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Fall 2018 Graduate Course Offering

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Fall 2018 Graduate Course Offering

CREATIVE WRITING - WORKSHOP

 

ENGL B3000 - Workshop in Fiction

Prof. Salar Abdoh

Tuesday 6:45-8:35

 
This course is a standard graduate workshop. Each student is expected to submit (depending on class size) one time or two times during the semester. Submissions can be parts of a novel or short stories. I will ask you to submit an additional copy of the critiques that you write for each writer’s work to me as well. My focus in the workshop is entirely on the students’ own pieces. While there is no minimum requirement on the number of pages submitted, there is indeed a maximum. What I pay attention to is the nuts and bolts of the text at hand. My style is not to do para-graph by paragraph edits of a work. Rather, I Look at the overall arc of a piece, and address the fundamental elements of fiction within it – pacing, character, voice, dialogue, prose, etc. Another aspect of my style of workshop is to not be overly intrusive. In other words, I try to work within the context and formulations that the writer has created; I don’t believe in ‘hard intrusion’ into a writer’s intent, style and execution, unless on very rare occasions it is absolutely called for. Finally, my own focus and area of interest is usually strict realism. In other words, my forte is not experimental fiction, nor have I much read fantasy or children/YA literature. (Reg. Code: 46677)
 
 

ENGL B3001 - Novel Workshop

Prof. Nicole Dennis-Benn

Thursday 4:45-6:35

 
The novel is a vast landscape. But despite the liberal space, a good novel requires structure—direction, motive, and dynamic characters that will take readers through the terrain. Through Reading, writing, and discussion, this intensive workshop will challenge students to expand on ideas, using the tools given to make the novel work as a unified, compelling whole. This course may be more beneficial for students who already have a novel in progress; however, is open to those who are just getting started. Each student will have the opportunity to workshop twice, up to Twenty-five (25) pages. Following their in-class critiques, students will meet with the instructor for individual conference. We will be reading the published works of Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Adichie, Zadie Smith, Jacqueline Woodson, Elizabeth Strout, NoViolet Bulawayo, and more. We’ll discuss selected works for our craft talks where we will discuss different storytelling technique/elements in relation to shaping your novel. Excerpts of other books and stories will be listed as we go along to better aid your individual storytelling process. Secondly, prompts will be given at the beginning of the workshop to get your creative juices flowing. (Reg. Code: 46681)
 
 

ENGL B3200 - Workshop in Poetry

Prof. Michelle Valladares

Tuesday 4:45-6:35

 
In this poetry workshop students will explore the different ways to travel from a draft of a poem to the final version. We will investigate methods of revision, write poems from prompts and explore new ways of becoming a reader of poems. Requirements include writing a poem a week and presenting your work three or four times over the semester. You can also expect to memorize several poems and occasionally endure a lecture on craft. The workshop is open to writers in all genres. Students will also be required to attend master classes and readings in our MFA Visiting Authors series. (Reg. Code: 46687)
 

 

ENGL B3400 - Drama Workshop

Prof. Robert Barron

Thursday 4:45-6:35

 
This is a creative writing class in the playwriting form, which is open to both playwrights as well as other writers who have yet to experiment with the form. We will be writing in every class, as well as reading aloud the dramatic work of the class members. This is not a course in dramatic literature, but rather a practical workshop where we will practice how to effectively create character, dialogue, story and exposition.  Students will be given an official playwriting manuscript format example, and will be expected to present work in this format. In addition to writing shorter exercises, everyone will be expected to write an original one-act play by the end of the term. Furthermore, at the end of the semester, students in the class will have the opportunity to see their work presented by acting students from the Theatre Department. Whether you are a poet, a fiction writer or screenwriter, an experience in writing for the stage can be a huge boon to your development as a creative writer. The stage is a freeing, flexible and powerful medium, and this class will give students the pleasure and discovery of hearing their dialogue aloud, of witnessing in elemental origin the coming to life of living, breathing human beings, which may very well affect and deepen your writing beyond any of your expectations. (Reg. Code: 46689)
 
 

