Thursday, December 15, 2005

Undergraduate Courses, Spring 2006


English 101.001: Introduction to English Studies
Professor Srividhya Swaminathan
Mondays
6:00 to 8:30 pm

What, exactly, is an English major? What can you do with a degree in English? This course will introduce students to the three concentrations in the English major—Literary Studies, Creative Writing, Writing and Rhetoric. We will perform close readings of literary texts to understand better the underlying meaning of the work. A brief introduction to the field of literary criticism will allow students to practice analyzing texts using literary theory. The study of creative writing provides an opportunity to exercise creative talents and workshop a piece of writing with the entire class. Finally, the study of writing and rhetoric will enable students to trace the types of persuasion used in an argument and to craft a more persuasive argument in their own work. The class will end with a seminar on the career opportunities available to students who pursue a degree in English.

English 104: Creative Writing (section 1)
Professor John High
Mondays & Wednesdays
1:30 to 2:45 pm

This class is designed for anyone who has ever wanted to write creatively yet who is not sure how to begin or how to move beyond where he or she is presently in his or her own writing. Topics include: getting started, establishing a passionate discipline, making time, focusing on ideas and feelings and giving them shape through the language of fiction, poetry and drama. The course will also zero-in on backbone issues of style and technique, ranging from those of characterization and plot, continuity and vividness of imagery; to clarity of diction and the use of phrasing and structure in the writing of our worlds-—the various ways that elements of craft inherently dovetail with content. There will be weekly creative writing exercises and group discussions, as well as commentary on the writing process and how to make it come alive for you. What do we mean when we talk about issues of style, form and voice(s)? What is fiction, a poem—what is a metaphor, what is the magic of language, the ghost of echoes, which reflects your own vision of the world, your experience or past, your dreams or visions? What do we mean when we talk about taking chances in writing? We'll look at the work of Modern and contemporary writers ranging from James Baldwin to Anna Akhmatova to Jorge Luis Borges to that of younger writers publishing today. Critiques will focus on motivating the student to tap the undefined territory of his or her own imagination in order to more fully cultivate and mature her or his own voices(s) and styles. The goal of the course includes completing a portfolio and/or anthology of our work.

English 104: Creative Writing (section 2)
Professor Lewis Warsh
Tuesdays
6:00 to 8:30 pm

THIS SECTION WAS CANCELLED.

The goal of this workshop is to expand our ideas of "what is a poem" and "what is a work of fiction." Are poetry and fiction exclusive or related genres? Weekly assignments will question the preconceived notions of form, content, and gender, with emphasis on the best ways to transcribe thought processes and experiences into writing. Work by Marguerite Duras, Ted Berrigan, Frank O'Hara, William Carlos Williams, Lydia Davis, Lyn Heijinian, Elizabeth Bishop, and Andre Breton and others will be discussed in class, and used as models; but much of the workshop time will be spent reading and discussing our own writing. A final portfolio of work will be required.

English 129: British Literature II
Professor Bernard Schweizer
Tuesdays & Thursdays
1:30 to 2:45 pm

Realism-Modernism-Postmodernism: Through the lens of outstanding achievements by men and women writers of Britain, this class will explore the formal, aesthetic, thematic, and ideological implications of three dominant literary movements from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. We begin with two novels of the realist period: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Silas Marnerby George Eliot. Next we will explore masterpieces of modernism, beginning with poetry by W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, and H.D., before approaching the fiction of D.H. Lawrence, Rebecca West, and Virginia Woolf. Finally, the course will move into the postmodern era with Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea, a re-working of Jane Eyre; followed by No Man's Land, a play by Harold Pinter. We will finish with Higher Ground by the Caribbean diaspora writer Caryl Phillips. Besides studying the intrinsic differences in form and content between realist, modernist, and postmodernist literary discourses, we will keep an eye on such recurring themes as romance and gender politics, social class conflict, colonialism, and national identity.

English 150: Contemporary Latino/a Lit. & Culture
Professor Joselyn Almeida-Beveridge
Tuesdays & Thursdays
3:00 to 4:15 pm

THIS SECTION WAS CANCELLED.


In this course we will examine contemporary Latino/a writers, films, and popular culture to explore the representation of Latino/a life in the United States. Through class discussion, electronic forums, and written work we will analyze the themes that have emerged in this body of writing and film: identity, language, cultural hybridity, and the redefinition of what it means to be American.

Requirements: two 5-7 page papers, a midterm, short response papers, and student presentations.

Texts: Alverez, Julia. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (l991); Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street (l991); Gomez-Pena, Guillermo. Dangerous Border Crossers: The Artist Talks Back (2000); Hijuelos, Oscar. The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (l990); Rodriguez, Richard. Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father (l992); Santiago, Esmeralda. When I Was Puerto Rican (l994); and Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature (2006).

Films: Pinero (2001); The Mambo Kings (l992); Tortilla Soup (2001); and Zoot Suit (1981).

English 159: Literature of the U.S. II
Professor Carol Allen
Thursdays
6:00 to 8:30 pm

This is a survey that covers American literature from the second half of the nineteenth century to the present. The course will provide general information about the major writers and texts that have contributed to the great, diverse tradition of American Letters. We will chart our discoveries by peering through the lens of representation, asking such questions as who names and describes the newly unified, post-civil war America; how do turn-of-the-century and early twentieth century creative artists re-envision America during an age of Western imperialism/expansion/colonialism; how does literature compete with the new technologies that produce representation as well (photography, film, and television); and what is meant by and what are the politics of "American" modernism and post-modernism? Reading representative texts from several periods, we will concentrate on three vital and prolific eras: late nineteenth-century regional writing; Modernism (l912-1936); and contemporary, post-war production.

