Press Release: Wayne Koestenbaum Appointed Distinguished Professor at Graduate Center

Writer, scholar and critic Wayne Koestenbaum of the CUNY Graduate Center’s Ph.D. Program in English has been elevated to the rank of Distinguished Professor.  Koestenbaum is recognized as an important American poet, as one of the founders of queer studies, and as a wide-ranging cultural critic who crosses boundaries of literature, art, music, and popular culture.  His book The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality, and the Mystery of Desire, published in 1993, had a significant impact on the emerging fields of gender and sexuality studies, as have his groundbreaking essays in influential anthologies.

His books of poetry include Ode to Anna Moffo and Other Poems (1990), Rhapsodies of a Repeat Offender (1994), The Milk of Inquiry (1999), and the recent collections Model Homes (2004) and Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films (2006).  As a critic, he has published Double Talk: The Erotics of Male Literary Collaboration (1989); Jackie Under My Skin: Interpreting An Icon (1995); Cleavage: Essays on Sex, Stars, and Aesthetics (2000); and Andy Warhol (2001), in addition to The Queen’s Throat. He is also the author of a novel, Moira Orfei in Aigues-Mortes (2004), as well as a libretto, Jackie O (composed by Michael Daugherty and commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera).  His next book of prose, Hotel Theory, will be published in May 2007.

Coming to The Graduate Center from Yale University’s English Department in 1996, Koestenbaum is known as an dedicated, energetic, and though-provoking teacher.  He has also been a visiting professor at the Yale School of Art.  He holds a B.A. from Harvard, an M.A. in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. from Princeton Uninversity.

The Graduate Center is the doctorate-granting institution of The City University of New York (CUNY). An internationally recognized center for advanced studies and a national model for public doctoral education, the school offers more than thirty doctoral programs, as well as a number of master’s programs. Many of its faculty members are among the world’s leading scholars in their respective fields, and its alumni hold major positions in industry and government, as well as in academia. The Graduate Center is also home to twenty-eight interdisciplinary research centers and institutes focused on areas of compelling social, civic, cultural, and scientific concerns.  Located in a landmark Fifth Avenue building, The Graduate Center has become a vital part of New York City’s intellectual and cultural life with its extensive array of public lectures, exhibitions, concerts, and theatrical events.  Further information on The Graduate Center and its programs can be found at

Submitted on: DEC 1, 2006

Category: English | Press Room