The Department of English
Phone: (646) 312-4008
Donald Mengay is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and Denver, Colorado, where he worked in factory and construction jobs before deciding in his mid-twenties to return to school full-time. Having studied painting for a year at Kent State University, photography at the Willoughby School of Fine Arts, and languages on a part-time basis at Borromeo College, he went on to earn degrees at Metropolitain State College in Denver (BA, Psychology), Denver University (MA, English) and New York University (PhD, Comparative Literature).
His research, which centers around representations of the body in literature, has been influenced primarily by his studies in art, but it has also been shaped significantly by post-structuralist feminist, race and queer theories of the 1980s and 90s. Moreover, he has learned several languages, which he continues to study and utilize in his comparative approach to literature; among these are French, German, Japanese, Latin and Spanish. He wrote his dissertation on the notion of the Other in the nineteenth-century gothic novel, after which he published articles on writers from the eighteenth century to the present., including John Cleland, Andre Gide, T.E. Lawrence, James Baldwin and Yukio Mishima. Lately he has been returning to works in Latin, which he encountered early in his education, rereading them in the light of contemporary critical theories and recent archaeological information.
In addition to courses in writing and Great Works (one of his favorites), he has taught electives in the Survey of British Literature; Contemporary Lesbian and Gay Literature; and Nature Writing. While at Baruch he has also co-taught at the CUNY Graduate Center (Lesbian and Gay Literature), and he participated in the CUNY Foreign Exchange Program, for which he taught at Paris University (Parix X).
Aside from teaching he has taken a number of painting and drawing classes at the Art Students League. The bulk of his free time, however, he dedicates to photography, which he has been romancing for over thirty years.