English 166: Fiction Writing
Professor John High
Mondays & Wednesdays
3:00 to 4:15 pm

This workshop will focus on the way autobiography and dreams overlap with story writing and how the past is fictionalized as a way of giving it a voice. The premise is that the source of most fiction is based on memories and dreams. We'll look at writers of the last century as well as contemporary writers of today (Jean Toomer, Marguerite Duras, Jorge Luis Borges, Michael Ondaatje, Lydia Davis, John Berger, Rosemary Waldrop, Ernest Hemingway, Zora Neale Hurston, Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, Jamaica Kincaid, and Sherman Alexie, among others) who often blur the borders between fiction, dream, and life story. We'll concentrate on the various traditions of narrative, including plot, character, and conflict—with an eye towards expanding on what's already been done. There will be weekly creative writing exercises and group discussions, as well as commentary on the writing process and how to make it come alive for you. The course offers relaxed, though thorough and individualized investigation of the participants' work in relation to craft, theme, and content of writing. Our writing project will include working with dreams, secrets, memories, observations, opinions, overheard conversations, and random fragments of language. The goal of the course includes completing a portfolio and/or anthology of our work.

English 168: Creative Non-fiction Workshop
Professor Hettie Jones
Wednesdays
6:00 to 8:30 pm

The personal essay has a long history but a short list of conditions: informality, intimacy, honesty, and autobiographical content. How do we go about completing this list? How do we convince the reader of the truth of our tales? How do we confront our own experiences creatively? What does it mean to write creative nonfiction?

In this writing workshop, the student is guided through the classic questions of form and style, the building materials of the personal essay, through reading and writing assignments. Craft is emphasized, revision expected, but we will also focus on our sources: What do people write about? How do they expose themselves and still keep their privacy? Is it a contradiction to call nonfiction "art"? What techniques are applicable to all creative writing?

Readings for the class will be wide-ranging historically as well as culturally, but with a focus on the contemporary essay in English. Writing assignments will cover various forms (such as memoir and diary) and themes such as friendship and solitude. Students should be prepared to read aloud and discuss their own work and that of others.

Hettie Jones is a visiting writer. She is a poet and prose writer, author of How I Became Hettie Jones, a memoir of the "beat scene" of the fifties and sixties. It is a story of her life together with then-as-yet-to-be published LeRoi Jones (now Amiri Baraka). They were one of the few visible interracial couples at that time. They had two children, co-edited Yugen, an influencial literary magazine, and were at the "hot center" of the downtown bohemian New York literary, jazz, and art worlds.

Jones has published short prose in journals such as The Village VoiceGlobal City Review, andPloughshares. She has also written numerous books for children and young adults, including an ALA Notable, The Trees Stand Shining. She is the author of a poetry collection, Drive, which won the Poetry Society of America's l999 Norma Farber First Book Award. Her second poetry collection, All Told, was published in 2003.

She has numerous other publications and has done readings in various venues from cafes to colleges. She is a longtime editor for many publishing houses, and has taught writing at local and national colleges such as NYU, The New School, Penn State University, and the University of Wyoming. Jones is the former Chair of the PEN Prison Writing Committee, and from l989-2002, ran a writing workshop at the NY State Correctional Facility for Women in Bedford Hills, from which she published a nationally distributed collection, Aliens at the Border. From l994-l996 she was a member of the Literature Panel of the NY State Council on the Arts, and she is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Cave Canem, an organization in support of young African American poets.

English 169: Postcolonial or Global Literature: the Caribbean
Professor Maria McGarrity
Mondays & Wednesdays
4:30 to 5:45 pm

This class will offer a basic grounding in the literatures and cultures of the Caribbean, including a focus on such nations as Haiti, Cuba, St. Lucia, Monsterrat, and Guyana. We will study the work of Nobel Prize-winning St. Lucian, Derek Walcott, as well as such writers as Wilson Harris, Edwidge Danticat, Alejo Carpentier, and EA Markham. Our reading of short stories, poetry, longer fiction, and film will take us through the 20th century struggle for decolonization as we examine issues of gender, class, race, and colonialism. One short paper and two exams (one as a take home).

English 172: Introduction to Contemporary Rhetorical Theory
Professor Mary Hallet
Mondays & Wednesdays
4:30 to 5:45 pm

THIS SECTION WAS CANCELLED, but because this is a required class for our new Writing & Rhetoric concentration, Professor Hallet is working on an individual basis with those students who were registered prior to the course's being cancelled.

This course will not only introduce students to the major debates and conversations among contemporary rhetorical theorists but will also locate issues raised by these theorists within their historical, political, and cultural contexts. We will discover how the rhetorical theories of the last forty years or so, just as the theories of the ancient (classical) rhetoricians, were not simply born out of spaces of isolated intellectual activity, but rather arose as responses to new and rapidly evolving forms of written, oral, and visual communications. In doing so, we will also explore the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary rhetorical theories—how they simultaneously draw from and feed into other disciplines, such as linguistics, psychology, and philosophy. It will not be possible, of course, to cover every theory in the broad field of contemporary rhetoric, but students should leave the course with an overall picture of the major issues and figures in the field. Through journal entries, a short midterm paper, and a longer final project, students will have the opportunity to apply the theories they learn to their own analyses of rhetoric. Readings may focus on, among others, the new rhetorics of Kenneth Burke and Chaim Perelman, deconstruction, feminist theory and criticism, and the rhetorics of inquiry.

English 190: Senior Seminar in Literature
Professor Seymour Kleinberg
Tuesdays
6:00 to 8:30 pm

In this capstone course, English majors concentrating in literature pursue independent research projects in the history of literary studies or critical analysis. Each student develops a substantial research paper and presents it to the seminar.

English 191: Senior Seminar in Creative Writing (conducted as tutorial)
Time to be arranged with instructor

THIS SECTION WAS CANCELLED.

English 192: Senior Seminar in Rhetorical Writing (conducted as tutorial)
Time to be arranged with instructor

THIS SECTION WAS CANCELLED.


