Undergraduate Courses, Spring 2008

English 101: Introduction to English Studies
Professor Mary Hallet
Mondays 6:00-8:30pm

This course is REQUIRED for English majors in all three concentrations (Literature, Creative Writing, Writing & Rhetoric). You MUST take ENG 101 within the first two semesters after completing the core English courses (ENG 16 and two courses from ENG 61-62-63-64). If you are at this stage and you don't take ENG 101 in Spring 2008, then you MUST take it in Fall 2008. You MAY take other ENG courses at the same time as ENG 101.

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; and Writing & 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: Introduction To Creative Writing
Professor Lewis Warsh
Tuesdays & Thursdays 3:00-4:15 pm

This course is a prerequisite for ENG 165, 166 and 167. This course is required in the Creative Writing concentration. It can also be used to satisfy an ENG elective requirement in the Literature concentration.

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 of transcribing thought processes and experiences into writing. We will also attempt to engage the present moment--the issues of our time, if any, that influence our writing. Is it possible to write in a vacuum while ignoring the rest of the world? What is the writer’s responsibility? Can writing change the world? We will read as models the work of Maurgarite Duras, Lydia Davis, William Carlos Williams, Bernadette Mayer, Amiri Baraka, Frank O’Hara, Andre Breton, Ted Berrigan, Elizabeth Bishop, John Ashbery and Ernest Hemingway, among others. Much of the workshop time will be spent on reading and discussing each other’s writing. 

English 129: Later British Literatures
Professor Louis Parascandola
Mondays/Wednesdays 3:00-4:15

This course is required in the Literature concentration. It can also be used to satisfy a literature requirement in the Creative Writing concentration or in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration.

This course will discuss literary views of imperialism and the expansion of the British Empire. Major texts will include Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, E. M. Forster's A Passage to India, and Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. We will also look at shorter poems, stories, and essays by such authors as Swift, Blake, Dickens, Stevenson, Kipling, and Orwell. In addition, we will get responses from people of color who lived and wrote in England such as Equiano, Bennett, and Soyinka.

English 137: Shakespeare and London Theater
Professor Srividhya Swaminathan
Mondays/Wednesdays 4:30-5:45 pm

This course will satisfy a requirement in the Literature concentration. It can also be used to satisfy a literature requirement in the Creative Writing concentration or in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration.

William Shakespeare is the most recognized figure in English literature, and the diversity of his plays is a testament to the dynamic world of Elizabethan and Jacobin theater. This course will introduce students to the London stage and the socio-cultural changes that influenced Shakespeare’s oeuvre. Students will study plays that represent the three major genres within drama—tragedy, comedy, and history. They will have an opportunity to perform scenes from the plays to understand staging and delivery of lines. In addition, students will also view movie adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays to consider how his work continues to have an impact on contemporary culture.

English 159: American Literature After the Civil War
Professor Carol Allen
Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:30-5:45 pm

This course is required in the Literature concentration. It can also be used to satisfy a literature requirement in the Creative Writing concentration or in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration.

This semester, we will concentrate on contemporary literature written by authors from the United States. We begin with the late nineteenth century and regionalism and quickly shift to the Modernist period that falls between 1914 and 1935, reading texts from the Lost Generation and the Harlem Renaissance. Around mid-semester, we will move on to naturalism and, then, post-War pieces by living writers. Expect to encounter texts in the form of novels, short stories, drama and poetry by Twain, Chestnut, Faulkner, Stein, Hemingway, Hughes, Hurston, Cullen, Wright, Brooks, Miller, Albee, Morrison, Cruz, Wideman, and others. A manageable amount of criticism and theory will also comprise part of our reading list, and whenever possible, we will avail ourselves of the speakers and events at Long Island University and in the surrounding community. Assignments will include informal creative and prose composition, in-class essays, close readings, one oral presentation, and a final project. 

English 166: Fiction Writing Workshop / Life Stories
Professor John High
Thursdays 6:00-8:30 pm

ENG 104 is a prerequisite for this course. This course will satisfy a requirement in the Creative Writing concentration. It can also be used to satisfy an ENG elective requirement in the Literature concentration.

We all have our stories. We live and tell them everyday. But how do we develop the concentration and confidence to get them down on the page? This workshop will focus on the way autobiography and dreams overlap with story writing and how the past can be fictionalized as a way of giving it a voice-to give the writer both distance from and freedom to enter our own life stories. The premise is that the source of much 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 Hurston, Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, Jamacia Kincaid, and Sherman Alexie (among others) who often blur the borders between fiction, dream and life story. We will build up our confidence as we develop our craft and skill at telling our stories in a new language. 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 by the masters of the past. There will be weekly creative writing exercises and games, workshops and discussions, as well as commentary on the writing process and how to make it come alive for you. Our writing project will include working with dreams, secrets, memories, observations, opinions, overheard conversations and random fragments of language, as well as episodes from our childhoods up through the present. The goal of the course includes completing a short book of your stories (a chapbook) and giving a reading in the reading series hosted by the English Department's MFA in Creative Writing Program.

English 168: Creative Non-Fiction Writing Workshop
Professor Deborah Mutnick
Mondays/Wednesdays 2:00-3:15

English 103 is a prerequisite for this course. This course will satisfy a requirement in either the Writing & Rhetoric concentration or the Creative Writing concentration. It can also be used to satisfy an ENG elective requirement in the Literature concentration.

The Creative Nonfiction Workshop is designed to give you the opportunity to experiment with this genre (the nonfiction essay infused by literary techniques and devices) in a community of writers. The focus this semester is on place, history, and testimony, and how they intertwine in writing inspired by political struggle and resistance. Originating in Latin American countries among people who were targets of harsh political repression, testimonio blends history and literature to give voice to historical experience from a grassroots, eyewitness perspective. What does it mean to "speak truth to power"? What happens when people challenge "official histories"? From whose perspective is most history told? What stories are marginalized, silenced, erased? And what sort of writing best enables those stories to be heard?

