Advanced Courses (Undergrad), Summer and Fall 2012

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 Wayne Berninger.

Changes to English-Major Requirements

Effective Fall 2012, ENG 101 (Introduction to English Studies) will no longer be required for English majors. However, the undergraduate English major remains a thirty-credit program, which means that English majors still need the three credits of advanced English that used to be satisfied by ENG 101. For those of you who have already taken ENG 101, there will be no changes.

If you have NOT yet completed ENG 101, the new English-major requirements are as follows:

Literature Concentration

·         ENG 128, 129, 158, 159 & 169.
·         One Creative Writing elective from ENG 164, 165, 166, 167 & 168.
·         One Writing & Rhetoric elective from ENG 126, 163, 168, 171, 172, 173, 174 & 175.
·         Two general English electives. (These must be above 100 but may be from any concentration.)
·         ENG 190.

Creative Writing Concentration

·         ENG 164
·         Four Creative Writing electives from ENG 165, 166, 167 & 168. (Please be aware that these may each be taken twice.)
·         One Writing & Rhetoric elective from ENG 126, 163, 168, 171, 172, 173, 174 & 175. (Please be aware that 163, 168, 173, 174 & 175 may each be taken twice.)
·         Three Literature electives from ENG 119, 128, 129, 137, 140, 150, 158, 159, 169, 170, 180, 184, 187 & 200+. (One of these three must be either 129 or 159. Please be aware that 140, 150, 170 & 180 may each be taken twice.)
·         ENG 191.

Writing and Rhetoric Concentration

·         ENG 171 & 172.
·         Three Writing & Rhetoric electives from ENG 126, 163, 168, 173, 174 & 175. (Please be aware that all of these except 126 may be taken twice.)
·         One Creative Writing elective from ENG 164, 165, 166, 167 & 168.
·         Three Literature electives from ENG 119, 128, 129, 137, 140, 150, 158, 159, 169, 170, 180, 184, 187 & 200+.  (Two of these must be from ENG 128, 129, 158, 159 & 169. Please be aware that 140, 150, 170 & 180 may each be taken twice.)
·         ENG 192.

No one course can satisfy two different requirements.

First Summer Session 2012
May 14 — June 25

English 150 Studies in Ethnic Literatures (Class ID# 2723)
African American Narratives
Professor Carol Allen
Mondays & Wednesdays, 2:00 – 4:50 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. Any student may take ENG 140, 150, 170 or 180 a second time for credit.
This course looks at fictional and nonfictional narrative accounts by African American writers from the Slave Narrative to Barack Obama’s recent autobiography. We will examine a sampling of narratives from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries written by former slaves, then move on to the Harlem Renaissance, and our final unit highlights contemporary texts that include narratives by John Edgar Wideman, Ntozake Shange, Adrienne Kennedy, and Barack Obama. We will foreground such questions as why do African Americans write autobiography and/or fictional accounts that use first person narration, what are the gender differences, and what are the politics of writing for an audience that may be unfamiliar with the cultural currency in the text.

Over the course, you will enhance your critical reading skills, perfect your research and writing, gain a sense of different styles and approaches to literary criticism, and become informed about the major cultural and social debates that have arisen in the last thirty years. I hope as well that you will discover writing styles that help you to think critically about your creative writing as you may discover what works for your memoir production by comparing it to the broad variety of vehicles that we will explore. Assignments include position papers, leading class discussion, and a final essay.

Readings, usually a section of the text, will come from the following sources:

  1. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Olaudah Equiano
  2. Our Nig, Harriet Wilson
  3. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass
  4. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs
  5. Up from Slavery, Booker T. Washington
  6. Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, James Weldon Johnson
  7. Dust Tracks on the Road, Zora Neale Hurston
  8. The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X
  9. People Who Led to my Plays, Adrienne Kennedy
  10. Liliane, Ntozake Shange
  11. Fanon, John Edgar Wideman
  12. Open House, Patricia Williams
  13. Dreams from My Father, Barack Obama

Fall 2012

English 126 News Writing Section 1 (Class ID# 5180)
Professor Jennifer Rauch (Journalism Department)
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1:30 – 2:45 PM

English 126 News Writing Section 2 (Class ID# 5507)
Professor Jennifer Rauch (Journalism Department)
Wednesdays, 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. 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 128 Early British Literatures (Class ID# 5459)
The Making of English Literary Tradition
Professor Srividhya Swaminathan
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:30 – 5:45 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.

