Paumanok Lecture 2013: Tracy K. Smith

The English Department is very pleased to announce that the Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet (and Voices of the Rainbow alum), Tracy K. Smith, will be giving the Paumanok Lecture this year.

Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013
6:30 PM
Kumble Theater.

Free & open to the public.

LIU Press Release

Mark your calendars!

About the Paumanok.

UPDATE (23 September 2013): Here are some photos from the lecture.

Photo: David Gardiner Garcia

Photo: David Gardiner Garcia

Photo: David Gardiner Garcia

English Major Josh Lamore Wins Alpha Lambda Delta Scholarship

From the LIU Brooklyn press release: "Josh LaMore, 26, a singer and songwriter majoring in English at LIU Brooklyn, has been awarded a prestigious Jo Anne J. Trow Scholarship for $6,000 from Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD) National Honor Society. The Trow scholarships are awarded to outstanding sophomores to be used during their junior year. Highly selective, 35 awards are presented annually to students in ALD’s more than 270 chapters on campuses across the United States."

Congratulations, Josh! 

English Students Nominated for 2012 Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize

Daphne Horton, undergraduate English major, and Kaya Arnoux, graduate student in English, have been nominated for the 2012 Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize, which is given by the Brooklyn Film and Arts Festival.

Congratulations, and good luck!

Horton and Arnoux will both be reading on Friday, December 14, 2012, as part of an event to be held at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights.

The evening will begin with a discussion with Evan Hughes about his book Literary Brooklyn and will conclude with a reading by all the prize finalists and the announcement of the winner. The program will take place from 7-9 PM.

Read more here.

Sigma Tau Delta Book Drive

The English Department's Omicron Zeta chapter of Sigma Tau Delta (the international English honors society) is holding a book drive to collect donations for Better World Books, an organization that redistributes books to promote literacy and friendly environmentalism. There are two donation boxes. One is on the second floor of the Humanities Building by the Writing Center. and the other is by the English Department reception desk on the fourth floor of the Humanities Building..

Please make donations if you can, and spread the word!For more information, contact Jake Matkov (English-Department graduate student).

Spring Course for English Majors or Minors

In Spring 2013, Professor Deborah Mutnick will be teaching 
ENG 163 Explorations in Nonfiction Writing 
(topic this time: zines and digital storytelling).

This course will satisfy a writing-and-rhetoric workshop requirement for writing-and-rhetoric concentrators, or the one-course, writing-and-rhetoric requirement for literature concentrators or creative-writing concentrators.

Lewis Warsh Reading


Broadside Reading Series organized by Steve Clay of Granary Books

Wednesday, December 5, 6:30

Center for Book Arts
28 West 27th Street (3rd floor)
New York City

New Chapbook from Barbara Henning

A Slow Curve a new chapbook of poems by Professor Barbara Henning (English Department), is coming out very soon from Monkey Puzzle Press.

More info.

Faculty Activity: Jonathan Haynes

Jonathan Haynes (Professor of English) is in Brazil at the invitation of a film festival in Rio de Janeiro, Nollwood: O caso do cinema Nigeriano.

He will be on a panel on November 14, Nollywood no contexto do cinema africano, and on another one on November 15, Nollywood: discursos e formas estheticas.  On November 19 he will present a talk, "Nollywood: Fundamentals of the Nigerian film industry", to graduate students and faculty of the Sociology Department of the Universidade Federal Fluminense.

MFA Reading Series Events

Two readings by students in the English Department's Creative-Writing MFA Program.

at The Sidewalk Cafe
94 Avenue A (Manhattan)
corner of E. 6th Street


Friday, November 30, 5-7

Felice Belle
Michael Grove
Elspeth Macdonald
Tiani Kennedy
Tina Barry
Evan Thomas
Harry Ewan
Desiree Rucker
Kyle De Ocera
Shari Seraneau
Michael Atkinson
Julianne Lavallee
Kaya Arnoux


Friday, December 7, 5-7

Asja Parrish
Kia Mills
Lisa Rogal
Amyre Loomis
Daniel Owen
Jon Jenkins
Marita Downes
Wendi Williams
Chia-Lunn Chang
Liz Dalton
Sarah Anne Wallen
Pamela Arnett
Joey Infante

Barbara Henning to Read as Part of Poets for Pets Thanksgiving Reading

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Readers are Dana Bryant, Sharon Dolin, Marcella Durand, and Barbara Henning. 

Suggested donation $10. 

All money will be donated to Animal Haven Shelter /

Creative Writing MFA Program Event: The Art of Editing (with Denise Scarfi from W.W. Norton)

A one-time intensive workshop led by Denise Scarfi, Assistant Editor, W.W. Norton.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
4-6:30 PM
Room H222, Media Arts Department

If you are not part of Jessica Hagedorn's fiction writing workshop, RSVP by November 28th:

Workshop on Grant Writing with John Killoran

As part of the Provost's Professional & Personal Development Academy, Professor John Killoran (English) will be presenting a workshop on grant writing.