A central course text is Edwidge Danticat's new book, Brother, I'm Dying, a memoir about her father and uncle, one a Haitian immigrant in New York City, the other a minister who stayed in Haiti until he was forced at 81 years of age to evacuate in ill health, detained by U.S. Customs, and died in a prison in Florida. Other texts we may read include testimony by the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina and participants in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, as well as works by Audre Lorde, Terry Tempest Williams, Carolina Maria de Jesus, Eduardo Galeano, James Baldwin, and Susan Griffin. The readings serve both to model and inspire first and third person narratives that situate individual experience in broad socio-historical contexts, especially those of people whose stories are less likely to be voiced from their own perspectives.

In addition to creative nonfiction techniques and strategies, the course will incorporate oral history, story circles, and other interactive methods to gather materials. Students will be encouraged, though not required, to produce multi-modal work integrating text and images. The emphasis of the class, however, will be on your own writing, which will be discussed at least twice in workshop during the semester. You will be required to complete three 4-6-page essays and a 3-5 page reflective essay. 

English 169: Non-Western / Post-Colonial Literature
Professor Rosamond King
Tuesdays 6:00-8:30 pm

This course is required in the Literature concentration. It can also be used to satisfy a literature requirement in the Creative Writing concentration or in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration.

Who, what, and where is the postcolonial? Does the term only relate to the formerly colonized, or does it also implicate the former colonizers? And what is its relationship to the realities of diaspora and immigration? This class will explore the concept of "postcoloniality" through examining literature, film, and theory. We will look at exciting contemporary texts from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe and consider them in relationship to their own context as well as to the world we all share.

English 170: Modern Irish Literature: James Joyce's Ulysses
Professor Maria McGarrity
Mondays 6-8:30 pm

This course will satisfy a requirement in the Literature concentration. It can also be used to satisfy a literature requirement in the Creative Writing concentration or in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration.

During this term, we will devote ourselves to the study of James Joyce's Ulysses. We will examine Joyce's literary inheritance and influence, specifically invoking the enduring myth of the wanderer in the alienated modern metropolis, as we determine how Joyce exploded conventional novelistic boundaries and reshaped the expectations of the common reader. Joyce's Ulysses has had a profound impact on Irish, Modern, and World literature. We won't subscribe to one model of the novel or a singular conceptual paradigm to organize the book but rather will attend to critical and theoretical issues as they become relevant. Through the close reading of the novel and the highlighting of specific passages, we will follow Bloom, Stephen, and Molly through their Dublin wanderings and discern why this novel continues to capture the imagination. Requirements: One short paper explicating assigned passages, a class presentation on a critical article, a final class presentation your research paper, and a final research paper. Required Texts: course reader (to be distributed); Blamires, The New Bloomsday Book: a Guide to Ulysses; Brooker, Joyce Critics:Transitions in Reading and Culture; Gifford and Seidman, Allusions in Ulysses; Joyce, Ulysses: the Corrected Text, Gabler et al., eds.

This course is cross-listed as English 580.

English 172: Introduction to Contemporary Rhetorical Theory
Professor John Killoran
Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:30-5:45 pm

A new writing and rhetoric course for students in any field, this course will satisfy a requirement in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can also be used to satisfy an ENG elective requirement in the Literature concentration.

How does a political candidate’s speech rouse voters?
How does a lawyer’s argument sway jurors?
How does an organization’s advertisement influence consumers?
How do a song’s lyrics move listeners?

In Contemporary Rhetorical Theory, we aim to answer these and similar questions about the power of language. The course is an elective for students across the disciplines as well as in English who seek to understand the persuasive effect of language in their personal lives, their communities, and their careers in journalism, law, business, the health professions, science, technology, education, and the arts.

Students will learn perspectives to help them recognize how language persuades us of what we believe and whom we believe. By the end of the semester, students will have developed their sensitivity to the power in others’ use of language and will become more empowered in their own use of language.

English 190: Senior Seminar in Literature
Professor Bernard Schweizer
Thursdays 12:00-2:30 pm

This course is required in the Literature concentration.

The main purpose of this course is to produce the cap-stone work for English majors—the senior thesis. To this end, students in English 190 are expected to accomplish the following tasks: select a text (or texts) that you want to make the subject of your thesis, map out an approach to this text, conduct fairly extensive research on the text and author, then write a formal research proposal, followed by a draft and a revised final paper. This course will be conducted along the lines of an advanced, student-centered workshop. That is to say, students will take center-stage in every class session. Since it is likely that every student of English 190 will select a different text for his or her thesis, it is expected that all students be prepared “to teach” their chosen text to the rest of the class in order to demonstrate their competence in handling their subject matter. Hence, each student will be called upon repeatedly to give presentations to the rest of the class. The instructor will be on hand to give advice and guidance to optimize the results of this approach. The final grade will be based 60% on the thesis itself and 40% on the weekly presentations during the course of the semester. While it is possible to expand a pre-existing paper into your senior thesis, it is at the instructor’s discretion to make the call whether this is in fact the chosen procedure. Every student is expected to come to the first class equipped with a short-list of texts that he or she considers writing about for the senior thesis. Be prepared to explain to the instructor and to your classmates what attracts you to the chosen texts and what general idea you want to pursue with your thesis.

English 191: Senior Seminar in Creative Writing
Professor Lewis Warsh
times to be arranged

This course is required in the Creative Writing concentration. Times to be arranged; consult the Chair of the English Department (Professor Sealy Gilles) or the Undergraduate Registration Advisor (Professor Wayne Berninger) if you think you need to take this course now.

We will investigate the lives and writings of various authors (Gertrude Stein, Arthur Rimbaud, Robert Creeley, Zora Neale Hurston and Frank O’Hara, among others); attend and report on poetry readings--and give readings ourselves; go to museums; listen to music; keep intensive reading journals. Our final project will be putting together a manuscript of our writing.

English 192: Senior Seminar in Writing & Rhetoric
instructor and times to be arranged

This course is required in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. Instructor and times to be arranged; consult the Chair of the English Department (Professor Sealy Gilles) or the Undergraduate Registration Advisor (Professor Wayne Berninger) if you think you need to take this course now.

In this capstone course, English majors concentrating in Writing and Rhetoric pursue independent research projects in a range of topics from the history of rhetoric, rhetorical theory, or rhetoric and gender; they may also develop a nonfiction essay accompanied by a reflective text that demonstrates theoretical knowledge of the genre and the writer's rhetorical choices. Students will use a variety of research resources and submit a formal proposal, a first draft, and a final draft of the paper (including, in the case of a non-fiction essay, the reflective text). In addition to required readings on research methods and writing, at least one research or theoretical text and one nonfiction text, along with selected critical essays, will be assigned.


