Spring 2022 Undergrad Courses

In the Spring 2022 semester, most but not all English courses will be taught in-person. Before registering for a class, please consult the online class schedule to check whether courses you intend to take are offered in-person or remotely.

Gateway Course Required for the Beginning Major

Engl 25000
Introduction to Literary Study

29943             sec. D                         Gordon Thompson                   M, W 12:30 – 1:45pm
29298             sec. F                         Gordon Thompson                    M, W 3:30 – 4:45pm
29299             sec. G                        Paul Oppenheimer                    M, W 5:00 – 6:15pm             
29940             sec. L                           Michael Druffel                       T, TH 9:30 – 10:45am
29942             sec. P                            Amr Dagan                              T, TH 2:00 – 3:15pm

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.

Literature Courses

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.

Engl 26105
Studies in Genre: Tragedy
29292                   sec. M                    Daniel Gustafson                    T, TH 11:00 – 12:15pm

Tragedy usually refers to a sad or catastrophic story, but as a literary genre it is also always about much more than that. In this course, we will explore the history of tragic forms and ideas in Western literature (mostly in theater and film) and grapple with some important questions: why do people remain drawn to, and even find pleasure in representations of depressing, horrific events? Do tragic representations bear a politics, and how have shifting identity politics over time determined who counts as a tragic subject? What is tragedy’s relation to violence and loss, on the one hand, and communal affirmation on the other? How has tragedy changed to fit the needs of different cultures from its origins in ancient Greece to our contemporary moment and its interests in posthumanism, global violence, terror, and apocalypse? In addition to reading plays, we will read selections on the history and theory of tragedy in works of philosophy and critical theory. Possible authors include Sophocles, Euripides, John Ford, Jean Racine, Friedrich Nietzsche, Henrik Ibsen, Ayad Akhtar, Caryl Churchill, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Kane, Ari Aster, and Wole Soyinka.

Engl 26107
Literary Genres: Historical Narrative
49341                   sec. B                        Destry Sibley                       M, W 9:30 – 10:45am

This course will introduce students to the genre of historical narrative, paying particular attention to the literature of memory and place. How do authors write past historical events and, in so doing, help us to better understand the present? What is the relationship between historical events, contemporary identities, and geography? Can the past ever be written truly? These are some of the questions we will approach in this class. Readings may include work by Mikhal Dekel, Jesmyn Ward, Olivia Laing, Sarah M. Broom, Edmund de Waal, Richard White, and Karen Tei Yamashita. 

Engl 28000
Introduction to Comparative Literature
29297                   sec. E                   Paul Oppenheimer                  M, W 2:00 – 3:15pm

All good authors work in the company of ghosts, or the voices of earlier authors, often from other cultures, whose ways of thinking and styles, sometimes brilliantly altered, echo through their own. The course will explore how this ghost-transaction comes about, while considering several important principles of literary creation, or the discipline of comparative literature. The range will be broad (and in translation, itself a comparative literary activity), from the early Roman fragmentary novel The Satyricon of Petronius, to the Renaissance German jest-book Till Eulenspiegel: His Adventures, to Fielding’s Tom Jones, to modern authors such as Kafka, Isaac Babel, F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tender Is the Night), Thomas Mann (“Death in Venice,” plus the film version of it), and Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen). Two papers, one relatively short, the other somewhat longer.

Engl 28001
Cross-listed with JWST 21200
Spirit Possession in Yiddish Literature
36236                   sec. L                      Elazar Elhanan                     T, TH 9:30 – 10:45am

According to Jewish belief, the dybbuk is a spirit of a dead person who takes over a living body and speaks from the possessed throat with his or her own voice.  This narrative of possession appears with astonishing regularity in Eastern European Jewish culture from the 17th century onwards.
We will start with the history and narratives of possession and dybbuks, transmigration of souls and demons in Jewish tradition and continue with the discovery of the dybbuk by Jewish ethnographers and anthropologists in the dark woods of Ukraine and Poland in 1880-1920. We will examine how this folklore was turned into one of the most important theater pieces in the history Yiddish theater and we will end our class with the latest apparitions of the dybbuk, who regularly appear on Broadway, in film and novels, in philosophy and political theory, as if this was a ghost that will not be exorcised.

