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.