Find out how to pursue governmental and organizational grants to support your programs and other initiatives. Learn about developing ideas, gathering supporting evidence, and presenting proposals.

When & Where
Thursday, October 25, 2012
11:00 AM
Library Learning Center, Room 515.

A light lunch will be served.

email or call 718-780-3406.

The Power of Print in the Digital Age

Welcome back, English majors, minors, and friends! We hope your semester is off to a good start.

To kick off the new academic year, the English department and Sigma Tau Delta are hosting an event to give you some ideas about careers that might interest you. We've invited

  *   a bookmaker extraordinaire (Sarah Wallen)

  *   a librarian/zinester (Kate Angell)

  *   a local non-profit agency the helps women write and publish their stories (The Women's Press Collective)

When and Where: October 10, 5 p.m., the Spector Lounge (4th floor of the H building)

There will be food! Let us know if you're coming so we can be sure to have enough. Feel free to drop in and to bring friends!

Graduate Courses -- Spring 2013

ENG 502 Writers on Writing (#4886) MFA ONLY
Professor Lewis Warsh
Tuesdays 6:30-9:00 pm

The course will offer readings and discussions with prominent fiction writers and poets. 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 2013.

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 Renee Gladman, Dorothea Lasky, Horacio Castellanos Moya, Kyle Schlesinger, Anne Waldman, Gina Apostol, Ammiel Alcalay, Wang Ping, Donald Breckenridge and Alice Notley.

RENEE GLADMAN is the author of six works of prose, most recently Event Factory and The Ravickians (Dorothy, 2010, 2011), and one collection of poetry, A Picture-Feeling (Roof Books, 2005). Her work occupies the interstices of fiction and poetry, and pushes toward cities, architecture, and the confusion of the everyday. Since 2005, she has edited and published Leon Works, a press for experimental prose and other thought projects based in the sentence. She lives in Providence, RI, where she teaches fiction in the Literary Arts Department at Brown University.

DOROTHEA LASKY is the author of AWE, Black Life, and Thunderbird, all from Wave Books. She is also the author of several chapbooks, including Matter: A Picturebook (Argos Books, 2012) and Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010). Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and Boston Review, among other places. She holds a doctorate in creativity and education from the University of Pennsylvania and a MFA from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst's MFA Program for Poets and Writers. She has taught poetry in a variety of settings, including New York University, Wesleyan University, and Columbia University. 

HORACIO CASTELLANOS MOYA is a writer and a journalist from El Salvador. For two decades he worked as editor of news agencies, magazines and newspapers in Mexico, Guatemala and his own country. He has published ten novels, five short story collections and two books of essays. His novels have been translated into twelve languages; four of them (Senselessness, The She-Devil In The Mirror, Dance with Snakes and Tyrant Memory) are available in English. As a fiction writer, he was granted residencies in a program supported by the Frankfurt International Book Fair (2004-2006) and in the City of Asylum program in Pittsburgh (2006-2008). In 2009, he was guest researcher at the University of Tokyo. Currently he teaches at the University of Iowa.

AMMIEL ALCALAY is a poet, novelist, translator, critic, scholar, and activist who teaches at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center. Recent books include Islanders (City Lights), and neither wit nor gold: from then (Ugly Duckling). His After Jews and Arabs (University of Minnesota) is the subject of a 20th anniversary conference at Georgetown in 2012. A new book of essays, a little history, and a 10th anniversary reprint of from the warring factions came out in Fall 2012.  He is the initiator and General Editor of Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, a series of student and guest edited archival texts emerging from the New American Poetry.

KYLE SCHLESINGER is a poet who writes and lectures on typography and artists’ books. His recent books of poetry include: Commonplace (Cuneiform, 2011); Bad Words to the Radio and Other Poems (Least Weasel, 2011); What You Will (NewLightsPress, 2011); Picture Day (Electio Editions, 2012); and Parts of Speech (Chax Press, 2012). In 2010 he curated and authored a catalog entitled Poems & Pictures: A Renaissance in the Art of the Book that traveled from New York, to Houston, to Buffalo, to Chicago. He is proprietor of Cuneiform Press and co-director of the Graduate Program in Publishing at the University of Houston-Victoria.