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.

Engl 31117
Literary Theory
29293                   sec. E                   Vaclav Paris                            M, W 2:00 – 3:15pm

Literary Theory – or Theory for short – is about how we read. It is both speculative and practical. It is speculative because it asks fundamental, often philosophical, questions, such as: what is an author? what is identity? what is the best way to interpret something? It is practical because the various answers to these questions often produce readymade lenses (methodologies and vocabularies) through which to read texts and write essays.
This course will serve as an introduction to literary theory in both these capacities: as an exciting twentieth-century philosophical field, and as a useful set of heuristic practices that students can apply in their own reading and writing. It begins with some of the classic questions, e.g.: are we supposed to look for the author’s intentions in a given work? It then surveys a range of different possible approaches, including structuralism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism, queer theory and critical race theory. In order to understand these theories, we’ll read key works, as well as a few literary texts through which we can illustrate them or test them. In the latter half of the course, a particular emphasis will be placed on asking after the state of literary theory now. What seem to be the most vital questions now, and how can we engage them?
Students will write a mid-term and a final paper on theoretical approaches or theorists of their choice. Evaluation will also be based on participation (this is a discursive class so being part of the discussion is fundamental).

Engl 31172
Cross-listed with JWST 31172
The Jews of Eastern Europe
36239                   sec. M                 Elazar Elhanan                          T, TH 11:00 – 12:15pm         

The majority of the Jewish people lived up until the World War II in the region known to us as Eastern Europe. A unique and specific civilization developed there, with its specific language –Yiddish, and its rich and diverse cultural institutions. The Jewish civilization of Eastern Europe with its thousand years of history was destroyed during World War II. Surprisingly what is left in memory from a history of centuries is the popular image of the Jew as ‘fiddler on the roof’, the sentimental, nostalgic image of a community now gone.
In this course we will read novels, poems and comics and learn of key moments in the history of Eastern European Jews through their artistic representation. Through the reading of major novels, stories and poems we will ask why the image of Jewish Eastern Europe was reduced to sentimental description we are familiar with today. We will also examine the stakes involved in the definition of a part of Europe as “eastern” in general and specifically in relation to the Eastern European Jews, as they were defined as “an oriental foreign body” inside Europe, a definition that brought dire consequences with it. This course will investigate the crisis caused by the imposition of an “eastern” identity and the ways in which Jews accepted, rejected or negotiated it, a painful engagement that goes beyond but also explains the myth and sentimental kitsch of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
The goals of this course are to familiarize students with the literary discourses dominant in literature by and about eastern European Jews and their history. The students will also acquire the basic tools and methodology of comparative and political literary analysis as well as key concepts of critical and post colonial theory. The students are expected to be able to perform close reading and analysis of literary texts in their historical context.

Engl 31180
Haunting Books – Mourning and Afterlife in Literature
45351                   sec. P                  Elazar Elhanan                          T, TH 2:00 – 3:15pm

In this course we will look at a selection of texts, some very familiar, others rarer, drawn from the Bible and Greek tragedy, Sci-fi and Yiddish modernist ghost stories, French post-structuralism and Polish cinema, in order to examine the writing of grief and the representation of mourning in literature.
We will look at grieving as a social practice, a prescribed behavior that is supposed to achieve certain results and in which one can fail. Grieving is a powerful tool of social control which offers social acceptance and comfort for those who follow the prescriptions, or exclusion for the rest. Naturally, society’s need to reintegrate the grieving and put boundaries between life and death creates tension between the personal, and often political, reality of unacceptable loss, a tension which leaves people “stuck,” unable to work through their loss.
The interest of this class is in these “stuck” characters, in art that manifestly fails to process, a position that is often viewed as opposition on personal and political grounds to the normalization of loss. We will read a selection of moving and daring texts, in which the failure of be consoled and move on is manifested as a principled resistance. Assisted by Freud’s and Walter Benjamin’s reflections on mourning and melancholia, Judith Butler’s discussion of grievability and Judith/Jack Halberstam ideas on failure, these readings will animate a discussion of what alternative technologies of comfort and what social possibilities come alive when one “fails” to do the work prescribed for mourning.

