Marlene Clark

Associate Professor

Main Affiliation

Division of Interdisciplinary Studies (CWE)

Areas of Expertise/Research

  • Abstract Expressionism
  • Willem de Kooning
  • Philosophy and Literature
  • 20th Century Social Movements
  • Brooklyn
  • Gentrification
  • Literature of the British Renaissance
  • Shakespeare
  • Child Narrators
  • The 1960s
  • Composition Pedagogy


25 Broadway





Marlene Clark


Marlene Clark is an Associate Professor of English in the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the City College Center for Worker Education. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses combining literature, philosophy, art, film, and history. 

She is also the Editor of Juxtapositions: Ideas for College Writers, now in its third edition. She directs the writing program at CWE and frequently teaches in the Writing for Interdisciplinary Studies program at the Center.

Her research interests include composition studies; philosophical and psychoanalytic approaches to literature and art; urban studies, particularly as it pertains to gentrification and Brooklyn; and the application of philosophy to various topics in popular culture. 



PhD, English, The City University of New York

MA, Philosophy, Stony Brook University


Courses Taught

  • Inventing the Americas (MA)
  • Research Methods (MA)
  • 20th Century Revolutions in the Americas (MA)
  • Anglophone Literature of the Caribbean (MA)
  • Founding Fathers (MA)
  • Philosophy and Literature
  • US Literature and Culture of the 1960s
  • 20th Century Revolutions in the Americas
  • Brooklyn
  • Love Stories
  • A Child's Eye View of the World
  • Writing for Interdisciplinary Studies

Professor Clark often teaches undergraduate asynchronous online courses and "hybrids"    

Research Interests

A recently completed project, The Woman in Me: Willem de Kooning, Woman I-VI, will be published in the spring of 2019 by Edwin Mellen Press. The book argues that these controversial paintings portray exactly what Willem de Kooning himself said they did: a humorous and philosophical exploration of the "nature" of biologocal sex. 

The research for the book prompted work on two essays. One argues that an overlooked source, Philip Wylie's A Generation of Vipers had an outsized influence on the reaction to and criticism of de Kooning's Women when they were first shown in the early 1950s. A second essay investigates the connections between the early Stuart "corn riots"; an early modern sartorial commodity, the ruff; and Barbara Friedman's recent series of ruff paintings.

A second book project, Literary landscapes of Brooklyn is also nearing completion. This book examines "place and space" in Brooklyn, as depicted in a number of novels of the 20th century and as represented today, many drastucally changed as a consequence of Brooklyn's rapid--and perhaps, at times unchecked--gentrification.

Finally, a new book project connects the dots between the Cold War and a traumatic family event: In March of 1966, an Air Force jet crashed onto my family home. My courageous and resouceful mother barely escaped with her two year-old daughter enclosed in one arm and the family cat in the other. How the tiny pieces of what was left of that jet came to be embedded in the rubble of our house--and what my mother called "the aftermath"--tell a Cold War story few will recognize.

Selected Presentations:

Preservation Society of Charleston, Charleston, SC: "Gentrification, Landmarking, and Class Warfare in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn" (March 27, 2018)

Popular Culture Association of America (PCAA): New Orleans, “’Slumming’ and ‘Unslumming’: The Case of Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant” (April 2, 2015)

TEDxWilliamsburg, Wythe Hotel: “Reading Brooklyn,” May 9, 2013

NeMLA, New Brunswick, NJ: “Labor’s Love Lost: William Carlos Williams’ ‘Paterson, the Strike,’” Panel Chair, New Jersey(March 11, 2011)

International Association of Philosophy and Literature, University of Regina Saskatchewan: “Passing Strange: Anatole Broyard’s Americas” (May 28, 2010)

NeMLA, Montreal: “Gertrude’s Troublesome Pounce,” Panel Chair, Shakespeare’s Cougars, (April 9, 2010)

ACTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey: “Back to the Future: Core Texts and Contexts for College Writing” (April 15, 2010)


Authored Book

The Woman in Me: Willem de Kooning, Woman I-VI. (Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2019) (in press)


Juxtapositions: Ideas for College Writers (Longman 2004, second edition August 2005, third edition August 2007).

Edited Book

Dating: Philosophy for Everyone (Oxford: Blackwell, 2010), with Kristie Miller.


"Mister Rogers, Mesmer." In Mr. Rogers and Philosophy, Eric J and Holly K Mohr, eds. (forthcoming, Chicago: Open Court Publishing Company, 2019)

"On WikiLeaks and Bullshit." In Wikileaking: The Ethics of Secrecy and Exposure, Christian Cotton and Robert Arp, eds. (Chicago: Open Court Publishing Company, 2019)

“Daveed Diggs’ Doubling.” In Hamilton and Philosophy: Revolutionary Thinking, Aaron Rabinowitz and Robert Arp, eds. (Chicago: Open Court Publishing Company, 2017)

"'This house belong to me, now': The 'Slumming' and 'Gentrification' of Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn as Experienced and Foretold by Paule Marshall's Brown Girl, Brownstones," Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal  (Spring 2017). 

“Why Less May Be More: Dating and the City.” In Dating: Philosophy for Everyone (Oxford: Blackwell, 2010),

“Introduction,” in Dating: Philosophy for Everyone (Oxford: Blackwell, 2010), with Krsitie Miller, 2010.

“Program Description: The Core Humanities Program at the City College Center for Worker Education.” Composition Studies  (October 2007).

“Formalism and the Aesthetic in the Composition Classroom.” Inquirer 2002.

“’Se in what stat thou dost indwell’: The Shifting Constructions of Power and Gender Relations in Wisdom.” In Essays in Honor of Martin Stevens (Boydell and Brewer, 1998).