Gateway Course Required for the Beginning Major
Introduction to Literary Study
10326 sec. C Amir Dagan M, W 11:00 – 12:15pm
10322 sec. E Laura Hinton M, W 2:00 – 3:15pm
10331 sec. F Laura Hinton M, W 3:30 – 4:45pm
10329 sec. L Mark-Allan Donaldson T, TH 9:30 – 10:45am
This course offers an introduction for beginning English majors to the practices and concepts in the study of literature. We will think carefully about literature as a form of representation – about what literary texts mean as well as how they mean. The course will help students to develop a critical vocabulary and method for reading and writing about literature, as well as introduce them to the cultural contexts and backgrounds of various literary traditions. Our readings will explore a variety of genres and styles – short fiction, the novel, narrative poetry, lyric poetry, and forms of drama. Above all, this is a class in reading and (frequent) writing which will emphasize close reading techniques, interpretive approaches, the making of arguments, and the development of individual critical voices in order to prepare students to succeed in advanced English elective courses.
10324 sec. P Harold Veeser T, TH 2:00 – 3:15pm
Introduction to Literary Study is intended as a Gateway course for English Majors. As such, it seeks to provide Literature and Creative Writing majors with a basic frame of knowledge that will enable them to read other works intelligently and a basic conceptual vocabulary in which to write about writing. Introducing you to this basic framework is the learning objective of the course. The course is also attractive to non-English majors, who are very much welcome.
200- Level courses
Please note: These 200-level courses are designed to introduce beginning students to literary history, critical approaches, and formal terminology. They typically have a minimum of 3-5 shorter assignments, a variety of in-class writing tasks, and assume no prior background in the discipline. For this reason, majors are not permitted to take more than four (4) 200-level classes.
Introduction to Caribbean Literature
22400 sec. M Kedon Willis T, TH 11:00 – 12:15pm
This course surveys the fiction, non-fiction and poetry of popular twentieth and twenty-first Caribbean authors. Students will be introduced to the major themes of Caribbean literature, as well as the basic tenets of ideas such as postcolonialism and environmental criticism. Students can expect to interact with literature from the diverse cultural regions of the Antilles, including Jamaica, Haiti, The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.
Russian Literature: Surveying the Field
24344 sec. D Anna Linetskaya M, W 12:30 – 1:45pm
From a magical kingdom guarded by dragons, to an ambitious engineer ready to sell his soul to the devil for the secret of three magic cards, to a WWII exiled couple struggling with the inter-generational trauma on the streets of New York: this course will offer a survey of the most beloved canonical exemplars of 19th and 20th century Russian literature as well as lesser known texts in the form of fairytales, skazs, and short stories. We will engage in student-centered class discussions of the assigned readings, and will attempt to make meaning of the texts in their broader historical, social, artistic, and intellectual context. Among the writers we will read are: Alexander Pushkin, Evdokia Rastopchina, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekov, Leonid Andreyev, Vladimir Nabokov, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Lyudmila Ulitskaya, Vladimir Sorokin, Dina Rubina, and many others. By the end of the semester, you will have a sense of the overarching narrative of Russian literary history, uncover why Russian language literature gained such popularity and became a formative influence in the West, discuss the major themes and questions that preoccupied Russian language writers, and discover what their literary works can still teach us today.
Assignments will include: three shorter analytical essays (1-2 pages); one class presentation on the text of your choosing; one longer final paper (7-10 pages), with an option to submit a creative writing project instead.
No knowledge of Russian is required to participate in this course.
Cross-listed with JWST 21300
Humor and Despair in Modern Jewish Fiction
38794 sec. D Amy Kratka M, W 12:30 – 1:45pm
This course will examine the literary trajectory of the American Jew from his immigrant beginnings to his contemporary lifestyle with respect to the depth of human feeling. The fiction we will be reading focuses on characters who straddle two emotional camps: the joyful and the melancholy. We will investigate character development, narrative style, and the ways in which Jewishness informs the central themes of humor and despair. With fiction by Henry Roth, Delmore Schwartz, Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, Saul Bellow, Gerald Shapiro, Woody Allen and others.
300- Level Courses
Please note: 300-level classes assume some background and prior experience at the 200-level. Students should complete two 200 level courses before embarking on 300 level work; however, they may register for a single 300 level course if they are still completing 200 level requirements. Generally, these classes require two shorter essays and one longer assignment or final paper involving research or reference to secondary materials.
