Josephine Gattuso Hendin, PhD, is a tenured professor at New York University (NYU), who has been teaching on campus since 1979. An expert in American literature, American modernism, and contemporary and postmodern literature, her areas of interest also include psychology and literature, ethnicity and literature, and creative writing. During her tenure at NYU, she served as the Tiro A. Segno professor of Italian American studies between 2001 and 2010, chaired the English department between 1995 and 1999, and was director of the expository writing program during 1983. Considering her chairman role to be one of her greatest accomplishments, Dr. Hendin was able to create a curriculum for students, which was an honor. Prior to joining the NYU faculty, she was an adjunct professor at the New School for Social Research in New York from 1969 to 1979 and an assistant professor at Yale University from 1968 to 1969.
Authoring several books, Dr. Hendin was the recipient of an American Book Award for “The Right Thing to Do” in 1989 and a Notable Book Year Award for “Vulnerable People: A View of American Fiction Since 1945” in 1978. Her other books include “The World of Flannery O’Connor” in 1970 and “Heartbreakers: Women and Violence in Contemporary Culture and Literature” in 2004. She has also contributed articles to various scholarly journals and to The Bostonians, and was an editor for “Concise Companion to Postwar American Literature and Culture” during 2004. A former executive board member of the American Italian Historical Association, Dr. Hendin is also a longstanding member of the Modern Language Association, the National Book Critics Circle and the National Italian American Foundation.
Dr. Hendin received a John Simon Guggenheim fellowship, Vera B. David fellowship and Woodrow Wilson fellowship. She also received an Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Award by the National Order of the Sons and Daughters of Columbus between 1983 and 1984. She has been cited in close to a dozen editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in the East and Who’s Who in the World.
First obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature from the City College of New York in 1964, Dr. Hendin then completed a Master of Arts and a PhD in English and American literature at Columbia University in 1965 and 1968, respectively. Celebrating 50 years of marriage to Herbert Hendin in 2018, she has two children and two grandchildren. In her spare time, she loves to read, travel and speed walk to stay active. Moving forward, Dr. Hendin hopes to have completed both of her current projects. She is working on a critical work on nationalization and American ethnic literature, and a novel partly set in Renaissance Florence. Growing up, she had a love for literature and spent most of her time at the local library. She loved that reading took her places she could only dream of.
Dr. Hendin is rewarded by introducing students to the art, diversity and power of literature. It remains a constant source of joy. Another important part of her life is discovering new writers and works. She enjoyed writing for Harper’s Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, the New Republic and other journals. Dr. Hendin’s involvement strengthened her feeling that literature speaks deeply to those outside the university, as well as those once known as the common reader.