Fall 2019 Graduate Course Offering

 

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOPS

 

ENGL B3000 - Workshop in Fiction


Prof. Emily Raboteau


Monday 6:45-8:35


The primary focus of this workshop is on enhancing narrative structure in students’ own work. I aim to foster a positive atmosphere where different voices and genres are celebrated and where we can learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Students are expected to share two polished short stories or novel segments over the course of the semester and to formally and thoughtfully critique each other’s work. Using the mechanical vocabulary of the craft (tone, characterization, plot, conflict, point of view, point of entry, dialogue, pace, setting, theme, structure, ending, etc…) students will locate what each submission has going for it and suggest ways to make it grow, though our discussion will be heavily plot-driven and revolve around story-mapping. We’ll discuss outside exemplary material when useful and do brief in-class writing exercises on occasion. Students are required to keep a writing journal and encouraged to meet with me during office hours the week after their work is discussed. (Reg. Code: 41968)

 

ENGL B3000 - Workshop in Fiction

 

Prof. Amir Arian Ahmadi

 

Tuesday 6:45-8:35

 
This course is dedicated to students’ writing. Every student is required to submit two pieces in the course of the semester. They can be short stories or excerpts from longer projects. The maximum number of pages for every submission is 20. Ideally, in every class we will discuss two pieces. Other students are required to read and annotate the submitted piece and come to the class with notes and comments. They also need to pen a letter that summarizes their opinions and criticism. I will do the same. I am more focused on overall issues such as characterization, pacing, structure, etc, than line-editing.
 
The act of writing is solitary as it should be but editing and improving one’s work requires a community of devoted, meticulous readers. That is what we try construct in the class. (Reg. Code: 26517)
 

 

 

ENGL B3000 - Workshop in Fiction

 

Prof. Naima Coster

 

Wednesday 6:45-8:35

 
Course Description: TBA (Reg. Code: 64523)

 

 

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 be required to attend workshops and readings presented by the MFA Program. (Reg. Code: 26520)

 

 

ENGL B3600 – Non-Fiction Workshop: Crafting the Personal Essay

 

Prof. Yahdon Israel

 

Wednesday 4:45-6:35

 

“Good essays,” Phillip Lopate writes, “are works of literary art. Their supposed formlessness is more a strategy to disarm the reader with the appearance of unstudied spontaneity than a reality of composition.” In this workshop, students will engage with the essay as more than an art form, but as a conceptual framework to interrogate experience. This course will also pay close attention on the mechanics of how essays are executed and endow students with the language necessary to articulate how we know what we know.

Though starting an essay is difficult, equally difficult is knowing when a piece is finished. For that reason, this workshop is going to challenge students to take focus on one (1) essay of anywhere between 2,500 - 5,000 words and develop it throughout the semester. Editing is the most crucial part of the writing process. It’s a necessary skill that many writers often treat as incidental instead of instrumental to the development of an essay. Improving your writing by cultivating the ability to identify what an essay is missing, what it needs, and why, are tangible skills that this workshop will teach you. (Reg. Code: 26522)

 

 

ENGL B4501 – Screenwriting Workshop


Prof. Marc Palmieri


Monday 4:45-6:35


The good news is, these days one can move a script from page to screen faster and cheaper than ever before. While the possibility of selling a script to Hollywood is always real (seriously- it does
happen), it is exciting and motivating to consider that thanks to how far digital technology has come, seeing one’s own work on the independent film circuit, festivals and the internet can happen without someone giving you lots and lots of money.

Students will develop a screenplay for a short film or make progress toward a feature length screenplay. All are welcome to work in other variations such as television scripts and web series
scripts. Furthermore, those interested in adapting one of his or her works of fiction, non-fiction or poetry to a screenplay form are welcome to do so. This process comes with its own interesting set of expectations and strategies and can be an enlightening exercise in the general honing of your story structure.


