Graduate Courses, Spring 2010

English 502 Writers on Writing (Class ID# 9453)
Professor John High
Mondays 6:30-8:50 pm

The course will offer readings and discussions with prominent fiction writers and poets. The guest writers will meet with us weekly during the course of the semester to discuss and read from their work. The purpose of the course is to give us a chance to interact with and question a diverse range of visiting guest writers about their processes and techniques in an effort to expand and further develop our own writing. As with all of our process courses, the goal is to learn-in this case, first-hand-from other writers and their writings in order to better inform our sense of what it means to be a poet or fiction writer today.

In addition to reading at least one book by each visiting writer, the students are required to submit weekly reading journals that dialogue with the work of each visiting author. These journals will contain questions and responses prepared before the writer visits and used as take-off points for discussion with the author. There will be additional creative writing assignments, which evolve from the ideas and techniques of the visiting writers and our class discussions. On days when there are no visitors we will read, discuss, and workshop our own work. Students' journals and revised creative assignments will be compiled in a Critical & Creative Chapbook at the end of the semester.

Guest Writers & dates of their visits follow:

Fanny Howe (April 12) is the recipient of the 2009 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Presented annually by the Poetry Foundation to a living U.S. poet whose lifetime accomplishments warrant extraordinary recognition, the Ruth Lilly Prize is one of the most prestigious awards given to American poets. In recent years she has received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, and an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Howe is the author of more than twenty books of poetry and prose, including Gone (University of California Press, 2003), Selected Poems (UC Press, 2000), On the Ground (Graywolf Press, 2004), and The Lyrics (Graywolf, 2007). She has also written novels, five of which have been collected in one volume called Radical Love. She has written two collections of essays,The Wedding Dress (UC Press, 2003) and The Winter Sun (Graywolf, 2009). She has lectured in creative writing at Tufts University, Emerson College, Columbia University, Yale University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jaime Manrique (April 19) was born in Colombia. His first book of poems, Los adoradores de la luna, received his country's National Book Award. In Spanish, he also wrote a volume of stories, and a collection of film reviews. He has written four novels in English: Our Lives Are the RiversTwilight at the Equator,Latin Moon in Manhattan, and Colombian Gold--translated into many languages. Manrique is the author of the volumes of poems My Night with Federico García LorcaTarzan, My Body, Christopher ColumbusSor Juana's Love Poems, co-translated with Joan Larkin; and the memoir Eminent Maricones: Arenas, Lorca, Puig, and Me. His reviews have appeared in the New York Times Book ReviewSalonWashington Post Book WorldBOMB, and many other publications. Among his honors are grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. He has worked as an associate professor in the M.F.A. program in writing at Columbia University and was recently a Distinguished Visiting Author at Long Island University, Brooklyn. He's a member of the Board of Trustees of PEN American Center, and he chairs the Open Book Committee.

Albert Mobilio (March 29) is the recipient of a Whiting Writer's Award (2000) and the National Book Critics Circle award for excellence in reviewing (1999). His poetry, fiction, and criticism have appeared inHarper's, the Village VoiceGrand StreetPEN AmericaCabinetBombTin HouseDenver QuarterlyFence, the Brooklyn Rail, the New York Times Book Review, and Black Clock. Anthologies include Fetish: An Anthology of Fetish Fiction (1998); War of Words: 20 Years of Writing on Contemporary Literature (2001); Cooking and Stealing: The Tin House Nonfiction Reader (2004);The Brooklyn Rail Fiction Anthology (2006), and Poets on Teaching (forthcoming). His books of poetry include Bendable SiegeThe GeographicsMe with Animal Towering, and Touch Wood (forthcoming). He is an Assistant Professor of Literary Studies at the New School's Eugene Lang College and the co-editor of Bookforum.

