Phil Polefrone

Writing Associate

Phil Polefrone  is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Columbia University's Department of English and Comparative Literature, and holds a B.A. from New York University and an M.A. and M.Phil. from Columbia University. He has taught writing since 2010, first as a writing tutor in NYU's Expository Writing Program and most recently as an instructor for a sustainable development-themed writing course in Columbia's University Writing Program. His own writing focuses on twentieth-century American fiction, ecology, speculative fiction, and the application of computational methods to literary study, with essays appearing in Public Books and Politics Slash Letters. 

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.