Kim F. Hall, Ph.D., award-winning author and Renaissance scholar, will be the first occupant of the Mullarkey Chair in English Literature, the University’s first chair in the humanities. “The addition of Kim Hall as the English department’s first endowed chair bridges the historical divide between the early and late modern periods, enhancing the department’s strengths,” said Christopher GoGwilt, Ph.D., associate professor of English and department chairperson. Hall comes to Fordham from Georgetown University, where she was an associate professor of English specializing in Renaissance cultural, feminist and race studies.
Her book, Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England (Cornell University Press, 1995), was named an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice magazine. The book uses black feminist thought to examine early modern literary, visual and historical materials. Hall received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990 and her bachelor’s degree in political science and English from Hood College in 1983. She is currently working on two books.
The first is an edition of William Shakespeare’s Othello for the Bedford St. Martin’s Text and Contexts series, which combines primary historical texts and contemporary critical methodologies, and the other is titled A Taste of Empire: Women and Material Culture in Early Modern England, which examines the cultural effects of the sugar trade in 17th-century England and its Caribbean colonies. The Mullarkey Chair was made possible by a generous gift from the late Thomas F. X. Mullarkey (FCO ’54, LAW ’59), who served as chair of Fordham’s President’s Club, the Fordham University Campaign and the University’s Board of Trustees.
Initially, the Mullarkey endowment enabled the English department to seek a visiting Mullarkey Fellow in the spring of 1998. That fellowship was also awarded to Hall. In 1999, a search committee began looking for a full-time occupant for the chair and Hall was selected from among six finalists.