22402 sec. E Lyn Di Iorio M W 2:00 – 3:15pm
On a dark night near an old house, the vampires, witches, doubles, and deranged killers were on the move…. Gothic literature is filled with strange and uncanny situations as well as some scares, but it’s also so much more than that. In this class we’ll consider how authors from the late 18th century on have used Gothic tropes to explore psychic unrest while also critiquing social problems such as classism, racism, sexism, ableism, rigid gender norms, and other inequalities. Get into the mood for monsters and we’ll explore why Gothic literature is now so appealing to readers everywhere.
Among texts that we may read are the following: Dracula by Bram Stoker; Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu; Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Stevenson; Aura by Carlos Fuentes; We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson; Mary Reilly by Valerie Martin; Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Brite; The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle; Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia; and short stories by Isabel Allende, Jorge Luis Borges, Mariana Enríquez, Thomas Hardy, George Saunders, Robert Louis Stevenson, Alejandra Pizarnik, and others.
22001 sec. R Matthew Stuck T, TH 3:30 – 4:45pm
This course offers an introduction to sociolinguistics, a field that focuses on how language works in our everyday lives and on the forms of language that we use. Sociolinguists study how we manage language in conversations—how we open and close conversations, take turns, interrupt other speakers, introduce new topics, and repair perceived errors in utterances. Sociolinguists also focus on language varieties: standard languages, regional dialects, social dialects, and ethnic dialects—such as African American Vernacular English and Latinx Englishes—and on creoles and pidgins. And sociolinguists study levels of formality (style), influences of our occupations and professions on language (registers), and discourse forms--such as advertisements, stories, personal essays (genre). In addition, gender and sexuality can influence our language, as can educational experience and media (print texts, email, Twitter, etc.). We will survey this entire range of topics and consider our own experiences with language at home, at school, and work and in our communities.
Textbook: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, 7th edition, by Ronald Wardhaugh and Janet M. Fuller (Wiley/Blackwell, 2015).
Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries
21868 sec. M Daniel Gustafson T, TH 11:00 – 12:15pm
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 think about are: How was her writing important to the history of the novel in England? How did it affect the development of a tradition in modern female authorship, feminist criticism, and gender studies? What kinds of culture wars surrounded 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, some selections from modern scholarship on them, and some writing by her contemporaries, including Mary Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Inchbald, and Frances Burney.
Duppies, Demons and Despots: The Role of Myth in Caribbean Literature
22401 sec. P Kedon Willis T, TH 2:00 – 3:15pm
The Caribbean is haunted by its past. This course examines how writers from the region mediate the horrors of slavery, disasters, and dictatorships through the surreal, the supernatural and the downright weird. Through select poems, short stories, and novels, students will examine the role of myths in making sense of reality while also encountering a range of ghosts, “duppies,” and “jumbies” in popular Caribbean folklore.
10452 sec. G Nicole Treska M, W 5:00 – 6:15pm
10454 sec. S Nicole Treska T, TH 5:00 – 6:15pm
Advanced Grammar reviews principles of traditional English grammar and usage (parts of speech, sentence structures, punctuation, pronoun/verb form/agreement, etc.) for English majors and minors, especially for those who plan to teach or work as tutors or editors. It is not a remedial course for non-majors who struggle with writing problems, though many non-majors take it. There is a custom-published workbook for the course, and used copies of it are not allowed.
24059 sec. D Doris Barkin M, W 12:30 – 1:45pm
This class explores how Shakespeare’s work converges with the conditions of sexual harassment and violence raised by the “Me Too” movement, founded by activist Tarana Burke in 2006, morphing into [Hashtag] #MeToo. Given that sexism and patriarchy are not inventions of our contemporary age, we will examine Shakespeare’s global, centuries-old influence, and interrogate how Shakespeare’s plays and early modern notions of the relations between men and women are challenged by the #MeToo social and cultural perspective. Some of the central questions we will ask are: how does Shakespeare engage with notions of sexual exploitation, coercion, violence, and rape culture? How do his plays suggest opportunities for female agency and power? How does his work challenge or comply with a patriarchal, masculinist society? How can Shakespeare’s works offer commentary on the sexual politics of our own time? Some of the texts we will read are Titus Andronicus, Taming of the Shrew, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Much Ado About Nothing. In addition, we will be reading poetry and prose written in the period, and scholarly and theoretical essays which situate the primary texts in their literary and historical context.