Engl 31915
Cross-listed with JWST 31915

Absurdist Jewish Film and Fiction
36242                   sec. C                    Amy Kratka                            M, W 11:00 – 12:15pm

It’s post-pandemic and we have developed a taste for the absurd. This course explores Jews onscreen and in texts navigating a wildly improbable and highly unusual reality.

Engl 31922
Cross-listed with JWST 31916

Jewish Literature Under Latin American Dictatorships
45857                  Sec. R                     Sarah Valente                       T, TH 3:30 – 4:45pm 

This course explores twentieth-century literature that deals with Jewish experience during and after military dictatorships in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, and Uruguay. Focusing specifically on works written by authors whose families were directly impacted by state-sanctioned violence, students will learn about issues of Jewish memory, representation of atrocity, and quest for justice. Students will examine writings about the historical and social-political aspects of Latin American dictatorships, and how these texts intertwine Holocaust memory and Jewish life and culture in Latin America. This course will take an interdisciplinary and comparative approach by examining Jewish responses to dictatorship in relation to those of contemporary black and indigenous writers in Latin America.

Engl 31933
Queer Caribbean Writing  
39259                   sec. B                    Kedon Willis                            M, W 9:30 – 10:45am

Queer Caribbean writing surveys the fiction, non-fiction, and poetry of queer Caribbean authors to examine how their engagement with crises facing the region integrates the experiences of gender and sexual non-conforming individuals. In this course, students will learn the major themes of Caribbean literature generally, while being introduced to the basic principles of queer and postcolonial ideas as expressed in the literature. Students can expect to interact with writings from diverse national settings, including Jamaica, Haiti, The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

Engl 31950
Film Noir
30240                   sec. L                Chester Kozlowski                       T, TH 9:30 – 10:45am

Film Noir has been a staple of popular American literature since the 1930s. An escapist response to the rigors of WWI and Prohibition, this subgenre of Pulp Fiction appealed to the masses by offering vicarious trips into the dark side of human nature, under revealing aspects of ourselves while seeking “the truth.” This course examines the important films and their sources, alternating class sessions between showing films in their entirety and discussing t heir literary sources.

Engl 32802
Cross-listed with SPAN 31201
58988                   sec. R                Isabel Estrada                           T, TH 3:30 – 4:45pm

What does it mean to be a politically committed individual in the 21st century? What did it mean to be politically committed for CCNY students in the 1930s? Did you know that 60 City College students volunteered to fight against fascism in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)? This course will examine political activism on the CCNY campus in the context of the global conflict between totalitarianism and democracy in the 1930s. Students will read and write about the fight against fascism both in Europe and in the US. We will connect past and present by drawing comparisons between the political activism of the 1930s and such current movements as #occupywallstreet, #blacklivesmatter, and #metoo.

Engl 34200
Advanced Grammar
29289                   sec. G                       Nicole Treska                       M, W 5:00 – 6:15pm
29290                   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.

Engl 35301
Shakespeare I
An Introductory Shakespeare Sampling: Across Genres and Bursting Genres
30087                   sec. D                      Estha Weiner                        M, W 12:30 – 1:45pm

One History play, HENRY IV, P.I; Two Comedies, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and MEASURE FOR MEASURE (“problem comedy”); One Tragedy, OTHELLO; and one Romance, THE TEMPEST.
Along with discussing the demands of these genres, how Shakespeare bursts their boundaries, and why, we will focus on his language and on his theatre, in light of history, politics, and religion in Early Modern England. We will never lose sight of his necessity to “put on a show.” We will always read the plays aloud, in addition to some critical readings, movie viewings, and maybe even going to a play.
Vital class participation, mid-term memorized piece, 2 essays, and a final project are class requirements.

