Professor Marianne Giordani

Marianne Giordani (2021)

Dear friends:

I write to share a devastating piece of news. Our beloved longtime colleague Marianne Giordani died on Tuesday, November 2 at NYU Langone Hospital.  I don't yet have any information about what happened except that her death was not COVID related.  

Marianne received her PhD in English in 2004 from the CUNY Graduate Center and taught an amazing and wonderful range of classes in the literature of the long eighteenth century for our department.  I think especially of her Satire and Sensibility class, which was an indispensable part of our curriculum for many years, and of her much-loved seminar on William Blake.  

Most notable of all her classes, perhaps, was an unusual and extremely popular seminar titled Poetics of the Warrior: Ancient Through Early Modern Heroic Poetry, which attracted students from many different backgrounds but spoke especially to our student veterans in General Studies (this story gives some of the feel of that class). An important part of Marianne’s calling was to work with veteran combatants as they transitioned to civilian life, on campus as teacher and advisor and off campus with associations such as the John Jay Veterans Association, Veterans Mental Health Coalition of NYC and Fordham’s Edge4Vets.

I am stunned to think that I won't see Marianne’s beautiful bright smile again in the halls of Philosophy.  Her intelligence, warmth and real kindness will be terribly missed by all of her students and colleagues.  I am certain that there will be a memorial, and I'll share those details when we have them.

Jenny Davidson
Chair, Department of English and Comparative Literature
Columbia University