ANNE WALDMAN is a poet, performer, professor, editor, curator and co-founder
with Allen Ginsberg of The Jack Kerouac School at Naropa University where
she has worked for 37 years. Author of more than 40 publications of poetry,
her most recent books include Manatee/Humanity (Penguin Poets 2009), The
Iovis Trilogy (Coffee House Press 2011),  Soldatesque/Soldiering (Blaze
[Vox] 2012) and the forthcoming  Gossamurmur  (Penguin Poets 2013). She has worked extensively with musician Ambrose Bye and their most recent CD is The Milk of Universal Kindness  (Fast Speaking Music 2011). She is a recipient of the
Shelley Memorial Award for Poetry and has been deemed a “counter-cultural
giant” by Publisher’s Weekly. She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American

GINA APOSTOL was born in Manila and lives in New York City and Western Massachusetts. She attended the University of the Philippines (A.B. English 1984) and Johns Hopkins University (M.A. in the Writing Seminars 1988). She is a two-time winner of the Philippine National Book Award, for Bibliolepsy (1997) and The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata (2010) which also won the biennial prize for Philippine fiction in 2010. Her third novel, Gun Dealers’ Daughter, is her American debut, published by W.W. Norton in 2012. Her stories have appeared in The Massachusetts Review; The Gettysburg Review; Thirdest World; Charlie Chan is Dead, Vol. 2; The Penguin anthology of Asian American fiction; and other anthologies and journals. Sections of a novel in progress, The Unintended, will appear in Manila Noir, edited by Jessica Hagedorn for Akashic Books.

WANG PING was born in China and came to the USA in 1985. Her publications include American Visa (short stories, 1994), Foreign Devil (novel, 1996), Of Flesh and Spirit (poetry, 1998), The Magic Whip (poetry, 2003), The Last Communist Virgin (stories, 2007), All Roads to Joy: Memories along the Yangtze (forthcoming 2012), all from Coffee House. New Generation: Poetry from China Today (1999), an anthology she edited and co-translated, was published by Hanging Loose. Flash Cards: Poems by Yu Jian, co-translation with Ron Padgett, was published in 2010 from Zephyr. Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China (2000, University of Minnesota Press) won the Eugene Kayden Award for the Best Book in the Humanities. A paperback edition was published by Random House in 2002. The Last Communist Virgin won the 2008 Minnesota Book Award and Asian American Studies Award. She is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Council of the Arts, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Lannan Foundation, and the McKnight Artist Fellowship. She is the founder and director of the Kinship of Rivers project, a five-year project that builds a sense of kinship among the people who live along the Mississippi and Yangtze rivers through exchanging gifts of art, poetry, stories, music, dance and food.

DONALD BRECKENRIDGE is the Fiction Editor of The Brooklyn Rail, Editor of The Brooklyn Rail Fiction Anthology (Hanging Loose Press, 2006), The Brooklyn Rail Fiction Anthology 2 (Brooklyn Rail/Black Square Editions 2012) and founder/co-editor of the Intranslation web site. In addition, he is the author of more than a dozen plays as well as the novella Rockaway Wherein (Red Dust, 1998), and the novels 6/2/95 (Spuyten Duyvil, 2002), You Are Here (Starcherone 2009) and This Young Girl Passing (Autonomedia 2011).

ALICE NOTLEY has published over thirty books of poetry, including (most recently) Culture of One and Songs and Stories of the Ghouls.  Her other books include  At Night the States, and How Spring Comes, which was a co-winner of the San Francisco Poetry Award.  Her epic poem The Descent of Alette was published by Penguin in 1996, followed by Mysteries of Small Houses (1998), which was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry.  With her sons Anselm and Edmund Berrigan, she edited both The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan and The Selected Poems of Ted Berrigan.  Notley’s long poem Disobedience won the Griffin International Prize in 2002 .  Notley has received many prizes and awards including the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Award, two NEA Grants, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Poetry.  She lives and writes in Paris, France.
English 509 Sociolinguistics & the Teaching of Writing (#6072)
Professor Donald McCrary
Thursdays 6:30-9:00 pm

This course examines the social foundation of language and the linguistic foundation of social life. More specifically, the course explores how language and society intersect to construct and, in many ways, control both individual and group identity. The relationship between language and society has relevance for the teaching of writing in that both teachers and students possess socially constructed knowledge of language that undergirds their understanding of writing competence. The course explores how sociolinguistic constructions such as class, race, gender, academic discourse, and education might impact upon writing performance. The course analyzes sociolinguistic theory and practice, including the works of  L.S. Vygotsky, Victor Villanueva, Geneva Smitherman, and Susanne Romaine.

ENG 512 Grant Writing (#6073)
Professor John Killoran
Wednesdays 6:30-9:00 pm

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

Behind much of the work conducted by social and cultural agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, researchers, and artists are successful grant proposals. A grant proposal is essentially a set of persuasive documents that purport to establish and organize the future working relationships among a team of grant seekers, the population they will serve, and a sponsor. To manage such a complex venture, this course 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 complex rhetorical situations with demanding audiences.

