Summer 2019 Undergraduate Course Booklet

Summer Session I:  June 3 – June 27, 2019

300- Level Literature 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.  Generally, these classes require two shorter essays and one longer assignment or final paper involving research or reference to secondary materials.

 

ENGL 34200            
Advanced Grammar      

M TU W TH 8:30am – 11:05am                 Nicole Treska
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
 

ENGL 36402
Selected Topics in American Literature: The Power and Horror of Performance

M TU W TH . 11:30am – 2:05pm               Alec Magnet

From Charles Brockden Brown’s nefarious ventriloquist in “Carwin the Biloquist,” published at the turn of the nineteenth century, to Lemony Snicket’s villainous Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events, at the turn of the twenty-first, American writers have been fascinated, delighted, and horrified by the power wielded by performers. In this course, we will explore how American writers depict actors, singers, con artists, demagogues, and ordinary people trying to present their preferred images of themselves in different contexts. We will examine fiction, poetry, and film, paying special attention to what such depictions of performers accomplish in these texts. In some, they may undermine the supposed stability of gender, class, and racial identities or unmask the brutality of market economies. In others, they may provide unexpected windows into individual and collective emotional experience. Readings for this course may come from Louisa May Alcott, W. E. B. Du Bois, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Patricia Highsmith, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, and Edith Wharton. I may also assign you to watch at home films such as Sunset Boulevard, All About Eve, Velvet Goldmine, and Sorry to Bother You. Because we do our best thinking about literature by writing about it, you will write and revise several formal assignments for this course, along with a number of informal responses. Other requirements include careful, patient reading of sometimes difficult texts, as well as consistent attendance and participation in class discussions.

 

ENGL 37900
Selected Topics in Literature and Science: 21st Century Ecopoetics                  

M TU W TH    2:30pm – 5:05pm                Robert Balun                

Ecopoetics is the study of literature that is concerned with ecology and nature.  However, beyond just literature about nature, this course will examine how ecology and nature have become complicated in the 21st century, the age of the Anthropocene (don’t worry, we will define Anthropocene and other key terms).  

In the 21st century, humans are now confronted with a growing awareness of their impact on the earth, its environments, and its non-human inhabitants.  From this perspective, how does one meaningfully engage with climate change, ecological collapse, ecological justice, and non-human beings in literature, art, and culture?  How can the study of ecopoetics actually help us think about the complicated, interconnected social and environmental challenges of the 21st century at large?

Ultimately, in this class, we will discuss these profound questions raised by the study of ecopoetics, questions of what it means to be human, to live in an organized society, on a finite earth, now, and 100 years from now.  ​

 

Creative Writing Courses

 

ENGL 22000
Introduction to Creative Writing                                                                                                                                            

M, T, W, TH 11:30am – 2:05pm                  Janelle Poe                                                                        

Explore creative writing from the perspective of both the creator and the reader, examining various genres, styles and techniques employed by writers across many decades, geographies and identities. Students will generate a variety of original work in response to, and in conversation with, the texts before and around us, discovering their unique voice and style.

 

ENGL 22100
Prerequisite: English 22000

Intermediate Creative Writing: Reading as Writers           

M T W TH    11:30am – 2:05pm                   Estha Weiner                 

 

Reading and Writing go together.  This Intermediate Creative Writing Workshop links reading and discussing poems, short stories (fiction), and drama with improving your own writing in those three genres.  You will read the texts as writers, becoming more aware of the tools of each genre, as you do so. Then comes presentation of your own work in a workshop format, (outlined in class) culminating in a Final Manuscript and a Reading Day; attendance at readings within City College and at New York’s vast venues; and, for some, submission of your work to college journals.                                                                                                                           


ENGL 23000
Prose Writing Workshop                                                                               

M TU W TH    8:30am – 11:05am                 Yahdon Israel

“To essay,” Phillip Lopate writes, “is to attempt, to test, to make a run at something without knowing whether you are going to succeed.” This course will be an exploration of the art of the essay—in its varying forms: criticism, personal, profile, lyric, et al. Through close readings of these forms, we will discuss the diversity of techniques and methods writers use to approach their subjects to challenge, and even expand, the way we see the world in which we live. As the essay is about attempting, you will—over the course of the semester—learn to experiment with different writing styles (including your own) testing your limits of what you think is possible on the page. Editing is crucial to the writing process, so you also will learn how to revise, remove, and interrogate that which gets in the way of possibility. Not only for your own writing, but for your classmates as well. By semester’s end, you will have learned, if nothing else, that the essay is about more than looking to provide answers; it’s about challenging ourselves to ask better questions.

 

Summer Session II: July 1 – July 29, 2019

300- Level Literature Course

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.  Generally, these classes require two shorter essays and one longer assignment or final paper involving research or reference to secondary materials.

 

ENGL 36602
Selected Topics in Anglophone Literature: British and Irish Modernism

M TU W TH    2:30pm-5:05pm                          Aaron Botwick

Between 1890 and 1930, the British and Irish public experienced a staggering number of social and political upheavals.  The Second Boer War, World War I, and the partition of Ireland signaled both the end and the failure of the empire project; the passage of the Representation of the People Act enacted (partial) women’s suffrage; while the rapid transformation of technology and the decline in traditional social, political, and religious values left the public with a sense of alienation and incoherence.  Modernist authors valued formal innovation and experimentation in their response to these events, creating a new literature to properly chronicle a fractured modernity.  In this course, we will read Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier, Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier, Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, selections from James Joyce’s Dubliners, as well as poetry by T.S. Eliot and W.B. Yeats.  At the end of the semester, we will read Zadie Smith’s N/W and reflect on the influence and legacy of this rich artistic period.

 

Creative Writing Course               

 

ENGL 22000
Introduction to Creative Writing                                                                                                                                            

M, T, W, TH 11:30am – 2:05pm                  G.D. Peters             

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.