Philomena Polefrone

Writing Associate

Philomena Polefrone is a Core Lecturer in Contemporary Civilization at Columbia University, where she received her PhD in English and Comparative Literature in 2020. Her research focuses on the environmental humanities, speculative fiction, and queer ecology. Philomena’s writing has appeared in American LiteratureISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, and Extrapolation, and she is a co-writer of “Alethea,” an audio drama forthcoming from Audible.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.