  *   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 and feedback of their professor, the advice and workshop feedback of their classmates, and the information and models offered by their course textbook, peer reviewed articles, and other publications, 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, artistic proposal, or business proposal);

  2.  analyze potential sponsors who share the goal of solving the problem, including visiting (with the class) The Foundation Center in Manhattan, the nation’s main nonprofit service organization connecting nonprofits and grantmakers;

  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 a grant proposal, including a proposal narrative specifying their need statement, goals, objectives, and methods; their monitoring, reporting, and evaluation plans; their budget and budget narrative; and other sections constituting a complete proposal package as well as accompanying correspondence.\

English 523 Fiction Writing Workshop (#5022) MFA ONLY
Visiting Writer: Jocelyn Lieu
Tuesdays 4:00-6:30

This intensive fiction-writing course is open to students working in short or long traditional and experimental forms. Manuscripts will be discussed in a workshop format; our dialogue will draw on the individual aesthetics and sensibilities of each member of the class. It is through intense reading and positive engagement with manuscripts that the greatest degree of writers’ craft will be gained by all workshop participants.
While the main focus of class discussions will be student manuscripts, we occasionally will draw on insights into fiction craft provoked by short exemplary texts contained in a course packet. Craft elements studied will include but not be limited to voice, structure, form, plot, characterization, dramatic interaction, and the creation of fictional worlds/settings.
The workshop atmosphere will be collegial, focused, and engaged. We will begin our interaction with each manuscript by hearing one page of the work submitted read aloud by the author. Next we will examine the narrative elements and come to a collective understanding of the issues and ideas at the manuscript’s center. Workshop members then will offer suggestions intended to help the writer bring the piece to a more fully realized state. The author will have the opportunity to ask questions of the workshop about concerns not yet discussed or fully covered. After each student’s workshop, a conference with me will be scheduled for the following week so that we may focus more closely on the manuscript and discuss specific strategies for development and revision. Students also are encouraged to share work with each other beyond the work submitted to the workshop.
Jocelyn Lieu is the author of a 9/11 memoir titled What Isn’t There: Inside a Season of Change (Basic/Nation Books, 2007) and a collection of stories, Potential Weapons (Graywolf Press, 2004), which was published in France with the title Discordances (Éditions Phébus, 2007). Her work has appeared in 110 Stories: New York Writes After September 11, Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction, the Asian Pacific American Review, the Denver Quarterly, and the Hamilton Stone Review, among other anthologies and journals. Born in Queens, New York, and raised in Queens and on Long Island, Jocelyn currently teaches writing at NYU. She lives in the East Village and Saugerties, New York, with her husband, novelist Chuck Wachtel, and their daughter.

ENG 524 Poetry Writing Workshop (#4562) MFA ONLY
A Poetics of Silence, A Poetics of Translation
Professor John High
Mondays 6:30-9:00 pm

This workshop and discourse will begin by engaging an exploration of silence as a source for utterance and a language in itself—one that is greatly ignored and that can offer innovative possibilities. Where is the silence in your own poems, in whatever writing you are doing, and how can you access this space? On a broader, social/political plane, what is silenced, perhaps even censored in our own work? Where does the body and breath enter the act of unleashing language? As part of our investigation we will begin with meditation and free-writing to still the mind and move beyond received imagery, metaphors, and ideas. We will explore the work with a playfulness ranging from found writing and cut ups, to contemplative techniques of translation. What happens when we move outside the borders of the English language? How does this shift in perspective rupture or deepen our own writing?
In the course of the semester we will look at poets writing in other languages and explore how their poetic inspires/informs/speaks to/impacts our own silent space. We will focus on how translation itself can be applied to thought and emptiness as an entryway into the writing of our own vanishing selves. Text=Context. In conjunction to workshopping one another's texts you will choose a writer you admire and carve out a new translation of her/his work. If you speak another language, then you can start from there, but it is not necessary or even advantageous to do so. You will simply use existing or "literal" translations and reinvent them.
 How do we move from one language to another? How is the silence transferred, transversed, and transformed? We will spend time off campus, go to readings/performances and converse with other poet-translators; we will write in galleries/museums and other public spaces. We will also engage in a study of films as well as music that create silences and empty spaces as a means to further consider and cultivate our own sense of freedom. (Note: You do not need to know or be fluent in another language; TBA: Readings, Guests, Films.)

English 525 Playwriting Workshop (#6074) MFA ONLY
Character & Dialogue
Professor Jessica Hagedorn
Wednesdays 4:00-6:30 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. Our reading list will include works by Harold Pinter, Sarah Kane, Luis Alfaro, Wallace Shawn, Suzan-Lori Parks, and others. Mandatory field trip to one Off-Broadway play, TBA.

English 626 20th Century American Literature (#6076)
Modern American Gothic
Professor Leah Dilworth
Mondays 4:00-6:30 pm

Join me for a 14-week journey into the dark side of 20th century American literature. We’ll take a peek behind the bright façade of the American Century for an unflinching look at its repressed terrors and desires, as figured in literature teeming with ghost stories, haunted houses, Freudian dreams, freaks, criminals and absurd quests. The tour proceeds more or less chronologically; we will view the major literary movements through the lens of the gothic and read a selection of relevant literary criticism and manifestos. By the end of the semester you should have a well-developed position on the question, What’s scarier: the American South, Hollywood, or Las Vegas?
Texts include: Jean Toomer, Cane; Nathanael West, Day of the Locust and Miss Lonelyhearts; Djuna Barnes, Nightwood; William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom; Flannery O’Connor, stories; Richard Wright, Native Son; Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Toni Morrison, Beloved. Writing assignments: short response paper and class presentation; research paper (15-20 pages) or a creative project with a reflection that incorporates secondary sources.