Engl 35406
The Truth of Arthur: Created Truths and Narrative Impacts in Medieval Literature and Modern Reception
49342                   sec. R            Mark-Allan Donaldson                   T, TH 3:30 – 4:45pm

Through a study of the development of Arthurian literature and the impactful status of the traditions key characters, this course will seek to form an understanding of how truth was created and transmitted in the popular literature of the Middle Ages. It will move away from suppositions on the factuality behind myths and legends and instead focus on what effect fictitious literature may have on the real world. We will look at this effect in its medieval context and beyond; in how narrative effects the presentation of the medieval in our own contemporary moment, and how narrative is utilized to promote specific ideas. Our readings will move from the first mention of Arthur by name, through his introduction into pseudo-histories, the changes introduced by the romantic continuations, and into galvanization of the tradition by writers such as Malory, Tennyson, and White. Additionally, we will utilize medieval historical writings which are informed by, or reveal an interest in, Arthuriana to analyze the legends impact outside of fiction and foster interdisciplinary practices.

Engl 36806
Selected Topics in Life Writing: Global Autobiography
30239                   sec. F                    Harold Veeser                           M, W 3:30 – 4:45pm

This course offers an introduction to the life writing in a global frame. We will read a sampling of popular memoirs, recovery narratives, substance-abuse sagas, trauma memoirs, conversion narratives, stories of struggles with parents and lovers, and stories of displacement, immigration, and rebellion. Most of these required readings will be drawn from non-U.S. traditions and will include writings by memoirists from the Caribbean, Africa, Morocco, Algeria, the Middle East, China, Japan, India, and Pakistan. You will complete the writing requirement by writing in response to prompts that will allow for experiments in criticism and memoir. The course is taught by an English Department professor but is also attractive to non-English majors who are very much welcome.

Engl 37105
Selected Black Women Authors from Hurston to Morrison
38530                   sec. M               Gordon Thompson                       T, TH 11:00 – 12:15pm

This class examines the work of a choice group of African American writers—a group that includes women writers such Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Lorraine Hansberry, Gwendolyn Brooks, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison.
Based on new ways of thinking that characterize American feminist theory, scholars are calling for identifiable perspectives or standpoints to replace the points of view from the so- called objective, male stance.  The feminist theorizing project(s) has altered the conceiving and therefore the perceiving of the women in literature by Black women.  This class would attempt to determine what Black women writers have discovered that is rarely brought forward in literature written by men, White or Black.  

Engl 37603
Selected Topics in Theatre and Performance: New Black American Drama (1940-2020)
39275                   sec. H                    Robert Yates                            M, W 6:30 – 7:45pm

New Black American Drama (1940-2020) surveys modern and contemporary works by Black playwrights and critical theorists. The course investigates how drama and theatrical performance influence the relationship between American public(s) and articulations and embodied experiences of race and racism. We will explore the strategies that playwrights use to represent, categorize, know, and speak of and for racialized subjects.
In this course, we will attend closely to primary texts. It is important to be able to speak about a text—ideas it expresses, how it is structured, its relationship to other texts within its genre or form, its relationship to historical events, its material history—with precision and concision. We will engage with texts through weekly seminar discussions, critical readings, and—perhaps—short written assignments.
Scholarly essays, articles, book chapters, and the occasional book will invite us to consider how the dramatic texts continue to live within works of history, theory, literary criticism, and popular culture. More particularly, we will investigate how scholarship forms objects of study—such as race, family, home, community, and care—by analyzing how critics engage with the primary texts we are reading.
Dramatic works might include A Raisin in the Sun, Clybourne Park, The Homecoming, The White Card: A PlaySlave Play, Pass Over, Fairview, and American Moor. The theoretical texts underpinning our inquiry are Barbara Christian’s “The Race for Theory,” Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, and Fred Moten and Stefano Harney’s The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study.