ENGL B3600 - Non-Fiction Workshop

Prof. David Groff

Monday 6:45-8:35

 
Telling the truth can make for terrific writing. This workshop will focus on the power and potential of the personal essay, the lyric essay, the memoir, the reported story, the op ed, various New Journalism strategies, and other adventurous forms of creative nonfiction, all of which are taking an ever-larger place in our literature. Nonfiction has been around ever since human beings began to write and record, but “creative nonfiction” as a distinct genre is a relatively new arrival on the literary scene. In our workshop we will orient ourselves to the history of the genre as well as its various forms. We will also ask ourselves what exactly we mean when we say “creative” and “nonfiction” terms that summon us to exploration, inquiry, and debate. You’ll be asked to write at least 3000 words, present two pieces for discussion in workshop over the course of the semester, and revise one of your works for potential submission for publication by the end of the term. In addition to your writing your nonfiction, you’ll respond in writing to the work by the other writers in the class. In each workshop session, we’ll also discuss nonfiction by published authors of diverse styles, professional and creative approaches, nationalities, races, ethnicities, genders, and sexualities, while exploring how nonfiction can communicate our various stories and respond to the challenges of our times. Our workshops will also include discussions of and some exercises around various issues in nonfiction, from questions of form and strategy to how we can write arresting sentences, how and where we can get our nonfiction published, and the other distinctive demands of a genre that requires we stick to the facts while distilling them into art. (Reg. Code:46690)
 
 

CREATIVE WRITING - CRITICAL PRACTICE

 

ENGL B1616 - Bible, Myth and Contemporary Lit

Prof. Mark Mirsky

Thursday 6:45-8:35

 
The Bible, Myth and Modern Literature is designed to introduce Creative Writing student who write fiction, or graduate students in Literature to observe how questions raised in texts from the world of Antiquity, The Sumerian/Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer’s Odyssey, The Hebrew Bible, the New Testament as well as Grimm’s Fairy Tales and The Tain, continue to concern writers in the Twentieth Century. We will read novels, selections from novels, and stories of Franz Kafka, Miguel de Unamuno, Bruno Schulz, William Faulkner, Marcel Proust, Cynthia Ozick, John Barth, Charles Baldwin, and others.The instructor will require either a critical paper or a creative response to at least two of the books on the syllabus and the submission of a minimum of three questions about nine of the modern texts assigned. 
 
Required Reading:
Selections from The Epic of Gilgamesh, Hesiod, The Odyssey, Genesis, The Book of Job, Edward Greenstein’s notes and translation, The Book Samuel, Book 2 and The Gospel of Matthew 
Franz Kafka, The Trial
Isak Dinnesen, Sorrow Acre Bruno Schulz, Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass 
Isaac Bashevis Singer, Gimpel the Fool
James Baldwin, Go Tell it On the Mountain
Milan Kundera, The Lightness of Being
Cythia Ozick’s essay on The Book of Ruth Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time.
Selection from Cities of the Plain
William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom. Miguel de Unamuno, selections from Our Lord, Don Quixote
Jorge Luis Borges from Collected Fiction, stories: Three Versions of Judas and Ragnarok.
John Barth, “Dun Cove to Madison,” from The Tidewater Tales Mark
Jay Mirsky, Puddingstone
Donald Barthelme, Snow White
*This course is also available under LITERATURE (Reg. Code: 47032)
 

 

ENGL B1942 - Poetry: Patience as Practice

Prof. Nicole Sealy

Wednesday 6:45-8:35

 
In “Poetry and Ambition, Donald Hall writes, “Horace, when he wrote the Ars Poetica, recommended that poets keep their poems home for ten years; don’t let them go, don’t publish them…by that time, you ought to have them right.” In this Critical Practice course we will consider patience, an essential component of poetic composition, as practice. Patience, in this context, is the difficult and demanding work of revision. Students will hone their critical skills through close readings of poems and the drafts that made those poems possible, and in prose responses to reading assignments. Texts from which readings will be assigned include Black Lightning: Poetry-in-Progress and Making Poems: Forty Poems with Commentary by the Poets. (Reg. Code: 46670)
 
 
 

ENGL B3002 - Craft of the Novel

Prof. Amir Arian Ahmadi

Monday 4:45-6:35

 
Teaching the craft of the novel is a tricky business. Dissecting novels and looking at their constructing elements runs afoul of our reading habits. As readers, we receive stories as one whole, as though they are living organisms coming straight out of the womb of the world: characters are indiscernible from plots, plots are entangled with setting, etc.
 
In this class, however, we are not just readers. We read as writers. The writer’s eye is as different from the reader’s eye as human eye is different from that of a fly. When it comes to reading, writers need to have compound eyes. It enables them to disentangle the seemingly inextricable elements of narrative, to explain how various layers of a story are created and merged.
 