What does it mean to be English and how does language contribute to the construction of identity?  Why do we study early English literature and what kinds of things are we to learn from the texts?  How did English literary traditions evolve over time to create a cohesive identity and culture for its people?  This course will begin a chronological survey of the development of English literary traditions beginning in the ninth century with Beowulf.  Students will gain an understanding of the evolution of the English language from its earliest forms to the more modern version of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  We will read literature by Chaucer and contemporaries of Shakespeare.  The course will introduce students to the differences in genre by understanding changes in narrative based on form.  For example, we will examine how the move from long narrative poetry of the Medieval period gave way to the more popular drama and lyric poetry of the Renaissance and ultimately to the novel in the Eighteenth Century.  Not only did the English language develop in form but also in prestige as authors soon began choosing to write in English as a literary language (as opposed to French).  By examining the geographic and cultural boundaries as they change over the centuries, students will gain a better grasp of the fluidity of “English” or “British” identity.  

English 158 Early Literatures of the United States (Class ID# 4155)
Founding Documents
Professor Carol Allen
Tuesdays, 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.

This course explores early American writing before the Civil War. We will examine what makes Americans American through the lens of early writings of the United States, texts that establish the mores, desires, norms, and perspective of a nascent nation. That is: a focus on works that attempt to collect and make coherent the raw and disparate pieces that will go into forming the US (which is still very much under construction). As a counterpoint to our concentration on collection and coherence, we will read one piece that focuses on dispersion: an alternative way to think about this period, Equiano’s slave narrative/travel document of the Atlantic. By the end of the semester, you will have thought about how nation-building is as much a product of dream and myth as it is actual tangible work. Expect to read selections/texts from Equiano, John Winthrop, Anne Bradstreet, Thomas Jefferson, Harriet Wilson, Charles Brockden Brown, James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Abraham Lincoln. Assignments include informal writing, in-class essays, presentation, and final paper.

English 164 Explorations in Creative Writing (Class ID# 5265)
A Writers Studio: Haiku to Hip-Hop—Zen, Wabi-Sabi, Haibun & Real NYC Stories
Professor John High
Wednesdays, 6-8:30 PM

This course is required 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. Any student may take this course a second time for credit.

Do you ever write poems, lyrics, or stories? Are you interested in haiku poetry, hip-hop, or spoken word? Do you miss the imaginative stories you created as a child? Do you secretly write in a journal or diary? Have you always wanted to write a poem but were afraid? This course is for anyone who has ever wanted to express him- or herself creatively or who wants to develop his or her imaginative voice.

In the course we’ll play with writing techniques of the East from Japan to China and study their influence & possibilities for our own writing in BK, NYC. So what is the relationship between traditions, between haiku and hip-hop, for instance—between innovation and being one’s true self, and a writer’s unique story or poetic, history, background, and culture? If our own voices grow out of the past and from traditions firmly rooted in the power of language, in this class our goal will be to open ourselves to diverse aesthetics ranging from the meditative spirit of Zen and wabi-sabi to the contemporary tempo of artistic sounds and music emerging from the streets of the city. How is perfection only mastered in the imperfection of form? How does the chaos of a story find structure in the harmony of imbalance?

If haibun is often described as narratives of epiphany, wabi-sabi concentrates on daily life. As with hip-hop and rap and the street stories of New York, both forms have manifested more as expressions of urban life and travel dialogues in American usage. We’ll play with these condensed forms of syntax and sensory impressions, experiment with writing in the present tense, and focus our language on tone and setting in our weekly workshops.

The course will include workshops, film, music, artwork, and informal talks and will conclude with a chapbook and manifesto of your own work for the semester.

English 165 Poetry Workshop (Class ID# 4201)
How to Get There
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.

Our ideas about poetry are often instilled in us at a very young age—and often those ideas are based on a narrow concept, as if poetry were just one thing written in one way. Our goal in this course is to expand the definition of poetry—to see what’s possible, both as writers and readers. We’ll do this by exploring the traditions of poetry and the various forms of poetry (among them the sonnet, the sestina, the villanelle) and by paying close attention to the way that poetry changes through time and how much great poetry is a reflection of the age in which it was written. We’ll also discuss the act of writing poetry as one of risk-taking and investigation, and how nothing ever changes unless you experiment or try something new. Is all great writing, for instance, experimental writing? In what way is writing poetry similar to scientific discovery or invention? We’ll discuss, at length, what “experiment” means in relation to poetry. Most important, we’ll try to trace the relationship between poetry and daily life.

