Registration Overview

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT City College of New York
Elizabeth Mazzola, Department Chair

English Department Graduate Programs
Office NAC 6/210
160 Convent Avenue
New York, NY 10031
(212) 650-6694
https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/english

GRADUATE PROGRAM ADVISORS

MFA in CREATIVE WRITING
Michelle Valladares, Director
mvalladares@ccny.cuny.edu

MA in ENGLISH LITERATURE
András Kiséry, Director
akisery@ccny.cuny.edu

MA in LANGUAGE & LITERACY
Barbara Gleason, Director
bgleason@ccny.cuny.edu

Notes on Registration

PLEASE NOTE: All students must be advised by their respective program director prior to registration. You should expect to receive information about registration via your CityMail account.

All students are required to use their City College EMAIL accounts in order to get emails from the college. If you have your CCNY email forwarded to another account, these emails may randomly be filtered into a JUNK folder. Questions about email can be addressed to the Help Desk (212) 650-7878. To find your email and set up your account: Please visit the CITYMAIL FAQ:  https://citymail.ccny.cuny.edu/faqs.html

All STOPS (e.g. Financial Aid, Bursar, Library, GPA, Immunization) must be cleared prior to course registration and bill payment. To avoid de- registration, all students are required to pay the total in full by the DUE DATE listed on your bill. Due dates are staggered depending on registration appointments. To find out your due date, please view your bill online via CUNYfirst. To find out if you are eligible for a tuition payment plan, please visit the FAQ on the website of the Office of Financial Aid.

Please Note: The English Department is not notified when a student has been de-registered for non-payment and seats made available may be filled.

REGISTERING FOR THESIS

In order to register for the Thesis Tutorial, students must have the full-time faculty member who has agreed to act as thesis advisor/mentor send an email confirming this agreement to yjoseph@ccny.cuny.edu.

The English Department will then submit paperwork to the Scheduling Office and shortly thereafter, the Thesis Tutorial should appear on the student’s schedule and bill as a 3-credit course.

Please Note: The Scheduling Office CANNOT enroll students in Thesis Tutorial if the student has any STOPS or HOLDS on their CUNYfirst account.

During the first semester in which they’re eligible to apply for graduation, students will receive an email from the Registrar’s Office containing a link to APPLY FOR GRADUATION through CUNYfirst.

Courses

MONDAYS ____                                                    ____________________________

4:45 – 6:35pm

B2130 – The Kafkaesque [LIT]
(Reg. Code: 21319) Vaclav Paris
B3000 – Workshop in Fiction [CW]
(Reg. Code: 21317 ) Dalia Sofer

6:45 – 8:35pm                                                   

B1615Hybrid Experimental Poetics [Craft]
(Reg. Code: 21326) Laura Hinton
B3600 – Non-Fiction Workshop [CW]
(Reg. Code: 21332 ) Emily Raboteau

TUESDAYS                                                                                                           

4:45 – 6:35pm

B2099 – The Gothic and Otherness [Craft/LIT]
(Reg. Code: 21251) Lyn Di Iorio
B3200  – Poetry Workshop [CW]
(Reg. Code: 21333) Michelle Valladares

6:45 – 8:35pm

B3000 – Workshop in Fiction [CW]
(Reg. Code: 21334) Salar Abdoh
B6100 – Sociolinguistics [L&L]
(Reg. Code: 21288) Barbara Gleason

WEDNESDAYS                                                                                                      _

4:45 – 6:35pm

B1976 – Ancient Tragedy Today [LIT]
(Reg. Code: 21279) Daniel Gustafson
B1986 – Craft of YA Fiction [Craft]
(Reg. Code: 54631) Mayra Cuevas

6:45 – 8:35pm

B2030 –The Evidence of Things Unseen: Art, Archives, and Harlem [Craft/LIT]
(Reg. Code: 21283) William Gibbons
B3002 –Craft of the Novel [Craft]
(Reg. Code: 21335) Keith Gandal

THURSDAYS                                                                                                         

4:45 – 6:35pm

B1955 – Writing for the Culture [Craft]
(Reg. Code: 21296) David Groff
B2034 – Duppies, Demons, and Despots: The Role of Myth in Caribbean Literature [LIT]
(Reg. Code: 21280) Kedon Willis

6:45 – 8:35pm

B1616 Bible, Myth and Contemporary Literature [Craft/LIT]
(Reg. Code: 21331) Mark J. Mirsky
B8117 – Composition Pedagogies [L&L]
(Reg. Code: 21287) Missy Watson

Additional Information

APPLYING TO THE PROGRAMS
All Graduate Degree Program applications and supporting materials (letters of recommendation,  transcripts, writing samples, etc.) are to be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions online.
Please note: The English Department DOES NOT accept any application materials or fees directly from applicants.