English 235: Arts of Portraiture
Professor Patrick Horrigan
Tuesdays & Thursdays
4:30 to 5:45 pm

THIS SECTION WAS CANCELLED.

Portraiture is one of the world's most popular art forms. Museums display hundreds of paintings, sculptures, and photographs of people, whether singly or in groups. Places of worship are decorated with images of gods, saints, and prophets. We are surrounded by portraits in our daily lives: the faces of people stare out at us from newspapers and magazines; movies and TV shows contain countless "close-ups"; coins and paper currency are stamped with the faces of presidents and politicians; our own faces adorn ID cards, passports, and driver's licenses; snapshots fill our wallets and photo albums; and pictures of family and friends cover our desks at work and the walls of our living rooms. The ancient Egyptians buried people along with their portraits; even today some people affix portraits to the tomb stones of their loved ones.

And portraiture is not just a visual art. Writers, too, make portraits and self-portraits with words. Every character in a novel, play, or work of non-fiction; every subject of biography or autobiography; every person whose beautiful face has ever been described by a poet—all of these, potentially, are portraits. An obituary is a portrait.

What exactly is a portrait, and how does it speak to us?

The purpose of this course is to study both verbal and visual portraiture through class discussion, slide presentations, field trips to museums, and the writing of essays. Topics for discussion will include photographic vs. painted portraits; portraits in literature; autobiography and self-portraiture; Latin American portraiture; portraits of non-humans; and Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," the world's best-known portrait.

Texts and films for discussion may include: Johann Kaspar Lavatar, excerpts from Essays on Physiognomy; Edgar Allan Poe, "The Oval Portrait;" Henry James, "The Real Thing;" Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray; Gertrude Stein, "Cezanne," "Matisse," and "Picasso;" E.M. Forster, excerpts from Aspects of the Novel; Ingmar Bergman (director), Persona; Susan Sontag, excerpts from On Photography; bell hooks, excerpts from Black Looks: Race and Representation; Michael Apted (director), scenes from the 7 Up series; and Howard Raines (editor), Portraits: 9/11/01.



Graduate Courses, Spring 2006

English 520: Non-Fiction Writing Workshop
Professor Patricia Stephens
Wednesdays
4:10 to 6:00 pm

This course is designed for writers who want to study and practice a range of non-fiction writing, including, but not limited to: memoir, personal essay, travel-writing, nature-writing, writing about place, and photo journalism. Students will spend the first 4-5 weeks reading essays by established authors and analyzing form, style, persona, rhetorical strategies, and uses of language and visual texts. As we immerse ourselves in the various genres of creative non-fiction, students will be asked to focus their energies on one or two specific genres and to produce one long (20-30 page) or two shorter (10-15 page) texts by the end of the semester. The second half of the semester will be conducted as a writing workshop in which students will share works-in-progress and receive constructive critique from all members of the class and the professor.

English 523.001: Fiction Writing Workshop
Professor Lewis Warsh

Thursdays
6:10 to 8:30 pm


This workshop explores both the art and the craft of fiction writing. Frequent writing assignments and exercises will concentrate on the conventions of fiction—description, dialogue, characterization—as well as more experimental possibilities such as fragmentation and shifting point of view. Focus will be on the ways autobiography overlaps fiction and how the past is fictionalized as a way of keeping it alive. Among the models we will look at are stories and novels by Marguerite Duras, Don DeLillo, Lydia Davis, W. E. Sebald, and Raymond Chandler. Much of the workshop time will be spent reading and discussing student work.

English 579.001: The Essay and the Public Intellectual
Professor Harriet Malinowitz
Mondays
4:10 to 6:00 pm

This course will examine the genre of the essay by focusing on those practitioners of the form whose work has not been exclusively, or even primarily, addressed to audiences within academe. Philosophers, literary and cultural critics, political journalists, social commentators, artists, teachers, clergy, dissidents, and humorists—as well as "experts" (housed in disciplines and professional fields) who choose to engage a world of "non-experts" on matters of common concern—are among those who have applied sharp and wide-ranging analysis to problems of public culture and contemporary life, often using the medium of the popular or alternative press. Taking up issues of politics, citizenship, democracy, ethics, religion, science, health, race, gender, sexuality, class, globalization, and other areas of social policy and opinion, they have been galvanized by the notion that independent, thoughtfully articulated ideas matter, and need to be heard by a populace often narcotized by the myth of national consensus.

The first two thirds of the course will be devoted to identifying the "public intellectual" (who/what/where/when/why is s/he?) and to reading numerous essays by writers who may be said to lay claim to the title. The last four weeks of the course will consist of a writing workshop. Each student will be required to complete an original essay (20-30 pages) on a topic of public interest and submit it for publication to a non-academic venue at the end of the term.

The first three weeks of readings will cover the following topics:

(1) PERSPECTIVES ON THE MEANINGS, ROLES, PROBLEMS AND
POTENTIALS OF THE PUBLIC INTELLECTUAL (to include writers such
as Russell Jacoby, Richard Posner, Edward Herman, Robert Boynton, Michael
Berube, bell hooks, Katha Pollitt, Ellen Willis, Audre Lorde, Noam Chomsky)

(2) THE GENRE OF THE ESSAY; THE PARTISAN REVIEW WRITERS
(from the thirties through the fifties—e.g., Lionel Trilling, Hannah Arendt, Mary
McCarthy, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Irving Howe, George Orwell, Susan
Sontag)

(3) CONTEMPORARY BLACK PUBLIC INTELLECTUALS IN THE U.S.
(e.g., Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Cornel West, Patricia Williams, Michael Eric Dyson,
Toni Morrison, Houston Baker, Michele Wallace, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Derrick
Bell, Nell Irvin Painter, Manning Marable, Adolph Reed, Shelby Steele, Stanley
Crouch)

The readings for the next six weeks will be collectively selected by the class from among
the following:

•Francophones/Existentialists (Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Franz Fanon)

•American second wave feminists (Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, bell hooks, Barbara
Ehrenreich, Deirdre English, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Michele Wallace)

•Earlier 20th century black public intellectuals (e.g., W.E.B. DuBois, Alain Locke,
Zora Neale Hurston, Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., June
Jordan)

•The essay collection, edited by Toni Morrison, Race-ing Justice, En-gendering
Power: Essays on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and the Construction of Social Reality.
(Includes essays by Morrison, A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Manning Marable, Gayle
Pemberton, Nell Irvin Painter, Nellie McKay, Wahneema Lubiano, Patricia Williams,
Cornel West, Kimberle Crenshaw, and Paula Giddings, among others.)

