68, no. 1 (Winter 2001).


2000: “Fathers and Sons in Mitteleuropa: Byron’s Werner, Kafka and Freud,” Byron East and West: Proceedings of the 24th International Byron Conference (Charles University, Prague: 2000), 201-211.

“Squeezing the Slave Out” (review of Truth Comes in Blows: A Memoir, by Ted Solotaroff), published on

“HyperProust: A la recherche as a HyperText” (paper delivered at “Proust 2000 Conference”, University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign).


1998: “Byron’s Werner, Kafka and Freud: Fathers and Sons in Mitteleuropa, 1822-1924” (paper delivered at 24th Annual Byron Conference, Charles University, Prague).


1996: “ ‘The Thorn’ in Byron’s Side: Wordsworth and the Preface to Don Juan”, The Byron Journal 24 (1996), 52-58.

Annotations in British Literature: 1780-1830, eds. Richard E. Matlak and Anne K. Mellor (Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich).


1995: “Byron, Wordsworth and the Future of Romantic Poetics” (paper delivered at NASSR Conference, University of Maryland).

“Wordsworth and the Difficulty of History” (paper delivered at the ACR conference, Marquette University).


1990: “First Snowfall” (short memoir), in Transitions: Exeter Remembered, 1961-1987.


1987: “The Passion of Dodo” (short story), in Crosscurrents.


1980: The Old Girl (novel; Holt, Rinehart and Winston).



Dec. 8, 2009, Boston University.  Invited by AGNI Magazine (Sven Birkerts, Editor) to read essay, “On the Desire for Future Biographers”.  (Other guest speakers included Amy Hempel, Holly Pettit and Ravi Shankar.)


Feb. 2008.  Radio interview about Failure with Maurice Boland on the “Maurice Boland Show” on Radio Europa, Marbella, Spain.


Jan. 2008.  Reading from Failure at South Huntington Public Library.


Nov. 7, 2007.  Reading from Failure at The Book Revue, Huntington, NY.


Oct. 3, 2007.  Reading from Failure at Stony Brook University (Southampton campus), “Writers Speak” series.


Sept. 24, 2007.  Live radio interview about Failure with Larry Mantle, host of “Air Talk”, KPCC (Los Angeles).



2008: PRIDE Teaching Award, Dowling College.

10-Year Service Award, Dowling College.


1993: Virginia V. Middleton Dissertation Grant, University of Southern California.


1993: Distinguished Teaching Award, Thematic Option Honors Program, University of Southern California.


1988: High Pass, MA Screening Exam, University of Southern California.


1986-89: University Merit Fellowship, University of Southern California.



Creative Writing; Autobiography and Memoir; Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century British, European and American literature; Medieval British and European literature; Classical and Biblical literature; Literature and Education; Literature and Philosophy.



From 1990 to 1992 I tutored inner-city children, young adults and adults in East L.A. in English-language reading and writing, and in word-processing.  From 1992-94 I volunteered as a writing tutor in the Neighborhood Academic Initiative, a community-outreach program run by the University of Southern California, aimed at preparing inner-city junior-high and high-school students for entrance to college.



Before entering graduate school, I worked for five and a half years (1981-86) as a Story Analyst (or “reader”) at Warner Brothers Pictures.  After entering graduate school, I continued working as a Story Analyst at MGM (1987, 1993-94), Columbia Pictures (1988), and Paramount Pictures (1989).



Speaking and reading knowledge of French and Italian; reading knowledge of Latin and Greek; some knowledge of Sanskrit.



Association of Writers and Writing Programs

Modern Language Association

New York State United Teachers (Dowling College Chapter)




Prof. Monica Lemoine, Chair, Dept. of English, Highline College,


Prof. Matt Schwisow, Acting Chair, Dept. of English, Highline College,


Dr. Peter Manning, Professor, Dept. of English, Stony Brook University,


Dr. Kristina Lucenko, Director, Program of Writing and Rhetoric, Stony Brook University,


Dr. Donald Beahm, formerly Associate Professor, Political Science Dept., Dowling College (402) 975-2155


Dr. Andrew Karp, formerly Professor, English Dept., Dowling College (631) 723-3250


Dr. Susan Rosenstreich, Professor Emerita, Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literature, Dowling College  (631) 734-6961

© Josh  Gidding

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