APPLICATION DEADLINES

MFA in CREATIVE WRITING
FALL Admission: February 15

MA in ENGLISH LITERATURE
FALL Admission: May 1
SPRING Admission: November 15

MA in LANGUAGE & LITERACY
FALL Admission: June 1
SPRING Admission: November 15

RETURNING TO CITY COLLEGE
Returning CCNY graduate students who have been out of school for one or more semesters must complete a READMISSION APPLICATION (to be signed by Migen Prifti, Graduate Advisor in the Office of the Dean of Humanities and the Arts, NAC 5/225) at least three months prior to the first day of classes in order to enroll. Graduate degree students who have been absent from the College for more than five years must reapply for admission to the graduate program. Graduate  students  whose  grade  point  average  falls  below 3.0 must submit a letter of appeal addressed to the Dean of Humanities and the Arts along with the READMISSION APPLICATION.

For more information and forms, visit the Admissions web site. [www.ccny.cuny.edu/admissions]

AWARDS AND PRIZES
Each Spring, the English Department hosts the Annual Awards & Prizes, a merit-based competition which offers prizes ranging from $100-$10,000 for creative writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama), academic writing, teaching, and general excellence.

EDUCATIONAL ENRICHMENT GRANTS
The Department is also offering Educational Enrichment Grants to provide funding assistance to students who are presenting at academic conferences or who have been accepted to nationally recognized writing residencies. Calls for written grant proposals will be sent prior to the start of each semester. For information about Financial Aid, please visit the CCNY Office of Financial Aid located in Room A-104 of the Willie Administration Building.

TEACHING IN THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT
Each Spring, the English Department invites matriculated Graduate students who have completed at least one semester of graduate coursework and will be continuing their studies to apply for a limited number of adjunct teaching positions for the following Fall semester. Applicants are expected to enroll in, or to have already completed, ENGL C0862: The Teaching of Composition and Literature (offered each Fall).

Spring 2023

Creative Writing

B3000 Fiction Workshop

Prof. Dalia Sofer
Mondays 4:45 – 6:35pm
Section 1FG (21317)

In this course we will read and discuss your manuscripts—short stories or excerpts from longer works. Together we’ll explore the elements of craft, including point of view, character, setting, style, and language. We’ll talk about the possibilities of fiction—how, for example, the writer’s voice and language may differ from those of a character, how conflict (internal and external) can create narrative tension, or how fictional details can evoke character. We will also consider structure and form, as well as editing and revision. Ideally, you’ll each submit two pieces for discussion throughout the course. In each class, we’ll discuss two students’ works, and fellow students will provide written notes and critiques; I will do the same.
My primary goal in this course is to focus on your intention, and on whether your manuscript successfully delivers that intention. I’m less interested in the “formulas” of storytelling than in discovering what is unique to your vision. We’ll explore ways to sustain narrative tension while allowing a work of fiction the freedom to be what it wants to be, and we’ll talk about roadblocks and successes. Occasionally, time permitting, we may also take detours to read stories or essays that may fuel our conversations.

Dalia Sofer is the author of the novels Man of My Time (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020)—a New York Times Editors’ Choice and Notable Book of 2020, and The Septembers of Shiraz (Ecco Press, 2007)—also selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, winner of the Sami Rohr Choice Award, a finalist for the Jewish Book Award, and longlisted for several prizes.  A recipient of a Whiting Award, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, the Sirenland Fellowship, the Santa Maddalena Foundation Fellowship, and multiple residencies at Yaddo, Sofer has contributed essays and reviews to various publications, including The New York Times Book Review, The LA Review of Books, and The Believer.  

B3000 Fiction Workshop

Prof. Salar Abdoh
Tuesdays 6:45 – 8:35pm
Section 2TU (21334)

My fiction workshop focuses strictly on students’ own material. Each student will submit two pieces of work during the semester to be workshopped.

Salar Abdoh’s latest book was Out of Mesopotamia.

B3200 Poetry Workshop

Prof. Michelle Valladares
Tuesdays 4:45 – 6:35pm
Section 2RS (21333)

Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop’d. I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.
–Walt Whitman

Words had an energy and power and I came to respect that power early. Pronouns, nouns, and verbs were citizens of different countries, who really got together to make a new world. 
Audre Lorde

The power of poetry to reveal the divine, to honor our humanity and to transform the poet and reader will be addressed in this poetry workshop through student engagement with writing poems, reading contemporary poetry and discussing the poem on the page.  We will explore the different ways to travel from a draft of a poem to the final version.  We will investigate revision, write from prompts and explore new ways of becoming a reader of poetry.  Requirements include writing a poem a week and workshopping poems a few times in the semester. Students will memorize several poems and occasionally endure a lecture on craft.  The workshop is open to writers in all genres and will benefit both your writing and experience of the world in these unusual and challenging times.  We will take a deep dive into the power of language to shape our perceptions of the world, as poet and philosopher Thomas Merton writes.  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.