•Lesbian and gay activist/intellectuals who have brought biological, historical,
semiotic, political, and cross-disciplinary perspectives to their critiques of sexual
and gender normativity (John D’Emilio, CherrĂ­e Moraga, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Simon
Watney, Cindy Patton, The Combahee River Collective, Douglas Crimp, Barbara Smith)

•Art (Harold Rosenberg, Jacques Barzun, Lionel Trilling, Susan Sontag, Jamake
Highwater, Herbert Marcuse, Peter Berger, W.E.B. DuBois, Karen Finley, Leah Dilworth)

•Religion (Albert Einstein, Elaine Pagels, Stephen L. Carter, Karen Armstrong)

•Health/Science (Michael Berube, Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English, Rachel
Carson, Eric Schlosser, Atul Gawande)

•Post-9/11 critics of U.S. political, military, and economic foreign policy (Noam
Chomsky, Edward Said, Vandana Shiva, Arundhati Roy, Tariq Ali, Benjamin Barber,
Barbara Kingsolver, Robert Fisk, John Pilger)

•Contemporary magazine and newspaper columnists (Katha Pollitt, Ellen Willis,
Patricia Williams, Maureen Dowd, Bob Herbert, Frank Rich)

•Other analysts of race, class, and ethnic experience in the United States (Eric Liu,
Gloria AnzaldĂșa, David Brooks, Paula Gunn Allen, Jonathan Rosen, Ward Churchill, Richard Rodriguez, Edward Said).

English 620: Theory of Teaching Writing
Professor Xiao-Ming Li
Tuesdays
6:10 to 8:00 pm

Although an "emerging field" (North), Composition Studies traces its ancestry to the classic rhetoric that was formed in ancient democracies, where the study of rhetoric was equivalent to the study of citizenship. Ever since its birth in the 60s in the form of freshman writing in American universities, the precocious child has undergone several metamorphoses already: historicist, current traditionalist, cognitivist, expressionist, social-constructionist, empiricist, feminist, Marxist, cultural critic, and discourse analyst, among others.

Since to cover them all in one semester is next to impossible, the course intends to offer an overview of both the classic rhetoric and new theories in teaching writing. Two books comprise the core reading of the course: Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students by Sharon Crowley and Debra Hawhee, and Cross-talk in Comp Theory: A Reader edited by Victor Villanueva, Jr. A collection of articles selected from various journals and monographs will add a more practical dimension to the course.

Participants in this course will keep a reading journal and conduct a library research project on a chosen theory. The research will be reported in a term paper of at least 10 pages and presented to the class.

English 624: African American Literature and Theory
Professor Carol Allen
Tuesdays
4:10 to 6:00 pm

This course charts the contours of the African American literary tradition and the discourse of literary criticism and theory that surrounds it. Each primary text will be paired with one or more critical or theoretical works so that by the time you have finished the semester, you will have acquired a keen sense of what constitutes this body of literary work as a separate but interpenetrating tradition and how the major critics have catalogued, contextualized, critiqued, and further molded the terrain. Expect to read texts by Frederick Douglass, Jean Toomer, Houston Baker, Hortense Spillers, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Henry Louis Gates, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, and other powerful writers.

English 626: 20th Century American Literature
Professor Leah Dilworth
Wednesdays
6:10 pm to 8:00 pm

In this course we will explore some of the main trends of American literature of the last century through the lens of place. Growing out of the regionalism and local color writing of the 19th century and in the wake of modernism, the South and the West emerge as the primary American regions of the 20th century: the New South, where, according to Faulkner, the past isn't even past; and the West of the open road and lifestyle frontier. How are these landscapes imagined? What do they signify? How do questions of racial and ethnic identity play out in these regions of the American psyche? Readings will include poetry, short stories, and novels, by, among others, Nathanael West, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Conner, Toni Morrison, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Sherman Alexie.

English 700: Practicum in Teaching Composition
Professor Donald McCrary
Thursdays
4:10 to 6:00 pm

The course will examine the theoretical and practical implications of teaching and tutoring writing. Although the emphasis will be on college writing instruction, most of the theories and practices we discuss will be relevant to secondary education teaching. The course will examine important teaching issues such as constructing course syllabi, integrating reading and writing assignments, promoting process writing, responding to student papers, addressing the linguistic needs and abilities of a multicultural student population, and managing student behavior in the classroom. In each class, time will be allotted to discuss the immediate teaching issues of the class members.

English 707: Methods in Research and Criticism
Professor Maria McGarrity
Mondays
6:10 to 8:00 pm

This course is designed to prepare graduate students for advanced level work in the MA program. While we attend to refining our analytical methods in textual research and analysis, in an effort to center our discussion around a cohesive topic for the term, we will focus more particularly on the reshaping of British Modernism. We will examine its transformation throughout the twentieth century from a field that examines "white Englishness" to a field that has transformed itself into a reflection of Britain's Global Cultures. For example, we will discuss not simply the import of Virginia Woolf and the Hogarth Press but will also examine the import of the Hogarth Press' 1933 publishing of CLR James' The Case for West Indian Self-Government. We will explore the foundational texts of literary analysis shaped around this topic and pay particular attention to the theories of Feminism, New Historicism and Postcolonialism. Students will offer an oral presentation, compile an annotated bibliography, and prepare a large research project that relates both to the focus of the seminar and to their particular field/tracks within the MA program.