Murat Nemet-Nejat (March 1) is presently working on the poem The Structure of Escape. His work includes the poems Turkish VoicesVocabularies of SpaceIo's SongAlphabet Dialogues / Penis Monologues (a collaboration with Standard Schaeffer); the books of translation Eda: An Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry, edited by Murat Nemet-Nejat (Talisman Books, 2004);A Blind Cat Black and Orthodoxies (Sun & Moon Press, 1997); and I, Orhan Veli (Hanging Loose Press 1989); and the essays "Ideas Towards a Theory of Translation in Eda" (Talisman, 2007), "The Peripheral Space of Photography" (Green Integers Press, 2004), "A Godless Sufism: Ideas on 20th Century Poetry" (Talisman, 1995), and "Questions of Accent" (The Exquisite Corpse, 1993). Murat Nemet-Nejat's essay/memoir "Istanbul Noir" and his translation of the Turkish poet Seyhan Ertozçelik's book Rosestrikes and Coffee Grinds will be published by Talisman Press in 2010.

Akilah Oliver will be here March 8. 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.

Karen Russell (February 8) has been featured in both the New Yorker's debut fiction issue and New Yorkmagazine's list of 25 people to watch under the age of 26. Her stories have appeared in the New Yorker,GrantaConjunctionsZoetrope, and Best American Short Stories 2007 (edited by Stephen King) and 2008 (edited by Salman Rushdie). Her collection of stories, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, was named a Best Book of 2006 by the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Times; in 2007 Russell was included in Granta's Best of Young American Novelists. She was selected as a 2009-10 fiction fellow by The New York Public Library's Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

Colson Whitehead will be here February 22. His first novel, The Intuitionist, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway and a winner of the Quality Paperback Book Club's New Voices Award. John Henry Days followed in 2001 and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Fiction Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. The novel received the Young Lions Fiction Award and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. The Colossus of New York, a book of essays about the city, was published in 2003 and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Apex Hides the Hurt (2006), a novel, was a recipient of the PEN/Oakland Award. His most recent novel, Sag Harbor, was published in 2009. Whitehead's reviews, essays, and fiction have appeared in a number of publications, such as the New York Times, the New YorkerNew York magazine, Harper's and Granta. He has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, and a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

Matvei Yankelevich (February 1) is the author of Boris by the Sea (Octopus, 2009) and the long poem,The Present Work (Palm Press, 2006). He edited and translated Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms (Ardis/Overlook, 2009). He is a co-translator of Oberiu: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism (Northwestern, 2006). His translation of Vladimir Mayakovsky's poem "A Cloud in Pants" is included in Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and About Mayakovsky (FSG, 2008). His translations from Russian have appeared in The New YorkerHarper'sNew American Writing,CircumferenceCalqueBombay GinPoetryCutbank, and other journals. His poems have been published in periodicals including Boston ReviewOpen CityFence, and Tantalum; and in on-line publications such as Action Yes!Hotel St. George, and 3am. His essays on Russian-American poets appear on-line in Octopus Magazine. He teaches at Hunter College and Columbia University. He is a founding editor of Ugly Duckling Presse, where he designs books, co-edits 6x6, and curates the Eastern European Poets Series.

English 509 Sociolinguistics and the Teaching of Writing (Class ID# 19425)
Professor Patricia Stephens
Mondays 6:30-8:20

In this course, we will explore the complex intersections between language and society. We will look at variation in language as a means of understanding the ways in which different discourses both construct and are constructed by identities and cultures. As teachers of writing, what do we need to know about how and why discourses vary and shift in terms of issues of class, race, gender, sexuality, age, ethnicity, and other factors in our own and our students' lives? What can sociolinguistic theories teach us not only about students' educational experiences but also about our own views of pedagogy and assessment? Readings will include selections from Labov, Vygotsky, Tannen, Gilyard, Smitherman, Delpit, Villanueva, Bourdieu, and others.

English 522 Academic Writing Workshop (Class ID# 19426)
Professor Xiao-Ming Li
Tuesdays 6:30-8:20 pm

Academic writing, as one academic tells us, "consists of rule- and strategy-based practices, done in interaction with others for some kind of personal and professional gain, and …learned through repeated practice rather than just from a guidebook of how to play" (Casanave). This course will introduce the participants to the rules and strategies employed in the writing of academic papers, and, more importantly, engage them in practices that academics pursue regularly: designing research projects, writing proposals, drafting papers, and revising them according to peer readers' comments. (Rarely is an academic paper published without revision, often done more than once.)