Michelle Yasmine Valladares is the Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and an MFA Lecturer in Poetry.  She is a poet, essayist and an independent film producer.  She is the author of Nortada, the North Wind (Global City Press) and several chapbooks.  She has collaborated on artists books.  Her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has been published in literary journals and her work has been anthologized in Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond, (Norton) and other anthologies. She was awarded “The Poet of the Year” by the Americas Poetry Festival of NY.  She is the poetry editor for Global City Press and has co-produced three award winning independent films.  She received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and her BA from Bryn Mawr College. You can check out her work at michelleyasminevalladares.com.  Her graduate courses include Poetry Workshop, Prosody and The Conversation between Poetry and Art.


B3600 Non-Fiction Workshop

Prof. Emily Raboteau
Mondays 6:45 – 8:35pm
Section 1HJ (21332)

What defines creative nonfiction? Writers can’t even agree on the name: “Few seem willing to embrace the term,” writes essayist and memoirist Dinty W. Moore, “though by this point, almost everyone uses it.” And yet, the fundamentals of creative nonfiction are as old as Montaigne, and the genre has thrived in recent decades—from the experimental memoirs of Maggie Nelson to the online personal essay boom. More readers are feeling “reality hunger,” it seems, craving stories based in fact.
In this course, we’ll explore what creative nonfiction is, what it isn’t, and what it might be, examining a mix of published nonfiction works—personal essays, memoirs, lyric essays, narrative journalism—to better understand the array of styles and approaches writers bring to true stories they tell. Focusing on voice, details, perspective and language, we’ll analyze work that fits neatly within nonfiction norms as well as boundary-pushing work that lives on the fringe, and apply this craft awareness to our own writing.
During the spring semester, students will submit two manuscripts up to twenty-five pages each, and learn to critique the work of their peers. You’ll gain a strong foundational knowledge of creative nonfiction, along with a sense of its possibilities and where such work is being published. This class is ideal for writers looking to delve into this ever-evolving and flourishing genre, particularly those interested in expanding beyond the self in personal essay and memoir.

Emily Raboteau is a novelist, essayist, and cultural critic.  She is a contributing editor at Orion Magazine, and a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.  Her last book, Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora, won a 2014 American Book Award. She is also the recipient of a 2020 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Nonfiction Literature Fellowship.  Her next book, Lessons for Survival, focusing on the intersection of climate change and environmental justice through the lens of motherhood, will be published by Holt. Bylines include The New Yorker, The New York Times, New York Magazine, McSweeney’s, The Guardian, Best American Short Stories, Best American Science Writing, and Best American Travel Writing.

Craft Seminars

B1615 Hybrid Experimental Poetics: Questions of Meaning

Prof. Laura Hinton
Mondays 6:45 – 8:35pm
Section 1HJ (21326)

This experimental Craft 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 studying 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 literary discourses related to white patriarchy and the subjectivities these demand are questioned and challenged.  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 in this course.  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, Fred Moten, among others.  We will first explore the idea of sight and visual description, through the writings of French 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 conceptual piece by Erica Hunt that engages the “seeing” of American blackness 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, and Amiri and Amina Baraka. 
Later in the course we will study works of both video poetry as well radical performance literatures by poets like Anne Waldman 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.

Laura Hinton is a poet, literary critic, and editor, as well as an educator. Her poetry books include Ubermutter’s Death Dance and Sisyphus My Love (To Record a Dream in a Bathtub), published by BlazeVox. Her critical books include The Perverse Gaze of Sympathy: Sadomasochistic Sentiments from Clarissa to Rescue 911 (SUNY Press), We Who Love to Be Astonished: Experimental Women’s Writing and Performance Poetics (co-editor) and Jayne Cortez, Adrienne Rich, and the Feminist Superhero: Voice, Vision, Politics and Performance in the U.S. Contemporary Women’s Poetics (editor). Her essays, poet interviews, and reviews have appeared in numerous books and journals including Contemporary Literature, Postmodern Culture, Textual Practice, Women’s Studies, Rain Taxi, Jacket2, Poetry Project Newsletter, and The Journal of the Academy of American Poets, among many others. She often works in hybrid media, and her poetry with photography and or/ video have been published in several journals including Yew, Madhatter Review, Feminist Studies, Bird Dog, How2, Poetry Seen and Red Fez. She has performed her poetry in venues from Maine to Tucson to New York City. She is a Professor of English who teaches a range of subjects from feminist and critical literary theory, poetics, film studies, contemporary literature, and women’s literature.

B1616 Bible, Myth, and Contemporary Literature

Prof. Mark J. Mirsky
Thursdays 6:45 – 8:35pm
Section 4TU (21331)

The Bible, Myth and Modern Literature is designed to introduce Creative Writing student who write fiction, or graduate students in Literature to how questions of good and evil, belief in an afterlife, the idea of the hero or heroine, human integrity, raised in texts from the world of Antiquity continue to concern writers in the Twentieth Century. Books like The Sumerian/ Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, and chapters of Homer’s Odyssey, will alternate with stories of the Polish writer, Bruno Schulz, readings from The Book of Genesis, The Book of Job. with Franz Kafka’s The Trial, and Max Frisch’s Homo Faber. Among the contemporary writers whose books are included is William Faulkner, Milan Kundera, Cynthia Ozick, Charles Baldwin, Bruno Schulz, Isak Dinesen, Jorge Luis Borges, and Donald Barthelme. The instructor requires the submission of two questions before each week’s class, about the reading assigned for that week. At the end of the course students must submit a critical paper on one or two of the books, or a creative response based on one of the books from the syllabus. This final paper should number between nine and ten pages or 2,500 words.
In addition to the books and stories that students are required to read, and ask questions about, the instructor will provide further reading as background to the class discussion. These will include pages from Hesiod’s Theogony, Chapters from The Book of Samuel 2, (the story of King David and Absalom), The Gospel of Matthew, work by Flannery O’Connor, Marcel Proust, Miguel de Unamuno and Robert Musil.

