Spring 2011 Courses, Graduate

English 502 Writers on Writing (Course ID# 2075)
Professor Lewis Warsh
Mondays 6:30-8:50 pm

The course will offer readings and discussions with prominent fiction writers and poets. The writers will meet with us weekly during the course of the semester. The purpose of the course is to give students 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 the student's 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 in 2011.

In addition to reading at least one book by each visiting writer, the students are required to submit a reading journal at the end of the semester and to complete all the writing assignments. These assignments will evolve from the ideas and techniques of the visiting writers and from our class discussions. On days when there are no visitors we will read and discuss our own work.

The visiting writers for this semester are Elizabeth Willis, Gary Lenhart, Samuel R. Delany, Ron Padgett, Tracie Morris, Laird Hunt, Wang Ping, Monica de la Torre, Bob Holman and Renee Gladman.

ELIZABETH WILLIS is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Meteoric Flowers (Wesleyan, 2006) and Turneresque (Burning Deck, 2003). Her collection, The Human Abstract (Penguin 1995) was a winner of the National Poetry Series. A fifth work entitled Address is forthcoming in January. Willis has been awarded fellowships in poetry from the California Arts Council and the Howard Foundation and has held residencies at Brown University, University of Denver, Naropa University, and the Centre International de Poésie, Marseille. She earned a Ph.D in Poetics from SUNY at Buffalo in 1994. Recently she edited a collection of essays entitled Radical Vernacular: Lorine Niedecker and the Poetics of Place, published in 2008 by University of Iowa Press. She was Distinguished Writer in Residence at Mills College from 1999 to 2002. Currently she is Shapiro-Silverberg Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Wesleyan University.

GARY LENHART is the author of six collections of poetry, including The World in a Minute (2010) ,Father and Son Night (1999), and Light Heart (1991) from Hanging Loose Press and One at a Time (United Artists, 1983). His published prose includes The Stamp of Class: Reflections on Poetry and Social Class (University of Michigan Press, 2006) and Another Look: Selected Prose (Subpress, 2010). He was also an editor of Clinch: Selected Poems of Michael Scholnick (Coffee House, 1998) and The Teachers & Writers Guide to Classic American Literature (T&W, 2001), and edited The Teachers & Writers Guide to William Carlos Williams (1998). He has contributed poems, essays, and reviews to many magazines and anthologies, and edited the magazines Mag City and Transfer. He has taught at Dartmouth College since 1996.

SAMUEL R. DELANY, JR. is an American author, professor and literary critic. His work includes a number of novels, many in the science fiction genre, as well as memoir, criticism, and essays on sexuality and society. His science fiction novels include Babel-17, The Einstein Intersection (winners of the Nebula Award for 1966 and 1967 respectively), Nova, Dhalgren, and the Return to Nevèrÿon series. He is the author of numerous autobiographical works, including The Motion of Light in Water. After winning four Nebula awards and two Hugo awards over the course of his career, Delany was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2002. Between 1988 and 1999 he was a professor of comparative literature at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Between 1999 and 2000 he was a professor of English at SUNY Buffalo. Since January 2001 he has been a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he is Director of the Graduate Creative Writing Program.

RON PADGETT's books include the poetry collections How to Be Perfect, You Never Know, Great Balls of Fire, and New & Selected Poems, as well as three memoirs, Ted: A Personal Memoir of Ted Berrigan; Oklahoma Tough: My Father, King of the Tulsa Bootleggers; and Joe: A Memoir of Joe Brainard. Padgett is also the editor of The Teachers & Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms and World Poets. His translations include Blaise Cendrars' Complete Poems, Guillaume Apollinaire's Poet Assassinated, and, with Bill Zavatsky, Valery Larbaud's Poems of A. O. Barnabooth. He has collaborated with artists such as Jim Dine, Alex Katz, George Schneeman, and Joe Brainard. For ten years he worked as a poet-in-the-schools, and for twenty years he was the publications director of Teachers & Writers Collaborative. Padgett has received Fulbright, NEA, Guggenheim, and Civitella Ranieri grants and fellowships, and was named Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. In 2008 he was elected Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He also received the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. For more information, go to www.ronpadgett.com.

TRACIE MORRIS is an interdisciplinary poet and scholar who has worked extensively as a sound artist, writer, bandleader and multimedia performer. Her installations have been presented at the Whitney Biennial, Ronald Feldman Gallery, the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning and the New Museum. She holds an MFA in poetry from Hunter College and a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University. Dr. Morris is an Associate Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at Pratt Institute. She is completing two books: an academic work WhoDo with Words on the work of philosopher J.L. Austin and a poetry collection, Rhyme Scheme as well as an untitled CD with music.