Among the poets we’ll look at closely are William Carlos Williams, Charles Reznikoff, Ted Berrigan, Anne Waldman, Diane di Prima, Robert Creeley, Bernadette Mayer, Amiri Baraka, Jack Spicer, Gary Snyder, Gregory Corso, Kenneth Koch, Frank O’Hara, and Allen Ginsberg.

A final portfolio, consisting of all your written work, is due at the end of the semester.

English 169 Nonwestern or Postcolonial Literature (Class ID# 5266)
The Black Atlantic
Professor Jonathan Haynes
Wednesdays, 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.

The African diaspora was not a simple matter of Africans being transported to the New World as slaves.  “The Black Atlantic” is Paul Gilroy’s phrase for the dense networks built up over the centuries as black people crisscrossed the ocean in all directions, maintaining connections between Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Americas. This matrix gave birth to various conceptions of pan-Africanism.  We will consider the facts of the matter, the histories of slavery, black sailors, cosmopolitan intellectuals, and labor migrants.  We will follow African gods and spirits—Mami Wata, Yemoja, Ogun, Elegba, the Sankofa bird—to the New World.  Film, the visual arts, and music will come into the story, but we will be principally concerned with how writers have represented and interpreted this rich if often painful history.  An independent research project will allow students to explore their own particular interests.

English 171 Introduction to Classical Rhetoric (Class ID# 5920)
Professor John Killoran
Mondays & Wednesdays 4:30 - 5:45 pm

This course is required 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.

Students have been studying classical rhetoric for more than 2400 years, starting with the ancient Greeks, so why study it in 2012? Classical rhetoric offers us guidelines for how to be persuasive. In ancient times, rhetoric played a key role in the birth of our traditions of democratic politics and law. In modern times, classical rhetoric has been revived to guide us in analyzing the persuasive messages around us and to make our own writing more persuasive.

In this course, students will learn concepts from classical rhetoric and apply them to analyze contemporary writing, speaking, and multimedia communication in . . .

§ politics and law;
§ advertising, marketing, and public relations;
§ traditional media and new digital media;
§ our personal lives and communities.

By the end of the course, students will better recognize how language persuades us of what we believe and whom we believe. Students will also have developed their sensitivity to the power in others’ use of language and will become more empowered in their own use of language.

This course is designed not only for English majors but also for students from disciplines such as Political Science, Education, Business, Journalism, and Media Arts who seek to develop their skills as critical readers and persuasive writers. For more information, contact professor John Killoran at

English 231 Twice Told Tales: Marriage, Murder, and Madness (Class ID# 6208)
Professor Maria McGarrity
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. Any student may take ENG 140, 150, 170 or 180 a second time for credit.

The history of literature is filled with myths and legends that recur persistently. In this course, we will examine the enduring tales of fiction that writers have revisited repeatedly. The number of texts we could consider is infinite, so we’ll focus on the intersections of specific themes, namely Marriage, Murder, and Madness. We will read for the appreciation of the aesthetic completeness of each individual work while also investigating the endurance, appeal, and variety of manifestations of each tale. We will examine how writers conceptualize narrative differently while attending to and responding to the concerns of their predecessors. Why do themes intersect in certain works and remain distinct in others?  What does this tell us about the societies in which these authors created? We will analyze the creative process and the notion of inspiration and investigate the conceptualization of new fiction that responds to old. We will discuss how these new fictions operate as both homage and critique. We will watch film versions of two texts in lieu of reading to discuss how medium affects interpretation and retelling. Our reading list will include works from Europe, the Caribbean, and the US. We will juxtapose Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Updike’s Gertrude and Claudius, Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Fielding’s Bridget Jones’ Diary. On the final day, time permitting, we will examine selections from Joyce’s Ulysses and Walcott’s Omeros.

Requirements:  A mid-term exam, a final exam, a 5-page creative re-imagination of a recurring literary tale, and a final 5-7 page research paper on an approved topic related to the course. (The creative paper is optional—you can write a traditional response paper instead).

Texts: Austen, Pride and Prejudice; Brontë, Jane Eyre; Fielding, Bridget Jones’ Diary, (Film, 2001, 97 minutes, Hugh Grant and Renée Zellweger); Joyce, Ulysses (selections to be distributed); Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Shakespeare, Hamlet; Updike, Gertrude and Claudius; and Walcott, Omeros (selections to be distributed).


