Tuesday, May 15, 2007

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.