LAIRD HUNT is the author of a book of short stories, The Paris Stories (2000), from Smokeproof Press, and four novels, The Impossibly (2001), Indiana, Indiana (2003) The Exquisite (2006) and Ray of the Star (2009) all from Coffee House Press. His writings, reviews and translations have appeared in the United States and abroad in, among other places, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, Bomb, Bookforum, Grand Street, The Believer, Fence, Conjunctions, Brick, Mentor, Inculte, and Zoum Zoum. He is currently on faculty in the University of Denver’s Creative Writing Program.

WANG PING has published numerous volumes of poetry and fiction, including
American Visa (1994), Foreign Devil (1996), Of Flesh and Spirit (1998), The Magic Whip (2003) and The Last Communist Virgin (2007). An expanded version of her doctoral dissertation on foot-binding in China--Aching for Beauty--was published in 2000. She has also edited an anthology of contemporary Chinese poetry, New Generation: Poetry from China Today (1999). She received her M.A. from the English department at Long Island University and her PhD in Comparative Literature from NYU. She is presently an Associate Professor in the English Department at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

MONICA DE LA TORRE is the author of two poetry books published in the U.S., Talk Shows (Switchback, 2007) and Public Domain (Roof Books, 2008), and two poetry books published in Mexico City, Acúfenos (Taller Ditoria, 2006) and Sociedad Anónima (Bonobos, 2010). She is translator of a volume of selected poems by neo-Baroque Mexican poet Gerardo Deniz (Lost Roads, 2000) and co-editor of the anthology of post-Latino poetry Malditos latinos, malditos sudacas: Poesía hispanoamericana Made in USA (El billar de Lucrecia, 2009). Recently she has participated in the collaborative book projects Collective Task and Taller de Taquimecanografía. She is senior editor at BOMB Magazine and a 2009 NYFA fellow in poetry.

BOB HOLMAN is a poet best known as a ringmaster of the spoken word/slam scene, but somehow he's got ten books under his belt and teaches at Columbia and NYU. He also founded Mouth Almighty/Mercury Records, a spoken word label, produced the award-winning PBS series, The United States of Poetry, and worked at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project and Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe before he founded the Bowery Poetry Club. He is currently working on a documentary about the poetry of Endangered Languages.

RENEE GLADMAN is the author of Arlem, Not Right Now, Juice The Activist, A Picture Feeling and Newcomer Can't Swim. Since 2004, she has been the editor and publisher of Leon Works, a series of books of experimental prose. She was previously the editor of the Leroy chapbook series, publishing innovative poetry and prose by emerging writers. She is Assistant Professor Literary Arts at Brown University.

English 512 Grant Writing (Course ID# 6343)
Professor John Killoran
Mondays 6:30 –8:50 pm

This course is designed not only for English graduate students but also for students from other disciplines and for professionals who seek to develop their skills as persuasive professional writers.

Behind much of the work conducted by social and cultural agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, researchers, and artists are successful grant proposals. The grant proposal is essentially a set of persuasive documents, and this course thus approaches grant writing through a rhetorical perspective and a process approach:

• The rhetoric perspective offers not just a wily way with words but strategies for responding to demanding audiences and complex rhetorical situations.

• The process approach walks students through the stages of researching and writing a grant proposal: defining the problem, analyzing the audience, researching the solution, and discovering the arguments that best present their case.

Specifically, with the guidance of their professor, students will . . .

1. identify a problem that could be solved by their social or cultural agency, educational institution, or other nonprofit organization (or, with the consent of the professor, a problem that could be solved through a research proposal, arts proposal, or business proposal);
2. analyze potential sponsors who might share the goal of solving the problem;
3. research their proposed solution, including researching and organizing the prospective team that will implement the solution; and
4. plan, draft, and revise each section of the grant proposal.

English 519 Editing (Course ID# 3010)
Professor Michael J.K. Bokor
Tuesdays 4-6:20 pm

This course teaches students theory, practice, and evaluation of editing skills as well as orientation to careers and professional concerns in academic and non-academic writing. Effective editing is a demanding task that requires a comprehensive command of communication skills, exacting attention to detail, good interpersonal skills, and the discipline to get work done on schedule. The course, therefore, includes a style/grammar review and emphasizes hands-on editing activities. Students will learn how to critically edit documents and graphics to suit the needs of specific audiences. They will also learn how to make good editorial decisions as well as develop a better understanding of the legal and ethical issues that surround written communication. The major assignment for the course is an extended editing project that students can later use as a portfolio piece in the job-search process.
For further information, contact Professor Bokor at Michael.Bokor@liu.edu or on phone, 718-488-1050 Extension 1112.

