Faculty & Staff

Chair: Professor Elizabeth Mazzola has been at City College for over twenty years, teaching classes on medieval and early modern literature. She has published essays on Shakespeare, Milton, Spenser, and early women writers, and five books, the most recent of which is Women and Mobility on Shakespeare’s Stage, issued by Routledge in 2017. Current projects include a study of Macbeth, community, and hygiene; and a study of early modern ballads and their representations of blood and sacrifice.

Full-Time Faculty

portrait of Salar Abdoh

Professor Salar Abdoh’s forthcoming novel is A Nearby Country Called Love (Viking Penguin, Fall 2023). His last book, Out of Mesopotamia(Akashic, 2020), has been hailed as “One of a handful of great modern war novels,” and was a NYTimes Editors’ Choice, and also selected as a Best Book of the year across several platforms, including Publishers Weekly. He is also the author of Tehran At TwilightOpium, and The Poet Game, and editor and translator of the celebrated crime collection, Tehran Noir.  

Mostly dividing his time between New York City and Tehran, Iran, Salar regularly publishes personal essays and short stories, plus numerous translations of other authors that appear in journals across the world.  

A professor at the City University of New York’s CITY COLLEGE campus in Harlem, he teaches workshops in the English Department’s MFA program and also serves as Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing. Website: salarabdoh.com

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Doris Barkin is Lecturer of English and faculty advisor to the literary journal Promethean. Her areas of research and interest include Shakespeare studies, gender studies, early modern drama, media studies, global literature, comparative literature/drama, and creative writing. Her recent publications include the chapters “Othello’s Sexed Body and the Crisis of Masculine Identity: Cuckoldry, Impotence, and Race” in Understanding Identity and Cultural Production in Language and Literature, (MacroWorld Publishing 2022), and “Early Modern Pantsuit Politics: Shifting Masculinities in Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona” in Paradigm Shifts During the Global Middle Ages and the Renaissance, edited by Albrecht Classen, (Brepols, N.V./S.A 2019.) Her current book project is #MeToo Shakespeare: Intersections of Early Modern and Contemporary Violence, Power, and Gender.

portrait of Carla Cappetti

Carla Cappetti (Professor) is the author of Writing Chicago: Modernism, Ethnography, and the Novel (Columbia UP 1993). She has also published scholarly articles on Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, the Federal Writer Project, and Natalia Ginzburg.  In addition to American literature and Literary Theory, she also teaches electives and seminars on Frederick Douglass and Herman Melville, on Richard Wright and Zora Neale Hurston, and on the role of wild animals in American literature.  She is writing a book on wild animals in American literature, entitled The Beast in the Garden of American Literature. Honors: Fulbright Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, American Philosophical Society, Newberry Library Fellowship, whiting Fellowship.

Mikhal Dekel is Distinguished Professor of English at CCNY, where she also directs the Rifkind Center for the Humanities and Arts. She is the author of numerous articles in scholarly and popular venues, as well as three books: Tehran Children (WW Norton, 2019) (republished as In the East, 2021); The Universal Jew (Northwestern University Press, 2011); and the Hebrew monograph Oedipus in Kishinev (Bialik Institute Press, 2014). Mikhal holds a PhD (with Distinction) in Comparative Literature from Columbia University, a MA in English Literature from CCNY, and a Bachelor of Law from Tel Aviv University.

Lyn Sandín Di Iorio (Professor) is a fiction writer and scholar. She is a recent recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fiction Fellowship and a Rifkind Center Faculty Fellowship for her book-in-progress: Hurricanes and Other Stories. Her short fiction has appeared most recently in The Kenyon Review and Big Other: Puerto Rican Writers Folio: A Hauntology and a story was named “Distinguished Story” in Best American Short Stories 2021. She also wrote Outside the Bones, a finalist for the 2012 John Gardner Fiction Prize and Killing Spanish, a book about Latinx literature and identity. She graduated from Harvard University and Stanford University’s Creative Writing Program, and received her Ph.D. from UC-Berkeley. She teaches creative writing and literature classes at CCNY and CUNY Graduate Center.

Grazyna Drabik (Lecturer) teaches World Humanities & Immigration Literature at City College and a seminar on Arts in New York at Macaulay Honors College, CUNY. Her areas of special interest are cross-cultural exchanges and challenges of literary translation. She has recently published the translation of Andrzej Bobkowski’s Wartime Notebooks: France, 1940- 1944 (Yale University Press, 2018) and is currently preparing a large selection of poems by Brazilian poet Adélia Prado, to be published in Polish.

portrait of Keith Gandal

Keith Gandal is Professor of English at City College of New York, 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; he is the author of four scholarly books and a novel. 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), and The Virtues of the Vicious: Jacob Riis, Stephen Crane and the Spectacle of the Slum (Oxford, 1997); the novel is Cleveland Anonymous (North Atlantic Books, 2002).