English 641 Literacy and Basic Writing (#6078)
Professor Donald McCrary
Tuesdays 4:00-6:30 pm

The course will attempt to identify and understand different literacies both inside and outside the academy and connect those literacies to the teaching of basic writing. We will examine public and private literacies, paying particular attention to the social construction of literacy and its ideological underpinnings. These are some of the questions the course will address: What literacies matter and why? Who or what creates, manages, and controls academic discourse, and how might academic discourse be interrogated? How might other-literate students acquire academic discourse, and what role should private literacies or discourses play in basic writing pedagogy? What role can and should new technologies play in both teaching basic writing and reimagining academic discourse? Is hybrid written discourse an efficacious and viable response to standard English linguistic supremacy? In addition to examining literacies in relation to basic writing, students will explore their own literacies, public and private, to understand how those literacies inform their beliefs and attitudes about teaching basic writers. Theorists and scholars we will read include Russell, Heath, Delpit, Villanueva, Carter, Shaughnessy, Stuckney, Street, and Gee.

ENG 649 Seminar in British Literature (#6077)
Sex, Laughter, and Witty Repartee: The British Comedy from Shakespeare to Wilde

Professor Srividhya Swaminathan
Thursdays 4-6:30 pm

This course will be an exploration of genre as well as an examination of the changing tastes of the British public over time. The fundamental question for discussion will be what is comedy and how do we write it? To understand the humor of today, it is worthwhile to see what "sold" in the past. We will read approximately 9 plays beginning with Shakespeare and Jonson to the Restoration comedy (wildly popular in its day) to the wit of Oscar Wilde. The current list of plays (subject to change) include: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare), Measure for Measure (Shakespeare), Volpone (Jonson), Marriage a-la-Mode (Dryden), The Rover (Behn), She Stoops to Conquer (Goldsmith), The Importance of Being Earnest (Wilde). The class will see at least one staged production. Assignments will include acting, creative writing, critical writing, and much discussion of what makes "comedy."

ENG 700 Practicum in the Teaching of Composition (#4336)
Professor Thomas Peele
Mondays 4:00-6:30 pm

We will look at the ways that composition is taught and administered both at Long Island University and throughout the field. We’ll study the history of composition form the 1970s to the present, with an emphasis on the expressivist and social epistemic schools of thought. We’ll also familiarize ourselves with some of composition’s areas of specialization, including queer, feminist, and digital rhetorics. We’ll also study composition’s placement within the institution. We’ll consider our composition program’s goals and outcomes, and think about how institutional expectations and interdisciplinary stakeholders shape composition programs.

Students will write a seminar paper of approximately 20 pages  on the sub-speciality or pedagogy of their choice (with my approval), create a one month plan for a syllabus for English 16, and write a statement of teaching philosophy. You’ll receive a response from both me and your peers on your submissions, and you’ll be asked to revise them at least once.

ENG 707 Methods of Research and Criticism (#4393)
Professor Deborah Mutnick
Wednesdays 6:30-9:00 pm

In this course, you will study research techniques and critical approaches to literature, rhetoric, and creative writing. The course guides you through library research, literary and rhetorical analysis, and the writing of a critical research essay. Readings will include one or more works by Richard Wright and several short stories, essays, and poems by authors that may include, among others, Charles Baudelaire, Marianne Moore, Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, James Joyce, Zora Neal Hurston, Ann Petry, Tillie Olsen, John Barth, Mary Gaitskill, Sherman Alexie, and Junot Diaz, representing a range of literary periods and styles. Students will be able to select one or more of the stories and poems to be collectively read, and will get feedback on their writing from class workshops and individual conferences.

Advanced Undergraduate Courses -- Spring 2013

English Majors — Before you register, please make an appointment to meet with Wayne Berninger to review your outstanding requirements. Then register as early as possible to keep courses from being canceled.

Non-Majors — The writing and analytical skills gained in English courses are useful in a variety of professions. Any student may take these courses as general electives. A minor in English (four courses 100 or above) will satisfy the Distribution Requirement for any major. For more information, see Mr. Berninger.

English 126 News Writing (ID# 4887)
cross-listed with JOU 119 (ID# 4205)
Professor Donald Bird (Journalism Department)
Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:30-2:45 pm

This course will satisfy a Writing & Rhetoric elective requirement in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can satisfy a general English elective requirement in the Literature concentration. It can satisfy the Writing & Rhetoric requirement in either the Literature concentration or the Creative Writing concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor. Please note that this course is cross-listed with JOU 119. Students who wish this course to count toward the English major (or minor) should be sure to register for ENG 126 — not JOU 119. Contact the Journalism Department for information about the content of this course.