Graduate Courses, Spring 2008

Eng. 504: Traditions & Lineages
Professor John High
Tuesdays, 4:10 - 6:00 pm

Where do our literary traditions come from, and how do they affect the ways, consciously or unconsciously, we approach our own creative work? Who gave us our names and do we have to accept them? While the conventions of popular culture imitate and mimic the past, art is constantly reinventing itself and simultaneously building upon the literary traditions that inform who we become as writers. We have choices. Our goal in this course will be to make the unfamiliar familiar, to uncover the sources and lineages of our own art by making the past real and practical for the books we are writing in the 21st Century. We will do close readings of primal poetries and narratives and examine the crossroads as well as the connections between oral and written language and the so-called primitive and postmodern while looking at origins and naming as method and technique in our own writing. We will explore the use of visions and spells, changes and repetitions, and verbal invention in ancient to contemporary texts from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Near East, Oceania, and the Americas. At the core of the course will be the question of how we can expand upon the techniques and craft of our own poems and stories. Writers will include those from the Kato Indian to the Bushman and Navajo, the Tibetan and Aztec, the Eskimo and Egyptian up to the contemporary poets and fiction writers who have played off these traditions and lineages and become models for 20th/21st Century avant-garde movements.

A final chapbook, consisting of all your own new writing, is due at the end of the semester. We will also schedule a part and give a reading in the reading series hosted by the English Department's MFA in Creative Writing Program.

Eng. 520: Nonfiction Writing Workshop
Professor Deborah Mutnick
Wednesdays, 4:10 - 6:00 pm


This nonfiction writing workshop is designed to give you the opportunity to experiment with creative nonfiction (the nonfiction essay infused by literary techniques and devices) through the lens of testimony. The focus of the course is on place, history, and testimony, and how they intertwine in writing inspired by political struggle and resistance. Originating in Latin American countries among people who were targets of harsh political repression, testimonio blends history and literature to give voice to historical experience from a grassroots, eyewitness perspective. What does it mean to "speak truth to power"? What happens when people challenge "official histories"? From whose perspective is most history told? What stories are marginalized, silenced, erased? And what sort of writing best enables those stories to be heard?

A central course text is Edwidge Danticat's new book, Brother, I'm Dying, a memoir about her father and uncle, one a Haitian immigrant in New York City, the other a minister who stayed in Haiti until he was forced at 81 years of age to evacuate in ill health, detained by U.S. Customs, and died in a prison in Florida. Other texts we may read include testimony by the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina and participants in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, as well as works by Audre Lorde, Terry Tempest Williams, Carolina Maria de Jesus, Eduardo Galeano, James Baldwin, and Susan Griffin, Alessandro Portelli, John Beverly, George Yudice, and Frederick Jameson. The readings serve to model, inspire, and interrogate first and third person narratives that situate individual experience in broad socio-historical contexts.

In addition to creative nonfiction techniques and strategies, the course will incorporate oral history, story circles, and other interactive methods to gather materials. Students will be encouraged, though not required, to produce multi-modal work integrating text and images. The emphasis of the class is on student writing, which will be discussed at least twice in workshop during the semester. You will be required to complete a minimum of three 5-7-page essays and a 4-6-page reflective essay in which you situate your own writing in relation to the texts and traditions we study.

English 523: Fiction Writing Workshop
Creating Characters: Their Lives, Their Fictions
Professor Jessica Hagedorn
Wednesdays, 6:10 - 8:00 pm

The fiction writing workshop is designed to expose student writers to challenging critical responses to their work. We will explore strategies for the development of characters: their sources, their evolutions and the challenges of making them fantastic, credible and complex. How do we give characters distinct positions in a story that develop perspective and purpose? Be prepared for weekly writing and rewriting assignments; you will be asked to present excerpts from your novels-in-progress or short stories for class discussion. The work of writers as varied as Roberto Bolaño, Jorge Luis Borges, Denis Johnson, Lydia Davis, Junot Diaz, Ha Jin, Flannery O'Connor and others will be read and examined.

Jessica Hagedorn, who is the Parsons Family Professor of Creative Writing at Long Island University in Brooklyn, was born and raised in the Philippines and came to the United States in her early teens. Her novels include Dream JungleThe Gangster Of Love, which was nominated for the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and Dogeaters, which was nominated for a National Book Award. 

Hagedorn is also the author of Danger And Beauty, a collection of poetry and prose, and the editor ofCharlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction and Charlie Chan Is Dead 2: At Home In The World. Her poetry, plays and prose have been anthologized widely.

Recent work in theatre include the musical play, Most Wanted, in collaboration with composer Mark Bennett and director Michael Greif, at the La Jolla Playhouse; Fe In The Desert and Stairway To Heavenfor Campo Santo in San Francisco, and the stage adaptation of Dogeaters, which was presented at La Jolla Playhouse and at the NYSF/Public Theater (director: Michael Greif); at SIPA Performance Space in Los Angeles and at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City (director: Jon Lawrence Rivera).

Upcoming theatre projects: The 2007 Manila premiere of Dogeaters, directed by Bobby Garcia; and Three Vampires, a multimedia collaboration with director Ping Chong.

Honors and prizes include a 2006 Lucille Lortel Playwrights' Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fiction Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, an NEA-TCG Playwriting Residency Fellowship, as well as fellowships from the Sundance Playwrights' Lab and the Sundance Screenwriters' Lab.

Hagedorn has taught in the MFA Creative Writing Programs at Columbia University and New York University, and at the Yale School Of Drama. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Jerome Foundation, the Board of Trustees of PEN, the Board of Directors of the National Book Foundation, the Advisory Board of the Asian American Writers' Workshop, the Advisory Board of Amerasia Journal at UCLA, and on the Editorial Board of Random House's Modern Library.

English 524: Poetry Writing Workshop / Eros and Loss
Professor Akilah Oliver
Thursdays, 6:10 - 8:00 pm

Students will work on a long, serial poem throughout the semester to investigate the nature of Eros and loss. Working from these two dual fields or sites, students will construct a serial poem of approximately 20-25 pages, or a series of related poems, which engage the topic from multiple perspectives. Students will be asked to write to, from and around critical questions to frame a poetic inquiry that steps beyond a sentimental or self-indulgent notion of the subjects. We will aim to enter into a poetic investigation that engages "new" forms and challenges the poet's notions of "voice".

