Matteo Ricci Seminar

The Matteo Ricci Seminar is for students who are or wish to be, distinctively engaged in meaningful work beyond the classroom, whether it be a field of research, community action, or student leadership. This experience challenges students to reflect on their place in this increasingly complex world, deepen their commitment to active engagement, and develop their unique voices through collaboration with peers and mentors. The Seminar is directed by faculty members with support from the FCLC Dean’s Office.  Seminar activities include:

  • Writing a brief response paper each semester in response to readings on current issues in higher education or matters of equity and social justice;
  • Small group work culminating in presentations and a roundtable discussion with faculty, mentors, and members of the administration; 
  • Discussions with invited speakers on topical subjects such as community activism, college access, or bystander intervention;
  • Group and individualized work with alumni and mentors on personal statements;
  • Introductions to and conversations with the Office of Prestigious Fellowships on fellowship applications and the Center for Community Engaged Learning on service opportunities;
  • Movement, breathing, and speaking exercises, working with a member of the faculty in French and Theater;
  • Social activities with Matteo Ricci alumni, alumni mentors, leaders in the private and public sector, trustees, and members of the Fordham administration;
  • A service project related to mass incarceration and the challenges of reentry after incarceration  in NYC;
  • Self-reflection and finding a voice

The experience is particularly suited for students who are or wish to be, distinctively engaged in meaningful work beyond the classroom, whether in a field of research, community action, or student leadership. The seminar encourages interests and appetites that go beyond a concern with GPA. 

The cohort of each seminar tends to form a close-knit community of people who often go on to collaborate together on future projects. Now in its fourteenth year, the Matteo Ricci Seminar has an extensive network of alumni involved in a broad range of fields who are eager to mentor and help each new cohort, and who have found that the seminar has played a distinctive role in their own intellectual and personal development. Members of the new cohort will be invited into the Matteo Ricci private network to connect with past members.  


Andrew H. Clark, Ph.D.

Andrew H. Clark is the author of Diderot's Part (Ashgate 2008) and, with the musicologist Keith Chapin, Speaking of Music (Fordham 2013). He specializes in questions of aesthetics, physiology, music, and literature in 17th and 18th-century France and Europe. He has published articles in Eighteenth Century: Theory and Context, Diderot Studies, Méthode! Revue de littérature française et comparée, and Shark, and various book chapters and reviews. His current book project examines visual portraiture and the origin of the modern novel. Professor Clark teaches in both the French and comparative literature programs. He is the co-director of the NY 18th-Century Seminar. He previously served as vice president of the Faculty Senate and chair of the Faculty Salary & Benefits Committee and directed the Fordham in France Summer program from 2004 to 2011. 

Yiju Huang, Ph.D.

Yiju Huang writes about Chinese film and literature, psychoanalysis, and Buddhism. Her teaching has focused on Chinese philosophical traditions, modern Chinese literature and thought, trauma, and narrative. She advises students in Chinese Studies and Comparative Literature. Her writing can be found in PrismNeoheliconMCLC, Comparative Literature Studies, and Senses of Cinema. She is the author of Tapestry of Light: Aesthetic Afterlives of the Cultural Revolution (Brill, 2014). She is currently working on a book project on the relationship between Buddhism and Chinese literary modernity.