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Faculty and Staff


Thomas Frosch


Klapper Hall, Room 502
Phone: 718-997-4652

Research Interests

Professor Frosch's current book project is a Freudian study of jokes and comedies.  While emphasizing Freudian and other psychoanalytic concepts (especially those of Martha Wolfson,   Ludwig Jekels, Martin Grotjahn, and Ernst Kris), the project also makes use of classic and recent perspectives on comedy, including those of Northrop Frye on the archetypes of comedy, F. M. Cornford on its ritual roots, Henri Bergson on laughter, Enid Welsford on the fool, Robert Pelton on the trickster, Mary Douglas and Eliot Oring on jokes, Morton Gurewitch on the celebration of irrationality in farce, Christie Davies on ethnic humor, Susan Purdy on comic discourse, and Cedric Whitman on comic heroes and comic apocalypses.  The project applies such concepts and perspectives to a variety of jokes and to comic works by, among others, Menander, Molière, Wycherley, Wilde, Shakespeare, Hofmannsthal, Soyinka, Kurosawa (The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail), Keith Waterhouse (Billy Liar), and David Lean (Hobson’s Choice).


Thomas Frosch regularly teaches English Romanticism (323), Freud and Literature (388), The Goddess in Myth and Literature (395), Introduction to Poetry (165W), and British Literature I and II (251 and 252).  He occasionally teaches a course on The Faerie Queene and Paradise Lost, sometimes adding Wordsworth’s The Prelude (383). 


His publications include books on Blake (The Awakening of Albion) and Shelley (Shelley and the Romantic Imagination), a book of poetry (Plum Gut), a poetry chapbook (Poems of Thomas Frosch and Gail Fisher), and articles on Wordsworth, Keats, John Clare, E. E. Cummings, Ben Jonson (Bartholomew Fair), Nabokov (Lolita), parody in modern literature, the Romantic theme of the expansion of the senses, and Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), as well as several articles on Shelley and Blake and a number of reviews of books on Romanticism and on Psychoanalysis and Literature.  His poetry has appeared in thirty periodicals and two anthologies. 


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