Required course readings will include contemporary poets who investigate Eros and loss from differing subject positions, including Eleni Sikelianos, Yusef Komunyakaa, Kristen Prevallet, and Alice Notley. Roland Barthes' A Lover's Discourse will serve as our primary critical reading source.

Akilah Oliver is a poet. Her most recent chapbooks are The Putterer's Notebook (Belladonna Press, 2006), a(A)ugust (Portable Labs at Yo-Yo Press, 2007), and An Arriving Guard of Angels Thusly Coming to Greet (Farfalla, McMillan & Parrish, 2004). She is also the author of the she said dialogues: flesh memory (Smokeproof / Erudite Fangs, 1999), a book of experimental prose poetry honored by the PEN American Center's "Open Book" award. She has been artist in residence at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Los Angeles, and has received grants from the California Arts Council, The Flintridge Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. She has taught at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Naropa University. She is currently core faculty at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics' Summer Writing Program at Naropa University. She lives in Brooklyn.

English 579: Toni Morrison
Professor Carol Allen
Tuesdays, 6:10 - 8:00 pm

Toni Morrison's writing career has spanned over thirty-five years, but the historical net for her fiction and prose has covered from slavery to the contemporary period. She is one of the foremost chroniclers of American history, culture and social formations in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Often, her texts are preoccupied with geography (a sense of place), language, and the physical limitations of a given age, so we will follow her lead and also concentrate on place, word (or sound), and time. Our focus will be on Morrison's novels: The Bluest EyeSulaSong of Solomon, Beloved, Jazz, Paradise, and Love, but we'll give ample attention to her criticism and essays: Playing in the Dark and other pieces. Supplemental material includes criticism on Morrison's work and a sampling of texts by writers that have highly influenced her: Faulkner, Brooks, perhaps Ellison and Twain. Requirements include a short paper, final project, and at least one oral report.

English 580: Modern Irish Literature / James Joyce's Ulysses
Professor Maria McGarrity
Mondays, 6:10 - 8:00 pm

During this term, we will devote ourselves to the study of James Joyce's Ulysses. We will examine Joyce's literary inheritance and influence, specifically invoking the enduring myth of the wanderer in the alienated modern metropolis, as we determine how Joyce exploded conventional novelistic boundaries and reshaped the expectations of the common reader. Joyce's Ulysses has had a profound impact on Irish, Modern, and World literature. We won't subscribe to one model of the novel or a singular conceptual paradigm to organize the book but rather will attend to critical and theoretical issues as they become relevant. Through the close reading of the novel and the highlighting of specific passages, we will follow Bloom, Stephen, and Molly through their Dublin wanderings and discern why this novel continues to capture the imagination.

Requirements: One short paper explicating assigned passages, a class presentation on a critical article, a final class presentation your research paper, and a final research paper.

Required Texts: course reader (to be distributed); Blamires, The New Bloomsday Book: a Guide toUlysses; Brooker, Joyce Critics: Transitions in Reading and Culture; Gifford and Seidman, Allusions in Ulysses; Joyce, Ulysses: the Corrected Text, Gabler et al., eds.

This course is cross-listed with English 170.

English 620: Theory of Rhetoric & Teaching of Writing
Professor Harriet Malinowitz
Mondays, 4:10 - 6:00 pm


To write involves making rhetorical choices, and rhetorical theory provides a crucial foundation upon which teachers of writing can build informed pedagogies. In this course we will examine rhetorical theories that can help us to understand and teach persuasive and analytic writing as it manifests itself in the 21st century. After beginning with the ancient rhetorics of Aristotle and the Sophists, we will quickly jump ahead to the twentieth century to study the work of Kenneth Burke, Michel Foucault, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Geneva Smitherman, Paulo Freire, Stephen Toulmin, Edward Bernays, Jacques Ellul, Edward Schiappa, and others. Some of the questions we will explore are: What sorts of persuasive techniques have rhetoricians proposed? What's the difference (if any) between persuasion and propaganda? When does persuasion amount to sneaky manipulation and when does it constitute ethical discourse? How can we teach students (and ourselves) to spot the former and produce the latter? What is "truth," and how do we present "truthful" claims in academic and public writing? What is meant by terms such as "objectivity" and "bias"? What is the role of social context in individuals' acts of construing and constructing knowledge? Why are rhetorical strategies—for instance; definition, classification, cause and effect-—important? How do they relate to the ways we make meaning as individuals and as a society in realms such as law, public policy, medicine, education, international relations, communication between different social groups, our treatment of the environment, and culture? Should these rhetorical strategies be taught in the writing class? How? Each student will make a presentation to the class on one of the theories we read, suggesting questions for investigation and potential pedagogical applications. There will also be a 10-page paper which seeks to address a theoretical question of the student's choosing.

English 636: Postcolonial Literature & Theory
Professor Jonathan Haynes
Thursdays, 4:10 - 6:00 pm

Nearly all of the world's cultures have been deeply marked by the experience of colonialism, whether as colonizers or colonized; the aftereffects are so important that the literatures of most of the world's population are described (in Western universities, at least) as "postcolonial." This course will explore some of the imaginative landmarks and theoretical concepts that have shaped thinking about colonialism and its consequences for contemporary global culture. We will begin with Shakespeare's The Tempest, which lays out the mythology of colonialism; and then turn to anti-colonial resistance, revolt, and revolution as formulated by the Caribbean and African writers Aimé Césaire, Leopold Senghor, and Frantz Fanon. More recently, the fierce dualisms of colonialism and the struggles against it have been supplemented by more nuanced concepts of hybridity, creolization, and syncretism; women, who were often ignored or treated as objects, have made their voices heard; and popular culture has attracted more attention. We will trace these shifts in several theoretical texts and in two big novels from the Indian subcontinent, Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses and Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things.