Tentative Reading List:
The Epic of Gilgamesh, 2nd Norton Crit. Ed.
The Odyssey, Richard Lattimore translation
Genesis: King James Bible
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera (PDF)
The Book of Job, Edward Greenstein trans.
The Trial, Franz Kafka, Breon Mitchell trans.
“Sorrow Acre” Isak Dinesen (PDF)
Homo Faber, Max Frisch
Absalom, Absalom, William Faulkner
Go Tell It on the Mountain, James Baldwin
Collected Fictions, Jorge Luis Borges trans. by Andrew Hurley
Sixty Stories of Donald Barthelme.  

The founding editor of Fiction in 1972, with Donald Barthelme, Max and Marianne Frisch, which  publishes from offices at The City College, Professor Mark Jay Mirsky is the author of five novels, Thou Worm Jacob, Proceedings of the Rabble, The Red Adam, Puddingstone, and Blue Hill Avenue (the last, listed among the 100 Essential Books of New England—by The Boston Globe.) He has published a collection of novellas, The Secret Table, as well as five books of criticism and journalism, My Search for the Messiah, The Absent Shakespeare, The Drama in Shakespeare’s Sonnets—”A Satire to Decay,” Dante, Eros and Kabbalah, and A Mother’s Steps in addition to numerous stories and articles.  He is the editor of the Diaries of Robert Musil, co-editor of the two volume History of Pinsk (Stanford University Press), and Rabbinic Fantasies (Yale University Press). His essays and reviews have appeared in Partisan Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Washington Post ‘s Book World, The Boston Globe, and other places.

This course is also available under Literature.



B1955 Writing for the Culture
Finding Your Place as Writer, Author, and Literary Citizen

Prof. David Groff
Thursdays 4:45 – 6:35pm
Section 4RS (21296)

As an MFA prose writer, poet, or dramatist, you can cultivate your vocation and establish yourself in the literary culture as an author with a vital voice. This course introduces you to the practices and strategies of publishing your work, as you write short literary nonfiction that prepares the way for your first book of fiction or nonfiction, your collection of poetry, or your play or script, as you define and advance your singular identity as a writer.
The course features two strands that will alternate and interact over the semester:
Becoming a published writer and author. As you learn about the “MFA vs. NYC” book publishing realms, literary journals, general interest magazines, online sites, reading series, and postgraduate options, you’ll explore various venues for your writing—ones that square with your ambitions and aesthetic—and submit your writing to them, composing and honing query and pitch letters. You’ll master the dreaded Artist’s Statement required for grant proposals and residency applications. You’ll deconstruct the dynamics of the annual AWP writers conference, to be held in Seattle this March. You’ll discover how to create new opportunities, build community, find readerships, and foster creative possibilities.
Becoming a literary citizen and culture worker. As you define your career path and develop and your writerly identity, you’ll become a contributor to your culture by writing and submitting for publication 3000 words of nonfiction—personal essays, lyric esays, reviews, interviews, literary criticism, and op eds—that complement the concerns of your other creative writing. You’ll read many examples of literary nonfiction and use them as models. You’ll workshop the nonfiction you write for the course and read and respond in writing to the work of your fellow MFA students. And you’ll interact with visiting writers/culture workers and publishing professionals who will give practical advice about how to make yourself heard as a writer.
By the end of this course, you’ll have begun the challenging work of moving from MFA writer to professional author, with a distinctive voice that resounds for your readers and helps cultivate your culture.  

David Groff received his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. He also has an MA in English and Expository Writing from the University of Iowa. His two books of poetry are Clay (Trio House Press, 2013) and Theory of Devolution (University of Illinois Press, 2002). He has co-edited the anthologies Who’s Yer Daddy?: Gay Writers Celebrate Their Mentors and Forerunners​.


B1986 Craft of YA Fiction, Writing for Teens: from Idea to Publication

Prof. Mayra Cuevas
Wednesdays 4:45 – 6:35pm
Section 3FG (54631)
ONLINE

This practical course guides students through the craft of writing a young adult novel, while incorporating real-world insight into paths to publication. 
Students will engage in active craft techniques for idea, character and plot development. They will learn to use their own life experience, memories, identity exploration and cultural background to create a more authentic narrative that feels fresh and original. Through the course of 15 weeks, students will develop their own idea into a novel-length story concept, and then into the first chapters of a partial manuscript. In the process, they will gain a deeper understanding of working with critique groups, the young adult publishing landscape, the business of publishing a novel, query letters, book contracts, and the relationship between authors, agents and editors. This course includes a mix of lectures, real-time writing sessions, group feedback and dedicated time for student question and answer.

Mayra Cuevas is a CNN award-winning journalist and the author of the young adult novels Does My Body Offend You? a Target YA Book Club selection co-written with Marie Marquardt, and Salty, Bitter, Sweet. Her short story Resilient was published as part of the anthology Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA. Her new young adult novel and debut picture book are scheduled for publication in 2024 and 2025 respectively with Knopf, an imprint of Penguin Random House. She is currently developing her debut adult title in collaboration with Alloy Entertainment. She is the co-founder of the Latinx KidLit Book Festival and member of Las Musas Books authors collective. She has been a guest speaker at the LA Festival of Books, YALLWest, Decatur Book Festival and the Six Bridges Book Festival, among others. She loves connecting with readers and is passionate about inspiring new writers to create their best work, especially creators from historically marginalized spaces. She has served as faculty and presenter at The Highlights Foundation, The Author’s Guild, the Romance Writers of America national conference, Las Musas Books and various high school and college classrooms across the country.

B2030 The Evidence of Things Unseen: Art, Archives, and Harlem

Prof. William Gibbons
Wednesdays 6:45 – 8:35pm
Section 3HJ (21283)

The Evidence of Things Unseen: Art, Archives, and Harlem is a hands-on course exposing students to the practice of archival and academic research.  The course will help students navigate archives and libraries while exploring the cultural, social, and political forces that influenced and defined the Harlem Renaissance and its writers. Students will work with primary and secondary archival materials related to Harlem’s role as an important artistic and political center housed in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and other Harlem community and cultural organizations.  By the end of the course, students will understand the historical development of the field of archives, current issues, trends, and theories that shape the archival profession​.

Professor William Gibbons is a librarian and an archivist.  He teaches urban policy, library science, and archival research at The City College of New York (CCNY) and is the Curator of Archives & Special Collections in the City College Libraries. He is a resource on Harlem and helps students and researchers become knowledgeable library users to use libraries and archives to their fullest potential.  His writing and research are focused on curating and preserving evidence of cultural heritage unseen.

This course is also available under Literature.

B2099 The Gothic and Otherness

Prof. Lyn Di Iorio
Tuesdays 4:45 – 6:35pm
Section 2RS (21251)

Contemporary culture is characterized by a reawakened interest in “Gothic”—the aesthetic discourse of terror created by Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto in 1764.  This seminar weaves together the critical strands forming the main approaches to the Gothic: American Gothic; British Gothic; Female Gothic; Queer Gothic; the sublime; the uncanny; and the abject.  In addition, I propose that the contemporary Gothic aesthetic in our Americas uncovers important issues of race, gender, class, and political violence on which there has been relatively scant commentary.  Consequently, we will also put special emphasis on Latin American, Latinx, African American, and Caribbean Gothic fiction.
How do Gothic monsters reveal, and revel in, social tensions?  How do revisions of classic Gothic texts improve on the originals?  Do Gothic tropes improve (or worsen) with repetition? How do fear, horror, mutilation, melancholia, and loss constitute a vital aesthetic structuring of the human psyche, linking Freud’s vision of the mind to the dynamics of Gothic villainy and victimization?  From Dracula to Get Out, from Shirley Jackson to Mariana Enriquez, why are we so drawn to the Gothic? 
Requirements: a paper-based presentation and a final essay or—if you are a creative writer—a short story based on Gothic tropes.

Lyn Sandín Di Iorio is a fiction writer and scholar.  A 2021-22 winner of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fiction Fellowship and a Rifkind Center Faculty Fellowship, she is currently completing Hurricanes and Other Stories, a short story collection.  She has recently published fiction in The Kenyon Review, Big Other and Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas; one of these stories was named “Distinguished Story” in Best American Short Stories 2021.  Her Gothic-inflected novel Outside the Bones was a top-five finalist for the 2012 John Gardner Fiction Prize; a Latinidad List Best Debut Novel; and winner of a Foreword Indies Silver Award.  Her book of literary criticism, Killing Spanish, focuses on Latinx identity.  She has also published widely on magical realism and women’s writing.  She graduated from Harvard University and Stanford University’s graduate creative writing program and received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. 

This course is also available under Literature.

