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:

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.

No comments: