William Germano

Dean and Professor

William Germano received his B.A. from Columbia and his Ph.D. in English from Indiana University. He was appointed dean and has taught at Cooper Union since 2006.

He teaches the freshman core, as well as courses on Shakespeare, opera, the history of the book and an elective on puppets and robots.

In 2015 Dean Germano gave "How Shakespeare Works," a free ten-lecture night course in Cooper Union's Great Hall.

Getting It Published 3rd ed.His scholarly work considers literature and the allied arts, the material culture of the book, and the problems of intellectual production. He is particularly interested in the writing life of scholars, a subject he has written on in Getting It Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books (University of Chicago Press, 3rd ed. 2016), which has been translated into Japanese, and From Dissertation to Book (University of Chicago Press, 2nd ed. 2013), which has been published in Spanish.

The Tales of Hoffmann

He has also written on Powell and Pressburger's 1951 film "The Tales of Hoffmann" (2013) in the British Film Institute Film Classics series. His essays have appeared in PMLA, minnesota review, Scholarly Publishing, SPAN, Publishing Research Quarterly, PNR and other publications. His scholarly essays have appeared in Opera Quarterly, University of Toronto Quarterly, The Critical Pulse: Thirty-Two Conversations with Contemporary Critics (Columbia UP, 2012), and The Humanities and Public Life (Fordham UP, 2014). He is a contributor to the two-volume Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare (2016) and the Oxford Companion to Shakespearean Tragedy (forthcoming).

For over twenty years he directed programs in scholarly publishing, first as editor-in-chief at Columbia University Press and then as vice-president and publishing director at Routledge; during his publishing career he developed wide experience with disciplines in both the humanities and social sciences, working with many extraordinary scholars, among them Peter Galison, Jacques Derrida, Cornel West, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Gilles Deleuze, bell hooks, Herbert Gans, Stephen Orgel, Michael Taussig, Dario Fo, Sander Gilman, Stephen Greenblatt, Arthur Danto, Raymond Williams, Paul Willis, Stanley Aronowitz, David Bordwell, Julia Kristeva, Wayne Koestenbaum, James Elkins, Marjorie Garber, Peter Stallybrass, Fredric Jameson, Diana Fuss, and Martin Jay.

From Dissertation to Book

He has taught in the graduate program in publishing at NYU, is a frequent speaker at academic conferences, and has given workshops and seminars on professional scholarly writing across North America and in Europe, the Middle East, and New Zealand.

A trustee emeritus of The English Institute, he serves on the advisory council of the Princeton University department of English and of the Chicago Manual of Style.

Dean Germano is a regular contributor to the language blog Lingua Franca published by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

He is finishing a book entitled Shakespeare at the Opera: A History of Impossible Projects, which examines the ways in which Shakespeare's very English plays and characters have been adapted into a very Continental dramatic form. Two other current projects: a long essay on the history of the eye chart, to be published in Bloomsbury's Object Lessons series, and a book on writing and revision.

photo of Dean Germano by Awol Erizku

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  • 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.