The major text in the course is, tentatively, John Swales' Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings, which is supplemented by a collection of articles and book chapters by various authors who approach the topic from objective as well as personal perspectives. Proposals and manuscripts submitted to a book that the instructor has just edited will be used to simulate the real process. The participants are invited to act as editors, who review the submissions and write comments and, at times, rejection letters according to their understanding of good academic writing.

The participants will also bring to class an academic paper in progress (not all papers written in an academic setting are academic papers, though), and, using the class as a workshop, they will confer with other participants as the paper progresses through various stages to its completion.

A reading journal will keep an on-going record of your thoughts on the reading and reflections on the editing and writing practices.

The final portfolio for the course, therefore, should include a number of reviews, a reading journal, and an academic paper completed in the course.

The course will help you begin perceiving yourself as a member of the academic community, having experienced the hard work, at times frustration, and gratification of intellectual exploration and writing.

English 523 Fiction Writing Workshop (Class ID# 10153)
Professor Alex Mindt, Distinguished Visiting Author
Wednesdays 4:00-6:20 pm

This workshop will consist of intense and thoughtful exploration of the craft of fiction as writers, readers, and editors. Assigned reading includes such authors as ZZ Packer, Sherman Alexie, Myla Goldberg, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Lydia Davis, George Saunders, Jorge Luis Borges, and James Joyce.

Alex Mindt is the author of Male of the Species, a collection of short stories which was a finalist for The Pen/Bingham Award, The William Saroyan Prize, and the Washington State Book Award. He is the recipient of the Charles Angoff Award and The Pushcart Prize, and is presently at work on a novel, Song Of The Dead.

English 524 Poetry Writing Workshop: Noon At Two O'clock (Class ID# 8219)
Professor Lewis Warsh
Thursdays 6:30-8:50 pm

The work of the poet is to create new meanings--word clusters and images that defy dictionary "definitions" or connotations. Taking this as the premise--that language allows us to time-travel--to be in two places at once, to exist in the past, present and future simultaneously, we'll look closely at the poets of the last century who tried their best to merge reality and dream, who managed to stare down the abyss without falling in. We'll start with the Dadaists and Surrealists--notably Andre Breton, Robert Desnos, Tristan Tzara--and work our way through the poets of the New York School--Barbara Guest, John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch, Ted Berrigan, and James Schuyler, while also paying close attention to explorers like Gertrude Stein, Aime Cesaire, Fernando Pessoa, Laura Riding, Alice Notley, Vellmir Khlebnikov, Clark Coolidge and Henri Michaux--all poets who expanded the boundaries of what poetry can be.

These poets will be our models and guides, but much of the workshop will be spent reading and testing out our own experiments. We will also join forces to create a collaborative work as well.

English 525 Play Writing Workshop
Creating Characters: Their Dramas, Their Fictions
(Class ID# 10149)
Professor Jessica Hagedorn
Wednesdays 6:30-8:50pm

In this workshop, we will explore strategies for creating compelling characters and writing kick-ass dialogue. How do we give our characters distinct positions in a short story, novel or a play that develop perspective, tension and purpose? We will examine and utilize the techniques of fiction writers and playwrights as varied as Harold Pinter, Denis Johnson, Sarah Kane, Wallace Shawn, Junot Diaz, Antonya Nelson and others. Be prepared for in-class improvs and writing exercises which will include creating monologues and scenes. A portfolio of revised writing assignments will be due at the end of the semester.

ENG 527 Professional Writing Workshop: Technical Writing (Class ID# 9455)
Professor John Killoran
Thursdays 6:30-8:20 pm

As college-educated professionals, much of what we write within and beyond college would be called "technical" writing: educational and training materials, research reports, proposals, administrative records, marketing documentation, and flurries of email postings. Alas, the measure of our technical writing is the experience we create for our all-too-human readers: often uninformed, impatient, hypercritical, and only occasionally appreciative. However, our writing's usability can influence how readers read and process (or skim and misunderstand) our documents, and then make decisions or take action based on that experience.

This course will explore the technical writing field's research and best practices on how to write up information and design documents in such a way as to be optimally read, understood, and appreciated by real audiences. For their main course assignments, students will have some leeway to pursue their academic or professional interests, such as by writing instructional material for undergraduate students, employees, or customers in their field of study or employment. Students will also observe, video-record, and interview readers as they read, act on, and reflect on their reading experience. By the end of the course, students will understand how such factors as sentence structure, form, rhetorical stance, document design, and cultural context influence readers, and students will have improved their ability to guide their readers through a cooperative and informative reading experience.