In this course, we will read several books and short stories, and develop skills required to disentangle their constituting elements. In doing so, we develop tools and skills that help us apply what we learn to our own writing. In every class I begin by a lesson about a craft element. Then we discuss the assigned novel for the week, which are selected according to the topic. The resources consist of seven short stories and eleven novels, including Truman Capote’s
 
Required Reading:
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (part one) Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentes
The Book of Evidence by John Banville
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway Despair by Vladimir Nabokov
The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing
Who Killed Palomino Molero by Mario Vargas Llosa Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
 
And seven short stories, which will be distributed during the semester. (Reg. Code: 46683)
 
 

ENGL C0862 - Teaching of Composition and Literature

Prof. Thomas Peele

Wednesday 4:45-6:35

 
This course will help to prepare you to teach introductory college writing and humanities classes; it also provides support for newly hired CCNY instructors. We will study approaches to teaching composition, learning theory, course design, writing assignments, instructional strategies, writing assessment, and classroom management. We will also consider the impact that teaching a wide variety of students, with variable needs, motivations, cultural and social backgrounds, and abilities, has on classroom practices and philosophy. We will also examine print and online resources for college writing instructors.
 
*This course is also available under LANGUAGE & LITERACY (Reg. Code: 46694)
 
 
 

LITERATURE

 

ENGL B1616 - Bible, Myth and Contemporary Lit

Prof. Mark Mirsky

Thursday 6:45-8:35

 
The Bible, Myth and Modern Literature is designed to introduce Creative Writing student who write fiction, or graduate students in Literature to observe how questions raised in texts from the world of Antiquity, The Sumerian/Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer’s Odyssey, The Hebrew Bible, the New Testament as well as Grimm’s Fairy Tales and The Tain, continue to concern writers in the Twentieth Century. We will read novels, selections from novels, and stories of Franz Kafka, Miguel de Unamuno, Bruno Schulz, William Faulkner, Marcel Proust, Cynthia Ozick, John Barth, Charles Baldwin, and others.The instructor will require either a critical paper or a creative response to at least two of the books on the syllabus and the submission of a minimum of three questions about nine of the modern texts assigned. 
 
Required Reading:
Selections from The Epic of Gilgamesh, Hesiod, The Odyssey, Genesis, The Book of Job, Edward Greenstein’s notes and translation, The Book Samuel, Book 2 and The Gospel of Matthew 
 
Franz Kafka, The Trial
Isak Dinnesen, Sorrow Acre Bruno Schulz, Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass 
Isaac Bashevis Singer, Gimpel the Fool 
James Baldwin, Go Tell it On the Mountain 
Milan Kundera, The Lightness of Being 
Cythia Ozick’s essay on The Book of Ruth Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time. 
Selection from Cities of the Plain
William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom. Miguel de Unamuno, selections from Our Lord, Don Quixote
Jorge Luis Borges from Collected Fiction, stories: Three Versions of Judas and Ragnarok. 
John Barth, “Dun Cove to Madison,” from The Tidewater Tales Mark 
Jay Mirsky, Puddingstone 
Donald Barthelme, Snow White
 
This course is also available under CRITICAL PRACTICE.  (Reg. Code: 47032)
 

 

ENGL B1708 - The Freudian Text

Prof. Joshua Wilner

Monday 6:45-8:35

 
This course on literature and psychoanalysis has a double focus. On the one hand, we will be considering the implications of the psychoanalytic model of interpretation for the reading of literary texts. On the other hand, we will be examining Freud’s own text as a form of writing and a vehicle of the unconscious. Throughout we will be concerned with the relationship between language and sexuality in literature and psychoanalysis, between the desiring body as object of interpretation, and the text as expression and object of desire.
 
Be prepared for a “hands-on” course: the amount of reading will be manageable, but there will be a lot of practical interpretative work - weekly one-page response papers and a term paper of twelve to fifteen pages.
 