B3002 Craft of the Novel

Prof. Keith Gandal
Wednesdays 6:45 – 8:35pm
Section 3HJ (21335)

In this Craft seminar, we will comprehensively analyze or break down novels from the writer’s point of view.  We will not be concerned, as in literature courses, with meaning or historical context, but rather with the construction of a novel.  We will look at a select number of novels as we analyze all aspects of the novel-writing craft: plot and action; conflict and suspense, promises and questions; setting a scene; openings, climaxes, and endings; issues of pacing; issues of style; characters; flashbacks, background information, and reveal; dialogue and description; sense of place and time; interior monologue, and so on. 
The focus will be on dramatic structure, which involves many of these elements—and whose effective achievement makes a book exciting to read—and we will use the analytic “textbook” that I feel is the best on the subject, namely Jack Bickham’s. (It is out of print, but available used.)
Regarding the choice of novels:  Iris Murdoch is a British novelist; the novels we’ll be reading were published in the 60s and 70s.  She has won a number of prizes, including the most prestigious British award for a novel, the Booker Prize, and she is arguably one of the great novelists in English in the second half of the 20th century. 
This course was initially a response to student requests; another request was the use of my own novel, Cleveland Anonymous, of whose construction I obviously have full insider knowledge—and so provides a special opportunity for students to get an example of how a publishable novel gets conceived, put together, and edited.  But the use of my novel is something we will decide as a class.  If we do use it, to insure that there is no conflict of interest, I will lend students copies free of charge.
Requirements: Class participation; analytic term paper; final exam.
Tentative Texts:
Jack Bickham, Writing Novels That Sell
Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honorable Defeat, A Severed Head
Keith Gandal, Cleveland Anonymous

Keith Gandal is Professor of English, with a joint appointment in American Literature and Creative Writing.  His publications have had three foci: urban poverty, war and mobilization, and modern medicine and illness. His scholarly books include: War Isn’t the Only Hell: A New Reading of World War I American Literature (Johns Hopkins, 2018); The Gun and the Pen: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and the Fiction of Mobilization (Oxford, 2008); The Virtues of the Vicious: Jacob Riis, Stephen Crane and the Spectacle of the Slum (Oxford, 1997). He is also the author of a novel, Cleveland Anonymous (North Atlantic Books, 2002).




Literature

B1616 Bible, Myth, and Contemporary Literature

Prof. Mark J. Mirsky
Thursdays 6:45 – 8:35pm
Section 4TU (21331)

The Bible, Myth and Modern Literature is designed to introduce Creative Writing student who write fiction, or graduate students in Literature to how questions of good and evil, belief in an afterlife, the idea of the hero or heroine, human integrity, raised in texts from the world of Antiquity continue to concern writers in the Twentieth Century. Books like The Sumerian/ Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, and chapters of Homer’s Odyssey, will alternate with stories of the Polish writer, Bruno Schulz, readings from The Book of Genesis, The Book of Job. with Franz Kafka’s The Trial, and Max Frisch’s Homo Faber. Among the contemporary writers whose books are included is William Faulkner, Milan Kundera, Cynthia Ozick, Charles Baldwin, Bruno Schulz, Isak Dinesen, Jorge Luis Borges, and Donald Barthelme. The instructor requires the submission of two questions before each week’s class, about the reading assigned for that week. At the end of the course students must submit a critical paper on one or two of the books, or a creative response based on one of the books from the syllabus. This final paper should number between nine and ten pages or 2,500 words.
In addition to the books and stories that students are required to read, and ask questions about, the instructor will provide further reading as background to the class discussion. These will include pages from Hesiod’s Theogony, Chapters from The Book of Samuel 2, (the story of King David and Absalom), The Gospel of Matthew, work by Flannery O’Connor, Marcel Proust, Miguel de Unamuno and Robert Musil.

Tentative Reading List:

The Epic of Gilgamesh, 2nd Norton Crit. Ed.
The Odyssey, Richard Lattimore translation
Genesis: King James Bible
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera (PDF)
The Book of Job, Edward Greenstein trans.
The Trial, Franz Kafka, Breon Mitchell trans.
“Sorrow Acre” Isak Dinesen (PDF)
Homo Faber, Max Frisch
Absalom, Absalom, William Faulkner
Go Tell It on the Mountain, James Baldwin
Collected Fictions, Jorge Luis Borges trans. by Andrew Hurley
Sixty Stories of Donald Barthelme.  

The founding editor of Fiction in 1972, with Donald Barthelme, Max and Marianne Frisch, which  publishes from offices at The City College, Professor Mark Jay Mirsky is the author of five novels, Thou Worm Jacob, Proceedings of the Rabble, The Red Adam, Puddingstone, and Blue Hill Avenue (the last, listed among the 100 Essential Books of New England—by The Boston Globe.) He has published a collection of novellas, The Secret Table, as well as five books of criticism and journalism, My Search for the Messiah, The Absent Shakespeare, The Drama in Shakespeare’s Sonnets—”A Satire to Decay,” Dante, Eros and Kabbalah, and A Mother’s Steps in addition to numerous stories and articles.  He is the editor of the Diaries of Robert Musil, co-editor of the two volume History of Pinsk (Stanford University Press), and Rabbinic Fantasies (Yale University Press). His essays and reviews have appeared in Partisan Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Washington Post ‘s Book World, The Boston Globe, and other places.

This course is also available under Craft.