English 649 Seminar in British Literature
Twentieth-Century British Novel (Class ID# 19873)
Professor Maria McGarrity
Tuesdays 6:30-8:20 pm

This course will focus on twentieth-century British literature, specifically the novel. The twentieth century is an era that can be periodized not simply by chronology but also by global cultural events and their aftermaths. The sense of after-ness in the twentieth-century becomes evident in the many "posts" in contemporary literary and cultural studies, such as postcolonialism, poststructuralism, postmodernism, and post cold war. Kwame Anthony Appiah has famously inquired: "Is the Post- in Postmodern the Post- in Postcolonial?" We will endeavor to formulate a response to such a provocative question.
We will examine the ways in which the events, eras, theories, and their aftermaths become imagined in novels during this time period. While reading on average 1 novel a week, we will begin with a study of British modernism and continue to chart the development of twentieth-century literature through the latter half of the twentieth century. Paying attention to the role of the artist in society, we will attempt to determine if the various "posts" in our reading are distinct, related, arbitrary, and/or inevitable, and what their implications might be for contemporary studies of British culture.

Required Texts: Barker, Regeneration; Forster, A Passage to India; Fowles, The Ebony Tower; Greene,The Power and the Glory; Ishiguro, Remains of the Day; Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; McEwan, Atonement; Naipaul, The Enigma of Arrival; Smith, White Teeth; Unsworth, Pascali's Island; Woolf, Between the Acts.

English 700 Practicum in the Teaching of Composition (Class ID# 7523)
Professor Donald McCrary
Thursdays 4:20-6:10 pm

The course will examine theoretical and practical implications of teaching and tutoring writing. Although the emphasis will be on college writing instruction, most of the theories and practices we discuss will be relevant to secondary education teaching. However, the emphasis will be training students to teach in the writing program at LIU/Brooklyn. The course will examine important teaching issues such as constructing course syllabi, integrating reading and writing assignments, promoting process writing, responding to student papers, addressing the linguistic needs and abilities of a multicultural student population, and managing student behavior in the classroom. The course will focus on praxis and the writing issues/concerns of students at the university.

Students will write a journal entry for each course reading, create a syllabus that reflects their theoretical and practical approach to writing instruction, and, possibly, write an observation of an instructor's teaching.

Possible texts for the course include The St.Martin's Guide to Teaching Writing.

English 707 Methods of Research and Criticism (Class ID# 7699)
Professor Deborah Mutnick
Wednesdays 6:30-8:20 pm

This course is designed to acquaint students with graduate-level literary and rhetorical theory and with methods of research and documentation. Its aims are twofold: 1) to engage in the practice of literary and rhetorical analysis as a means of joining scholarly conversations and enriching ways of reading and teaching literature; and 2) to give an overview of the history and range of critical theory. To that end, although we will focus on three critical approaches-historicist, feminist, and rhetorical-we will set them in the context of various critical theories practiced today. To grasp the dialectic between theory and literature, we will read primary texts from literary movements--realism/naturalism, modernism, and postmodernism--that simultaneously continue and break from the past. Along with Edith Wharton's House of Mirth, we will read short stories and poems by authors such as Balzac, W.B. Yeats, Rainer Maria Rilke, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ann Petry, Faulkner, Richard Wright, Joyce, Tillie Olsen, Borges, Barth, Junot Diaz, and others. As we collectively apply different critical theories to these diverse readings, each student will choose a text and a critical approach as the basis for an individual research project, which will include a proposal, an annotated bibliography, and an essay. In addition to the research essay, an oral presentation will be required.

Sigma Tau Delta Fundraiser

The English Honor Society is holding a fundraiser on December 14 and 15 (Monday and Tuesday) from 12-4 in the lobby in front of Student Services (3rd Floor, Pratt Building). We’re selling children’s books and chocolate. Please stop by!

Everything is under $5.

Holiday Party!

The English Department
cordially invites you to our


Thursday, December 10th, 2009
4:00 p.m. until....

We are asking the all participants bring in a dish.


This year we are adding a game, so be prepared.