Faculty Profile

Edward Merwin

Part-time Associate Professor of Religion; Director of The Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life(2001)

Contact Information


Asbell Center


His teaching interests are in American Jewish history and popular culture, with a particular focus on the Lower East Side and Yiddish culture. His current research centers on Jewish-themed Broadway plays, and on the history of the Jewish deli in America.


  • B.A., Amherst College, 1990
  • M.A., Hunter College of the City University of New York, 1998
  • Ph.D., 2002

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

ENGL 366 Modern African-American Drama
This course traces the evolution of African-American drama from the early twentieth century to the present, with particular emphasis on how both black and white dramatists have grappled with sweeping changes in the social and political context of African-American life. Among the plays that we will study are George Gershwin's opera "Porgy and Bess," Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun," Ntozke Shange's "for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf," August Wilson's "Fences," and George C. Wolfe's "The Colored Museum." The course will include a field trip to an African-American play or musical in New York or Philadelphia.