When taught by English Department faculty, Honors courses numbered 100 and above) may be applied toward the English major in a variety of ways. Please see Wayne Berninger in the English Department before you register in order to confirm which requirement the course may satisfy. These courses may also be applied toward the English minor.

HHE 178 Passing Strange: Black-White Racial Crossing in American Literature,           Film, and Culture (Class ID# 5997)
Professors Louis Parascandola & Orlando Warren
Mondays, 6:00 – 8:30 PM

HHE 180 The Culture of Christmas (Class ID# 5999)
Professor Patrick Horrigan
Thursdays, 3:00 – 5:30 PM


LIU Global invites English majors to study abroad for a semester or a year at one of our centers—Costa Rica, Japan, China, or India. Not only will you have the opportunity to study and travel in a foreign country while earning credit towards your major, but you will also become immersed in another culture, develop your global awareness and cross-cultural communication skills, and be provided with a variety of internship and service learning opportunities. At all centers, students are encouraged to engage in independent-study projects relevant to their academic interests.  

The Costa Rica Program in Heredia offers home stays with Costa Rican families, internships throughout the region, and courses in writing, Latin American studies, cross-cultural research methods, Latin American literature, Spanish language, global health and traditional healing, peace and reconciliation studies, environmental studies, and an introduction to experiential education.

The India Program in Bangalore enables students to explore the country’s religious and cultural diversity, the caste system, travel writing, environmental issues, the situation of Tibetan refugees, and the status of women. Students also have the opportunity to study India’s art forms, dance, and music.

The China Program in Hangzhou allows students to study a wide range of topics including the history of China, religious life in China, traditional Chinese medicine, poetry, women’s issues, calligraphy, taiji, Mandarin Chinese language and modernization and economic development. 

The Comparative Religion and Culture Program enables students to engage in intensive study of the teachings, rituals, and spiritual practices of the world’s major religions while exploring cross-cultural issues such as identity, human rights, peace and reconciliation, and world citizenship. During the fall semester, students travel in Taiwan and Thailand, and during the spring semester, students travel throughout India and Turkey while they immerse themselves in the religions and cultures of these countries. The courses offered in the fall include: Comparison: Theory and Method, Religions and Modernity in Taiwan, Culture and Society of Taiwan, and Religions and Modernity in Thailand. The following courses are offered in the spring: Comparison: Practice and Critique, Religions and Modernity in India, History and Society in India, and Religions and Modernity in Turkey.

The Australia Program in Byron Bay is offered only during the spring semester. Students explore the relationships between people and their environment from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Students travel throughout Australia and take courses that focus on indigenous peoples, the natural history, ecological diversity and related social and cultural contexts of Australia through seminars, field trips, service learning and internships.

Long Island University Financial Aid can be applied to all LIU Global overseas programs. For more information call 718 488 3409 or e-mail

A number of $5000 scholarships may be available to study in LIU Global programs.


The following are guidelines for undergraduate English majors who wish to study abroad through LIU Global and apply the credits earned toward their upper-division English major requirements.

ü  Student must receive permission from Undergraduate Advisor (Wayne Berninger) and Chair of English to enroll in LIU Global. See Wayne Berninger before you do anything else.

ü  Before going abroad, student must have completed ENG 16, COS 50, and six credits from ENG 61-62-63-64.

ü  A maximum of 12 LIU Global credits may be applied toward upper-division English major requirements.

ü  During any semester abroad, student must take 6 credits (or equivalent) in English.  Independent study may be arranged, in consultation with Undergraduate Advisor and Chair of English.


ü  Tuition, fees, and room & board abroad is about the same as tuition, fees, and room & board at the Brooklyn Campus.

ü  University financial aid and scholarships are transferable to LIU Global.  However, students should be aware that there are no work-study opportunities abroad.  Also, athletes who receive free room and board at the Brooklyn Campus are not automatically eligible for same while abroad.  Department of Athletics may agree to provide athletes with a stipend to cover LIU Global room & board fees.  Students are urged to discuss this possibility with the Department of Athletics before they decide to study abroad.

ü  LIU Global has additional sources of scholarships for students studying abroad.

Jonathan Haynes Quoted in New York Times Magazine Article About Nigerian Film Industry

LIU Brooklyn Professor Jonathan Haynes (English Department), a scholar of Nigerian film, is quoted in the article "A Scorsese in Lagos," in the 2/26/2012 New York Times Magazine.

Read the article here.

