Undergraduate Courses, Spring 2002

English 103: Workshop in Advanced Writing
Professor Deborah Mutnick

This course gives the students the opportunity to develop, share, and get feedback on their writing in a workshop format. The focus will be 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 the writing for particular occasions, audiences, and purposes. We will study different approaches to nonfiction writing, such as the use of autobiography in critical writing and of literary techniques like dialogue and point of view to write about real places, people, and events. Students will benefit from a group of readers with different perspectives, close readings of their work, and constructive criticism.

A tentative reading list includes essays by Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, James Baldwin, Richard Rodriquez, Vivian Gornick, Tony Hiss, Barbara Kingsolver, and Dorothy Allison. Students will present their writing in weekly workshops at least three times during the semester. Writing requirements include a course journal, three short (4–6 pages) essays and one longer (15-20 pages) essay or equivalent.

English 104: Workshop in Creative Writing
Professor Lewis Warsh

In this writing workshop, students will read, study, and write poetry and short-short fiction using various forms and approaches. A writer’s notebook will be an ongoing project from which students will gather material for their assignments. Part of each period will be devoted to reading and discussing poems and stories by published authors. The rest of the class period will be a workshop where students learn how to critique their work. A final portfolio will include an evaluation of the student’s learning along with revised poems and stories. The text/s used will be announced.

English 129: British Literature II
Professor Howard Silverstein

This course focuses on the theme of the individual and society as illustrated in selected works from the nineteenth and early twentieth century. This semester will be divided into the following topics: (1) The Revolt against Victorianism: Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, and Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray, (2) The Irish Rebellion: plays by Synge, Shaw, and O’Casey; Joyce’s novel Potrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and (3) The Poet’s Reaction to the Modern World: poetry of Yeats, Housman, Hardy, Brooke, Sassoon, Owen, and Auden. 

English 150: Asian American Writers
Professor Xiao-Ming Li

Asian Americans, a diverse group in and of themselves, have been in the United States for over 150 years and today belong to one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in America, yet they are still the least understood.  The course intends to provide a window on their unique cultural heritages, their continued struggle to preserve their ethnic identity in an alien and often hostile environment, and their search for reconciliation between generational and cultural differences among themselves and with the larger society.

We will read about Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism—the three major religions in Asia from translated texts. We will also review the historical backgrounds against which these “strangers from a different shore” (Takaki) came to this country. Finally, with this contextual knowledge in mind, the course will proceed to reading some Asian American writers, all award-winning writers but each with her/his distinct style and perspective: Maxine Hong Kinston, Joy Kogawa, Bahrati Mukherjee, Chang Rae Lee, Fae Myenne Ng, and others.

Participants in the class are expected to keep a reading journal, take a midterm in-class exam, and write two papers of moderate length.

English 159: Literature of the United States II
Professor Michael Bennett

This course will focus on works of literature written in the United States after 1865. We will be going in search of the Great American Novels published from just after the Civil War to the present. Ours will be a multicultural exploration as we range between Native, European, African, Hispanic, and Asian literary traditions within the United States. As we undertake the search for the Great American Novel, we will also interrogate each of the terms of our quest. What is a novel? How do we determine whether or not a work of literature is great? What do we mean when we say “American?” Rather than providing any final answers, we will see if the questions themselves provide us with some understanding of the complex and convoluted terrain of American literary history. We will also examine poems, short stories, and “myths” written by a variety of American authors (photocopies will be handed out in addition to the works listed below).

Requirements: class participation and presentations, daily reading quizzes, two essays, and a final exam. 

Texts: Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Kate Chopin, The Awakening; Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man; Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me Ultima; Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior; N. Scott Momaday. The Way to Rainy Mountain; and Diana Hacker, A Writer’s Reference

Eng. 170: American Literary Regionalism
Professor Leah Dilworth

This undergraduate course will examine fiction produced from the 1880s to the 1920s, from the flowering of “local color” writing to the novels of Faulkner and Hurston. We will consider the notion of “region” and the construction of cultural regions in the United States: the Northeast, the South, the Midwest, the West. In addition to the written texts, we will look at some painting and photography from the period. Authors we will examine include: Sarah Orne Jewett, Charles Chesnutt, Willa Cather, Edith Wharton, Jean Toomer, Zora Neale Hurston, and William Faulkner.

Graduate Courses, Spring 2002

English 520: Non-Fiction Writing Workshop
Professor Harriet Malinowitz

This course will focus on writing the personal essay. The first few weeks will be devoted to reading personal essays by established authors and analyzing their form, their style, the rhetorical strategies they employ, and their use of language. This examination should help us understand the ways personal essays present and interrogate the self and subjective experience. Our reading of published essays will continue, though on a less frequent basis, throughout the term, as we will soon move to a workshop format in which students’ essays are read and discussed in detail. The goal of the workshop critique is to help the writer move toward more effective revision; each student will be expected to produce two developed 10-15 page personal essays by the end of the term. We will use Philip Lopate’s The Art of the Personal Essay, as well as selected handouts. The essayists we will read may include George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, Adrienne Rich, Richard Rodriguez, Patricia Williams, Vivian Gornick, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Jamaica Kincaid. Individual conferences with the instructor are greatly encouraged. 