Barbara Gleason is a Professor of Composition and Rhetoric in the Department of English, where she serves as Director of the MA in Language and Literacy and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. Barbara’s research focuses on basic writing, adult teaching and learning, graduate education, and writing program evaluation. Recent publications include The Bedford Bibliography for Teachers of Adult Learners (Macmillan 2014) and “Forming Adult Educators: The CCNY MA in Language and Literacy” (Journal of Basic Writing vol. 37, no. 2).

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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.

Robert Higney is an Associate Professor of English and director of the department’s undergraduate Honors Program and Isaacs Scholarship. He teaches courses on twentieth-century and contemporary British and global Anglophone literature, modernism, and the history of the novel. His book, Institutional Character: Collectivity, Individuality, and the Modernist Novel (University of Virginia Press, 2022), investigates ideas about literary character in authors ranging from Joseph Conrad to Zadie Smith, and his writing has appeared in journals including Novel, Modernism/modernity, Contemporary Fiction, and ASAP/J.  

Laura Hinton, Professor of English, is a multi-media poet, literary critic, and editor. Her critical books and edited collections include The Perverse Gaze of Sympathy: Sadomasochistic Sentiments from Clarissa to Rescue 911, We Who Love to Be Astonished: Experimental Women’s Writing and Performance Poetics, and Jayne Cortez, Adrienne Rich, and the Feminist Superhero: Voice, Vision, Politics and Performance in the U.S. Contemporary Women’s Poetics. Her most recent poetry book is Ubermutter’s Death Dance (BlazeVox), and she has staged multi-media performances from Tucson to Maine to New York City. Professor Hinton is also the editor-publisher of a multi-media political-art journal called Chant de la Sirene, and she teaches feminist and literary theory, poetics, film and visual studies, and hybrid forms of creative writing. Her professional website is at laurahinton-singingsirens.com.

András Kiséry (Associate Professor) researches and teaches Shakespeare, early modern English literature, as well as book history and media history. His recent publications include Hamlet’s Moment: Drama and Political Knowledge in Early Modern England (2016, paperback 2018), and the 2020 special issue of Shakespeare Studies on “English among the Literatures of Early Modernity.” His current projects are a book about early modern English literature in Europe, another about the early twentieth century beginnings of media studies, and an edition of Christopher Marlowe’s works.

Portrait of pamela laskin

Pamela L. Laskin is a lecturer in the English Department, and director of The Poetry Outreach Center. She is the author of three young adult novels and five books of poetry. WHY NO GOODBYE, was the 2018 winner of Leapfrog International’s fiction contest, and the book was published in 2019. She is currently working with poet Vasyl Makhno on a YA novel in verse about Ukraine.

Mark Jay Mirsky (Professor) has published six novels, since 1967, Thou Worm Jacob, Proceedings of the Rabble, The Secret Table, The Red Adam, Puddingstone, and Blue Hill Avenue, listed in the New York Times as “New and Recommended” and cited in the Boston Globe’s Essential Books of New England among the work of American writers like Henry David Thoreau and Henry James. He has authored two critical books on Shakespeare’s works, Rabbinic Fantasies, Dante Eros and Kabbalah, as well as editing the Diaries of Robert Musil (Basic Books), and the two volumes of The Jews of Pinsk, 1506-1941 (Stanford University Press). A founding editor of Fiction, with Donald Barthelme and Max Frisch, since 1972 from offices at The City College he has edited sixty-five issues in which Nobel Prize and National Book Award winners have appeared beside the fiction of City College students.

portrait of anée Moses

Janée A Moses is Assistant Professor of English at The City College of New York, CUNY, whose research focuses on black expressive cultures from the twentieth to the twenty-first centuries. Her current book project is an intertextual study of black women’s life writing and performances that combines extraordinary pursuits and ordinary experiences to highlight the fullness of their lives. Prior to this appointment, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia.​

Václav Lucien Paris (Associate Professor) specializes in Global Modernism and Comparative Literature. His current project is a book about constructions of the exotic and the primitive in eccentric 20th century texts. His first book, The Evolutions of Modernist Epic, came out with Oxford University Press in 2021. Václav is also a passionate student of languages and a translator. His translations include Zdeněk Kratochvíl’s The Philosophy of Living Nature and Vilém Flusser’s “The Power of Images.”

portrait of Thomas Peele

Thomas Peele is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Director of the Teaching and Learning Center. He served as Director of the First-Year Writing Program from 2014-2020 and continues in his appointment as Director of Writing Across the Curriculum. Professor Peele was recently awarded an NEH Grant with co-PI Interim Dean Renata Miller that supports the development of a digital humanities minor at CCNY.

Emily Raboteau (Professor) is the author of The Professor’s Daughter, Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora(winner of an American Book Award) and Lessons for Survival, forthcoming from Holt. She is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and a contributing editor at Orion Magazine. 