A Play by Patrick Horrigan (LIU Brooklyn English Department Professor) & Eduardo Leanez

If you wish you could travel the world with Menudo . . . if you spend hours watching telenovelas with your mother . . . if you love beauty pageants and imagine yourself as one of the contestants . . . if Jean-Claude Van Damme comes to your rescue in your dreams . . . if you can't take your eyes off of Greg Louganis--his smile, his dimples, the shape of his body . . . if you are ten years old, and it's 1986 in Caracas, Venezuela, and you are a boy . . .
Written and produced by Eduardo Leanez & Patrick E. Horrigan and directed by Rosalie Purvis, "You Are Confused!" is a coming-of-age story with a twist.  Eduardo plays Yoel, a hyper-active kid with a passion for boy bands, soap operas, fashion shows, action heroes, and Olympic athletes.  But his greatest role model, and his toughest critic, is his mother.  Fiercely devoted to her son, she is also blind to his gifts and his burgeoning sexuality.
"You Are Confused!" takes you on a fast-moving trip through Yoel's childhood in Caracas to his young-adulthood in New York as he battles the bullies within and the bullies out there in the world.
Eduardo Leanez embodies Yoel, his mother, all his heroes, and much more in this one-man show about the role models we're given, and the ones we choose, to help us become the person we were born to be.

"You Are Confused!" will be performed at
Atlantic Stage 2
330 West16th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues)
New York, NY  10011
(note: this is not a production of the Atlantic Theater Company)
Closest subway lines: A, C, E, and L to 8th Ave./14th St.
Parking garage on same block as the theater
The performance schedule is as follows:
  • Thursday, March 15 @ 8pm
  • Friday, March 16 @ 8pm
  • Saturday, March 17 @ 2pm and 7pm
Full-price tickets:  $25
Group tickets (6 or more):  $20 each; use code URGROUP
Student tickets (with current ID):  $15
Ticketing services provided by Ticket Central, 212.279.4200, noon to 8pm daily; or visit to purchase tickets online.  Tickets may also be purchased at the door on the day of the show.
For more info, email us at

Graduate Courses: Summer & Fall 2012

English 528 Seminar in Creative Writing:The Prose Poem, or Poetic Prose (2491)
MFA ONLYTu&Th, 6:00-8:15 pm 
Professor Barbara Henning

“Which of us, in his ambitious moments, has not dreamed of the miracle of a poetic prose, musical, without rhyme and without rhythm, supple enough and rugged enough to adapt itself to the lyrical impulses of the soul, the undulations of the psyche, the prickings of consciousness?” Baudelaire, Paris Spleen
The prose poem is a border genre that seems particularly suited to speaking a consciousness, the consciousness that the reader and writer encounter line by line, paragraph by paragraph, a natural prose lyricism composed from ordinary thought and speech. A paragraph can also be seen as a block, a visual space, a different type of border. Besides introducing you to the prose poem, this course is also designed to survey some of the theories and poems from movements in modern and contemporary off-center poetry, such as imagism, surrealism, objectivism, the New York School, Language writing, Oulipo, etc.. You will write prose poems (or flash fiction) in prose that interacts with the ideas and theories put forth in the lectures and readings.

If you are a poet, working with sentences and paragraphs might change your idea about what a poem is, revealing new possible rhythms, forms, approaches and possibilities with genre sliding. If you are a fiction writer, working with the prose poem may help you work on style and inventive structures for writing.
If you have questions about the course, contact Barbara at

BARBARA HENNING is the author of three novels and seven books of poetry.  Her most recent books are Cities & Memory (2010); Thirty Miles from Rosebud (2009); My Autobiography (2007); and Looking Up Harryette Mullen (2011).  Born in Detroit, she has lived in New York City since 1983. Besides teaching for LIU, she also teaches for Naropa University.

English 532 Topics in Theory: The Rhetoric of Fiction (2724)
M & W, 6:00 – 8:15 pm
Professor Harriet Malinowitz

Using Wayne Booth’s classic study The Rhetoric of Fiction as a foundation, we will examine works of fiction from the perspective of their craft—that is, by considering how authors create effects and move their readers through the use of particular fiction writing techniques.  With Booth and other theorists of fiction and narrative more generally providing schema for close analysis, we will read works of fiction—novellas, short stories, sections of novels, and one novel in its entirety—to trace the ways that narration, realism, character, setting, irony, ambiguity, scene and summary, and showing and telling are variously employed in the writing of fictional texts. 