English 700: Practicum in the Teaching of Writing
Professor Donald McCrary
Thursdays, 6:10 - 8:00 pm

This course prepares graduate English students to teach in the LIU/Brooklyn Writing Program by examining the theories and practices that guide the program, including social constructionism, process writing, portfolio assessment, and thematic course design and applying those theories and practices to the creation of a viable English 16 syllabus. In addition, the course will explore managing the classroom, creating/integrating reading and writing assignments, responding to student texts, teaching grammar, organizing/facilitating teacher-student conferences, and addressing the linguistic issues of a multicultural student population.

Possible texts for the course include Facts, Artifacts, and Counterfacts by Anthony Petrosky and David Batholomae, The St. Martin's Guide to Teaching Writing by Cheryl Glenn et al., and Portfolio Assessment in the Reading and Writing Classroom by Robert J. Tierney, Mark A. Carter, and Laura E. Desai.

English 707: Methods in Research & Criticism
Professor Lewis Warsh
Tuesdays, 6:10 - 8:00 pm

Let's begin with Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud—two 19th Century French poets. Baudelaire and Rimbaud were two of the main precursors to everything that happened in Western poetry in the 20th century. We're going to use our theoretical readings to look at their poetry and its reception, as well as all the strands that developed out of their work. Besides these poets, we're going to read Walter Benjamin's study of Baudelaire, The Writer of Modern Life, and other essays by Benjamin, as well as many short essays by numerous poets and theorists. We're going to start off with Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents, and look closely at Pierre Bourdieu's The Field of Cultural ProductionThe Human Condition by Hannah Arendt, and The Shape of Time by George Kubler.

I want to test these two methods of research: the direct, more generic approach, where we go head on at something, and find out everything about our subject; and the indirect approach, where everything unrelated to the subject has the potential to count for something, The indirect approach is tricky, but it's what gives the individual stamp on an act of research. As a way of doing this, we're going to study the ways of making connections between different branches of knowledge, and look for relationships that didn't exist before. The field is endless. Let's try to do as much as we can, and build something we can use for the future.


Holiday Party!

Calling all semester survivors:

Thursday, December 13th, 4-6 PM is our annual potluck holiday party on the fourth floor.

Natalie and Karen have kindly agreed to organize the festivities. English Department faculty should let them know what they are bringing.

MFA Reading Series: Graduate Theses

Announcing...

Gut Compass: A Thesis Reading in Poetry & Fiction

Poetry / Fiction Reading by Students in our M.F.A. Program

It would be fabulous if you could all attend this final hurrah for some of our graduate students!

Long Island University Presents
a Graduate Thesis Reading
November 16, 2007
7-9pm
The Livingroom Lounge
South Slope, Brooklyn

featuring performances by:

Steve Posten
Stephanie Marshall
Mark Perkins
Sarah Kolbasowski
M.A. Reid


Please join us for an evening of fiction, poetry and celebration!
We hope to see you all there!

Directions to The Livingroom Lounge:
245 23rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue in South Slope, Brooklyn. The best way to get there by train is to take the R to 25th St. Walk up the hill to 5th and over to 23rd. The phone number is 718-499-1505.

Downtown Brooklyn Now Accepting Submissions!

Attention poets & writers!

Submit your work for possible publication in Downtown Brooklyn: a Journal of Writing.

Downtown Brooklyn is the literary magazine of the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University and is published annually, during the fall semester.

We accept submissions from September 1 until February 1 for the next issue. Our policy (effective September 2007) is to read & reply to submissions as they arrive.

We give preference to work by students, full- & part-time faculty & campus staff (as well as alumni & former faculty & staff) from the Brooklyn Campus. We also welcome & encourage submissions from Visiting Writers teaching in the English Department's MFA program.

Please be selective & limit your submission to ten, single-spaced pages or the equivalent of poetry &/or fiction &/or creative non-fiction. You may, of course, submit fewer than ten pages. Also include a brief cover letter in which you describe your affiliation with the Brooklyn Campus & list your phone number, mailing address & e-mail address.

The best way to send your submission is attached to an e-mail sent to this address:

wayne.berninger@liu.edu.

If for some reason you are unable to send your submission via e-mail, then save it as an MS Word document on CD & place it in Wayne Berninger's faculty mailbox in the English Department (Humanities Building, fourth floor).

If you cannot submit via e-mail or on CD, you can drop off a typewritten manuscript at the abovementioned location, & if we accept your work for publication, we will word-process it ourselves.

If you are not on campus (e.g., if you are an alumnus or if you no longer work at LIU), you may snail-mail your submission to this address:

Wayne Berninger, Editor
Downtown Brooklyn: a Journal of Writing
English Department
Long Island University--Brooklyn Campus
One University Plaza
Brooklyn, NY11201.

No matter how you get your submission to us, you should receive a reply (either by e-mail or phone) to let you know that we received your submission. If you don't hear back from us within a few days after e-mailing or dropping off your submission, then please try again. If all else fails, drop by in person to see Wayne Berninger (Humanities Building, Room 454).

Note: We cannot return electronic files, CDs, or manuscripts, so please be sure to keep a copy of your submission.

Voices of the Rainbow: Monique Truong & Heidi W. Durrow

Monique Truong, from Saigon, is author of the novel The Book of Salt, about the literary couple Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein and their young Vietnamese cook, Binh.

Heidi W. Durrow, of African-American and Danish heritage, has won several writing awards and is completing a novel, Light-Skinned-ed Girl.

Tuesday, November 13, noon
Health Sciences Building, Room 119

For more information about the Voices of the Rainbow reading series, click here.

Welcome to The Longest Island...

...the official blog of the English Department at LIU Brooklyn (the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University).

The Longest Island is the best way to learn about who we are and what we do. We consider this blog to be the "front door" to the English Department, and while we do provide a link to the official LIU Brooklyn English Department website, the blog is always more up-to-date and more reliable, and we urge members of the English Department family to make it their first stop when seeking accurate information about our programs and activities.


In the sidebar at the right, you will find several menus that should guide you to whatever information you may be seeking in your quest to learn about the English Department. 

The sidebar also features (1) live feeds of our various social media channels; (2) a long list of tags, which you can use to search for past blog posts by topic; and (3) a month-by-month archive of past announcements.

Thanks for visiting The Longest Island. Come back soon.


And we look forward to meeting you at our next event!