English 708: Thesis
Time to be arranged individually.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Undergraduate Courses, Summer & Fall 2005

Summer One 2005

English 103
Workshop in the Essay
Professor Deborah Mutnick
MTWTh
1:00 to 2:50 pm

This course gives students the opportunity to develop, share, and get feedback on their writing in a workshop format. The focus is on the essay, a genre we will explore from a variety of angles: formal, informal, personal, academic, traditional, and experimental. Through juxtaposing one type of essay with another, students will expand their repertoire of strategies and practice the art of shaping writing for particular occasions, audiences, and purposes. We will study different, often mixed approaches to the essay, including autobiography, critical analysis, and literary techniques. Students will benefit from a group of readers with different perspectives, close readings of their work, and constructive criticism.
Readings include essays by Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, Richard Rodriguez, Vivian Gornick, and Susan Griffin. Students will present their writing in workshops at least twice during the semester. Writing requirements include a course journal, two short (3-5 page) essays, and one longer (8-10 page) essay or the equivalent.

English 225: Science Fiction
Professor Wayne Berninger
MTWTh
3:00 to 4:50 pm


Alien invasions and rocket ships! Runaway robots and malevolent computer programs! Clones and cyborgs! Virtual reality and mind control! Time travel and ecological disaster!
For at least a century, fiction writers have dealt with subjects such as these as they attempt to answer the question of whether technology and scientific progress will save us or destroy us. These writers have sought to complicate our understanding of the modern world by creating fiction in which human beings struggle to cope with the psychological, social, political, environmental, and spiritual implications of scientific advancement.

Often dismissed as merely a frivolous sub-genre of "serious literature," science fiction has become one of our culture's most popular forms of literature (not to mention film). It has become a popular pastime among science fiction fans to catalogue examples of science fiction's predictive impact on society, from the naming of the first NASA space shuttle after Star Trek's U. S. S. Enterprise, to cyberpunk's anticipation of the advent of artificial intelligence and the Internet.

Why is science fiction so popular? What is its value? Why do so many readers think science fiction is so important to an understanding of modern culture? Given science fiction's increasing popularity and its sometimes eerie, recursive influence on the culture at large, these are important questions for literary scholars and cultural critics, not to mention the general public, and it seems important for English majors to have at least a working knowledge of this strange branch of modern literature.

In this course, we will examine the historical and theoretical development of the genre of science fiction, from its early precursors in the late nineteenth century to the "space opera" of the 1920s and 1930s and the "Golden Age" of the late 1940s and 1950s, and from the "New Wave" of the 1960s and 1970s to the "cyberpunk" of the modern day. Through class discussion of key terms and concepts used in the critical discussion of science fiction, we will develop an understanding of how it fits into the overall literary and intellectual tradition of the West. We will investigate how science fiction evolved in response to rapid technological and scientific advancement (in both the hard and soft sciences) in Western culture, and how science fiction therefore provides us with a unique lens through which to critique that culture and to understand our lives in the modern world.

Summer Two 2005

English 126: News Writing
(same as JOU 119)

Taught by faculty from the Department of Journalism, which you should contact for course description.

Fall 2005

English 101: Introduction to English Studies
Professor Howard Silverstein
Tuesdays & Thursdays
12:00 to 1:15 pm

This writing-intensive course will focus on how we read a literary text and why. The first part of the semester will focus on "How": How do we analyze a poem? How do we read fiction? What is the nature of creative non-fiction? The second part will address the question of "Why?", exploring critical points of view which are current in university English departments. Guest speakers will make presentations on different critical theories, such as deconstruction, feminist theory, psychological interpretation, and historicism.

English 103: Workshop in the Essay
Professor Harriet Malinowitz
Tuesdays & Thursdays
3:00 to 4:15 pm

THIS COURSE WAS CANCELLED.

This course is a writing workshop in the genre of the essay, with particular emphasis on the creative possibilities that distinguish the essay, as a literary form, from the informative article or academic paper. The first few weeks of the course will be spent reading and analyzing published essays by established authors, who may include such traditional figures as James Baldwin, George Orwell, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, Susan Sontag, Edward Hoagland, Mary McCarthy, Richard Wright, Rachael Carson, Franz Fanon, and Martin Luther King, Jr.; contemporary New Yorker style essayists such as Donald Antrim, Atul Gawande, Ian Frazier, Katha Pollit, David Denby, Adam Gopnik, Hilton Als, and Jamaica Kincaid; and other contemporary essayists who observe and critically describe modern life, such as Lucy Grealy, Jonathan Rosen, Patricia Williams, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Gloria Steinem, Audre Lorde, Ellen Willis, Eric Schlosser, Ward Churchill, Arundhati Roy, Barbara Kingsolver, and Frank Rich. The rest (that is, the majority) of the course will consist of a workshop format, in which each student's work will receive attention and feedback from the whole class, so as to help the writer move toward constructive revision. Each student is expected to produce one long revised essay (20-30 pages) or two shorter revised essays (10-15 pages each) by the end of the term.