400-Level Courses

Please note: 400-level courses are designed for students who have completed at least two classes at the 300-level. Longer essays which involve research and work with secondary materials are typically required at the conclusion of the semester; and students are also expected to demonstrate their familiarity with a range of methodological approaches and critical perspectives.

Engl 45402
Medieval Bodies
53694                   Sec. P                      Elizabeth Mazzola                 T, TH 2:00 – 3:15pm

Medieval bodies are bodies in flux; they can be male and/or female; transcendent or transgender; holy, airborne, animal, wounded, armored, even reborn. This course will survey readings from Beowulf to Malory, covering Anglo-Saxon poems from the 8th century all the way to 15th century Arthurian romances, and looking for ideas about and ambitions for managing flesh. We will also seek out contemporary parallels and examine questions plaguing bodies even nowadays like: What renders a body dead or illegal or disabled? How might gender conformity pave the way for love or divine favor?  how do gender rules change over time, with wealth or with special equipment? What ennobles beastly bodies or gives trees souls and songs? 
No prior experience with medieval literature is necessary. We will move chronologically, cover readings in modernized English (whenever possible), and flesh out ideas about flesh with reference to medieval history, art, and religion. We will also draw upon insights supplied by queer, ecofeminist, and critical disability (or “crip”) theorists. There will be quizzes, group work, presentations, and a longer final essay, but the main thing is pooling our ideas to think about these issues together as creatively and carefully as possible. 

Engl 46401
Modern Literature, Illness and Medicine
29291                   sec. S                           Keith Gandal                      T, TH 5:00 – 6:15pm

The meteoric rise of modern medicine that followed from the identification of germs or viruses, starting in the late 19th century, with its strictly “materialist” approach to health—and its separation from (what is now called) psychology—has greatly transformed the very conception of the human being.  From that period until now, literature, which is of course centrally concerned with characters and human experience, has both reflected and contested this modern medical understanding of human illness.  We will consider representations of illness and doctors—and their relation to the medical versions of these—in American works, as well as a couple of European works that were immediately imported to the US, from the 1880s to the present.
This class initiates a new project in literary studies, which will involve discussions usually outside the purview of literature courses: about the nature of the scientific method and the history of science.  This is not the typical course on “Literature and Medicine,” which, even when it focuses on modern literature and medicine, does so in an ahistorical way.  The standard course might, for example, “raise questions about ethical behavior in the face of sickness” (to quote a random course description at another university).  But, as this phrase indicates, it takes “sickness” as a given and doesn’t distinguish between different sorts of sicknesses; in other words, it doesn’t raise questions about the ethics of the modern medical construction of sicknesses themselves.  The treatments of sicknesses that have no cure have a significant social history because our medical ideas about such sicknesses are, by necessity, at an experimental stage, which is to say, they are not scientifically proven—as only a cure is scientific proof.  To take perhaps the most important example, doctors have for centuries recognized cancer, but the conception of the cause of cancer is very different today from what it was even in the late 19th century.
Warning: “Chronic” and “terminal” illness, perhaps especially cancer and now COVID-19 as well, is a troubling subject for many people. It can be a source of fear and post-trauma; a lot of us know people who have had cancer or COVID; many of us fear it. Fear of cancer is a serious social issue and one we will be discussing; arguably, in fact, the promotion of fear is a major tactic deployed by the medical profession and the American Cancer Society in the management of cancer. This course, by contrast, will not promote fear of cancer or COVID, but just the opposite. However, in this class, there is no getting around discussing cancer, heart disease, other chronic illnesses, and COVID; in fact, such discussions are central to the course.  We can’t shy away from issues because they are disturbing.  So, if you have a problem reading or talking about chronic illness or COVID—which is understandable—you should not take this course.
Tentative Texts:
Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”
Kate Chopin, The Awakening
Sigmund Freud, Five Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (lectures 1 and 2)
Willa Cather, One of Ours (excerpt, Book IV)
Katherine Anne Porter, “Pale Horse, Pale Rider” (excerpt)
William Burroughs, Junky
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
Norman Cousins, Anatomy of an Illness
Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals
Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking
Robert Aronowitz, Unnatural History: Breast Cancer and American Society (excerpt)