Tentative reading list:
Readings by Freud include Five Introductory Lectures, selections from The Interpretation of Dreams, "The Creative Writer and Daydreaming," "Mourning and Melancholia," and "The Uncanny.” If time permits also like to look at Dora: The Analysis of a Case of History as a novel and as a target of feminist critique. Literary readings - in addition to Freud - may include writings (mostly poems and stories) by Baldwin, Bishop, Dickinson, Hoffman, Faulkner, Kafka, Lawrence, Whitman and Wordsworth.  (Reg. Code: 46624)
 
 

ENGL B1830 - Emily Dickinson

Prof. Geraldine Murphy

Wednesday 4:45-6:35

 
In this seminar we will explore various facets of one of the most original, innovative, and profound voices in American poetry.  Only a handful of Dickinson’s poems were published—anonymously—during her lifetime. After her death, the handwritten booklets, or fascicles, of her poems were discovered.  Editors of the earliest volumes of Dickinson’s work (among them Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the prominent man of letters to whom she’d turned for guidance) selected poems of the most conventional themes and “corrected” Dickinson’s diction, punctuation, and syntax to conform to prevailing notions of women’s verse.   Since the publication of Thomas Johnson’s edition of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (1955), however, Dickinson’s critical reputation has soared.  In our investigation, we will read the Dickinson corpus to explore the full range of Dickinson’s themes and poetic personae.  We will consider the literal “writing scene” for Dickinson: this includes her own handwritten poems versus her editors’ versions, and also the relationship between her letters and gifts to the poems that accompanied them.  We will further address the larger scenes in which she wrote: domestic, cultural, and political.  To place Dickinson in literary context, some works of her contemporaries will be considered: popular women writers such as Louisa May Alcott and Helen Hunt Jackson, the Fireside Poets (Longfellow, Whittier, Holmes, and Lowell), the Transcendentalists, and the other great, iconoclastic American poet of the 19th Century, Walt Whitman, whom Dickinson heard was “disgraceful.” A final class or two will be devoted to Dickinson’s influence on twentieth-century writers, particularly women poets.  
 
Requirements include an informal reading journal and 10-15 pages of formal literary analysis. (Reg. Code: 46669)
 
 

ENGL B1966 - Internet Writing

Prof. Casey Henry

Thursday 4:45-6:35

 
Media, Materiality, and Power:
There’s a saying about the tech world: “If you’re not paying, you’re the product.” As the Internet, and its related phenomena, have come to dominate our lived reality, the capacity of literature to operate within, and resist, this structure, and the interconnected world created by it, has become an essential question of literary study. Issues of surveillance and power, sexual fulfillment and liberation, have become entwined with dubious “access” to a seemingly limitless grid of information. Also, literature created within this system raises related questions of materiality and expression. Is literary text the exhaust of underlying processes? Can it work like data, or financial derivative?
 
This course will survey fiction from the last three decades, charting the formation of the Internet as we know it and its chokehold on the literary imagination. Fiction works will span from cyberpunk premonitions of the Internet in William Gibson’s Neuromancer (the origin of the term “cyberspace”), to the mundane side of online millennialism in Tao Lin’s Shoplifting from American Apparel. Along the way, we’ll read Amie Barrodale on tracking web paramours (“William Wei”), Don DeLillo on global capital run amok (Cosmopolis), David Foster Wallace on broadcast trauma (“The Suffering Channel”), and graphic novels depicting squalid, yet virtually supercharged urban landscapes (Ghost in the Shell and Transmetropolitan). We will also touch on science fiction presciently approaching race, gender, and sexuality through the lens of the “posthuman” cyborg, including stories by Samuel Delany and James Tiptree, Jr. (real name: Alice B. Sheldon). Relevant theory from Donna Haraway, Gilles Deleuze, Lauren Berlant, Wendy Chun, and Walter Benjamin will situate us within issues of political control, identity, affect, and media. The course will entail a midterm paper, and either a final paper or potential digital humanities project, which will allow students to explore computational approaches to literary questions. (Reg. Code: 46672)
 
 

ENGL B2003 - Medieval Epic and Romance

Prof. Paul Oppenheimer

Tuesday 4:45-6:35

 
An exploration of some of the most notable medieval romances and epics, or poems and stories centering on courtly ideals and knightly adventures straight across the European literature of the High Middle Ages: it is these, together with their presentations of often corrupted passions, that form the basis of modern literature and which continue powerfully to influence how we write and think today. Some of the themes to be considered: courtly love and anti-feminism, the conflict between love and honor, the mystery of the quest, the grail challenge, the conflict between religious and secular codes, and the roles of magic and legend. Included in our readings will be Dante’s La vita nuova, Percival by Chretien de Troyes, Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach, Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg, and Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde (often seen as the predecessor of the modern novel). All texts are in translation, except the Chaucer, which with a bit of assistance, will pose no problem, and will also allow the student to pick up a bit of Middle English.--One research essay and one brief in-class presentation of your essay topic. (Reg. Code: 46675)
 
 

ENGL B7400 - Studies In American Literature II

Prof. Keith Gandal

Tuesday 6:45-8:35

 
Trends and issues from the last decade of the nineteenth century to the present, focusing on what has been called “the American Century.” W.E.B. Du Bois declared that the problem of the 20th century would be the problem of race, and we can affirm that claim while adding some supplementary problems that shaped American experience and literature in this period: the problems of gender, ethnicity, class, and ability. The course will give special attention to modernism and attempt to revise our traditional understanding of it, based on America’s internal developments and rise to world prominence with the Great War.
 