In addition to Booth’s book, we will consider excerpts from the work of fiction and/or narrative theorists such as Seymour Chatman (Story and Discourse); Percy Lubbock (The Craft of Fiction); E. M. Forster (Aspects of the Novel); Mieke Bal (Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative);  Aristotle (Poetics);  H.W. Leggett (The Idea in Fiction); Gerard Genette (Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method);  Joan Silber (The Art of Time in Fiction);  Roland Barthes (S/Z); Henry James (The Art of the Novel);  H. Porter Abbott (The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative;) Scholes & Kellogg (The Nature of Narrative); James Wood (How Fiction Works); and Terry Eagleton (Literary Theory).  The fiction we will examine for its rhetorical moves may include works by Franz Kafka, Herman Melville, Thomas Mann, Gustave Flaubert, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Milan Kundera, Ian McEwan. Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurston, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Abraham Cahan, Anchee Min, Alice Walker, Ghassan Kanafani, and Kate Chopin.
The principal writing assignment of the course will be for each student to write his/her own (fictional narrative) adaptation of the Beatles song “Eleanor Rigby” and a coda explaining why particular content (story: the what) and rhetorical (discourse: the how) choices were made.  This course would be suitable and appealing for graduate students in three tracks—creative writing, literature, and writing and rhetoric—as it spans the concerns of those sub-disciplines.

Summer Session II, 2012 (7/02-8/13)
English 649 Seminar in British Literature: Gothic (Horror) in 19th Century British       Fiction and Film (2725)
Tu & Th, 6:00-8:15 pm
Professor Louis Parascandola

This course will explore the growth of the gothic (horror) novel during the nineteenth century in England. This period saw the rapid development of the sciences and social sciences, which often legitimized (while at the same time questioning) the prevailing Divine, social, scientific, and political hierarchies. The works examine the uneasy tension between rebellion (especially in the earlier Romantic Age, about 1789-1832) and following the established order (especially in the Victorian Age about 1832-1900) which marks the beginning of the modern sensibility. The period also marks the vast expansion of the British colonial empire which is reflected in several of the works. We will also be looking at some of the many movies made of these works and discuss why they are so attractive to filmmakers and cinema audiences. Works studied will include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. MFA and Education majors as well as English MA students are welcome. In addition to the traditional research projects, students may choose to write their own horror short story or write a lesson plan describing how they would teach one of the works.

English 503 Theory of Writing: Remembering The Present (5922)
MFA Only
Professor Lewis Warsh
Tuesdays 4-6:30 PM

Writing theory is an all-encompassing endeavor. It must take into account both the past and the present while pointing instructively towards the future. Many great 20th century theorists were fiction writers and poets themselves--their theoretical work derived from their practice as creative writers. One goal of this course is to develop and articulate our own sense of what we want to do as writers and what we expect as readers. We will use the ideas expressed in these essays to inspire and inform our own work.

Another goal is to create a dialogue between ourselves and these authors. Ezra Pound's notable quote (I'm paraphrasing) : "Don't take advice from anyone who hasn't written a great work" is something to keep in mind. What gives anyone the right to theorize? One of the ongoing threads in this class will be an attempt to understand the place of theory in our work as writers, beginning with the inescapable question: "Is it necessary?"

Among the authors we will read are Henry James, Charles Baudelaire, E.M. Forester, Virginia Woolf, Ezra Pound, Laura Riding, Gertrude Stein, Roland Barthes, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Walter Benjamin, M.M. Bakhtin, Tzvetan Todorov, Maurice Blanchot, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Charles Olson, Frank O'Hara, Amiri Baraka, Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder, Lyn Hejinian, among others.

English 519 Editing (5921)
Professor Michael Bokor
Wednesdays, 6:30-9:00 pm


This course teaches students the theory, practice, and evaluation of editing skills as well as orientation to careers and professional concerns in academic and non-academic writing. It is framed around the fact that 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. It is suitable for students in all disciplines, especially those interested in improving their skills for academic and/or professional writing.

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 more information, contact Professor Bokor at or on phone, 718–488–1050 Extension 1112.