English 523 Fiction Writing Workshop (Course ID# 2257)
The Landscape of Fiction
Professor Calvin Baker
Mondays 4-6:20

From Don Quixote’s hallucinatory adventures in seventeenth century Spain to K.’s twentieth century struggle in The Castle a story’s setting provides inherent possibilities as well as limitations. This course will examine the ways in which the canvas of place operates with the other engines of fiction—character, plot, language, thought, time— to help create structure and meaning. We will explore both verisimilitude and dream. Expect weekly reading and writing assignments. Texts will be drawn from the major eras in the history of the novel, with a special consideration given to the past one hundred years, and will include works by Homer, Dostoyevsky, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Italo Calvino, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, James Baldwin, Luis Borges, V.S. Naipaul, Cormac McCarthy and Kazuo Ishiguro.

Calvin Baker is the author of three novels, Dominion (Grove Press, 2006), Once Two Heroes (Viking, 2003) and Naming the New World (St. Martin's, 1997). He has taught at Columbia University, Bard College and Barnard College.

English 524: Poetry Writing Workshop (Course ID# 1637)
Writing the Long Poem: Everything We Know
Professor Lewis Warsh
Wednesdays 4-6:20 pm

The long poem is a place where we can include everything: knowledge of ecology and politics, all the various emotional states and upheavals that we’ve experienced, annotation of the present moment and the passage of time. Each student will initiate what might be a long poem of several pages or even a book-length poem written and accumulated over the course of the semester. We'll discuss the ways of bringing together data by direct observation and journal writing, by reading the newspaper (which is a kind of daily poem), and by sustaining a rhythm, a feeling, a theme. We'll pay attention to ways of improvisation, how to translate daily life into poetry, and how to use repetition and variation. We'll use as models some of the great long poems of the last century, most notably Paterson by William Carlos Williams, The Skaters andThree Poems by John Ashbery, A by Louis Zukofsky and Midwinter Day by Bernadette Mayer. Mostly we'll look closely at each other's work, give each other feedback and advice, and share each other's concerns regarding the importance of poetry in the world.

English 525 Playwriting Workshop (Course ID# 2256)
Creating Characters: Their Dramas, Their Fictions
Professor Jessica Hagedorn
Wednesdays 6:30-8:50 pm

In this workshop, we will explore strategies for creating compelling characters and writing kick-ass dialogue. We will learn what it means to adapt a work of fiction for the stage. Be prepared for in-class improvs and exercises which will include writing monologues and scenes. We will examine and utilize the techniques of contemporary fiction writers and playwrights as varied as Harold Pinter, Roberto Bolaño, Adrienne Kennedy, Luis Alfaro and others. A portfolio of revised writing assignments will be due at the end of the semester. Students who have previously taken this workshop may continue working on their scripts. Guest artists and mandatory field trip to one Off-Broadway play, TBA. (CLASS SIZE LIMITED)

English 579 Seminar in Special Studies (Course ID# 3011)
Queer Fiction
Professor Patrick Horrigan
Tuesdays 6:30-8:50 pm

This course focuses on narratives by and about lesbians and gay men since the rise of the gay liberation movement after World War Two. For our purposes, “queer fictions” will refer both to the various images of gay/lesbian lives contained within these works and to the often-devious artistic strategies writers employ to capture queer experience (“queer,” a centuries-old term of derision, description, and, more recently, self-affirmation: “strange, odd, counterfeit, spoiled, suspicious, unconventional, homosexual, obsessed, mildly insane, fond of, in love with, touched”). The course will serve as a primer on some of the key works of modern gay American writing but will also function as a lens through which to examine the broad sweep of post-war literary and pop culture; hence, although we’ll be reading mostly “literary” fiction, we’ll also branch out into pulp fiction, history, autobiography, film, drama, and comics. Students will write a series of short essays as well as a longer piece which may take the form of a research paper or a creative project. Texts may include Jane Bowles’ Two Serious Ladies, William S. Burroughs’ Queer, Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, Christopher Isherwood’s A Single Man, Martin Duberman’s Stonewall, Audre Lorde’s Zami, William M. Hoffman’s As Is, Vikram Seth’s The Golden Gate, Keith Haring’s Journals, Eileen Myles’ Cool for You, and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. A field trip to a film, performance, or exhibition may be arranged.