English 129 Later British Literatures (# 4518)
The Artist Coming of Age: Creating the “Uncreated Conscience”
Professor Maria McGarrity
Tuesdays 3:00-5:30 pm

This course is required in the Literature concentration.  It can satisfy a Literature requirement in either the Creative Writing concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor.

This course will examine the development of artistic consciousness in the British tradition.  We will examine the role of the artist in society, his or her alienation from society, the unique perspectives of the artist and his or her role as critic, both literary and social.  We will begin with the youthful artistic idealism of Keats, move onto a discussion of Wordsworth’s vision of the poet, Byron’s art in action, and expand our vision of the artist to include the feminine with Christina Rosetti and Virginia Woolf.  Finally we will examine modernity and the aftermath of Joyce’s achievement through the twentieth century.  We will challenge the idea that any writer can, as Joyce claimed to through his character Stephen Dedalus, “create the uncreated conscience of [his] race.”

Required Texts:

Greenblatt et al., eds., The Norton Anthology of English Literature, The Major Authors, 8th Edition, Volume B.
Joyce, James, A Portrait of the Artist as  Young Man, Norton Critical Edition.

English 159 Literatures of the U.S. Since 1865 (# 4200)
Modern American Culture & the Myth of Oz
Professor Patrick Horrigan
Wednesdays 6:00-8:30 pm

This course is required in the Literature concentration.  It can satisfy a Literature requirement in either the Creative Writing concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor.

The course follows the figure of the wanderer in search of home as s/he is re-incarnated again and again throughout modern American culture.  Using Frederick Jackson Turner’s seminal 1893 essay “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” as framework, the course finds echoes of Baum’s pilgrims (Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion) in Eliot’s mournful wanderer through the waste land, Hurston’s restless and love-hungry Janie, Baldwin’s tragically self-ignorant gay American in Paris, Capote’s sympathetic murderers, and the real-life figure of child star and lost boy, Michael Jackson.  The course is writing-intensive.  Syllabus: Week 1: Introduction: Turner’s thesis; 2: Baum; 3 & 4: T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land; 5 & 6: Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God; 7 & 8: The Wizard of Oz (1939 film version) and Salman Rushdie’s essay on the film; 9: James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room; 10 & 11: Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood; 12 & 13: The Wiz (1978 film version); 14: Margo Jefferson’s On Michael Jackson.

English 163 Explorations in Nonfiction Writing (# 6070)
Professor Deborah Mutnick
Mondays 3:00-5:30 pm

This course will satisfy a Writing & Rhetoric elective requirement in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can satisfy a general English elective requirement in the Literature concentration. It can satisfy the Writing & Rhetoric requirement in either the Literature concentration or the Creative Writing concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor. Any student may take this course a second time for credit.

In this nonfiction workshop, you will explore nonfiction writing with a focus on zines and digital storytelling. A zine—short for fanzine—is a self-published work of original or remixed texts or images. Digital storytelling is a new genre utilizing video, still images, text, and audio to create short, multimedia narratives. Students will write and create their own zines, and write and produce a digital story. In addition to writing techniques and strategies, students will learn how to make a zine, and to use iMovie, GarageBand, and other digital technologies. Students will get feedback on their writing from class workshops and individual conferences.

English 166 Fiction Workshop (# 4260)
Professor Lewis Warsh
Thursdays 6:00-8:30 pm

This course will satisfy a Creative Writing elective requirement in the Creative Writing concentration.  It can satisfy a general English elective requirement in the Literature concentration. It can satisfy the Creative Writing requirement in either the Literature concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor. English majors concentrating in Creative Writing may take this course a second time for credit.

This workshop will focus on the way autobiography overlaps with fiction and how the past is fictionalized as a way of keeping it alive. We'll consider the possibility of writing about ourselves with total detachment, as objectively as if we were writing about someone else. Our writing project will include working with secrets, memories, observations, opinions, overheard conversations--fragments of everything.  Class time will be spent critiquing each other's writing and discussing traditional and experimental forms and approaches. Writers under discussion include Marguerite Duras, Paul Bowles, Anna Kavan, Clarice Lispector, Roberto Bolaño, Jack Kerouac, Zora Neale Hurston and Franz Kafka.

English 175 Writing for the Professions (# 4885)
Professor Michael Bokor
Tuesdays 6:00-8:30 pm

This course will satisfy a Writing & Rhetoric elective requirement in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can satisfy a general English elective requirement in the Literature concentration. It can satisfy the Writing & Rhetoric requirement in either the Literature concentration or the Creative Writing concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor. English majors concentrating in Writing & Rhetoric may take this course a second time for credit.

This course is a writing workshop in which students will study rhetorical strategies for professional and technical writing (including reports, flyers, brochures, technical manuals, and a range of public documents). It is good for students in all disciplines looking for opportunities to improve their skills for professional writing in their careers. The course will help students:

·       *Learn specific skills for generating ideas and writing with confidence;
·       *Learn how to write for specific target audiences;
·       *Develop skills for creating documents commonly used at the workplace.

English 180 Genre Studies (# 6071)
The Slave Narrative and Neo-Slave Narrative Fiction
Professor Louis Parascandola
Mondays 6:00-8:30 pm

This course will satisfy the Literature requirement in either the Creative Writing concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can satisfy a general English elective requirement in the Literature concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor or the Africana Studies minor. Any student may take ENG 140, 150, 170 or 180 a second time for credit.

This course will examine the classic slave narratives The History of Mary Prince and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass in their entirety as well as excerpts from Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a  Slave Girl, The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, and William and Ellen Craft’s Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom. Our focus will be on how these works are both public and personal documents as well as a blend of autobiography and fiction. In addition, we will look at several neo-slave narratives (contemporary fictional reworkings based on the original slave narratives) including Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Charles Johnson’s Middle Passage, and Octavia Butler’s Kindred. We will also watch sections of several films based on these works and examine some historical/critical writings treating the readings. Students may write a traditional research paper on one or more of the narratives/fictions or write their own creative piece or lesson plan based on the readings.

English 190 Senior Seminar in Literature (# 4093)
Professor Michael Bennett
Wednesdays 1:00-3:30 pm

Converted to tutorial: You now need permission from chair, instructor, and dean.

This course is required in the Literature concentration. If you register for this course, and it cancels due to low enrollment, consult the Undergraduate Advisor (Wayne Berninger). If you need it for May graduation, we can arrange for you to take it as a Tutorial. Otherwise, we may ask you to wait until the next time it’s offered.

This course will guide students through the process of writing a long research paper (20-25 pages) of literary/cultural criticism on a topic of their own choosing.  Students will use a range of research resources and write an informal proposal, a formal proposal, a first draft, and a final draft of the paper.  During the first half of the course, we will read texts from a variety of genres, including poetry, fiction, drama, nonfiction, and cross-genre writing.  We will also read a variety of critical responses to these texts.  During the last half of the course, students will lead discussions of their own works-in-progress, read and critique each other’s work, and hand in a final seminar paper. Required Texts:

  • Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home.
  • Carson, Anne. Autobiography of Red.
  • Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness.
  • Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.
  • Sophocles, The Three Theban Plays: Antigone, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus.
English 191 Senior Seminar in Creative Writing (# 4441)
Professor John High
Wednesdays 3:00-5:30 pm

This course is required in the Creative Writing concentration. If you register for this course, and it cancels due to low enrollment, consult the Undergraduate Advisor (Wayne Berninger). If you need it for May graduation, we can arrange for you to take it as a Tutorial. Otherwise, we may ask you to wait until the next time it’s offered.

English 192 Senior Seminar In Writing & Rhetoric (# 4204)
Professor John Killoran
Wednesdays 3:00-5:30 pm

Converted to tutorial: You now need permission from chair, instructor, and dean.

This course is required in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. If you register for this course, and it cancels due to low enrollment, consult the Undergraduate Advisor (Wayne Berninger). If you need it for May graduation, we can arrange for you to take it as a Tutorial. Otherwise, we may ask you to wait until the next time it’s offered.

English 203 Starting from Paumanok (# 4023)
Black Women Pulitzer Prize Winning Poets
Professor Louis Parascandola
This course will count as a general elective.

This one-credit course will focus on the four Black women poets who have won the Pulitzer Prize: Gwendolyn Brooks, Rita Dove, Natasha Trethewey, and Tracy K. Smith. In addition to exploring the poets’ works, the students will have the unique opportunity to attend a reading by Tracy K. Smith (this year’s Paumanok speaker) and to discuss her writings.  Students are expected to attend all classes, including the Tracy Smith reading. They will write a 2-3 page paper on the reading (due Feb. 12), a 2-3 page paper on either Brooks, Dove, or Trethewey (due Feb. 19), and a 6 page paper on all of the four authors (due March 5).

  • January 29, 6:00-8:30 pm: Introduction, discussion of Gwendolyn Brooks.
  • February 5, 6:00-8:30 pm: Reading by Tracy K. Smith.
  • February 12, 6:00- 8:30 pm: Discussion of Rita Dove and Natasha Trethewey.
  • February 19, 6:00-8:30 pm: Discussion of Tracy Smith, Paper Writing.

Honors Courses Taught by English-Department Faculty

When taught by English Department faculty, Honors courses numbered 100 and above may be applied toward the English major or the English minor. Please discuss your plan with Wayne Berninger in the English Department before you register in order to confirm which requirement the course may satisfy. The following are eligible courses being offered in Spring 2013.

HHE 182 Through the Looking Glass (Class ID# 6125) / Professor Andrea Libin / Wednesdays 6-8:30 pm

HHE 183 Satan in Art and Literature (Class ID# 6126) / Professor Bernard Schweizer / Thursday 3-5:30 pm

HHE 186 Adaptations (Class ID# 6129) / Professor Michael Bennett / Day & Time TBA

Film Screening: MY BROOKLYN

The English Department and the LIU Brooklyn Library present a screening of Kelly Anderson's documentary My Brooklyn, which "explores the forces reshaping the Fulton Mall and nearby neighborhoods like Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and Bed-Stuy."
More info.

October 3, 2012
6:30 - 8:30 PM
Kumble Theater

MFA Reading Series Event: Anselm Berrigan

Please join us for this special joint event in the MFA Reading Series.

It's a reading by the Fall 2012 Visiting Writer to the MFA Program, Anselm Berrigan.

It's a book party to celebrate Mimeo Mimeo #7 (The Lewis Warsh Issue)

Copies of Berrigan's books will be available for purchase, as will discounted copies of Mimeo MimeoThere will also be food and wine!

October 5, 2012
Spector Lounge
4th Floor, Humanities Building

Poetry/Arts Journal MIMEO MIMEO Devotes an Issue to Lewis Warsh

From the Mimeo Mimeo website:

"Mimeo Mimeo is a forum for critical and cultural perspectives on artists' books, typography and the mimeograph revolution. This periodical features essays, interviews, artifacts, and reflections on the graphic, material and textual conditions of contemporary poetry and language arts."

Mimeo Mimeo #7 is the magazine issue ever to be devoted to Lewis Warsh, who is the Director of the LIU Brooklyn Creative Writing MFA Program.

More information.

Copies will be available at a discounted price at the MFA Reading Series Event on October 5 in the English Department.

English Department Colloquium Series

The English Department Colloquium Series (formerly the English Department Faculty Forum) is a program of talks by full-time members of the English-Department faculty. The series promotes scholarly activity among the full-time faculty of the Department by providing them with an opportunity to circulate their research among their colleagues. Read more about the series here
We are pleased to announce the first event of the new academic year:

Jonathan Haynes (recently back from his sabbatical)
Friday, September 21, 2012
3:30-4:30 PM (right after the English Department Faculty Meeting)

Professor Haynes's talk is called "Nollywood: Some History."

Here is his brief description: "In the last twenty years, Nigeria has created one of the world's largest film industries. This presentation will give an overview of the growth of this remarkable film culture, with special attention to the film that inaugurated Nollywood --
 Living in Bondage."

Graduate Student & Faculty Reception

September 27, 2012
5-7 pm
Spector Lounge, 4th Floor
Humanities Building

Please join us at this informal gathering for food, drinks, and opportunities for good conversation with fellow graduate students and faculty. If your graduate class meets during this time, then come for some portion of the event. This is our one opportunity during the year for all graduate students to meet one another and to speak with faculty from across the concentrations in English. Alumni are welcome and encouraged to join the festivities.

Hosted by Patricia Stephens and Srividhya Swaminanthan, Co-Chairs, English.

RSVP: Marilyn Boutwell.

Jonathan Haynes: Sabbatical Activity

Jonathan Haynes has guest-edited a special issue of the Journal of African Cinemas devoted to the Nigerian film industry.  It includes his introduction and a remarkably extensive bibliography of academic work on Nigerian and Ghanaian video films on which he has been working for a long time.  

It is hot off the press and available here:,id=2254/.  

Voices of the Rainbow: Fall 2012

For more information, e-mail Professor Maria McGarrity or Professor Louis Parascandola -- or contact them via phone at 718-488-1050.  

Paolo Javier & Irina Reyn
Wednesday, October 3, noon
Health Sciences Building, Room 121

Paolo Javier is the current Queens Borough Poet Laureate. He is the author of 4 chapbooks and 3 full-length poetry collections, including The Feeling is Actual.

Irina Reyn, born in Moscow, is the author of What Happened to Anna K. The novel has been described by Publishers Weekly as a worthy remake [of Anna Karenina] set among early 21st-century Russian-Jewish immigrants in New York City.   

Elizabeth Nunez & Kamala Nair
Tuesday, October  9, noon
Health Sciences Building, Room 119

Elizabeth Nunez, a native of Trinidad, has published 8 novels including Bruised Hibiscus (winner of an American Book Award), Anna In-Between, Prospero’s Daughter, and her most recent, Boundaries (a New York Times’ Editors’ Choice).

Kamala Nair was born in London and grew up in the United States. Her debut novel, The Girl in the Garden, has been described as “lovely” and “lush. “Set in the southern tip of India, the story is a part fairy-tale and part coming-of-age novel.”

Martha Witt & Glenville Lovell
Wednesday, November 14, 11 am
Health Sciences Building, Room 121
Martha Witt’s novel, Broken as Things Are, is set in North Carolina, the author’s home state. The novel has been described by Library Journal as “a much-touted debut about a young girl’s close relationship with her autistic and ultimately violently jealous brother.”

Glenville Lovell, born in Barbados, is the author of several prizewinning plays, the literary novels Song of Night and Fire in the Canes and two murder mysteries Too Beautiful to Die and Love and Death in Brooklyn.