English 520 Nonfiction Writing Workshop: The Personal Essay (5061)
Professor Harriet Malinowitz
uesdays 6:30 – 9:00 PM


This is an intensive writing workshop with a focus on the personal essay.  We will read personal essays by established authors, analyzing their form, their style, the rhetorical strategies they employ, and their use of language.  The heart of the course, however, will be a workshop in which students read and critique each other's essays in detail.  The goal of the workshop is to help the writer move toward effective revision; each student will be expected to produce either one long (20-30 pages) or two shorter (10-15 pages) revised piece(s) of creative nonfiction by the end of the term.  We will use as a common text Philip Lopate’s The Art of the Personal Essay, as well as selected handouts.  The writers we will read may include George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, Natalia Ginzburg, Atul Gawande, Richard Rodriguez, Patricia Williams, Cherie Moraga, Vivian Gornick, Adrienne Rich, and Gayle Pemberton.

English 523 Fiction Writing Workshop: The Narrative Voice (3985)
MFA Only
Professor Jessica Hagedorn
Wednesdays, 4:00-6:30 pm

We will explore various narrative strategies and ways of creating characters that are credible and complex. What do we mean by a distinct narrative voice? What does it mean to write kick-ass dialogue? Why are setting and mood important? Be prepared for weekly writing and rewriting assignments; you will be asked to present excerpts from your work for class discussion.  The stories of Roberto Bolaño, Elmore Leonard, Clarice Lispector, Aleksandar Hemon, and others will be read and examined.  For MFA students only. Registration limited.

English 524 Poetry Writing Workshop: Length and Overload (5481)
MFA Only
Visiting Writer Anselm Berrigan
Thursdays, 6:30 - 9:00 pm

This workshop will focus on the reading and writing of longer poems that are or may be deemed intrusively messy vis-à-vis their relationship to information (content, facts, details, amusements, lies, statistics, concepts, their opposites, documents, oral histories, emotional rubbish, questionable memories, cries, shots in the dark, and all other detritus of the classical/contemporary, post-contingency, idiosyncratic mind). Rigorous attention to detail expected, as well as a completely open mind as to what can go into a poem on literal, tonal and formal levels, among others. Inspiration may include being agitated, provoked, and/or horrified into writing, to go along with traditional, personal and other illogical notions of inspiration as well as anti-inspiration. Among the questions taken up in this discussion will be how to map and/or sense the interrelations of material, voice, and structure while writing, editing, and reading. Material at the level of the syllable sound, voice as phenomenon of generating and arranging material, and structure referring to both the continuous structure of the work in progress (a form of performance) as well as the structure of the “finished” piece.

Reading and recordings by Allen Ginsberg, Will Alexander, Harryette Mullen, Dana Ward, Marcella Durand, Bernadette Mayer, Basil Bunting, Fred Moten, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Lawrence Giffin, Alice Notley, and Caroline Bergvall, as well as others, will be closely attended.

English 528 Seminar in Creative Writing: A Writers Studio—From East to West, From Poetry to Stories—Zen, Wabi-Sabi, Haiku, & The Narratives of Haibun (5925)
MFA Only
Professor John High
Mondays, 6:30-9:00 pm

In the course we’ll examine writing techniques of the East and their influence & possibilities for our own writing in NYC. We’ll pursue an overview of aesthetics—open to poets, fiction and non-fiction writers—while exploring meditative and contemplative practices growing out of the spirit of Zen and wabi-sabi artistic techniques. The course will include workshops, film, artwork, and informal talks. How is perfection only mastered in the imperfection of form? How does the chaos of a story find structure in the harmony of imbalance?  How has the poetry of haiku, and the experimental and communal collaborations of haikai and hokku, so profoundly impacted the narrative structure of haibun?  If haibun is often described as narratives of epiphany, wabi-sabi concentrates on daily life. Both forms have manifested more as expressions of urban life and travel dialogues in American usage. We’ll play with these condensed forms of syntax and sensory impressions, experiment with writing in the present tense, and focus language on tone and setting in our weekly workshops.

Readings will include work from Basho, Buson, and Issa and a survey of the ancients. But our study will include masters as diverse as Yasunara Kawabata, John Berger, Emily Dickinson, James Baldwin, and Fanny Howe, as well as reflections on and comparisons with various European and American schools ranging from the Spanish duende to the poetics of the Negritude movement, American Objectivists, Beat, and New York schools of writing. Films will include Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima Mom Amour (based on Marguerite Duras’ novel) and Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love; museums and artwork will also be a component of the course study. The class work will conclude with a chapbook and manifesto of your own work for the semester.