The Medieval Other: Monsters, Witches, and Those People Over There
35796 Sec. T Mark-Allan Donaldson T, TH 6:30 – 7:45pm
Medieval literature often plays on the tension between the self and the other, creating an emotional or moral dichotomy between what it represents as "normal" versus that which it deems strange. The figure of the other is familiar to us in its multiple guises as the enemies or evil doers which still lurk in the shadowy pages of our own literature. This class will explore the deployment of the other in medieval literature and history, examining the impetus behind representing the different as dangerous. We will peek into the monster's lair to see him seeking comfort from his mom, ask the villagers why the witch is outcast when she seems to be the only one providing medicine, and find out why everyone thinks the people across the ocean have one giant foot which doubles as an umbrella. Through our reading we will follow the tradition of representing non-privileged and outside groups (e.g., BIPOC, women, LGBTQIA, neurodivergent, and disabled peoples) as something beyond "normal" in medieval literature and decipher how this has impacted our views of the past as well as our contemporary culture.
The American Ear: Memoir, Journal, Narrative and Joke
24345 sec. P Mark Mirsky T, TH 2:00 – 3:15pm
This is a course in American literature with its emphasis on American prose, starting with selections from Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, Henry James and William Dean Howells; short sections from the work of Melville, stories by Grace Paley, essays of Edward Dahlberg on Thoreau and Melville, folklore from Zora Neale Hurston's Mules and Men, Go Tell My Horse, selections from Margaret Astrov's The Winged Serpent, Leo Litwak's Medic, stories by Flannery O'Connor and Cynthia Ozick.
VITAL LEGACIES: Modern and Contemporary American Poets Speak to Us and to Each Other
35797 sec. C Estha Weiner M, W 11:00 – 12:15pm
William Carlos Williams', Robert Hayden's, and W.H. Auden's vision is a gift to us, as is that of Cornelius Eady, Elaine Equi, and William Matthews. Equi's inventive lean poems speak back to revolutionary Williams, as he spoke to her, as both of them to us. Eady's recent project on Phyllis Wheatley speaks back to Hayden's "Letter from Phyllis Wheatley," and both of them to us. Auden's generous wit, personal and political, spoke to multi-dimensional Matthews, as both of them speak to us. Both Equi and Eady will also visit our class. This literal and figurative talking will inform our readings and discussions, as well as two essays, a mid-term project, final project, and your constant participation.
Cross-listed with BLST 31811
African American Literature: From Blues Women to Black Feminists
43184 sec. R Janee Moses T, TH 3:30 - 4:45pm
What do Ma Rainey and Beyoncé have in common? Are blues performances the origin of black feminism(s)? How has each, in her own times, shaped black women’s conceptions of identity? Their negotiations with race, gender, sexuality, and class? Through the lenses of music, performances, and fiction, this course will explore these questions, examining the tradition of early blues women such as Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Billie Holiday and the impact of their feminist legacies on artists and writers in the 20th and 21st centuries. The course is divided into four parts: Part 1 provides the theoretical foundation for our examination of the blues as both sound and language practice, or song and text. Part 2 explores the method of the blues tradition in novels and performances to examine how black women give language to complex circumstances in their romantic and familial relationships. Part 3 examines the legacies of blues women in black feminist rhetoric and scholarship of the late 20th-century, focusing specifically on the emergence of new black radicalisms and hip-hop culture. Part 4 interprets popular formulations of Black Feminism with 21st century performer, Beyoncé.
Capstone Seminars – recommended after 24 credits in the major
These courses are strongly recommended upon completing 24 credits in the major and can only be registered with an English Advisor.
Douglas and Melville
21849 sec. 2NP Carla Cappetti T 12:30 – 2:30pm
In this course we will encounter the writings of and explore the connection between Frederick Douglass and Herman Melville, two titans of nineteenth century American culture. In their speeches, stories and poems, Douglass and Melville gave voice and visibility to the suffering and the resistance of sailors, slaves and whales. They also exposed and denounced the ways race and nation were used to justify enslavement and colonization in the early 19th century, lynching and the death penalty in the late 19th century. Reading Frederick Douglass alongside Herman Melville will enable us to recognize the literary conventions shared by sailors’ stories, fugitive slave narratives and hunting tales.