English 620 Theories of Rhetoric and Teaching Writing (Course ID# 3012)
Western Rhetorical Traditions and the Teaching of Writing
Professor Patricia Stephens
Tuesdays 6:30-8:50 pm

We will begin the semester by focusing on a few key questions: How (and by whom) has rhetoric been defined over time? How and why have these definitions changed and evolved? How do we, in this class, define rhetoric? What role does rhetoric play in the teaching of reading and writing? Our readings in the beginning of the course – from the Sophists, Plato, and Aristotle to the medieval and “feminist” work of Christine de Pizan -- will lay the foundation for our examination of other readings later in the semester – from 18th and 19th rhetoricians like Blair, Campbell, Grimké, Bain and Hill to contemporary and postmodern works by Bahktin, Burke, Perelman, Toulmin, Foucault, Cixous, Gates, Anzaldua, and others. Throughout, we will trace the influence of these ever-evolving rhetorical theories on the practice of teaching writing in American colleges from the 19th century to the present. By the end of the semester, students should be able to 1) discuss how (and by whom) rhetoric has been defined and practiced in various historical periods; 2) articulate shifts in definition and practices across historical periods; 3) discuss the influence of Western rhetorical tradition on the field of composition and rhetoric, specifically, the teaching of reading and writing since the 19th century; and 4) apply rhetorical theories to specific practices and problems in rhetoric and composition.

English 643 Seminar in British Literature (Course ID# 6941)
Professor Sealy Gilles
Thursdays 6:30-8:50 pm

William Shakespeare’s work is both daunting, in its scope and complexity, and an inescapable part of our cultural and literary landscape. This seminar aims in part to set the bard and his work in context by taking a look at the plays as they emerge from early modern London, a city undergoing exponential growth and beset by turmoil. By 1600, London was fast becoming Europe’s most populous city and the theaters provided its crowds with dynamic and unsettling entertainment. Much of that entertainment reflected contemporary anxieties about the vicissitudes of the human body. As we work to understand the Shakespearean stage as an urban art form, we will also be delve into the plays to explore the language of disease, the volatile presence of racial outsiders, and the constant rewriting of gender.

The seminar will be centered on six plays – two comedies, two history plays, and two tragedies. I have ordered tickets for two performances at Theater for a New Audience: Cymbeline with the Fiasco Theater Company & MacBeth, starring John Douglas Thompson (whom you may have seen in Othello last year). Both shows are on Thursday nights and we will be applying for funds to subsidize student tickets.

Course projects will include:
• A close reading of a passage or scene OR an original Shakespearean soliloquy or dialogue with a metatext linking it to passages in the plays
• A recitation of a passage from the plays.
• A research project that places a play in context: historical, critical, political, religious, or cultural OR an extended dramatic script using research on early modern London.

English 700 Practicum in the Teaching of Composition (Course ID# 1347)
Professor Donald McCrary
Thursdays 4-6:20 pm

Although the course will examine theoretical and practical implications of the teaching of writing, specifically, the course will prepare students to teach in the LIU/Brooklyn Writing Program. This is an important distinction because our readings and course discussions/exercises will serve to illuminate the theories and practices of teaching writing at LIU. However, the course should provide students with information and expertise to teach writing at other colleges or universities. The course will examine important teaching issues such as constructing course syllabi, integrating reading and writing assignments, promoting process writing, responding to student papers, contemplating the linguistic needs and abilities of a multicultural student population, and managing student behavior in the classroom.

Each student will create an English 16 syllabus that adheres to the program requirements. Moreover, each student will teach a fifty minute English 16 lesson plan and facilitate the class discussion of one course text. English 16 is a thematic course. Students can choose to teach a theme of either work or food. Once students have selected a theme, they must purchase a primary text of their own choosing, the program-mandated anthology of their chosen theme, Teaching Composition, and A Writer’s Reference.

English 707 Methods of Research and Criticism (Course ID# 1423)
Professor Srividhya Swaminathan
Wednesdays 6:30-8:50 pm

This course will acquaint students with the principles of different theoretical methods that can be used to evaluate literary and non-literary texts. Students will study drama, fiction, and essay from eighteenth century British sources in addition to understanding and implementing theoretical lenses in analyzing these sources. This period in British literature is often seen as the launching point of modern constructions of nation, identity, and global hierarchies. The course will proceed with the aim of analyzing a particular series of moments in literary history as a means of evaluating literature (in an inclusive sense) as shaping and reflecting trends in culture and ideology. Texts we will examine include Aphra Behn’s The Rover, Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, and selections from Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments. Students will discuss topics relating to the discipline of English Studies (e.g., canonicity, what constitutes text, what is minor literature) as an avenue into understanding literary theory. We will study a variety of theoretical models (e.g., New Historicism, Feminist Criticism, Cultural Studies) and then employ specific models in sustained oral and written analyses. Assignments will include one oral presentation of critical reception, one book review of secondary work, one annotated bibliography, and one article-length essay.

No comments: