MFA Reading Series: Two Upcoming Events

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Annual Holiday Party!

You are invited to our annual holiday party on Wednesday, December 11, beginning at 4:00 PM.

Our party is potluck so please see Karen Errar to let her know what you will be bringing. We are asking that everyone bring a dish and a beverage—nothing elaborate or expensive is expected.

Thank you!

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A Reading of a New Play by Patrick Horrigan

You are invited to a reading of SWEET IS THE CITY by Eduardo Leanez & Patrick E. Horrigan (Dept. of English, LIU Brooklyn), a new play about 8.3 million New Yorkers and all the [bleep] they say. Featuring Mague Brewer, Reggie Street, Basil Horn, Priyank Rastogi, and Eduardo Leanez.

This event is part of "Actors with Accents," a variety show hosted by Eduardo Leanez.  Also on the program: singer John Sannuto (LIU Brooklyn), flamenco-comedienne Inma Heredia, jazz musicians John Ehlis & Sana Nagano, and an exhibition of paintings by Mague Brewer.

When & Where: Friday, December 6, 2013, 7:00 PM. Teatro Circulo, 64 East 4th Street, 3rd floor, between 3rd Ave./Bowery and 2nd Ave. in Manhattan.

How Much: FREE.

Spring 2014 Africana Studies Course with Professor Carol Allen

Professor Carol Allen
Professor Carol Allen (English Department)
Tuesdays 6-8:30 PM

This course traces the emergence of the black detective from 1900 to the contemporary moment. Starting with background material and a glimpse at Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and a few of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories, we will delve next into works by Pauline Hopkins (the first black writer to use the detective motif) and several short pieces by Harlem Reiiaissance and mid-century artists. The second half of the semester will be dedicated to contemporary black detectives in both film and literature: the popular and the avant-garde. Possible readings include a Walter Mosley novel and/or film; a Barbara Neely novel featuring Blanche, the domestic detective; a Hugh Holton work that splices the gumshoe figure with the graphic novel tradition; a Charlotte Carter work fixed squarely in the modern city; and Louis Edward's nonlinear N. Examining the black detective is a fun way to outline the emergence of a resilient genre in African American cultural traditions, and doing so becomes another occasion to think about modem life in general and black people inside modernity in particular. The black detective changes with the times but also mirrors the eras that it depicts, judging, sounding, rationalizing, witnessing, testifying, and in the case of black fiction, attempting to remedy or counteract the "evils" in society. Cynical and hopeful, battered and agile, the black investigator is an enigma, part warrior, part coward and perpetually uneasy. Assignments include two in-class essays, a final, leading class discussion, and informal writing.

Africana Studies Program: Roundtable Discussion & Film on Trayvon Martin & Racial Profiling

Spike Lee Screening Room
Library Learning Center 122
Thursday, December 5, 6-8 PM

For more information about this event, contact Professor Carol Allen (English Department) at 718 488 1050.

Africana Studies Courses, Spring & Summer 2014


HUM 193: The Black Detective
Professor Carol Allen
Tuesdays 6-8:30 PM

This course traces the emergence of the black detective from 1900 to the contemporary moment. Prerequisite: English 16.

MUS 106: The Jazz Experience
Tuesdays 6-8:30 PM

MUS 170: Jazz Clinics
Tuesdays 4-6 PM

ANT 173 / SOC 173 African Civilizations
Professor Yusuf Juwayeyi
Mondays & Wednesdays 12-1:15 PM


CSP 746 Trauma in Contemporary Contexts
Professor Wendi Williams
Thursdays 4:30-9:30 PM

For further information about these courses and/or about the Africana Studies Program in general, contact Professor Carol Allen (English Department) at 718 488 1053.

Jessica Hagedorn Invites You to an Event for Typhoon Relief

Professor Jessica Hagedorn (Director of the English Department's Creative Writing MFA Program) and the Asian American Writers' Workshop are hosting this event for typhoon relief.

Professor Hagedorn writes: "If you are interested in coming, please RSVP to the organizers, since the AAWW is an intimate space with limited seating.

If you can't come, we hope you can send a donation through the AAWW website (see flyer). Any amount helps."

Voices of the Rainbow: Suzanne Corso

Suzanne Corso is the author of the coming of age novel Brooklyn Story and the sequel Brooklyn Story: The Suite Life. Her works deal with the struggles and aspirations of a woman living in the Italian American community in Bensonhurst.  

When & Where
Monday, November 18, 2013
6:30 PM
Library Learning Center, Room 124

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Writing Program Faculty Development Workshops

The Writing Program is hosting two faculty-development workshops for instructors.

Melissa Antinori
will lead the first workshop, which will focus on
the assignment for the reflective letter required in all English 13/14/16 portfolios this year.

Friday, November 15, 2013
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Spector Lounge, Humanities Building, Fourth Floor

Tom Peele
will lead the second workshop, during which he
'll be showing us how to use Mozilla Popcorn Maker, a simple video remix tool that students might use for a variety of purposes, including research.

Friday, November 22, 2013
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Spector Lounge, Humanities Building, Fourth Floor

A Reading From New Books by Barbara Henning & HR Hegnauer

Professor Barbara Henning (English Department) invites you to a double book-launch party to celebrate the publication of her new book, A Swift Passage (Quale Press), and the new book from HR Hegnauer -- Sir (Portable Press).

Friday, November 22, 2013

7:30 PM

Click image for more info.

Maria McGarrity to Deliver 9th Annual Senghor-Damas-Césaire Lecture in Africana Studies at Villanova University

Professor Maria McGarrity (LIU Brooklyn English Department) will deliver this year's Senghor-Damas-Césaire Lecture in Africana Studies at Villanova University. The title of Professor McGarrity's lecture is "Framed Forever in the Last Century: James Joyce and Dublin Museum Culture in Derek Walcott's Omeros."

Click here for event details from Villanova.

Thesis Meeting for MFA Students

All Creative Writing MFA students should review the Graduate Thesis Manual and have any questions or concerns ready for a mandatory meeting per request of the Director of the MFA Creative Writing program.

When & Where
Friday, November 15, 20133:00 PM
Spector Lounge, Humanities Building, Fourth Floor

Grant Writing Workshop with Deborah Mutnick

As part of the Provost’s Professional & Personal Development Academy, Professor Deborah Mutnick (English) will lead this workshop, in which participants will learn the basic steps in proposal development. 

When & Where
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
11:00 a.m. to 12:30 PM
Library Learning Center, Room 515

Specific objectives include:

  • Identify potential funding sources.
  • Identify the common elements of a proposal.
  • Write an effective problem statement.
  • Learn how to link elements of the proposal.
  • Develop goals and objectives.
  • Identify at least three possible funding sources for a project idea.
  • Learn basic facts about grant making and granting agencies.

A light lunch will be served.

RSVP to, or call 718-488-3406.

Voices of the Rainbow: Naomi Replansky & Edward Field

When & Where
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
12:00 PM
Health Sciences Building, Room 121

Naomi Replansky was born in the Bronx in 1918. Her poetry and translations from German and Yiddish have won numerous awards. Her Collected Poetry was given the 2013 William Carlos Williams Award by the Poetry Society of America.

Edward Field, born in Brooklyn in 1924, has written prize-winning poetry, fiction, and memoirs. Recent work includes After the Fall: Poems Old and New.

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Voices of the Rainbow: Roger Bonair-Agard & Jesus Papoleto Melendez

Roger Bonair-Agard, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, is a poet and performance artist. He is a former Cave Canem Fellow who has performed his work internationally. His latest volume of poetry is Bury My Clothes (2013).

Jesus Papoleto Melendez (commonly known as Papo) is one of the founders of the Nuyorican Movement. Papo’s poetry is marked by narrative, melody, and the use of "Spanglish."

When & Where
Thursday, November 7, 2013
12:00 PM
Library Learning Center, Room 124

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English Department Faculty Forum: Srividhya Swaminathan

Please join us for the next
English Department Faculty Forum.

Srividhya Swaminathan will speak about Invoking Slavery in the Eighteenth-Century
British Imagination.

When & Where
3:30-4:30 PM
Spector Lounge
(H Building, 4th Floor)
Friday, November 1, 2013

Vidhya says: The term "slavery" had multiple connotations to early eighteenth-century audiences in Britain. I will be presenting my collection of essays, Invoking Slavery in the Eighteenth-Century British Imagination, to explore the ways in which writers used slavery as a trope to evoke an emotional response in their audiences. These many invocations complicate our contemporary definition of slavery as solely referring to African slavery. As a test case, I present my reading of Daniel Defoe's Captain Singleton as a kind of proto-slave narrative that challenges the particular and race-based notion of African enslavement. Ultimately, I argue that the abolitionist movement in England could not have been so successful in gaining public sympathy had these broader definitions of slavery not existed.

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Sigma Tau Delta Fall Mixer

Interested in English? Come for an afternoon of engaging literary fun with the Omicron Zeta chapter of Sigma Tau Delta!

When & Where
Thursday, October 31, 2013
5:00 - 7:00 PM
Spector Lounge, Humanities Building, Fourth Floor

Refreshments will be provided. 

Come in costume for a chance to win prizes!

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Edwidge Danticat Scheduled to Deliver This Year's Paumanok Lecture; English Department Offers 1-Credit Course About Her Work

Hum 203 / Eng 203 (1 credit)
Starting From Paumanok:
Edwidge Danticat

Spring 2014
Instructor: Dr. Maria McGarrity

Description: This course will examine the writings of Edwidge Danticat. We will investigate the creative methods, cultural contexts, and historical resonances in her works. We will focus on the short stories of Krik?Krak!; her new collection, Claire of the Sea Light; and her novel, The Farming of Bones. This novel details the horrors of the 1937 massacre of Haitians living in the Dominican Republic. Questions of colonialism, race, gender, migration, and power will be at the forefront of our discussions. We will also read excerpts of her non-fiction writing, particularly focusing on migration and the earthquake.


3 short response papers (2 pgs) on each book
1 longer analytical paper on a broader topic relating to Danticat (6 pgs)


4 Class meetings (all Tuesdays)

February 11, 6-8:30 Intro and Krik? Krak!

February 25, 6:30-? Reading by Edwidge Danticat

March 4, 6-8:30 The Farming of Bones

March 11, 6-8:30 Claire of the Sea Light

Announcing Jessica Hagedorn's Spring 2014 Creative Writing Seminar

Poets, playwrights and fictionistas are all welcome! Creative Writing MFA Program students only.

Creative Writing MFA Program Introduces the Spring 2014 Visiting Writer: Jocelyn Lieu

The Creative Writing MFA program is happy to announce that the wonderful writer Jocelyn Lieu will be visiting us for the spring semester. Attached is a flyer with the description of her course: The Art of the Short Story. She's looking forward to having fictionistas, poets and playwrights in her class!

Pathways to Freedom Learning Community Welcomes Ginger Adams Otis

Please join the Pathways to Freedom Learning community for a talk and Q&A by Daily News Reporter Ginger Adams Otis on her commemorative story about the 1963 March on Washington. The event will take place Thursday, October 10, 2013, at 11:00 AM, in LLC 515. Hope to see you there.

Graduate Courses -- Spring 2014

Time to register for Spring 2014 courses!

ENG 502 Writers on Writing (Course ID# 4660)
Professor John High
Tuesdays 6:30-9 PM

The course will offer readings and discussions with prominent fiction writers and poets as well as writers of creative non-fiction. The guest writers will meet with us weekly during the course of the semester to discuss and read from their work.  The purpose is to give us a chance to interact with and question a diverse range of writers about their techniques and ways of thinking as artists. Students will be asked to reflect on and consider their own writing process: How do you think as a writer? How do these writers expand your ways of thinking and experimenting as a writer? The goal is to explore and learn—in this case, first-hand—from other writers and their books in order to better inform our sense of what it means for you to be a writer today.

In addition to reading at least one book by each visiting writer, students will create weekly writing texts in the form of imaginary letters, poems, autobiographies, or stories that dialogue with the work of each visiting author. These texts will contain questions and/or responses prepared before the writer visits and will then serve as take-off points for discussion with the author. In addition, each student will research the work of one writer and introduce her/him
on the night of the reading. There will be additional writing experiments, which evolve from the ideas and ways of thinking of the visiting writers in our dialogues.

On days when there are no visitors we will read, discuss, and perform our own work. At the end of the semester, you will create a chapbook of your writings, which will include an imaginary introduction to your work written in the third person point of view and which reviews your own method of thinking as an artist.

The following are the writers scheduled to visit:

FRANCISCO GOLDMAN (fiction and non-fiction writer) has published four novels and one book of non-fiction.  His most recent novel is Say Her Name, published in April 2011. His books have been published in 16 languages.  The Long Night of None Chickens won the American Academy’s Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction; his other novels have been finalists for several prizes, including The Pen/Faulkner and The International IMPAC Dublin literary award. The Art of Political Murder won The Index on Censorship T.R. Fyvel Book Award and The WOLA/Duke human rights book award. In France, Say Her Name won the 2011 Prix Femina Etranger. A new book, The Interior Circuit – Two Summers in Mexico City, will be published in July, 2014. Francisco Goldman has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Cullman Center Fellow at the NY Public Library, and a 2010 Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.  He has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Harper's and many other publications. He divides his time between Brooklyn, NY and Mexico City; teaches creative writing and literature at Trinity College; and directs the Aura Estrada Prize (

CHRISTOPHER SAWYER-LAUÇANNO (poet, biographer, and translator) is the author of more than a half-dozen books including biographies of Paul Bowles and E.E. Cummings, and a group portrait of American writers in Paris 1944-1960, The Continual Pilgrimage. He is also well-known as a translator and poet. His translations include books by Rafael Alberti, Panaït Istrati, García Lorca and the Mayan Books of Chilam Balam. His new book of poems, Mussoorie-Montague Miscellany is a meditation on time, place and space. Until his retirement in 2006, he taught writing at MIT for nearly a quarter-century. He lives in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.

RUTH OZEKI (scheduled pending book tour) is a filmmaker, novelist, and Zen Buddhist priest. Her most recent novel, A Tale for the Time Being, is currently shortlisted for the 2013 Booker Prize. She is also the author of the novels My Year of Meats and All Over Creation. Her critically acclaimed independent films, including Halving the Bones, have been screened at Sundance and aired on PBS. She is affiliated with the Brooklyn Zen Center and the Everyday Zen Foundation. She lives in British Columbia and New York City.

MICHELLE MAJOR wrote and also co-directed the recent cinema verité documentary film, Venus and Serena, which has screened at film festivals around the world and was released in theaters in the United States by Magnolia
Pictures in 2013 and now on DVD. Born in Harlem, she started as a writer and television journalist. She was part of the producing team for Peter Jennings’ critically acclaimed and groundbreaking documentary project The Century; at ABC’s World News Weekend she found her niche producing and writing features about race, religion and the urban experience. In 2003, she began working with Diane Sawyer at Good Morning America, where she was part of an award-winning team and personally responsible for producing and writing several shows dealing with national topics, ranging from the 2008 Presidential election to Hurricane Katrina.  She also produced top profiles on international leaders and their nations such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran), Felipe Calderon (Mexico), Hamid Karzai (Afghanistan), Bashar al-Assad (Syria) and President Obama. She has a BA in Psychology and Film Studies from Columbia University and a Masters in General Psychology from The New School for Social Research.

WILLIE PERDOMO (poet) is the author of The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon, which will be released by Penguin Books in the spring of 2014. He is also the author of Where a Nickel Costs a Dime, a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award, and Smoking Lovely, winner of the PEN Beyond Margins Award. His poems have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, BOMB, Mandorla, and African Voices. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee, a former recipient of the Woolrich Fellowship in Creative Writing at Columbia University, and a two-time New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellow. He is an English instructor at Phillips Exeter Academy and has an MFA in Creative Writing from LIU Brooklyn.>

ZHANG ER (poet, translator, and editor) born in Beijing, is the author of four collections of poetry in Chinese, most recently Yellow Walls: A String of Doors (2010). She has six chapbooks in English translation, among them, Carved Water and Sight Progress. Her selected poems in two bilingual collections, So Translating Rivers and Cities (2007) and Verses on Bird (2004) were published by Zephyr Press. She co-edited and participated in the translation of the bilingual volume Another Kind of Nation: an Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Poetry (Talisman House Publishers, 2007). She teaches at The Evergreen State College in Washington . Her books in English translation can be found at

MURAT NEMET-NEJAT (poet, translator, and essayist) is the author of The Spiritual Life of Replicants (Talisman House, 2011) and The Peripheral Space of Photography (Green Integers Press, 2004). His work includes the poems Turkish Voices, Vocabularies of Space, Io’s Song, Alphabet Dialogues/Penis Monologues (a collaboration with Standard Schaeffer). He edited and largely translated Eda: An Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry (Talisman, 2004), and was the translator of A Blind Cat Black and Orthodoxies (Sun & Moon Press, 1997), I, Orhan Veli (Hanging Loose Press 1989), and Seyhan Erözçelik's Rosestrikes and Coffee Grounds (2010). He is the author of the essays “Istanbul Noir” (2011), "Writing The Structure of Escape: The Linearity of the Arc" (2012),
“Ideas Towards a Theory of Translation in Eda, “A Godless Sufism: Ideas on 20th Century Poetry,” and “Questions of Accent” (The Exquisite Corpse, 1993). He is currently working on the seven-part long poem, The Structure of Escape.

UCHE NDUKA (poet and essayist) is a Nigerian-American poet and essayist. A winner of the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize for 1997, his books include Flower Child (1988), Chiaroscuro (1997), The Bremen Poems (1995/99), eel on reef (2007), Ijele (2012), and Nine East (2013). His work has been translated into German and Dutch. He edited the anthologies, Poets in Their Youth (1988) and Und auf den Straßen eine Pest: Junge Nigerianische Lyrik (1996), and has worked as the first Executive Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Authors (1987-1989), National Publicity secretary of ANA (1992-1995), and Lecturer in African Literature at the University of Bremen (1995-2001; 2003-2007). A graduate of LIU Brooklyn’s Creative Writing MFA program, he currently lives in New York City and teaches at CUNY.

IDRA NOVEY (poet and translator) is the author of Exit, Civilian, selected for the 2011 National Poetry Series and named a Best Book of 2012 by Cold Front and The Volta.  Her first book, The Next Country, received the Kinereth Gensler Award from Alice James Books and was a finalist for the 2008 ForeWord Book of the Year Award in poetry and the Levis Reading Prize.  Her work has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, The Leonard Lopate Show, and Slate, and in The Paris Review and Poetry, which selected her poems for the 2012 Friends of Literature Award.  She’s received fellowships from the Poetry Society of America, the National Endowment for the Arts, Poets & Writers magazine, and the PEN Translation Fund.  Her recent translations include Clarice Lispector’s novel The Passion According to G.H. (New Directions and Penguin UK, 2012). She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University and serves as the VIDA Liaison to the PEN Prison Writing Committee.

ENG 523 Fiction Writing Workshop (Course ID# 4781)
The Art of The Short Story
Professor Jocelyn Lieu (Visiting Writer)
Tuesdays 4-6:30 PM

What formal possibilities do stories offer us as writers and readers of fiction? In this workshop, we will study the short story in its stylistically diverse glory. Craft elements will include voice, structure, characterization, plot, pacing and focus, dramatic interaction, and setting. Student stories naturally will be at the center of our inquiry. In very short incarnations, stories can resemble poems or cross over into the lyrically charged territory occupied by poetry. At the other end of the spectrum, long stories can evoke, in fewer words, sweeps of time on the scale of novels. A course packet of readings, meant to inspire and add fuel to craft discussions, may include stories by Sherman Alexie, Toni Cade Bambara,
Roberto Bolaño, Chekhov, Edwidge Danticat, Lydia Davis, Don DeLillo, Cornelius Eady, Yiyun Li, Gabriel García Márquez, Grace Paley, Mercè Rodoreda, Ana María Shua, Joan Silber, Leslie Marmon Silko, David Foster Wallace, John Edgar Wideman, Can Xue, and Hisaye Yamamoto. Whether you write poetry or fiction, write or want to write realistic, magically real, experimental, speculative, or linked stories—to name some possibilities—you are welcome in this workshop. (MFA students only)

JOCELYN LIEU is the author of a 9/11 memoir titled What Isn't There: Inside a
Season of Change and a collection of stories, Potential Weapons. Her work has
appeared in 110 Stories: New York Writes After September 11, Charlie Chan Is
Dead, The Asian Pacific American Review, and The Denver Quarterly, among
other anthologies and journals. She is currently at work on a novel.

ENG 524 Poetry Writing Workshop (Course ID# 4354)
Wabi Sabi—The Beauty of Imperfection
Professor John High
Thursdays 6:30-9 PM

“There is nothing you can see that is not a flower;
There is nothing you can think that is not the moon.”
― Matsuo Bashō

In this workshop we’ll play with the aesthetic techniques of wabi-sabi and its potential influence & possibilities for our own writing. In its most basic application wabi-sabi represents a training whereby the poet learns to find the illuminating & beautiful in the most simple & natural objects/emotions. The term wabi itself evokes a worn simplicity, aliveness, and stillness in language, whereas sabi suggests a calm & serenity that comes with time and consistent, patient work. How can we make our poems more alive and invigorate their core elements with the awareness of impermanence? The aesthetics of wabi-sabi bring the poet toward the transience of a beauty that is constantly changing, such as the seasons; it highlights the roughness & asymmetricality of things with an economy, austerity & modesty of language; and it challenges the poet to view the nature of things with a sense of intimacy, humility, and authentic integrity in relation to words, emotions and linguistic/life currents. It sees the brilliance of natural things, of life & death, and processes. In language this might be
understood as poetry’s understated elegance in viewing our lives and the world.

While grounding ourselves in a meditation of the line (sure-footed words) and the musicality of poetic speech (that one constant of verse), we’ll pursue an overview of wabi-sabi’s poetics. In an exploration of contemplative practices growing out of its connection to Zen and an engagement of the world through the senses, the breath and the body, we will strive to meet language as it happens, in the moment of its happening, its arising & natural syntax—rather than be trapped in unnecessary thought or delusions of perfection; in this way we will also strive to mediate the line in its changing relationship with unique objects that bring us back to our real world & feelings, rather than unnecessary (& potentially
damaging) distractions, to the poem. This is sometimes referred to as the beauty of imperfection—the perfection of imperfection.

How is perfection only mastered in the imperfection of form? How does the chaos of a poem find structure in the harmony of imbalance? If music is the form of poetic silence & speech, wabi-sabi concentrates on daily life and the immediacy, indeed urgency, of our own life’s connection to the poem. We’ll play with these condensed forms of syntax & sensory impressions, experiment with writing in the present tense, and focus language on tone and setting, body & breath, and an ever-deepening sensory perception in our weekly workshops.

ENG 527 Professional Writing Workshop (Course ID# 6069)
Writing and Style
Professor Michael Bokor
Thursdays 4-6:30 PM

You may be familiar with the rhetorical concept of “style,” and even have your own “style” of writing. A writer cannot choose between using “style” and leaving it out of the discursive event. But what exactly is “style” and where does it come from? What is valued as “style”? Focusing on the role of the English language in discursive practices, this course explores the cultural, theoretical, and practical perspectives of “style” to help you understand fully the relationship between
language, culture, and personality and how these forces converge to define and shape the writer’s style. Some of the pertinent questions to consider include:

i. Is style “innocent” or is it the reflection of the personality, taste, and experience of the writer of the text or the culture of the writer’s society? Is it true that style is the writer in disguise?

ii. Does style exist on its own, independent of the writer? Before the work, in the work, or outside it?

iii. What shapes style? Is it the writer’s purpose and attitude to the audience?

Through various assignments, you will interrogate the functions of style and learn the numerous ways in which writers adapt their expressions (texts) to their purposes. By the end of the semester, you should:

• Develop a high degree of clarity, fluency, and appropriateness in your writing;

• Learn how to appreciate style within the context of genre-specific discourses;

• Use knowledge on style to improve your own writing.

This course is particularly good for students seeking opportunities to improve their rhetorical skills for effective academic, creative, and professional writing.

ENG 528 Seminar in Creative Writing (Course ID# 6309)
Dangerous Women, Desperate Men: A Seminar On Noir Fiction
Professor Jessica Hagedorn
Wednesdays 4-6:30 PM

What, exactly, is this thing called noir? Why does it exert such enormous influence over so many writers, filmmakers, and artists in other mediums? What makes noir fiction distinct from thrillers and other crime fiction, and what can it teach us about the dark side of human nature? In this seminar, we will examine the craft and artistry of such diverse masters as Georges Simenon, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Patricia Highsmith, Chester Himes, James Ellroy, Walter Mosley, Elmore Leonard, Natsuo Kirino, and Manuel Vasquez Montalban, among others. The novella-in-verse (“Desperate Characters”) by Nicholas Christopher may be part of the mix, along with a noir film or two. (MFA students only)

ENG 580 Seminar in Twentieth Century Literature (Course ID# 6308)
The American Short Story
Professor Michael Bennett
Mondays 6:30-9 PM

We will combine a traditional survey of the short-story genre with a couple of individualized (and fun!) units: reading and writing a review of a short story collection, and then reading and writing a short short story ourselves.  Most of our reading will focus on the twentieth century, but we will study the history of the genre from its beginnings to the present day, examining how the form has evolved and speculating about why.  We will consider such questions as: what are the differences between Romantic and Realist short stories?; how might we account for these differences or for the transformation from modern to postmodern fiction?;  and how does the contemporary short story draw on and transform what came before?  Students will write a critical essay or develop a detailed lesson plan about the American short story as a genre, developing an original, well-reasoned interpretation that integrates primary and secondary sources.  You will also read independently one book of short stories by a living American writer and craft a review of that work.  Finally, you will 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.  At the end of the semester, you will submit a portfolio containing your best work.  You must submit a critical essay (or lesson plan), but you may choose whether you'd prefer to submit your review or your short short story.  We will read short fiction by some or all of the following:  Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Sarah Orne Jewett, Kate Chopin, Charles Chesnutt, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Sherwood Anderson, Jean Toomer, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O'Connor, James Baldwin, Donald Barthelme, Raymond Carver, Edmund None, Ha Jin, Lorrie Moore, Toni Cade Bambara, Michael Cunningham, Sherman Alexie, and Junot Diaz.

ENG 700 Practicum in the Teaching of Composition (Course ID# 4140)
Professor Thomas Peele
Mondays 4-6:30 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 (Course ID# 4194)
Professor Srividhya Swaminathan
Wednesdays 6:30-9 PM

Whether you are writing critically or creatively, research skills are an integral part of any writing process. These skills allow the writer to explore fully the topic about which she or he writes; they also help lay out a design for the writing. In critical writing, this design takes on the form of methodology, or the manner in which the research will be organized around a specific method of analysis. This course develops research skills and provides an overview of eight critical methodologies that can be utilized in crafting an argument. The course will focus on the genre of the novel, beginning in the eighteenth century and culminating in the twenty-first. We will examine these novels through strategies of reading; strategies of rewriting; and strategies of reworking to create a sophisticated argument.

Undergraduate Courses -- Spring 2014

Believe it or not, it's time to start thinking about crossing over the bridge to next semester!

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.

Also note —Honors electives taught by English Department faculty 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.


ENG 104 Introduction to Creative Writing (Course ID# 6068)
Professor Felice Belle
Mondays 6-8:30 PM

This course will satisfy a Creative Writing elective requirement in the Literature concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can count as one of the four required Creative Writing workshops in the Creative Writing concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor.

Are you a poet, MC, aspiring novelist? Do you keep a secret journal, waiting for the right time to share your brilliance with the world? Whether you're an expert wordsmith or a reluctant writer, this course will help you develop your voice and take risks in your work. Students will experiment with several genres of creative writing, including poetry, fiction, and playwriting. We will read and respond to the work of great writers, including Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz, Frank O’Hara, Anna Deavere Smith, and Adrienne Rich, in hopes of learning what makes them masters of their craft. Through weekly writing assignments and in-class workshops, students will receive constructive feedback and develop the critical language necessary for discussing each other's writing. Students will also create a final portfolio of their creative writing and participate in an end-of-semester class reading. The course will feature visits from contemporary writers and opportunities to attend readings and open mics in and around New York City.

ENG 126 News Writing (Course ID# 4661)
Professor Donald Bird (Journalism Department)
Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:30-2:55 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.

ENG 129 Later British Literatures / DERANGED! Figures & Figurations of Madness in Modern British Literature (Course ID# 4310)
Professor Bernard Schweizer
Tuesdays 6-8:30 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.

Literature often explores the limits of human endurance, the extremes of passion, the borderlands of scientific and spiritual obsessions, or the after-effects of trauma. Any of these situations tends to produce eccentric characters, and it is no surprise, therefore, to find extreme mental states—call them madness or any of the politically more correct appellations—at the center of many stories and poems. This course will study some memorableliterary treatments of mental illness, involving unhinged characters and constellations of madness ranging from the pathological to the existential. Some of the questions that will preoccupy us are: what is the connection between madness and love? What is the link between madness and spirituality? What is the relationship between madness and gender? In other words, we will explore how mental illness is presented in a literary format and what ideological, medical, and figurative significances are attached to it.

ENG 137 Shakespeare (Course ID# 6067)
Professor Srividhya Swaminathan
Mondays 3-5:30 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.

It’s a bird . . . it’s a plane . . . it’s . . . SHAKESPEARE!! Shakespeare is the most widely recognized figure in English literary studies, but why do we still study his plays? The diversity and timelessness of his narratives are a testament to the dynamic world of Elizabethan and Jacobin theater. However, to get the true experience of the Bard, you have to read AND see his work. This course will introduce students to the London stage and the theatrical world that shaped Shakespeare’s plays. Students will unpack the meaning of these comedies, romances, tragedies, and histories by reading the text, discussing its significance, and viewing the text on stage or on film. Class assignments will include a formal, written essay; short reaction papers to the plays; a staged reading of a passage; a group project involving a bit of creative rewriting and some acting. Theater is not solely a reading experience; it is a lived experience.

ENG 159 Literature of the United States Since 1865 / The Country and the City (Course ID# 4010)
Professor Leah Dilworth
Wednesdays 3-5:30 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 explore American literature from the Civil War to the present through the theme “The Country and the City.” We will examine the historical circumstances of migrations and urban expansion from the Civil War to the present and the ways writers have responded to and informed the nation’s constantly changing cultural landscape. We’ll also look at paintings and photographs that show often conflicting notions of how nature and culture interact. Readings will be drawn from the literatures of the “local color” movement, the Great Migration, Modernism, the Harlem Renaissance, and Southern gothic literature.