English 579 Seminar in Special Studies-The Literature of Disbelief (5923)
Professor Bernard Schweizer
Thursdays, 4:00-6:30 pm
This graduate course will focus on literature that is borne out of religious struggle, spiritual rebellion, or even outright misotheism (God-hatred). While some authors use their creative talents to rewrite religion or to invoke their own religious mythology, other authors attack the premises of traditional religious beliefs, or they declare an all-out revolt against the almighty. This course will focus on poetry, fiction, and drama that draws its creative energy from the impulse to subvert and re-write Jewish and Christian religious tenets. Some of the questions that will preoccupy us throughout the semester will be: what are the religious targets of these writers? What is the relationship between the impulse toward religious subversion and legal barriers against blasphemy? What are the benefits of enlisting creative literature in the fight against matters of faith? What specific theological claims underlie these subversive endeavors? 

-          Selections from Shelley’s Queen Mab
-          Selections from Nietzsche’s The Gay Science
-          Selections from Algernon Charles Swinburne
-          Selections from Mark Twain, including “Reflections on Religion,” and “The Mysterious Stranger”
-          D.H. Lawrence, The Man Who Died
-          Selections from Rebecca West
-          Selections from Albert Camus, The Rebel
-          Anatole France, Revolt of the Angels
-          Elie Wiesel, The Trial of God
-          Peter Shaffer, Amadeus (book and movie)
-          James Wood, The Book Against God
-          Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, 36 Arguments for the Existence of God

English 620 Rhetorical Traditions and the Teaching of Writing (5924)
Professor Patricia Stephens
Mondays, 4-6:30

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 624 Seminar in American Literature: The American Short Story (5926)
Professor Michael Bennett
Wednesdays, 6:30-9:00 pm


Course Objectives:
  • Study the history of the American short story from its beginnings to the present day, examining how the form has evolved and speculating about why.
  • Write a critical essay about the short story as a genre, developing an original, well-reasoned interpretation that integrates primary and secondary sources.
  • Read independently one book of short stories by a living American writer and craft a review of that work.
  • Create a short short story and describe how you went about creating it (how form and content came together in your creative process) and what stories influenced you in its creation.
  • Engage in lively class discussions where everyone's voice is heard and appreciated.
  • Workshop all student writing to get feedback from a variety of perspectives and have the opportunity to employ this feedback in final revisions.
            1)  Essay (literary criticism of any short stories read for class; 12-15 pages):  As we study the history of the American short story, we will also read literary critical essays about each period in the genre’s development to serve as models for your own literary critical essays, which will need to include research, proper citations, and MLA Works Cited.
            2) Review (your response to a book of short stories by a living American author; 3-4 pages):  We will read reviews of contemporary American short collections to serve as models for your own reviews, which should follow a format similar to the reviews that we study.
            3) Short Story (your own short short story, plus a 2-3 page analysis):  You will write a short short story and then discuss the form and content of what you have written, with reference to a story or stories that we have read.

            *At the end of the semester, you will submit a portfolio containing the best of your work.  You must submit a critical essay, but if you are not happy with your review or your story, you can instead submit two reviews or two short short stories instead of one of each.

Required Texts:
            The Oxford Book of American Short Stories, Ed. Joyce Carol Oates
The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction, Eds. Lex Williford and Michael Martone
Handouts/Postings on Blackboard

            Participation (25% of final grade)
            Essay (50% of final grade)
            Review and/or Short Short Fiction (25% of final grade)

English 646 Individual and Small Group Writing Instruction (4793)
Tuesdays, 6:30-9:00 pm
Professor Harriet Malinowitz

This course is designed to introduce tutors and teachers to the theories and practices of tutoring writing (one-on-one, small groups, and via phone or Internet), with an emphasis on the specific needs of writers who use the LIU/Brooklyn Writing Center. Practical concerns about tutoring will be addressed: structuring sessions and setting goals; assessing, diagnosing and responding to student writing; developing strategies to teach planning, drafting, organizing, revising, proofreading and editing; working on specific grammatical issues; helping students with reading comprehension; responding to ESL concerns; noticing interpersonal dynamics and maintaining boundaries; and building awareness of cultural, ethnic, and linguistic differences.  Participants will also become familiar with the curriculum and pedagogy of the LIU/Brooklyn Writing Program and interdisciplinary writing concerns (through WAC) on campus. Classes will be conducted as seminars/ workshops so that all students have the opportunity to participate in class presentations, mock tutorials, etc.  Required for new TAs in English and recommended for prospective Writing Center tutors.  Note: All students are required to tutor for one hour per week during the semester and attend biweekly staff development meetings at the Writing Center.
Course requirements: (1) regular participation on class listserv; (2) a written description of an observed tutoring session; (3) a final reflective essay.