We will examine the storytelling possibilities of the form, its advantages and challenges – and no doubt stumble on important things we didn’t expect. Students will participate in brief “readalouds” of portions of the screenplay drafts, and feedback discussions of classmates’ work.
*This course is also available under CRITICAL PRACTICE (Reg. Code: 54732)

 

 


CRITICAL PRACTICE

 

ENGL B1615 – Hybrid Experimental Poetics

 

Prof. Laura Hinton


Monday 6:45-8:35


This experimental Critical Practice course will ask students to intellectually engage with questions of textual “meaning” through the making (and unmaking) of language and signs. Throughout this course, we will experiment with both form and “meaning,” through observing and creating works that juxtapose a literary language with a multi-media form. This juxtaposition can often produce radical art “hybrids” that produce while questioning textual meaning(s) on multiple planes. Narratives are opened up, fixed “meanings” are suspended, conventional cultural assumptions are examined, authoritarian discourse and its subjectivities are dismantled. We will study the “nothingness” that results, and how this mode of creative production of “hybrid poetics” has its own deep power. We will read theory pieces and explore examples of such radical hybrid texts. And we will work on producing hybrid texts ourselves, collectively.

The course begins with a foundational theoretical piece on the making of meaning through the language of signs by French linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, so that we are thinking about signifying systems. We will then go on to explore poetics theory pieces by several contemporary writers, including Lyn Hejinian, Leslie Scalapino, and Fred Moten, among others. We will first explore the idea of sight and visual description, through the writings of phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the Soviet / Ukrainian author Arkadii Dragomoshchenko (as translated by Hejinian). Then we will move on to explore works of literature that involve literal sight, like the artist book or a recent conceptual piece by Erica Hunt that engages with a gallery installation. We will also explore the phenomenon of sound—as both an element within literary texts, especially poetry, but also as an independent medium of its own that can be juxtaposed against and made part of literary writings. Sound will be particularly important in several examples drawn from the African American jazz-poetics tradition, exemplified in work by Langston Hughes (as sung by Nina Simone), Jayne Cortez, Amiri and Amina Baraka, the Cuban “cajon” poet Omar Perez, and others.


Later in the course we will study works of both video poetry as well radical performance literatures by authors like Anne Waldman, Redell Olsen, Claudia Rankine, and others. The design of this Critical Practice course provides readings that ideally will stimulate students’ own creative hybrid impulses in art, as well as provide intellectually engaging examples of such work, mostly drawn from U.S. contemporary poetics but not exclusively. (Reg. Code: 41975)

 

 

ENGL B1942 – Poetry CP: The Melancholia of Class


Prof. Cynthia Cruz


Thursday 4:45-6:35


In this seminal “Mourning and Melancholia,” Freud writes that mourning and melancholia share the same features: a “profoundly painful depression, a loss of interest in the outside world, the loss of the ability to love, the inhibition of any kind of performance.” In both melancholia and mourning, the sufferer grieves the loss of a loved object. The symptoms associated with mourning are the result of the
mourner’s internal, psychic labor of releasing her attachment to the lost loved object in the energy-consuming process of grieving; once this mourning is complete, the mourner is freed from her binding to
the lost object. For the melancholic, however, these same symptoms result not from an internal process by which the melancholic releases her attachment to the lost love object but rather due to her internal struggle to hold onto that object. The melancholic doesn’t know what it is that she has lost in the loved object. If she does know, she does not know, as Freud points out, what it is in her lost object that has been lost.


When a writer abandons her working class origins, due to the act of assimilation, she might find herself similarly suffering from melancholia. In this seminar we will look at films, music videos, artwork, and texts that explore examples of the melancholia of class. Then, we will turn to works by artists and writers that look back at their origins, tethering their work in these literal or internalized landscapes. (Reg. Code: 26514)

 


ENGL B1992 – The Historical Memoir: Archival Research and The Personal

 

Prof. Mikhal Dekel


Thursday 4:45-6:35

 

In this course we will interrogate hybrid memoirs that incorporate significant archival research and historical works that incorporate a significant personal narrative. We will look at the relationship
between documented history, personal memory and collective memorialization, between the emotional and the historical, the archive and the imagination. We will discuss the practicalities of doing archival research, but also look at other ways in which the past comes to “speak” to us. Writers include Joan Didion, Edmund de Waal, James Baldwin, Susan Faludi, Marianne Hirsch, Reinhart Koselleck, Robert Reid Pharr and others.
*This course is also available under LITERATURE (Reg. Code: 53821)

 

ENGL B4501 – Screenwriting Workshop

 

Prof. Marc Palmieri

 

Monday 4:45-6:35

*This course is also available under CREATIVE WRITING (Reg. Code: 54732)

 

 

ENGL C0862 – The Teaching of Composition and Literature

 

Prof. Thomas Peele

 

Wednesday 4:45-6:35

*This course is also available under LANGUAGE & LITERACY (Reg. Code: 26526)

 

 


LITERATURE

 