Ulysses at 100
22379 sec. 3DE Vaclav Paris W 1:00 – 3:00pm
Published in 1922, James Joyce's Ulysses is commonly regarded as the greatest novel of the 20th century. In this capstone seminar we will read the entirety of Ulysses as well as some other short writings by James Joyce. Our aim is to put the book into context. How did Ulysses shape English literature in the years after its publication? What does Ulysses continue to offer us now, on its hundredth anniversary? Why is it still important to read Joyce? These are some of the questions that we will ask. Evaluation for the course will be based on two longer papers as well as shorter in-class writing assignments. This course is a modified version of the 300-level course titled "James Joyce" which ran in 2015, 2017, and 2019.
The Aesthetics of Bling
23466 sec. 4RS Harold Veeser TH 4:00 – 6:00pm
This course explores the bizarre fantasies of the metaphysical poets alongside the parallel works of strange imagination that we have seen emerging in our own time. Some of these weird creative works contrast with the stark minimalism and plain speech that are found in a Hemingway or a Raymond Carver. We pay attention to the visual arts, especially to the painting of Kehinde Wiley, who is best known for his portrait of Barack Obama but is actually a deeply neo-baroque artist who paints men striding like Renaissance knights through the inner city.
Creative Writing Courses
Introduction to Creative Writing
10584 sec. B Sherry Hamlet M, W 9:30 – 10:45am
10583 sec. F Salar Abdoh M, W 3:30 – 4:45pm
10580 sec. G Kayle Nochomovitz M, W 5:00 – 6:15pm
24645 sec. M Jane Bolster T, TH 11:00 – 12:15pm
10586 sec. R Keith Gandal T, TH 3:30 – 4:45pm
While studying various forms of creative writing, emphasis will be placed on the creative process of writing while encouraging students to find their writing voice.
Prerequisite: English 22000
Intermediate Creative Writing: Reading as Writers
10335 sec. F Estha Weiner M, W 3:30 – 4:45pm
Reading and Writing go together. This Intermediate Creative Writing class, Reading as a Writer, links reading and discussing poems, short fiction, and drama with improving your own writing in those three genres. You will read the texts as readers and writers, becoming more aware of the tools of each genre, as you do so.
In addition to the readings, our one required text is the aptly titled, Reading Like a Writer, by the aptly named, Francine Prose. The readings should act as a catalyst/prompt for your own work. Be prepared to discuss them. Then comes presentation of your own first drafts in a workshop format, culminating in a final manuscript, and a required Reading Day. If we are able to workshop or privately meet about your final drafts, we will. And, of course, attend as many on-line, or, when possible, in-person readings as you can, within the College community or wherever, whenever!
10333 sec. M Megan Skelly T, TH 11:00 – 12:15pm
This intermediate creative writing workshop focuses on the continued improvement of student writing through reading and discussing models in literature. These may include poems, short stories, essays and plays. The emphasis of the course is on reading texts as writers, and discussion of craft, based on the work of a few published authors considered in-depth. It operates with the belief that writers must read deeply and extensively in order to hone their work.
Prose Writing Workshop
10585 sec. D Laura Yan M, W 12:30 – 1:45pm
10589 sec. L Nicholas Otte T, TH 9:30 – 10:45am
10590 sec. R Benjamin Swett T, TH 3:30 – 4:45pm
In this course prose will be explored through the study of nonfictional works such as critical texts, memoirs and various forms of essay writing. The course will include two major papers assigned. There will be reading and consideration of the strategies of established writers in the genre. Students may also be expected to write and revise several short papers, while receiving critiques from and responding to the works of their peers in the class.
Prerequisite: English 22100
Workshop in Fiction
10381 sec. G TBA M, W 5:00 – 6:15pm
This workshop is designed for students seeking a launch pad and a community for writing fiction. It is only to be taken by those who have already completed English 220 and 221 -- Intro. and Intermediate Creative Writing. Students will read a range of texts over the course of the semester using the critical vocabulary of the craft. This includes: characterization, point of view, point of entry, dialogue, pace, setting, tone, structure, and ending. There will be regular brief in-class writing exercises during the first half of the semester, as well as longer take-home exercises. In the second half of the semester, students will also read and evaluate each other's submissions in a workshop model that includes writing critiques.
