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.

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