ENGL B0710 – After Shakespeare: The Plays and Modern Literature

 

Prof. András Kiséry

 

Monday 4:45-6:35


The course provides an opportunity to re-familiarize ourselves with some of Shakespeare’s most influential plays through the lens of modern, modernist, and contemporary literary texts that engage with them critically and creatively. We will probably be working on Hamlet, Lear and The Tempest, reading works by such authors as Margaret Atwood, Samuel Beckett, Aimé Césaire, or J. W. Goethe. We will think about tradition, adaptation, and appropriation, about borrowing and originality, and about the devastations of the Shakespeare industry. (Reg. Code: 53823)

 


ENGL B1703 – Literary Theory

 

Prof. Václav Paris

 

Tuesday 6:45-8:35

 

This course is about how we read. It asks fundamental, often philosophical, questions, such as: what is an author? How do we construct meaning? What purpose does literature serve? We’ll be
reading the work of theorists in various schools (e.g. poststructuralism, feminism, Marxism, ecocriticism), as well as key literary texts that help to illustrate or test these theories. In
the latter half of the course, a particular emphasis will be placed on asking after the state of literary theory now. What seem to be the most vital questions in 2019, and how can we engage in
them? Students will write a mid-term and a final paper on a theoretical approach or theorist of their choice. (Reg. Code: 53781)

 

 

ENGL B1775 – Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries

 

Prof. Daniel Gustafson

 

Thursday 6:45-8:35


In this course, we will explore Jane Austen’s fiction and its relation to the cultural and literary contexts of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain. Some of the questions that the class will pursue are: How did her work affect the development of the novel in England? How did it affect the development of a tradition in modern female authorship and feminist criticism? What are the cultural politics of the romance genre for which she is famous? How are her novels shaped by preoccupations of her historical moment (and ones still pressing for us today), specifically issues of war and revolution, radicalism and conservative backlash, gender rights, and globalism and national xenophobia? We will read Austen’s major novels (Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma) along with some of her shorter fiction, scholarly essays on Austen and on British culture of the period, and a selection from contemporary writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Frances Burney, William Godwin, Edmund Burke, Elizabeth Inchbald, Charlotte Smith, Ann Radcliffe, and Walter Scott. (Reg. Code: 41977)

 

 

ENGL B1973 – Autobiography, Confession, Memoir

 

Prof. Harold Veeser

 

Wednesday 6:45-8:35

 

This course will allow for experiments in criticism and memoir. We will read a sampling of popular memoirs, recovery narratives, ethnic-identity stories, substance-abuse sagas, trauma memoirs, conversion narratives, and coming-of-age stories.

Required Books
Julie Otsuka, The Buddha in the Attic
Kris Kraus, I Love Dick
Tupac Shakur, The Rose that Grew from Concrete
Jen George, The Babysitter at Rest
Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts


Course Requirements: One Oral Report and One Paper 

(Reg. Code: 53822)

 


ENGL B1992 – The Historical Memoir: Archival Research and The Personal

 

Prof. Mikhal Dekel

 

Thursday 4:45-6:35


In this course we will interrogate hybrid memoirs that incorporate significant archival research and historical works that incorporate a significant personal narrative. We will look at the relationship between documented history, personal memory and collective memorialization, between the emotional and the historical, the archive and the imagination. We will discuss the practicalities of doing archival research, but also look at other ways in which thepast comes to “speak” to us. Writers include Joan Didion, Edmund de Waal, James Baldwin, Susan Faludi, Marianne Hirsch, Reinhart Koselleck, Robert Reid Pharr and others.
*This course is also available under CRITICAL PRACTICE (Reg. Code: 53821)

 

 

ENGL B2126- Global Harlem

 

Prof. Boukary Sawadoga

 

Wednesday 4:45-6:35


The course examines Harlem as a nexus of the encounters and exchanges between African Americans, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean in the 20th and 21st centuries. The various iterations of the internationalism of Harlem are critically examined through four thematic categories:

  • The Harlem renaissance movement and the negritude literary movement
  • Solidarity movements: civil rights movement and anticolonial struggles
  • The making and presence of African immigrant enclaves in Harlem
  • Gentrification of the neighborhood

Drawing on diaspora studies to reflect on the global(re)configurations of Harlem, the course uses different materials, including literary texts, films about and/or set in Harlem, and filmic adaptations of canonical texts such as Masters of the Dew. (Reg. Code: 55099)