B1976 Ancient Tragedy Today

Prof. Daniel Gustafson
Wednesdays 4:45 – 6:35pm
Section 3FG (21279)

How can an ancient artform help us change how we respond to the issues of our 21st-century world or understand our place in that world? This course explores how and why ancient Greek tragedy, originally composed long ago in 5th-century BCE Athens by only a handful of playwrights, remains widely relevant to our contemporary global culture today. We will read a selection of plays by Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus. We will seek to understand these plays in their original contexts, but we’ll also discuss how their mythos has been used to address pressing modern issues like democracy and its failures; war and imperialism; immigration, refugee crises, and cultural borders; citizenship, social inequity, and the politics of race and gender; and anthropocentrism. Along with the Greek tragedies, we’ll read some philosophy, cultural theory, and contemporary plays. Students should expect to read 1-2 plays per week, along with secondary sources.

Daniel Gustafson is an associate professor of English at CCNY. His research focuses on drama, theater, and performance studies, and on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British literature.

B2030 The Evidence of Things Unseen: Art, Archives, and Harlem

Prof. William Gibbons
Wednesdays 6:45 – 8:35pm
Section 3HJ (21283)

The Evidence of Things Unseen: Art, Archives, and Harlem is a hands-on course exposing students to the practice of archival and academic research.  The course will help students navigate archives and libraries while exploring the cultural, social, and political forces that influenced and defined the Harlem Renaissance and its writers. Students will work with primary and secondary archival materials related to Harlem’s role as an important artistic and political center housed in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and other Harlem community and cultural organizations.  By the end of the course, students will understand the historical development of the field of archives, current issues, trends, and theories that shape the archival profession​.
Professor William Gibbons is a librarian and an archivist.  He teaches urban policy, library science, and archival research at The City College of New York (CCNY) and is the Curator of Archives & Special Collections in the City College Libraries. He is a resource on Harlem and helps students and researchers become knowledgeable library users to use libraries and archives to their fullest potential.  His writing and research are focused on curating and preserving evidence of cultural heritage unseen.

This course is also available under Craft.

B2034 Duppies, Demons, and Despots: The Role of Myth in Caribbean Literature

Prof. Kedon Willis
Thursday 4:45 – 6:35pm
Section 4RS (21280)

The Caribbean is haunted by its past. This course examines how writers from the region mediate the horrors of slavery, disasters, and dictatorships via 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​.​ Along the way, we will interrogate how this use of “the folk” served both political and aesthetic purposes.​

Kedon Willis is an assistant professor of English at City College where he teaches Caribbean and Latin American literature. His areas of interest include comparative Caribbean literature, queer theory and diaspora studies.

B2099 The Gothic and Otherness

Prof. Lyn Di Iorio
Tuesdays 4:45 – 6:35pm
Section 2RS (21251)

Contemporary culture is characterized by a reawakened interest in “Gothic”—the aesthetic discourse of terror created by Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto in 1764.  This seminar weaves together the critical strands forming the main approaches to the Gothic: American Gothic; British Gothic; Female Gothic; Queer Gothic; the sublime; the uncanny; and the abject.  In addition, I propose that the contemporary Gothic aesthetic in our Americas uncovers important issues of race, gender, class, and political violence on which there has been relatively scant commentary.  Consequently, we will also put special emphasis on Latin American, Latinx, African American, and Caribbean Gothic fiction.
How do Gothic monsters reveal, and revel in, social tensions?  How do revisions of classic Gothic texts improve on the originals?  Do Gothic tropes improve (or worsen) with repetition? How do fear, horror, mutilation, melancholia, and loss constitute a vital aesthetic structuring of the human psyche, linking Freud’s vision of the mind to the dynamics of Gothic villainy and victimization?  From Dracula to Get Out, from Shirley Jackson to Mariana Enriquez, why are we so drawn to the Gothic? 
Requirements: a paper-based presentation and a final essay or—if you are a creative writer—a short story based on Gothic tropes.

Lyn Sandín Di Iorio is a fiction writer and scholar.  A 2021-22 winner of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fiction Fellowship and a Rifkind Center Faculty Fellowship, she is currently completing Hurricanes and Other Stories, a short story collection.  She has recently published fiction in The Kenyon Review, Big Other and Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas; one of these stories was named “Distinguished Story” in Best American Short Stories 2021.  Her Gothic-inflected novel Outside the Bones was a top-five finalist for the 2012 John Gardner Fiction Prize; a Latinidad List Best Debut Novel; and winner of a Foreword Indies Silver Award.  Her book of literary criticism, Killing Spanish, focuses on Latinx identity.  She has also published widely on magical realism and women’s writing.  She graduated from Harvard University and Stanford University’s graduate creative writing program and received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. 

This course is also available under Craft.


