Mike Kuczynski, former chair of the Tulane English Department, was born and raised in a working-class neighborhood in Philadelphia, PA. He took his BA in English Literature there, at St. Joseph's University, a small liberal arts college, and his MA and PhD in Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Kuczynski has worked at various times as a janitor, bookstore clerk, political cartoonist, and for the past twenty-eight years as a Tulane professor. He researches medieval manuscripts (especially those connected with the first English translation of the Bible) in America and England, especially London and Oxford, and enjoys introducing students to this kind of hands-on documentary work in both his introductory and more advanced classes.
Kuczynski created and directs a community-based program, Archives and Outreach, designed to teach book history to local high school students. He is faculty fellow of the Honors Books and Reading Society and mentor to Tulane Posse 4, a college access and leadership group of ten young scholars from high schools across New Orleans run by the New York-based Posse Foundation (for more information, go to posse foundation.org).
For the past two years, Kuczynski has been program coordinator of the School of Liberal Arts' Shakespeare Jazz Funeral Project, which celebrated the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 1616 this year, by mounting second-lines in Shakespeare's memory at his birthplace and site of his burial, Stratford-upon-Avon (where he got to have his picture taken with Dame Judi Dench); on campus, in connection with the Folger Shakespeare Library's traveling First Folio! Exhibition; and on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, at the Folger Library itself.
At Commencement 2016, Kuczynski was honored for his many years of innovative teaching at Tulane by being named a Suzanne and Stephen Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow.
2017 “The Facsimilist’s Tale: Thomas Wilson, Schoolmaster and Antiquary, and Harvard University, Houghton Library MS Lat 394,” Harvard Library Bulletin, forthcoming. 51 pp. typescript.
*2016 “Extracts from a Revised Version of Richard Rolle’s English Psalter in MS Longleat 3, an Early Version Wycliffite Bible,” Medium Aevum 85 (2016):217-35.
“Hamlet and Our Problems,“ New Orleans Review 42 (2016):27-42.
2012 “An Unpublished Middle English Version of the Epistola Lentuli: Text and Contexts,” Mediaeval Journal 2 (2012):33-54. 22 pages.