Barbara Henning, John High, Tod Thilleman and Lewis Warsh

The MFA Program in Creative Writing at Long Island University

&

Spuyten Duyvil books

presents readings by

Barbara Henning
John High
Tod Thilleman
Lewis Warsh

June 12 Tuesday 6-8 PM

Bisquit BBQ
President Street & Fifth Avenue
Brooklyn, New York

Barbara Henning is the author of Smoking in the Twilight Bar (United
Artists 1988), Love Makes Thinking Dark (UA, 1995), Detective Sentences
(Spuyten Duyvil, 2001), You, Me and The Insects (SD, 2005) and My
Autobiography (UA, 2007). For many years she taught in the English
department at Long Island University. She presently lives in Tucson,
Arizona.

John High's most recent books are Here (Talisman, 2006) and Talking
God's Radio Show (Spuyten Duyvil, 2006). He is the editor of Crossing
Centuries: The New Russian Poetry (Talisman) and has co-translated
books by Russian poets Nina Iskrenko, Aleksei Parshchikov and Ivan
Zhdanov. He teaches in the MFA program at Long Island University.

Tod Thilleman is the author of numerous books of poems and the novel
Gowanus Canal, Hans Knudsen (Spuyten Duyvil, 2003). . From 1991-1999 he
was editor of Poetry New York, a journal of poetry & translation. He is
editor and publisher of Spuyten Duyvil Books.

Lewis Warsh's most recent books are The Origin of the World (Creative
Arts, 2001) and Ted's Favorite Skirt (Spuyten Duyvil, 2002). A new
novel, A Place in the Sun, is forthcoming from Spuyten Duyvil, and a
new book of poems, Inseparable: Poems 1995-2005 is forthcoming from
Granary, He is director of the MFA program in creative writing at Long
Island University.

Undergraduate Courses, Summer & Fall 2007

Summer Session One 2007

(May 14 - June 25)

(There are no upper division courses in Summer Session Two this year.)

English 180: American Detective Fiction
Professor Donald McCrary
Summer Session One 2007: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1-4:40 pm

According to critic Brian McHale, the detective novel, in its search for truth and certainty, is the quintessential modernist fiction. Even in our so-called postmodern society, detective fiction is wildly popular, as evidenced by the proliferation of detective novels that address unique perspectives of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and, yes, postmodernism. While the roots of American detective fiction are widely debated, with critics locating diverse sources from classical literature to Edgar Allen Poe, it is indisputable that American writers created a unique type of detective fiction, influencing everything from French cinema to modern constructions of masculinity. In this course, we will analyze psychological, philosophical, epistemological, social, and cultural ideas and themes within American detective fiction, as we attempt to answer this framing question: What does American detective fiction have to tell us about ourselves and the world in which we live? Writers we will read include Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, John M. Cain, Walter Mosley, Sara Peretsky, Barbara Neely, and RD Zimmerman.
Students will read at least one fiction novel each week, in addition to critical essays about the novels. Students will write journal entries for all the readings and produce two critical essays, each at least six pages in length.

FALL 2007

English 101: Introduction to English Studies
Professor Patricia Stephens
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:00- 1:15 pm 


What does one need to know to be an English major or minor? What do English majors and minors study and learn? What kinds of careers and educational opportunities await those who graduate with a degree in English? This course is designed to familiarize students with the diversity and scope of English studies and to introduce students to contemporary debates concerning such issues as the connection between reading and writing, the relationship among different interpretive/critical strategies, and the nature and politics of the literary canon. In this course, we will 1) learn about the rise of English as a discipline and how the profession of English has changed over time; 2) analyze the formation and politics of the literary canon; 3) engage in close readings of literary texts; and 4) examine and experiment with numerous methods of literary criticism and analysis. This course will be conducted as a seminar, and students will be expected to participate in and take responsibility for class discussions. We will read selections from David Richter's Falling Into Theory: Conflicting Views on Literature alongside numerous literary texts (poetry, fiction, and drama selections TBA).

English 103: Workshop on the Essay
Professor Jonathan Haynes
Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00-4:15

This workshop aims to deepen skills in writing nonfiction prose. To that end we will study representative works by masters of the essay, but the heart of the course will be writing, editing one another's work, and individual meetings with the instructor. Writing is a complex skill and we will pay attention to all its facets, from tone and point of view to grammar and organizing structures. Students will be encouraged to develop their own personal styles and voices and will have considerable freedom in choosing what to write about. Some forms of the essay that we will study and practice are the news story (as a model of efficiently conveying information), the editorial (as an exercise in persuasion), the autobiographical sketch, and the family history.
This course is cross-listed as Journalism 150. It should be useful to students in any discipline who want to improve their written communication skills.

English 104: Introduction To Creative Writing / Finding Our Voices
Professor John High

Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:30-2:45 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 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 a fiction, a poem--what is a metaphor, what is the magic of language, the ghost of echoes, which reflect 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 voice/s and styles. The goal of the course includes completing a portfolio and/or anthology of our work.

English 126: News Writing (cross-listed as Journalism 119)
Professor Rauche (Journalism Department)
Section 1: Mondays 3-5:50 pm
Section 2: Wednesdays 6-8:50 pm

English 128: Early British Literatures / The Making of the English.
Professor Srividhya Swaminathan
Mondays, 6:00- 8:30 pm

What does it mean to be English, and how does language contribute to construction of identity? Why do we study early English literature and what kinds of things are we to learn from the texts? How did English literary traditions evolve over time to create a cohesive identity and culture for its people? This course will begin a chronological survey of the development of English literary traditions beginning in the ninth century and ending in the eighteenth. In covering texts as diverse as BeowulfThe Canterbury Tales, and The Way of the World, students will gain an understanding of the evolution of the English language from its earliest forms to the more modern version of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. By examining the geographic and cultural boundaries as they change over the centuries, students will gain a better grasp of the fluidity of "English" or "British" identity. Finally, students will learn how the form of literature-poetry, prose, drama-changes over time and contributes to the evolving culture.