 

ENGL C0910 – The Short Stories of the Americas

 

Prof. Lyn Di Iorio

 

Tuesday 4:45-6:35


In this class, we will examine single-author short story collections of high accomplishment by writers from Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States. In addition, we will consider theories of short story writing by short story writers. We may read short story collections by some, although not all, of the following: Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Mariana Enríquez, V.S. Naipaul, Flannery O'Connor, Silvina Ocampo, Alice Munro, Joy Williams, Tiphanie Yanique, or others. We may also read essays or books on the theory and practice of short story writing by Robert Olen Butler, Frank O’Connor, Madison Smartt Bell and/or others. Course work will include one presentation and one final essay. Experienced creative writers may write a short story and self-critique as their final project. (Reg. Code: 41982)

 

 


LANGUAGE & LITERACY

 

ENGL B6000 – Introduction to Language Studies

 

Prof. Missy Watson

 

Tuesday 6:45-8:35


In this course, we will study the functions and politics of language, and we will explore how and why teachers of language and literacy might better understand and address such interrelations. We will engage (socio)linguistic research that provides opportunities to critically examine societal structures and attitudes surrounding language (including our own beliefs) that create and uphold social and racial hierarchies—a worthwhile pursuit for any student and all educators. We’ll begin by examining an array of linguistic myths, such as the myth of non-accents, the myth of standard language, and the myth of nonstandardized varieties being inadequate. We will then survey linguistic scholarship on cultural perceptions of language, the bonds between identity and language, as well as histories of linguistic variance and change. Building from this knowledge, we’ll consider research illustrating how language is used in the US to identify, subordinate, and discriminate against groups of people. Later, we will study English’s basic sound systems (phonology), spelling systems (orthography), word formations (morphology), and sentence structures (syntax), exploring the benefits of studying and teaching them.


Students will write reading responses/reflections, participate in (and sometimes lead) class discussions, complete linguistic analyses, write a personal statement on language difference, and
write an essay wherein they intertwine research from course texts to analyze either their own or an interviewee’s experiences with language. The central texts of the course include Laurie Bauer and Peter Trudgill’s Language Myths, Rosina Lippi-Green’s English with an Accent: Language, Ideology, and Discrimination in the US (2nd ed.), and David and Yvonne Freeman’s Essential Linguistics: What You Need to Know to Teach Reading, ESL, Spelling, Phonics, and Grammar, (2nd ed.). (Reg. Code: 41979)

 

 

ENGL B6406 – Literacy Foundations


Prof. Barbara Gleason


Thursday 6:45-8:35


This course presents an array of perspectives on literacy: historical, cognitive, sociological, linguistic, cultural, and developmental. We will examine four conceptual models—a skills-based approach, critical literacy, sociocultural frameworks, and ideological models. Our historical survey will include the shapes of manuscripts and books during the past one thousand years, the historical shift from scribal literacy to print literacy, and contemporary transitioning from text-based print literacy to digital communications and multimodal literate practices. Linguistic & cultural perspectives will lead us to study various writing systems and socio-cultural contexts for reading and writing. Our developmental focus will start with children’s literacy learning and continue with adolescent and adult learning experiences. We’ll explore social, economic, political, and cultural circumstances and influences leading some children toward lifetimes of positive reading and writing habits and other children toward negative perceptions, experiences, and outcomes. We will then explore experiences and contexts for adult literacy learning and development.


Course participants will respond to class readings, write descriptive essays based on one class field trip, and compose researched essays on topics related to literacy.

For our discussion of how literacy practices have evolved over time, we will read chapters from Albert Manguel’s A History of Reading (2014). Our study of child and adult literacy development will be informed by our reading of excerpts from books by Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, 1845), Richard Rodriguez (Hunger of Memory, 1983), Keith Gilyard (Voices of the Self: A Study of Language Competence [1991]), Mike Rose (Lives on the Boundary, 2005), Deborah Brandt (Literacy in American Lives, 2001), and Kim Donehower et al. (Rural Literacies, 2007).

Required texts:
Paulo Freire Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 30th Anniversary
Edition (2000 Continuum)

Victoria Purcell-Gates Other People’s Words: The Cycle of Low
Literacy (1995)

Deborah Brandt Literacy & Learning: Reflections on Writing,
Reading & Society (2009)


A packet of readings will be distributed to course participants free
of charge.


(Reg. Code: 54808)

 

ENGL C0862 – The 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: 26526)