English 104 Section 1: Creative Writing
Professor John High
Mondays & Wednesdays
1:30 to 2:45 pm

This class is designed for anyone who has ever wanted to write creatively, yet who is not sure how to begin or how to move beyond where they are presently in their own writing. Topics include getting started, establishing a passionate discipline, making time, focusing on ideas and feelings and giving them shape through the language of fiction, poetry, and drama. The course will also zero-in on backbone issues of style and technique ranging from those of characterization and plot, continuity, and vividness of imagery, clarity of diction and use of phrasing and structure in writing our worlds-the various ways that elements of craft inherently dovetail with content. There will be weekly creative writing exercises and group discussions, as well as commentary on the writing process and how to make it come alive for you. The course offers relaxed, though thorough, individualized investigation of the participants' work in relation to craft, theme and content writing. What do we mean when we talk about the issues of style, form and voice(s)? What is fiction--what is metaphor, what is the magic of language, the ghost of echoes, which reflect your own vision of the world, your experience or part, your dreams or visions? What do we mean when we talk about the lyric, about experimentations, about taking chances in writing? We'll look at the work of Modern and contemporary writers ranging from Baldwin to Akhmatova to Borges to that of younger writers publishing today. Students will also read and respond to one another's exercises in an environment that offers encouragement and direction. Critiques will focus on motivating the student to tap the undefined territory of his or her own imagination in order to more fully cultivate and mature her or his own voice/s and styles. Writing which moves beyond the so-called boundaries between genres in a spirit of exploration will also be encouraged. The goal of the course includes completing a portfolio of our work, and a revised text for a class anthology, group reading, and party.

English 104 Section 2: Creative Writing
Professor Lewis Warsh
Mondays
6:00 to 8:30 pm

The goal of the workshop is to expand our ideas of what is 'a poem' and what is 'a work of fiction.' Are poetry and fiction exclusive or related genres? Weekly assignments will question preconceived notions of form, content and gender, with emphasis on the best ways to transcribe thought processes and experiences into writing. Work by Marguerite Duras, Ted Berrigan, Frank O'Hara, William Carlos Williams, Lydia Davis, Lyn Heijinian, Elizabeth Bishop and Andre Breton and others will be discussed in class, and used in models, but much of the workshop time will be spent reading and discussing our own writing. A final portfolio of work will be required.

English 128: British Literature I
Developing "Englishness" through Early Literature
Professor Srividhya Swaminathan
Wednesdays
6:00 to 8:30 pm

How did the English define their culture across turbulent historical times? This class will survey English texts from Beowulf to Aphra Behn's Oroonoko. Students will discuss the emerging idea of an "English" nation through an understanding of both text and context. What did Beowulf's heroic struggles against the monster Grendal reveal about English culture in the eighth century AD? How did Chaucer's pilgrims set up the class structure of medieval English society? Students will read a range of literary texts spanning the genres of poetry, drama, and prose. Each text will be examined for evidence of the formation of a cultural, ethnic, and/or national identity. Common themes of class hierarchies, religious struggles, and court culture will also be analyzed.

English 158: Early Literatures of the United States: Imagining America
Professor Leah Dilworth
Mondays & Wednesdays
3:00 to 4:15 pm

"Imagining America" will focus on the ways people living within the borders of the U.S. have imagined and constructed national and cultural identities during the period from the "discovery" of North America to the Civil War. Along the way we will explore notions of the frontier, the individual, and liberty. We will range widely, studying a variety of short texts and excerpts from fiction and nonfiction and oral and written literatures.

English 165: Poetry Workshop
Professor Lewis Warsh
Tuesdays & Thursdays
4:30 to 5:45 pm

Our ideas about poetry are often instilled in us at a very young age, and often those ideas are based on a narrow concept, as if poetry was just one thing written in one way. Our goal is to expand the definition of poetry, to see what's possible, both as writers and readers. We'll do this by exploring the traditions of poetry and see various forms of poetry (among them the sonnet, the sestina, the villanelle) and by paying close attention to the way that poetry changes through time and how much great poetry is a reflection of the age in which it was written. We'll also discuss the act of writing poetry as one of risk-taking and investigation, and how nothing ever changes unless you experiment or try something new. Is all the great writing, for instance, experimental writing? In what way is writing poetry similar to scientific discovery or invention? We'll discuss, at length, what "experiment" means in relation to poetry. Among the poets we'll look at closely are William Carlos Williams, Charles Reznikoff, Ted Berrigan, Elizabeth Bishop, Gertrude Stein, Robert Creely, Bernadette Mayer, Amiri Baraka, Jack Spicer, Andre Breton, Frank O'Hara, and Allen Ginsberg. A final portfolio, consisting of all your written work, is due at the end of the semester.

English 170: African American Drama
Professor Carol Allen
Tuesdays & Thursdays
3:00 to 4:15 pm

African American Drama covers the period between 1848 to the present and features texts composed by African American playwrights. We begin with the historical context of America during the mid-nineteenth century with a special emphasis on the rise of minstrelsy and the construction of William Wells Brown's The Escape (1848). After that, we cover black women's arrival on the stage with Pauline Hopkins' Peculiar Sam (1878), and we discuss the emerging black musical and how it helps to divide the public theatrical sphere along racial lines, a phenomenon that hastens the Harlem Renaissance and a burgeoning, independent black theater movement, which takes hold securely by the mid-twenties, a period that engendered race plays, historical pageants, folk drama, and experimental abstract works. Accordingly, our early twentieth century unit will feature pieces by DuBois, Angelina Grimke, Marita Bonner, Willis Richardson, Zora Neale Hurston, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and Eulalie Spence. We conclude that period with Langston Hughes' long running evocative work Mulatto. Post-War offerings to be studied may include those written by Alice Childress, Amiri Baraka, Ed Bullins, Adrienne Kennedy, Charles Fuller, August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, and Anna Deveare Smith. Appropriate critical essays will be supplied. Students interested in African American literature, those who are playwrights, and those intrigued by American culture at large will enjoy this course.