10378 sec. M Dalia Sofer T, TH 11:00 – 12:15pm
This biweekly workshop aims to support you in becoming a more astute reader and writer of fiction. It is only to be taken by those who have already completed ENGLISH 22100 OR ENGLISH 22101. In the first part of the course, we will read and discuss a range of short stories and novel excerpts, focusing on various elements of craft—including point of view, character, narrative, form, and language. You will also complete brief writing exercises (sometimes in class) and assignments inspired by the readings. In the second part of the course, we will critique your manuscripts—short stories or excerpts from longer works—and again we will address questions of narrative and craft. The aim of our discussions will be to support you in your writing process, spark new ideas, and help you become a better editor of your own work.
Prerequisite: English 22100
Workshop in Poetry
10455 sec. P Kamelya Youssef T, TH 2:00 – 3:15pm
“When we experience the world as alive, we share an intimate connection with all that exists. We can see the world as being made of a life-giving language, and our awareness of this language goes deep into our psyches and deep into the cosmos.”
Poetry is the experience of language coming alive. In this course you will read contemporary poets, study the craft of elevating a line or a thought and write poems. Students will memorize and workshop poems. One paper will be required at the end of the term on a poet of your choice. You will, both in and out of class, immerse yourself in the poet’s experience, and observe the world through the eyes of a writer. Texts include, A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver and The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century American Poetry edited by Rita Dove.
Prerequisite: English 22100
24647 sec. 1DE Marc Palmieri M 12:30 – 3:15pm
This is a creative writing workshop in the playwriting form. We will discuss the art form and what it offers storytellers, examine the work of established writers, experiment with basic dramatic situations as prompts for longer work, and read and analyze, technically and artistically, a full-length play together. Your playwriting for this course must be original works or adaptations of your own prose work. We will evaluate one another’s work and share feedback. Please note: We will work on stage plays, not screenplays. Each student will have his or her work read by fellow class members.
List of Interdisciplinary Electives that will be counted toward major requirements
Only one literature course offered outside of the English Department will count toward the English major requirement
ASIA 31104: Modern Japanese Literature and Films
BLST 31168: Contemporary African American Female Playwrights
BLST 31175: AfroLatina/o Literature
BLST 31350: Black Power Women: Autobiography and Biography
FREN 28300: Literature of Contemporary France
JWST 23200: Jews in Film/Fiction
JWST 31714: Italian Jewish Women Writers
THTR 31115: LGBT Film and Theatre
NOTE: Publishing courses do not count toward English major or minor requirements, but only toward fulfillment of the publishing certificate program, or as general electives. For more information, contact the Director of the program, David Unger at (212) 650-7925.
Introduction to Publishing
10577 sec. LM Cherise Fisher TU 9:30 – 12:00pm
Introduction to Publishing introduces students to trade books (books for the general consumer) and their publishers. The course is designed to give an overview of the book business--from how manuscripts are made (role of the author, agent and acquiring editor); to how books are made (design, production and distribution of the finished book); to how books are sold (publicity and marketing).
An important aspect of the course is helping students find their potential niche in the publishing business, should they continue on for the Publishing Certificate. The course concludes with how to get a job, stressing resume preparation, writing query letters to publishers, and preparing for interviews. The course aims at inculcating professionalism in students as it prepares them for satisfying careers in book publishing.
Fundamentals of Copyediting & Proofreading
10392 sec. TU Pamela R. Maines TH 6:30 – 9:00pm
Students will employ universal copyediting/ proofreading symbols in type-marking a variety of texts including fiction, non-fiction, cookbooks and references. They will learn design coding; drafting of style sheets; querying; and preparing a manuscript for author review, etc.
Legal Issues in Publishing
10362 sec. ST Steven Weissman TU 5:00 – 7:30pm
A course covering the crucial clauses in an author-publisher contract; intellectual property issues; the First Amendment; general copyright matters; defamation; invasion of privacy; obscenity; and internet copyright issues.
Independent Study (3 credits)
Students may register for a three-credit independent study that represents an internship in the Publishing field. Permission of the Director of the Publishing Program, David Unger, is required. Please fill out an independent study form with Mr. Unger and submit it to the English Advising Office (NAC 6/219) before registering through an English Advisor.
Last Updated: 08/23/2022 19:28