B2130 The Kafkaesque

Prof. Václav Paris
Mondays 4:45 – 6:35pm
Section 1FG (21319)

What do CUNY administration, waking up as a beetle, insurance, suffocating families, airport security, and the law have in common? One answer is the “Kafkaesque.” Defined briefly as “characteristic or reminiscent of the oppressive or nightmarish qualities of Franz Kafka’s fictional world,” the Kafkaesque originates with the German-language Prague-based Jewish writer Franz Kafka (1883-1924). Its applications, however, are much broader than simply to Kafka’s work. Taken up in various ways by writers, artists, philosophers, and filmmakers, the Kafkaesque has become one of the defining symptoms of modern life.
This seminar is dedicated to exploring the meanings of the Kafkaesque, theorizing the term, and staking out its creative potentials. We will begin by reading Kafka’s major works: a selection of his stories, including “Metamorphosis,” his novel, The Trial, as well as extracts from his letters. We will then move on to other expressions of the Kafkaesque in literature and film (both earlier and later), including Hermann Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” and Basma Abdel Aziz’s 2013 novel, The Queue. We’ll also read theorists of the Kafkaesque including Walter Benjamin, Maurice Blanchot, and Gilles Deleuze. The questions that we’ll ask include: is the Kafkaesque a historical formation? How does it relate to modernity? What is its genre? Is it a form of comedy? Does it have a particular place (the city, the West), or relation to a given identity (Jewishness, linguistic minority)? What are its existential and psychoanalytic ramifications? Why has such an apparently inane set of topics and affects proved so fascinating to writers and theorists of the last century? What does it teach us about life today, and about the future? And what isn’t Kafkaesque… at least not yet?

Václav Lucien Paris has taught in the English department at City College since 2014. Currently he is working on a project about eccentric forms of primitivism in the twentieth century. His first book, The Evolutions of Modernist Epic, came out with Oxford University Press in 2021. Václav is also a translator and creative writer. 

Language and Literacy

B6100 Sociolinguistics

Prof. Barbara Gleason
Tuesdays 6:45 – 8:35pm
Section 2TU (21288)
HYBRID

Sociolinguistics is a little bit of absolutely everything you already know about language.
–Miriam Myerhoff, Introducing Sociolinguistics, 3e (2019)

Professional linguist Elinor Ochs has defined sociolinguistics as “the study of language use and language users.”  Starting from this basic definition, we’ll explore answers to five key questions:

  • How do people use language in specific contexts?
  • How is language influenced by geographic region, social class, age, power, gender, sexual orientation, occupation, ethnicity & culture?
  • What can we learn from research on multilingualism, language contact, creole and pidgin languages and related communication practices?
  • How does a sociolinguist perspective inform research on spoken and written  language?
  • How can learning about sociolinguistic theory and research benefit us in our everyday lives and in our creative and professional endeavors?

Our class discussions will focus on major research topics (e.g., conversational analysis, politeness, regional and social dialects), landmark studies, foundational scholars and recent publications focused on language use in education. For example, we will read excerpts from The Translanguaging Classroom: Leveraging Student Bilingualism for Learning (Ofelia Garcia et al., 2017);  Code-Meshing as World English: Pedagogy, Policy, Performance (Vershawn Ashanti-Young and Aja Y. Martinez, 2011); Bordered Writers: Latinx Identities and Literacy Practices at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (Isabel Baca et al, 2019).

Barbara Gleason is a professor of composition and rhetoric and Director of the MA in Language and Literacy in the CCNY English Department. Barbara’s research focuses on basic writing, adult teaching and learning, graduate education, writing curricula, and program evaluation.  Recent publications include The Bedford Bibliography for Teachers of Adult Learners (edited with Kimme Knuckles, Macmillan 2014); “Forming Adult Educators: The CCNY MA in Language and Literacy” (Journal of Basic Writing vol. 37, no. 2); Basic Writing in the 21st Century (edited with Laura Gray Rosendale, Peter Lang, forthcoming in 2024).


B8117 Composition Pedagogies

Prof. Missy Watson
Thursdays 6:45 – 8:35pm
Section 4TU (21287)
HYBRID

This hybrid course begins by exploring antiracist and decolonial approaches to teaching and then applies this framework throughout the semester to survey and evaluate the following pedagogical approaches to the teaching of college composition: expressive, process, critical, rhetorical, new media, translingual, feminist, hip-hop, and other approaches. Through reading seminal essays in composition studies alongside our course text—Gary Tate, Amy Rupiper Taggart, Kurt Schick, and H. Brooke Hessler’s 2nd edition of A Guide to Composition Pedagogies—we will uncover connections between pedagogical theories, our everyday teaching practices, and institutional ambitions to teach toward social, racial, and linguistic justice. Along the way, we will investigate best practices in teaching composition, some of the challenges and opportunities of working with diverse learners, the politics of composition in higher education, as well as strategies for developing and enacting curriculum. While most relevant to college composition, the pedagogies and strategies reviewed may inform other teaching contexts.

Dr. Missy Watson is Associate Professor in the CCNY English Department. She serves as the Director of First-Year Writing Program, and she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in composition, pedagogy, language, and literacy. Her research lies at the intersection of composition and second-language writing and revolves around seeking social and racial justice. Her recent publications can be found in the Journal of Basic Writing, Basic Writing e-Journal, Composition Forum, Composition Studies, the Journal of Second Language Writing, and Pedagogy.


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