Dalia Sofer (Distinguished Lecturer) 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. Her novels have been translated and published in 16 countries. A recipient of a Whiting Award, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, the Sami Rohr Choice Award, 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.

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Dr. Gordon E. Thompson is a Professor of English and African American cultural studies at the City College of New York/CUNY. His B.A. in English (1979) is from the City College of New York; his master’s degree and doctorate (1987) in African American Studies and American Studies, respectively, were achieved at Yale University. Currently, he directs the Langston Hughes Festival and RAP-SI (Retention, Achievement, Professionalism Success Institute), an arm of the City University’s Black Male Initiative Program.

Michelle Y. Valladares is an Assistant Professor in the English Department and Director of the MFA in Creative Writing, through which she launched the Archives as Muse: A Harlem Storytelling Project, is the author of Nortada, the North Wind (Global City Press) and several chapbooks. Her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, anthologized in Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond (Norton), and translated into Spanish for the III Feria Virtual del Libro de Cajamarca. She was awarded “The Poet of the Year” by the Americas Poetry Festival of NY. Recent publications: Women’s Studies Quarterly and Feminists Reclaim Mentorship. She has produced three independent award-winning films.

H. Aram Veeser is Professor at the City College of New York (English Department) and the CUNY Graduate Center (Middle East and Middle-Eastern American Center and Biography/Memoir Program). He is author of numerous articles in scholarly and popular venues, author of Edward Said: The Charisma of Criticism (Routledge, 2010) and co-author of Painting between the Lines (Kemper Museum, 2001). He edited five books, most recently The Rebirth of American Literary Theory and Criticism (October 2020) and Journal of Postcolonial Writing 50.4 (forthcoming July 2024) special issue, “Postcolonial Interviews.” He graduated from Columbia College, received his Ph.D. from Columbia, and has been visiting scholar at the University of Utah and Harvard.

Dr. Missy Watson is Associate Professor in the CCNY English Department. She serves as the Director of First-Year Writing Program and 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, as well as various edited collections.

Kedon Willis is Assistant Professor of English at CUNY City College where he teaches Caribbean and Latin American literature. His areas of interest include comparative Caribbean literature and queer theory, and his research examines the evolution (and limits) of liberation in the writings of queer authors of Caribbean heritage. Kedon’s scholarship, creative writing and journalism has appeared in outlets such as the Journal of Asian Studies, the Journal of West Indian Literature,the Florida Review, Obsidian, and the History Channel.

Olivia Wood (Lecturer) is a PhD candidate in English at the CUNY Graduate Center, specializing in rhetoric, composition, and LGBTQ+ studies. She grew up in North Carolina and has previously worked at New Jersey City University, John Jay College, City Tech, and Fordham.

Guest Faculty

portrait of david groff

David Groff received his MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop and an MA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa. His books are 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 (University of Wisconsin Press, 2013) and Persistent Voices: Poetry by Writers Lost to AIDS (Alyson, 2010). He teaches workshops and critical practice courses in poetry.An independent book editor with an interest in the ways writers engage with the culture, he also leads MFA courses in publishing and authorship.

Yahdon Israel is an educator, entrepreneur, editor, writer and founder of Literaryswag, a cultural movement that intersects literature and fashion to make books cool. He teaches creative writing at City College. He is the former editor-in-chief of Brooklyn Magazine, and has written for the New Inquiry, LitHub and Vanity Fair. Currently, he is a senior editor at Simon & Schuster.

portrait of marc palmeiri

Marc Palmieri is the author of the memoir She Danced With Lightning (Post Hill Press, 2022), and the plays Waiting For The Host, The Groundling, Levittown (NY Times Critic’s Pick), Carl The Second and Poor Fellas (all published by Dramatists Play Service, Inc.) Screenplays include Miramax Films’ Telling You (1999). Marc has taught in the CCNY MFA program since 2010, and is a fulltime assistant professor at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY.

Irvin Weathersby is a Brooklyn-based writer and professor from New Orleans. He has earned degrees from Morehouse College, Morgan State University, and The New School where he studied English, Education, and Creative Writing. Since 2003, he has been an educator in various capacities, first as a high school teacher in Baltimore and later as an adult educator in college and library settings. He is a 2022 Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellow and teaches composition and creative writing at Queensborough Community College. His memoir-in-essays titled In Open Contempt is forthcoming from Viking.


Yana Joseph is the administrative manager in the Division of Humanities and the Arts. She has served City College in various administrative positions since 1995, with titles including Assistant to the Dean of Humanities and the Arts, Assistant to the Dean of Faculty and Staff Relations, director of administration in the English Department, and earned an Administrative Staff Service Award from the CCNY Alumni Association. Ms. Joseph’s responsibilities include: training and overseeing office staff, assisting department chairs in the Division of Humanities and the Arts, balancing budgets, and working with more than 150 full and part-time faculty members. She holds a Masters in Chemistry from Baku University.