English 174: Teaching Writing
Professor Donald McCrary
Mondays & Wednesdays
4:30 to 5:45 pm

This course will explore foundational texts within writing instruction, offering insights into the historical importance of the teaching of college writing and the various theories and practices that have guided and, in some cases, undermined that instruction. Through reading, writing, and discussion, students will examine composition instruction as a field of inquiry, in particular as it relates to teaching writing in a multicultural society. Some topics that will be discussed include invention and revision strategies, grammar instruction, responding to student texts, and collaborative learning. Possible course texts include The Writing Teacher's Sourcebook, Rhetoric and Reality, and Race, Rhetoric, and Composition.

English 180: The Great Lyric Poem
Professor Seymour Kleinberg
Thursdays
6:00 to 8:30 pm

THIS COURSE WAS CANCELLED.

The exploration of the short lyric poem, mostly English, looked at historically, beginning in the Renaissance up to the 21st century. We will analyze how poems are made addressing questions of language and tone, intention and theme. Three short response/critical papers, the first two revised, over the semester are required. These are not research papers. There are no examinations nor a final exam.


Graduate Courses, Summer & Fall 2005

Summer One 2005

Note: There are no graduate courses in Summer Two.

English 528: Seminar in Creative Writing
Professor Barbara Henning
Saturdays
12:00 pm to 4:30 pm

In this seminar in creative writing we will read and workshop both short stories as well as poetry. In the process we should learn about the borderline between the genres. Students will be expected to respond to published stories and poems as well as work by other students. During the workshop, there will also be exercises, free-writing and experiments, focusing on style and generating new material. I will try to shape the course around the interests of the particular students enrolled. Please contact me when you register so we can talk for a few minutes.

English 671: Feminist Theory and Literary Applications
Professor Carol Allen
Mondays & Wednesday
3:00 pm to 5:15 pm

This course introduces various theoretical frameworks that feminist scholars have devised in order to explain the conditions of women with the hopes that this understanding will lead to enlightenment and more pronounced freedom for women and, by extension, men. There is no unifying agreement on either what the conditions were that led to global, gender inequalities or how to fix the problem once the root causes have been identified. Thus we will spend the semester exploring the major schools of thought on the condition of women. Moving from theory to experience and back, each student is challenged to first comprehend both the general ideas and broader implications of each approach and then formulate her or his personal views on these ideas. Required texts may include:Feminist Frameworks, by Jaggar and Rothenberg; Feminist Thought, by Rosemarie Tong; Hawthorne's The Scarlett Letter; Morrison's Sula; poetry by Emily Dickenson; Conde's Tituba; an Esmeralda Santiago's American Dreams.

FALL 2005

English 523: Fiction Writing Workshop
The Short-Short Story: Episodes & Flash Fiction
Professor John High
Mondays
6:10 to 8:30 pm

The Short-Short Story represents an exciting new form re-emerging in contemporary writing. These 2-3 pages stories often combine elements of poetry, parable, and performance writing within the basic framework of fiction. Their sudden impact results from both their brevity as well as their quick and potentially explosive pacing. This is an intensive writing workshop in which we will focus on the students' stories and process of writing. We'll study the essential framework and craft of fiction (character, setting, plot, point of view, etc.), while exploring the still undefined territory of the short-short genre. How can we craft our fictions to move with urgency, immediacy, and surprise? Short, episodic writing requires a vitality of voice, a sense of the sudden and unexpected in plotting, and the mind's careful meditation on the subtle nuances of events.

We'll look at ancient parables and mythic writings as well as at what's being published now as a way to examine how contemporary writers are experimenting with the form. We'll read texts ranging from those of the ancient Sufi, Navajo, Eskimo, and Egyptian parables to stories by Yasunari Kawabata, Jayne Anne Phillips, Raymond Carver, Lydia Davis, Jamaica Kincaid, Jorge Luis Borges, and Michael Ondaatje. The course will include writing exercises to motivate and encourage students to more fully ground themselves in the craft of the short-short story as well as experiment with his or her imagination in a form of writing open to innumerable approaches and merging paths. Students will explore the possibility of episodic writing in their own work without restrictions of genre jurisdiction. Though the short-short implies brevity in form & structure, students working on expansive short stories, plays, novels, or novellas will be encouraged to interweave the craft of episodic writing into their ongoing longer work. The goal of the course includes completion of a portfolio of work, and revised editions of texts for a class anthology, group reading, & party.

English 524: Poetry Writing Workshop
Professor Lewis Warsh
Thursdays
6:10 to 8:30 pm

Each student will initiate what might be a long poem of several pages or even a book-length poem. We'll discuss the ways of accumulating data by direct observation and journal writing, by reading the newspaper (which is a kind of daily poem), and by sustaining a rhythm, a feeling, a theme. We'll pay attention to ways of improvisation, how to translate daily life into poetry, and how to use repetition and variation. We'll use as models some of the great long poems of the last century, most notably "Paterson" by William Carlos Williams, and "The Skaters" by John Ashbery. Mostly we'll look closely at each other's work, give each other feedback and advice, and share each other's concerns regarding the importance of poetry in the world.

English 526: Writing Media I: The Story
Professor Claire Goodman (Department of Media Arts)
Thursdays
6:00 to 8:50 pm

This cross-listed course is an introduction to the methods and principles of great STORYTELLING in the media. It is the cornerstone course for all forms of story: commercials, sitcoms, movies, experimental shorts, even documentaries and photographic essays. In the first half of the semester, by means of screenings and discussion, students will learn to recognize and analyze basic story elements such as narrative structure, character, setting, plot, design, irony, and comedy. In the second half, in workshop-style classes, students will work on creating their own stories using these elements. Each student will develop their own movie-short screenplay and treatment as a final project. A professional screenwriter will be a guest speaker at one of the classes. Requirements: access to a computer, purchase of Final Draft writing software, and permission of instructor to take the course.