Tentative Reading List:
Stephen Crane, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets Willa Cather, My Antonia
Charlotte Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises Katherine Porter, Pale Horse, Pale Rider
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God D’Arcy McNickle, The Surrounded
Claude Brown, Manchild in the Promised Land Toni Morrison, Sula
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
Michael Herr, Dispatches
Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior
 
Reader with poetry of T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Wallace Stevens, Gwendolyn Brooks (Reg. Code: 46692)
 
 

LANGUAGE & LITERACY

 
 

ENGL B5600 - Writing Center Theory and Practice

Prof. Barbara Gleason 

Thursday 6:45-8:35

 
Historically viewed as a remediation service, writing centers are now highly regarded educational programs offered for students enrolled in secondary schools, undergraduate programs, and graduate programs.  Undergraduate writing centers have a particularly long history. They continue to evolve by offering online tutoring and by forming innovative collaborations with first-year writing programs and other agencies. Within CUNY, Brooklyn College professor Kenneth Bruffee has made peer tutoring & writing center contributions that are featured in an entire issue of The Writing Center Journal (Vol. 28, No. 2, 2008).  In 2018, writing centers are a major source of employment for master’s and doctoral degree graduates specializing in writing, language learning, and writing instruction. Authors of a recently published book argue that writing center work is “a job . . . and also a profession and thus . . . a passion, identity, [and a] calling” (Caswell, McKinney, Jackson, The Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors). Writing centers are also fertile sites for research. L&L alumna Nancy Alvarez is currently writing a dissertation study titled Tutoring While Latina: Creating Space for Nuestras Voces in the Writing Center. We will read chapters from Nancy Alvarez’s Tutoring While Latina and from The Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors (Utah State University Press 2016), Ben Rafoth’s Multilingual Writers and Writing Centers (2015),  and essays published in Praxis: A Writing Center Journal and in  The Writing Center Journal.  We will visit writing centers, talk with administrators, and spotlight writing center structures, administrators’ work, strategies for online and F2F consultations, and learning achieved by adults who work with writing consultants. (Reg. Code: 46691)

 

ENGL B8114 - Discourse Analysis

Prof. Missy Watson

Tuesday 6:45-8:35

 
When we engage in discourse analysis, we are interested in studying the structures and strategies of communication as it manifests in text and talk, drawing connections across the sociopolitical functions and consequences. In this course, we’ll learn about theory in discourse studies, but our primary purpose will be to analyze real language use across diverse communities, such as in academia, the classroom, the workplace, news and other media, social media and other online communities, speeches, law, politics, sports, interpersonal relationships, and in the community (neighborhood churches, banks, bars, etc.). We’ll gain insight into how language and communication work across communities and why that matters. We’ll also hone our rhetorical and discursive analytical skills, developing an analytical practice that could be passed on to our future students in writing and language classrooms. In addition to our weekly inquiries into the discursive practices of communities and situations, you’ll select a specific discourse community you’ll study more extensively over the course of the semester. James Paul Gee’s An Introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theory and Method (4th edition) and his How to do Discourse Analysis: A Toolkit (2nd edition) will be our texts. (Reg. Code: 46693)
 
 

ENGL C0862 - Teaching of Composition and Literature

Prof. Thomas Peele

Wednesday 4:45-6:35

 
This course will help to prepare you to teach introductory college writing and humanities classes; it also provides support for newly hired CCNY instructors. We will study approaches to teaching composition, learning theory, course design, writing assignments, instructional strategies, writing assessment, and classroom management. We will also consider the impact that teaching a wide variety of students, with variable needs, motivations, cultural and social backgrounds, and abilities, has on classroom practices and philosophy. We will also examine print and online resources for college writing instructors.
*This course is also available under CRITICAL PRACTICE (Reg. Code: 46694)