English 158: Early Literature of the United States / Captivity Narratives
Professor Carol Allen
Tuesdays & Thursdays 3:00-4:15 pm


This course explores early American writing before the Civil War. Using the general rubric that most American literature during this era is either an instantiation of economic, social, and/or spiritual containment or a response to being trapped in some manner, we will collectively delve into questions concerning the nature of literary constructs and their permeability. So, as we discover how writing shapes the world by limiting perception, we will focus on its ability to subvert expectations and norms, to infuse political and social spheres with revolutionary spirits, and to redraw forms and terrain. Expect to read political documents, slave narratives, religious texts, myths, poetry, essays, autobiography, fictional narratives and applicable criticism. A partial list of authors includes John Winthrop, Anne Bradstreet, Benjamin Franklin, James Fenimore Cooper, Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Edgar Allan Poe.

English 165: Poetry Workshop
Professor Lewis Warsh
Mondays & Wednesdays 3-4:15 pm

THIS COURSE WAS CANCELED.

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 173: Writing in the Community / Recording Women's Lives through Oral History
Professor Harriet Malinowitz
Mondays 6-8:30 pm

THIS COURSE WAS CANCELED.

“Subjective,” personal, non-“official” accounts of what happened in particular times, places, and circumstances offer unique ways of understanding the world and its history. In this course students will collect and disseminate the voices of women whose stories would ordinarily not be accessible to wider publics. We will read about the theories, uses, and methods of oral history, and we will also read a variety of oral histories of women. By the end of the term, and after completing a series of smaller assignments, each student will produce a substantial oral history based on an extended interview with one woman. The women who are the subjects of the oral histories will be carefully chosen according to the interests expressed by the students. The emphasis will be on older (aged 70+) women who may illuminate the realities of earlier social and historical periods, but exceptions may be made in consultation with the instructor. Students are welcome to pursue particular community, family, social, or disciplinary projects of interest to them. The course may be particularly useful for students interested in writing and/or women’s studies, as well as for students majoring in history, sociology, anthropology, or journalism. It will also be of use to anyone seeking a humanities elective that will help in preserving the stories of one or more older women in one’s life.

English 175: Writing for the Professions
Professor John Killoran
Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:30-5:45 pm


When you are given your first writing project on the job, will you know what to do? Writing for the Professions is an elective for students across the disciplines as well as in English who are looking ahead to prepare themselves to write for their careers in business, law, the health professions, science, technology, education, and the arts.

Students will learn to orient their writing toward different audiences, such as managers, customers, clients, and professional colleagues. Students will also learn to write in ways that result in action. By the end of the semester, students will have written their resume and other career-related documents, and will be more confident in their abilities to write effectively.

English 180: Reading and Writing Autobiography
Professor Patrick Horrigan
Mondays & Wednesdays 4:30-5:45 pm

THIS COURSE WAS CANCELED.

This is a course in a popular form of life writing known as "autobiography," the writing of one's own life story. By studying a diverse selection of autobiographical works ranging from early Christian "confessions" to nineteenth-century slave narratives to contemporary video diaries, we will see how various writiers and visual artists throughout history and in diverse cultures have tried to create images of themselves. Works will include Saint Augustine's Confessions, Dante's The New Life, Frederick Douglass's narrative of his life as a slave, Walt Whitman's poem "Song of Myself," Edmund Gosse's Father and Son, Virginia Woolf's "A Sketch of the Past," Anne Frank's diary, Richard Wright's Black Boy, Jonathan Couette's video diary Tarnation, and Marjane Starapi's graphic memoir about growing up during the Iran-Iraq war, Persepolis. In addition to reading and writing about the works of published autobiographers, students will have the opportunity to create their own autobiographies. A field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to look at self-portrait paintings will also be arranged.


Graduate Courses, Summer & Fall 2007

Summer Session One 2007

 (May 14 -- June 25)

Eng. 503: Theory of Writing
Professor Barbara Henning
Saturdays, 10:00 am - 3:15 pm.

In this class we will read some theoretical essays that have been important to writers, both poets and fiction writers, since the early 20th century. There will also be a creative writing assignment and workshop each week.

The tentative plan for the reading is as follows: 

Week 1 - Essays by Mallarme, Pound, Eliot, Williams and Fenallosa;
Week 2 - An essay by Berger on Cubism, as well as writing by Stein and others;
Week 3 - Essays by Cesaire, Sartre, Hughes, Dubois, and others;
Week 4 - Essays by Zukofsy, Olson, Creeley, Jones, and Levertov;
Week 5 - Sections from Robbe-Grillet's New Novel, as well as writing by Duras;
Week 6 - Sections from Bahktin's The Dialogic Imagination.

Each week you will write a poem or a story and a two page typed response to the readings, thinking about the ideas and considering their importance to your practice as a writer. This will be a very "condensed" class. We are meeting for six Saturdays. Because the first class is the equivalent of 2 ½ regular classes, there will be an assignment to prepare before the first class begins. You can pick up the first assignment from Marilyn Boutwell. Required text: Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry (1800-1950) and handouts. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. E-mail Marilyn Boutwell , who can forward your message to me.

English 624: American Detective Fiction
Professor Donald McCrary
Summer Session One 2007: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1-4:40 pm

According to critic Brian McHale, the detective novel, in its search for truth and certainty, is the quintessential modernist fiction. Even in our so-called postmodern society, detective fiction is wildly popular, as evidenced by the proliferation of detective novels that address unique perspectives of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and, yes, postmodernism. While the roots of American detective fiction are widely debated, with critics locating diverse sources from classical literature to Edgar Allen Poe, it is indisputable that American writers created a unique type of detective fiction, influencing everything from French cinema to modern constructions of masculinity. In this course, we will analyze psychological, philosophical, epistemological, social, and cultural ideas and themes within American detective fiction, as we attempt to answer this framing question: What does American detective fiction have to tell us about ourselves and the world in which we live? Writers we will read include Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, John M. Cain, Walter Mosley, Sara Peretsky, Barbara Neely, and RD Zimmerman.

FALL 2007

English 502: Writers on Writing
Professor Lewis Warsh
Mondays, 6:10 - 8:30 pm

Ten poets and fiction writers will give talks and readings during the course of the semester. We'll read their work beforehand (either a book, or a substantial excerpt) and do writing assignments influenced and inspired by their work. This is a class in the contemporary--what's being written today--and gives us a chance to talk first-hand with people who have aspired to advance the art of poetry and fiction into the 21st century and beyond. Students are advised to e-mail Professor Warsh for a list of readings for this course so you can get a head start. Among the visiting writers for Fall 2007 are: Samuel R. Delany, Bernadette Mayer, Wang Ping, Karen Russell, Simon Pettet, Anne Waldman, and Chuck Wachtel.