Selected reading:

  • Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie
  • Jean Toomer, Cane
  • Short fiction by Charles Chesnutt, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, Alice Walker
  • Poetry by Langston Hughes, T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Gertrude Stein

ENG 163 Explorations in Non-Fiction Writing / Hybrid Discourse (Course ID# 5458)Professor Donald McCrary
Tuesdays 3-5:30 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.

This is a nonfiction workshop in which students explore topics that include the essay, experimental nonfiction, zine writing, and digital storytelling. Emphasis on discussion of student manuscripts and individual conferences with instructor.

From viral video and audio mashups to the many print sources in which writers demonstrate their knowledge and facility with different languages and culture, hybrid discourse continues to gain popularity and agency in our society. The composition scholar Patricia Bizzell describes hybrid discourse as a “contact zone” where identity, culture, and voice intersect to create new expressive forms. Hybrid discourse is particularly suitable for expressing multilingual knowledge and skill, for expressing the multiple self. In this course, we will explore hybrid discourse both inside and outside the academy. We will read academic writers such as Keith Gilyard, Victor Villanueva, and Gloria Andalzua. We will read non-academic hybrid discourse found in magazines, novels, and the internet, analyzing how hybrid discourse is constructed and what it tells us about texts and ourselves. In addition to reading hybrid discourse, each student will facilitate a course reading to the class, complete journal entries, and write a research paper that can include different types of media and languages.

ENG 166 Fiction Writing / Flash Fiction & Oral Storytelling: Finding Our Own Secret Stories (Course ID# 4068)
Professor John High
Tuesdays & Thursdays 3-4:15 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.

We all have our stories. We live and tell them every day, sometimes even the most secret ones. But how do we develop the concentration and confidence to get them down on the page? This workshop will focus on the ways autobiography and oral storytelling overlap and how the past can be fictionalized as a way of giving it a new voice, a strong voice—to give the writer both distance from and freedom to enter his/her own life stories.

In class we will tell stories—our own and those from writers around the world. Some may initially seem mundane, some may initially seem fantastic, it doesn’t matter. They change as we master them. We will practice getting our language down, from the heart to the street, in very short, flash fictions—some as short as a paragraph but none longer than a few pages. The premise is that the source of much fiction is based on memories and dreams and talking them through and writing them down.

We’ll look at writers ranging from Jean Toomer, Marguerite Duras, Toure, Jorge Luis Borges, Zora Neale Hurston, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, Jamaica Kincaid, Yasunari Kawabata, Michael Ondaatje, Lydia Davis, Edwidge Danticat, Karen Russell, Junot Diaz, and Sherman Alexie (among others), who often blur the borders between oral storytelling, the dream, and the true-life story. We will watch videos/listen to oral stories from The Moth and performers from the Nuyorican Poets Café. We will do writing games to build up our confidence as we develop our style and skill at telling our stories in our own, original voice. We'll concentrate on the various traditions of narrative, including plot, character, and conflict—with an eye towards expanding on what's already been done by the masters of the past and present.

There will be weekly creative writing improvisations, workshops, and discussions, as well as commentary on the writing process and how to make it come alive for you. We’ll read as well as listen to and help one another with our stories and how we can revise them. This will be the equivalent of a writers studio and will include playing out dreams, secrets, journals, memories, observations, overheard conversations, magazine cut-ups, post-card stories, family tales, and random fragments of language, as well as episodes from our childhoods up through the present—from the heart to the street to the page. We’ll give presentations or performances of the work as we go along. You will also have the opportunity to explore and write about the larger community of NYC with fieldwork for your stories in your neighborhoods and with the attendance of a literary reading. Your final project will be the creation and compilation of your developed and revised collected stories in the form of a short book (chapbook)/video/or performance, accompanied by a meta-text and artist statement.

ENG 190 Senior Seminar in Literature (Course ID# 3906)
Professor Jonathan Haynes
Wednesdays 6-8:30 PM

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.

ENG 191 Senior Seminar in Creative Writing (Course ID# 4238)
Professor John High
Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:30-5:45 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.

ENG 192 Senior Seminar in Writing & Rhetoric (Course ID# 4014)
Professor Deborah Mutnick
Mondays 3-5:30 PM

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.