Advanced English Courses Summer & Fall 2008

Program guidance & Early Registration Begin on Monday, April 7!

English Majors: Please make an appointment to meet with Wayne Berninger, the English Department Registration Advisor, as early as possible to register for the upper-division English classes you need. Doing so will help ensure that courses are not cancelled and that you don’t have to scramble to find replacement courses at the last minute. Attached to this flyer you will find descriptions of the courses being offered in Summer 2008 and Fall 2008. Consult the English Department website to determine which courses you still need for your particular concentration (i.e., Creative Writing, Literature, or Writing & Rhetoric). Contact Mr. Berninger by phone at 718-780-4328 or via e-mail at

Non-English Majors: English courses aren’t only for English majors! The writing and analytical skills that students gain in English classes are very useful in a variety of professional careers. So even if you are not an English major, you can take upper-division English courses—as long as you have completed the prerequisites. If you really want to build up your transcript, consider an English Minor. A minor consists of any four courses numbered 100 or above. If you’d like more information about minoring in English—or if you think you might like to major in English— contact Wayne Berninger in the English Department at 718-780-4328 or via e-mail at

See Your Advisor now & Register Early!


Advanced English Courses Summer Session One 2008
(May 19 -- June 30)

Note: There are no advanced English courses in Summer Session Two this year.

English 150: Contemporary African American Literature
Class ID# 6457
Professor Carol Allen
Mondays & Wednesdays 1:00 to 3:40 PM

This course charts the contours of African American literature composed since 1975 and the critical discourse that surrounds it. The course will be divided into units based on genre for no other reason than that this body of writing is so diverse that thematic clustering makes little sense. Therefore, because of this decision, we will explore how contemporary African American writers are bending and blending genre to fit their needs: innovation in both form and thematic choice. Over the next few weeks, we will encounter works by the most notable contributors to this tradition. I urge you to consider that this course serves as a mere entrée to a rich and varied field. Suggestions for further study will come in the form of class discussion and your own consideration of and writing about the texts listed below and those that you will encounter invariably over the course of pursuing your own research. Texts for the class will include the following: Songlines in Michaeltree: New and Collected Poems, Michael Harper; Fences, August Wilson; Venus, Suzan-Lori Parks; Love, Toni Morrison; The Middle Passage, Charles Johnson; Brothers and Keepers, John Edgar Wideman; and Every Good-Bye Ain't Gone, Itabari Njeri.


Advanced English Courses Fall 2008

English 101: Introduction to English Studies
Class ID# 15925
Professor Leah Dilworth
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:00 to 5:15 PM

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 Fall 2008, then you MUST take it in Spring 2009. You MAY take other ENG courses at the same time as ENG 101.

This course offers an introduction to the field of English studies in general and to the English major at LIU. We will explore the history of English as an area of university study and what it means in the 21st century to engage in the intensive study of reading and writing. Students will learn about the three concentrations we offer in the LIU English major: Literature, Creative Writing, and Writing and Rhetoric. We will consider the many professional opportunities open to English majors. All students in the class will write a short research paper on a selected work of literature.

English 104: Creative Writing
Class ID# 15049
Professor Lewis Warsh
Thursdays, 6:00 to 8:30 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 128: Early British Literatures: Making of English Literary Traditions
Class ID# 15285
Professor Jonathan Haynes
Mondays & Wednesdays, 4:00 to 5:15 PM

Note: Some earlier paper copies of this document (as well an early version on the English Department website) indicated that Professor Srividhya Swaminathan would be teaching this course. However, Professor Swaminathan is going to be on academic leave next year, so she will NOT be teaching English 128. This is the correct course description.

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.

In this course we will read the authors most responsible for founding the traditions of British literature: Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlow, William Shakespeare, John Donne, and John Milton. We will plunge into the worlds created by their powerful imaginations, which in part means understanding what they do with the genres of chivalric romance, epic, comedy, and lyric poetry. We will also pay steady attention to the relations of their created worlds to the unfolding history of English society. Gender relations and the role of the outsider will be recurring themes.

English 158: Early Literatures of the United States: The American Renaissance
Class ID# 14885
Professor Patrick Horrigan
Wednesdays, 6:00 to 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.

Between the War of 1812 and the Civil War, the United States witnessed one of its greatest periods of artistic achievement, sometimes known as the "American Renaissance." The course will examine representative works by the major writers of this period, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, and Louisa May Alcott, as well as some of the earlier colonial and revolutionary-era works that inspired them.

Readings will include fiction, poetry, philosophy, sermons, political manifestos, captivity and freedom narratives, and criticism. We will also sample the visual and musical art of the period. A field trip to the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be arranged. In addition to on-going class discussion, students will write a series of short essays in response to the readings, and one longer critical essay or creative term project.

English 165: Poetry Workshop: Poets Studio: Writing, Performing, Evolving
Class ID# 15055
Professor John High
Tuesdays 6:00 to 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.