English 527: Introduction to Grant Writing
Professor Marilyn Zlotnik
Wednesdays
6:10 to 8:30 pm

This course is designed to give students experience in the research, planning, and writing skills involved in preparing competitive grant proposals. The overall objective of the course is to provide students with an overview of the art and science of the grant writing process, including the style of technical language used. The course will provide opportunities for students to search out funding sources and fully develop all of the major components of a grant proposal that is responsive to funder requirements and priorities. Students will develop a grant proposal that will be reviewed by peers in class and by a panel of expert grant seekers. The course will include direct instruction, class discussions, small group sessions, Internet and field research, skill-building assignments, and presentations.

About the Instructor: Marilyn Zlotnik has been with Metis Associates, Inc., a New York City - headquartered research and consulting firm, since l994. Currently Ms. Zlotnik holds a dual appointment in the company, serving as the Director of Program Planning and Grants Development and as a Managing Senior Associate in the Division of Applied Research and Evaluation. Ms. Zlotnik spearheads internal proposal development activities to promote Metis' research and evaluation and information technology services and directs the development of competitive grant proposals for Metis clients, including public education agencies, institutions of higher education, and community-based organizations. Over the past ten years, these activities have resulted in grant awards in excess of $120 million to support the implementation of human services initiatives in a wide array of program areas and settings, both in New York City and across the country. In addition, Ms. Zlotnik has designed and conducted training and technical assistance sessions in the area of grantsmanship for over 15 years.

English 636: The Radical Decade--British Literature in the l930s
Professor Bernard Schweizer
Tuesdays
6:10 to 8:00 pm

Through the lens of literature, this course will explore the dramatic developments of the l930s, as England (and much of the rest of the world) slithered from exuberance (the 'Roaring Twenties'), to depression (economic and otherwise), to total crisis (World War II). We will read a representative cross-section of l930s literature (poetry, travel writing, essay, short story, and novel) to study how the predominant cultural and political forces of the time--notably the rise of totalitarianism abroad, ideological polarization at home in England, the global economic slump, and the Spanish Civil War--impacted on the period's literary production. Some of the questions that will focus our reading are: How do British writers of the period engage their readers to take sides on vital political and social issues? What is the role of Modernism in this time of crisis? Do men and women interpret the thirties condition differently? And what is the relationship between politics and art anyway? At a time when the world was seemingly coming apart at the seams, and reality may have seemed as strange, if not stranger, than fiction, Britain's men and women grappled in fascinating ways with this difficult and yet stimulating condition. Texts: W.H. Auden, poems; Katherine Burdekin, Swastika Night (l937); Graham Greene, It's a Battlefield (1934); Storm Jameson, Company Parade(1934; George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier (l937); Evelyn Waugh, Vile Bodies (1930); Rebecca West, "The Abiding Vision" (1935); Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas (l938); and selections taken from Women's Poetry of the l930s.

English 641: Literacy & Basic Writing
Professor Xiao-Ming Li
Tuesdays
6:10 to 8:00 pm

In this course, we will examine whom we teach and what we teach in basic writing courses, i.e. who are basic writers? And what is literacy? Based on the understanding of those two issues, we will discuss how to teach basic writers what we claim to teach. To answer the question of whom, we will read Shirley Brice Heath and Shondel Nero, whose studies of basic writers, the latter of students at LIU in particular, provide useful templates for our own ethnographic or case studies. For the question on literacy, we will read such influential educators as E.D. Hirsch, Paulo Freire, and Patricia Bizzell. To ponder the last question of how, we will examine models such as the Pittsburg model (Batholomae and Petrosky) and the Amherst model (Robert Varnum), and those described by Mina Shaughnessay and Geneva Smitherman in their well celebrated books. A Sourcebook for Basic Writing Teachers edited by Theresa Enos will be used as a companion book for all discussions.

Participants of the class will keep a reading journal to "think aloud" all reading assignments. Each will also engage in a semester-long project to study one of the three key issues proposed above. The project will culminate in a paper of 10-15 pages, which should 1) synthesize and evaluate the readings pertinent to the issue; 2) analyze one basic writer's written texts throughout the semester in the context of the writer's life experience; and 3) propose concrete methodology tailored to this particular basic writer.

English 646: Individual & Small Group Writing Instruction
Professor Mary Hallet
Mondays
6:10 to 8:00 pm

In this course, students will examine the theory and practice of individual and small group writing instruction. We will examine a range of strategies for working with students one-on-one in tutoring, facilitating small group workshops in the writing classroom, and designing effective small group student/teacher conferences. We will locate our work within various theoretical and historical contexts. The course will focus on the following: structuring sessions and establishing priorities; assessing, diagnosing, and responding to student writing; eliciting generative critique among students; strategies for intervention, planning, drafting, revising, proofreading, and editing; helping students help each other with grammatical and mechanical concerns; working with ESL students; attending to interpersonal dynamics and cultural and ethnic differences in one-on-one and small group interactions.

Classes will be conducted as seminars/workshops so that all students have the opportunity to participate not only in class presentations, but also in small group conferencing and workshopping among themselves. Writing will include weekly responses to reading, and a final written project, based on topics of interest that arise during the semester. Possible texts (complete or selections from): Lindermann, A Rhetoric for Writing Teachers; Meyer and Smith, The Practical Tutor; Spielberg, Across Property Lines: Textual Ownership in Writing Groups; Flynn and King,Dynamics of the Writing Conference: Social and Cognitive Interactions.

English 649: Nineteenth Century British Horror Fiction
Professor Louis Parascandola
Wednesdays
6:10 to 8:00 pm


This course will explore the growth of the gothic (horror) novel during the nineteenth century. This period saw the rapid development of the sciences and social sciences, which often legitimized (while at the same questioning) the prevailing Divine, social and political hierarchies. The works discussed in this course, including Frankenstein, Wuthering HeightsThe Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeDracula, and The Island of Dr. Moreau, all examine the uneasy tension between rebellion and following the established order which marks the beginning of the modern sensibility.