English 509: Sociolinguistics and the Teaching of Writing
Professor Donald McCrary
Tuesdays, 6:10 - 8:00 pm

This course examines the social foundation of language and the linguistic foundation of society. More specifically, the course explores how language and society intersect to construct, and in many ways, control both individual and group identity and consciousness. The relationship between language and society has relevance to the teaching of writing in that both teachers and students possess socially constructed knowledge of language that undergirds their understanding of writing competence and performance. The course explores how sociolinguistic constructions such as class, race, gender, academic discourse, and education might impact upon student writing and teacher instruction and evaluation. The course analyzes sociolinguistic theory and practice, including the work of L.S. Vygotsky, Victor Villanueva, Geneva Smitherman, Pierre Bourdieu, and Elaine Richardson.

English 523: Fiction Writing Workshop
Professor Thulani Davis
Wednesdays, 6:10 - 8:30 pm

The class will be in a workshop format with some readings, and students may work on short stories, or longer works. The course will include completing one longish piece and going through a revision process.

Text: Telling Stories: An Anthology for Writers, ed. by Joyce Carol Oates, W.W. Norton & Co., 1998.

Thulani Davis is a journalist, novelist, playwright and screenwriter. Among her work are two novels, 1959and Maker of Saints; several plays; the scripts for Paid in Full and Maker of Saints; and the librettos forAmistad and Malcolm X. She is the author of two collections of poetry, has worked on several PBS documentries, and has published in numerous magazines and journals. Her most recent book is My Confederate Kinfolk: A Twenty-First Century Freedwoman Discovers Her Roots. Davis has been a Buddhist priest for sixteen years.
Professor Davis's website: http://www.thulanidavis.com/.

English 524: A Poetics of Voice & Time--A Contemplative Practice Toward the Book
Professor John High
Tuesdays, 6:10 - 8:30 pm

What if as poets we were allowed to do whatever we wanted? What would we do? How long would our own experience & voice sustain us in writing? Every innovation in poetry has grown out of tradition, and in this course we will attempt to discover and connect with our own tradition/s and poetic. Wallace Stevens wrote that all poetry is experimental. So what is the relationship between tradition, innovation, and a writer's unique poetic? In the book you are writing, what underlies the voice, time, being and place of the poetic? If our own voices grow out of the past and from traditions firmly rooted in the power of language and contemplation, our goal is to discover--to see what's out there, both as writers and readers--as we examine the literary traditions and lineages from which we have grown. We'll do this by writing our own poems and by exploring various forms and schools of poetry and by paying close attention to the way that poetry changes through us and through time, how our own books change us. We'll also discuss the act of writing poetry as one of risk-taking and investigation, of destroying and reinventing traditions in our own discoveries, of seeing how nothing ever changes unless we explore and try to let our poems become truly our own, and something new in this act. We'll discuss, at length, what experimental means in relation to tradition and poetic. Among the poets we'll look at closely are: Whitman, H.D., Williams, Pound, Stein, Bishop, Hughes, Cullen, Breton, Mandelstam, Cane, Spicer, Levertov, Creeley, Lorca, Baraka, Whalen, O'Hara, Zukofsky, Oppen, Ginsberg, Mayer, Berrigan, Howe, Palmer, Heijinian, and Jabes. A final portfolio, or chapbook, consisting of all our written poems, as well as a "manifesto" of your own emerging poetic, is due at the end of the semester. We will also schedule a party and reading of our work at the MFA program's reading series, LIU @ Biscuit BBQ.

English 526: Writing for Media I--The Story
Professor Peggy Gormley (Media Arts)
Mondays, 6:00 - 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 his/her own movie-short screenplay and treatment as a final project. A professional screen writer will be a guest speaker at one of the classes. Requirements: access to a computer, purchase of Final Draft writing software, permission of instructor to take the course.

English 579: Contemporary Poetry
Professor Rosamond King
Wednesdays, 6:10 -8:00 pm

Is contemporary poetry a bastion of soulless academics or invigorating experimenters? Has it been taken over by the powerful spoken word or glorified screamers? Whatever your views of contemporary poetry, these are exciting times for what used to be an extremely marginalized form. This course will focus on a variety of poems from the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Genres studied will include contemporary lyric, "spoken word," and "experimental" or "avant-garde" work. We will examine voice and style, as well as form and content, and aesthetics and politics. Readings will also incorporate theory and criticism by scholars and the poets themselves. This course is an interactive, discussion-based seminar, and students will have the opportunity to lead some of the sessions. Other requirements include writing a review of a poetry collection and several responses to class readings, in addition to completing a serious research essay on topics of your choice. Attendance to local poetry readings and events is also encouraged.

English 626: African American Short Fiction
Professor Louis Parascandola
Thursdays, 6:10 - 8:00 pm

This course will examine masterpieces of African American short fiction. We will be starting with Harlem Renaissance authors Zora Neale Hurston and Claude McKay, and then progressing through Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and Alice Walker to emerging talents. Guest authors will be visiting during class to read and discuss their work. The goal of this course is to make you not only a better reader and critical thinker, but also a better writer, teacher, and researcher. Therefore, in addition to the primary texts, we will be examining literary critics on the stories.

English 646: Individual & Small Group Instruction
Professor Patricia Stephens
Tuesdays, 4:10 - 6:00 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 as we locate that work within its various theoretical and historical contexts. Our work will focus on the following: structuring sessions and establishing priorities; assessing, diagnosing, and responding to student writing; strategies for intervention, planning, drafting, revising, proofreading, and editing; helping students with grammatical and mechanical concerns; helping students improve reading comprehension; working with ESL students; attending to interpersonal dynamics and cultural and ethnic differences; and tutoring online.

Students who enroll in this course will be required to tutor for one hour per week during the semester at the Writing Center and to audio and/or video tape one session with a student. The taped session will be transcribed and analyzed for use in a self-study. Classes will be conducted as seminars/workshops so that all students have the opportunity to participate in class presentations, mock tutorials, etc. Each student will generate her/his own idea/s for a final written (and/or action) project, based on topics of interest that arise during the semester.