What if as poets we were allowed to do whatever we wanted? What would we do? In this class we'll read and perform our poems and practice critiquing/questioning our own writing via the poet's studio and workshop method. We'll encourage and push one another to go deeper into our own language and our own lives. 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. What is the relationship between tradition, innovation, and a writer's unique voice? If our own voices grow out of the past and from traditions firmly rooted in the power of language, our goal is to discover--to see what's out there, both as writers and readers--as we examine the literary voices 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. We'll also discuss the act of writing as one of risk-taking and journey, of reinventing traditions in our own tongue, of seeing how nothing ever changes unless we experiment and try something different. Among the poets we'll look at closely are Whitman, H.D., Williams, Pound, Stein, Bishop, Hughes, Cullen, Cane, Spicer, Levertov, Brooks, Creeley, Baraka, Whalen, Snyder, O'Hara, Zukofsky, Mayer, Howe, and Ginsberg. A final chapbook-portfolio, consisting of all your written work, is due at the end of the semester.

English 171: Introduction to Classical Rhetoric
Class ID# 18116
Professor John Killoran
Tuesdays 6:00 to 8:30 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.

This course is designed not only for English majors but also for students from disciplines such as Political Science, Journalism, Education, and Media Arts who seek to develop their skills as critical readers and persuasive writers. The course will satisfy a requirement in the English Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can also be used to satisfy an English elective requirement in the Literature concentration.

Classical rhetoric is among the longest enduring courses in western education. It has been at the core of students' learning since a schematized rhetoric first emerged in ancient Greek oratorical practice and was articulated in Aristotle's teaching and further developed by such famous orators as Cicero. In ancient times, rhetoric played a key role in the birth of our traditions of democratic politics, law, and formal education. In modern times, classical rhetoric has been revived as the foundation for students' effective writing, and as a framework for analyzing persuasive discourse.

In this course, students will learn the principles of classical rhetoric and apply them to analyze contemporary discourse in politics, law, the media, and society. As the Fall 2008 semester coincides with one of the most interesting federal election campaigns of modern times, we will be analyzing in particular the political rhetoric leading up to the November vote.

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 173: Writing in the Community
Class ID# 15525
Professor Deborah Mutnick
Mondays, 6:00 to 8:30 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.

Writing in the Community is designed to acquaint you with writing about, in, and for communities-neighborhoods, schools, work-places, museums, organizations, and other social spaces. Through course readings, library research, fieldwork, and oral history interviews, we will learn how communities are formed, develop, thrive, decay, and sometimes "come back." We will first examine their histories, everyday practices, and rules, asking how boundaries are drawn, policy decisions made, and individuals classified as insiders or outsiders. Second, we will go into communities to record visual and verbal impressions of communities and re-present them to audiences within and outside their borders. And third, we will write for a community--a flier, brochure, proposal, report, or other type of document. In addition to encouraging the creation of multimodal digital and print essays, the class will pilot a Brooklyn Wiki based on your research projects.

Offered in the new Writing and Rhetoric concentration, English 173 is an elective for students across the disciplines as well as in English who are interested in public and professional writing. Explore social spaces ranging from the classroom to political forums and local communities. Experience field work as well as a workshop format for getting constructive feedback on your writing. Projects range from oral history to neighborhood studies and public writing in, for, and about communities. Readings tentatively include Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloane's Crossing the BLVD: Strangers, Neighbors, Aliens in a New America; Harvey Wang's New York; Robert Batista's novel, Brooklyn Story; Paul Kutsche's Field Ethnography; and excerpts from Robert Perks and Alistair Thomson's The Oral History Reader. The emphasis of the class, however, is on your writing, which will be discussed at least twice in workshop during the semester. You will be required to complete three 4-6-page essays, one of which will be a Wiki entry, and a 3-5 page reflective essay.

English 259: Fiction's Fiction: The Art of Retooling Classics of British Literature
Class ID# 18117
Professor Bernard Schweizer
Thursdays 6:00 to 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.

This course looks at classics of British literature from the 18th and 19th centuries through the lens of contemporary fictional re-workings. What happens when texts and their authors from the past are suddenly catapulted into the era of contemporary fiction? What about past stories makes them so attractive that they are being re-tooled today? We will read three successful novels published just a year ago together with the texts and authors that originally inspired them. While Tracy Chevalier has rendered a fictional biography of William Blake in her book Burning Bright (2007), Sophie Gee's The Scandal of the Season (2007) dramatizes the affair between two characters in Alexander Pope's mock epic "The Rape of the Lock," and Lloyd Jones's novel Mr. Pip (2007) is based on the idea that reading Charles Dickens's Great Expectations under special circumstances can be a life-transforming event. These pairings set up a fascinating basis for comparisons between original and derivate, between narrative and meta-narrative, between past and present. Each of these juxtapositions will give rise to discussions about literary history, literary transmission, and intertextuality. This course will also expand our notion of British literature in interesting ways: Lloyd Jones hails from New Zealand, Sophie Gee grew up in another part of "Down-Under," i.e. Australia, and Tracy Chevalier is a Swiss-American expatriate living in England. If you want to learn about classics of literature but also enjoy reading today's most vibrant authors, this elective is for you!

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