English 523: Fiction Writing Workshop
section 1: Professor Lewis Warsh
section 2: Professor Eric Lehman

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

English 579: Queer Pop Culture in the United States
Professor Michael Bennett

Is there such a thing as "queer pop culture" in the United States, and if so, what does it look like?  Is there a specifically queer way of reading, viewing, or consuming culture?  Why use the word "queer" rather than "lesbian and gay"?  How is queer pop culture shaped in relation to other identity markers, such as gender, race, and class?  These are some of the questions that we will address in this course.  These explorations will serve as the foundation from which we will launch into an analysis of different representations of queerness in American literature, film, and politics.  Topics to be discussed from a queer perspective may include:  nineteenth-century women's fiction, the Harlem Renaissance, film and television, journalism, photography, AIDS and breast cancer, outing, pornography, s/m and sex culture, transvestites and drag, and cyberspace.  These topics will be discussed in the context of the relationship of queer theory to American culture and politics.  Texts:  Ablelove's The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader; Creekmur and Doty's Out in Culture: Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Essays on Popular Culture; Larsen's Quicksand and Passing; and Jagose'sQueer Theory: An Introduction.

English 624: Melville’s Moby Dick
Professor Patrick Horrigan 

For many readers, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, or, The Whale (1851) is the great American novel, and by any standards it is one of the most thrilling and strange accomplishments in world literature. But because of its size and complexity, it is also one of the most under read of the great books. In the first half of this course, we will take the time to read the novel in its entirety. Then in the second half of the course, we will study a range of critical responses to the novel, placing it in its historical, biographical, and literary contexts. We will also look at a number of artistic responses to the novel, including Laurie Anderson’s recent “Songs and Stories from Moby Dick.”  Field trips for the course may include visits to lower Manhattan, the setting for the opening chapter of the novel; Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, where Melville is buried; the rare book and manuscript collection at the New York Public Library; and the collections of nineteenth-century American paintings and artifacts in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Each student will give an in-class presentation and write a research paper. Our ultimate aim in the course will be to understand the role that Moby Dick has played and continues to play in the ongoing story of American culture.    

English 641: Literacy and Basic Writing
Professor Deborah Mutnick

This course aims to situate the basic writing instruction on the college level in the broader field of literacy studies. We will address several key questions: What is literacy? What is orality? What social and historical forces account for patterns of literacy and illiteracy? What myths surround literacy? How can educators help promote literacy? What defines a basic writer? What kind of instruction can enable so-called basic writers to become proficient readers and writers? What discussions are currently taking place in the field of basic writing and what implications might they have for institutions like LIU?

A tentative reading list includes works by Walter Ong, Paulo Freire, William Labov, Shirley Brice Heath, James Paul Gee, Mike Rose, Deborah Brandt, Linda Brodkey, Mina Shaughnessy, Min-Zhan Lu, Tom Fox, and Bruce Horner. Writing requirements will include a course journal, a literacy autobiography, and a research paper that may be based on library and/or field research. 

English 643: Seminar in Shakespeare
Professor Joan Templeton

We will be reading major tragedies and comedies of the greatest writer in the language. The course emphasizes both text and performance; films, videos of performances, and attendance at a live performance will be included. Texts: Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, Othello, 12th Night, King Lear, Midsummer Nights’ Dream, and The Merchant of Venice

English 646: Individual & Small Group Writing
Professor Patricia Stephens

Attention: Advanced undergraduate students may enroll for this course with permission of the instructor

In this class, we will examine the theory and practice of individual and small group writing instruction, locating writing center work within its broader historical and institutional contexts. The course will begin with an overview of writing center history, theory, and pedagogy and will then examine some of the most common tutoring concerns: structuring sessions and setting goals; assessing, diagnosing and responding to student writing; learning strategies to teach planning, drafting, revising, proofreading and editing; learning strategies to work on specific grammatical concerns; helping students with reading comprehension; working with ESL concerns; noticing interpersonal dynamics and maintaining boundaries; respecting and responding to cultural and ethnic differences; working as an online tutor; and facilitating small group sessions. Students interested in pursuing a specific topic not included in the general readings---such as writing center administration---may do so with permission from the instructor.
Possible texts: Good Intentions: Writing Center Work for Postmodern Times; Rhetorical Grammar; Teaching One-to-One: The Writing Center Conference; The Practical Tutor; Tutoring Writing; and, Wiring the Writing Center.
Students who enroll in the course will be required to tutor for one hour per week during the semester at the Writing Center and to audio and/or videotape one session with a student. The taped session will be transcribed and analyzed by the student 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 during the semester.