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.

Engl 49027
Renaissance Poetry: Desire and Transgression
39272                   sec. 1CD                  Andras Kisery                     M 11:00 – 1:00pm

In this course, we will be reading and discussing poems written by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Epyllia, epigrams, and elegies, sonnets, songs, and satires. Many of the poems are about love – we will be thinking about how poetry remakes love into its own image, and how different poetic forms change our experience of love and of the world. The primary aim of this course, though, is for us to learn to read and think closely about the poetry of the 16th and the 17th centuries.

Creative Writing Courses

Engl 22000
Introduction to Creative Writing
29927                   sec. B                           Sherry Hamlet                    M, W 9:30 – 10:45am
63136                   sec. C                           Pamela Laskin                    M, W 11:00 – 12:15pm
29926                   sec. F                           Salar Abdoh                        M, W 3:30 – 4:45pm
29928                   sec. G                          Shamecca Harris                M, W 5:00 – 6:15pm
29929                   sec. M                          Jane Bolster                        T, TH 11:00 – 12:15pm
29930                   sec. P                            Lyn Di Iorio                        T, TH 2:00 – 3:15pm

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.

Engl 22100
Prerequisite: English 22000
Intermediate Creative Writing: Reading as Writers
29932                   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!

29933                   sec. L                                 Emily Rosenblatt          T, TH 9:30 – 10:45am

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.

Engl 23000
Prose Writing Workshop
29934                   sec. C                      Emily Raboteau                     M, W 11:00 – 12:15pm
29937                   sec. E                       Brendan Costello                   M, W 2:00 – 3:15pm
29935                   sec. G                        Laura Yan                             M, W 5:00 – 6:15pm 

35849                   sec. M                    Chester Kozlowski                   T, TH 11:00 – 12:15pm

The course is dedicated to the craft of writing NONFICTION prose. Nonfiction writing consists of, but is not limited to, journalism and reportage, the argumentative essay, the personal essay, the critical essay, memoir, biography, travelogues, self-help and how-to manuals, and historical and philosophical writing. The aim is to introduce the student to the rich and varied genre of nonfictional prose by reading from established writers and also writing in the genre. With the instructor’s guidance, writing and polishing more than one draft of a text and learning to critique peer material will be an integral part of the class throughout the semester.

Engl 32000
Prerequisite: English 22100
Workshop in Fiction
35851                   sec. D                          Dalia Sofer                                M, W 12:30 – 1:45pm
35852                   sec. P                      Stewart Sinclair                             T, TH 2:00 – 3:15pm

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. 

Engl 32100
Workshop in Poetry
29981                   sec. R                  Kamelya Youssef                          T, TH 3:30 – 4:45pm

In this Advanced Poetry Workshop serious poets will have the chance to read and discuss poems by contemporary poets while, simultaneously, workshopping their own poems. In weekly class discussions we will carefully examine the works of a number of American 20th and 21st century poets paying close attention to craft choices. In the weekly workshop, we will do much the same: spending time with one another’s work and offering thoughtful and considered feedback to one another. The course will culminate in a final project consisting of a chapbook of poems written and revised during the duration of the term.

Engl 32300
Prerequisite: English 22100
Film and TV Writing Workshop
29991                   sec. 1DE                  Marc Palmieri                       M 12:30 – 3:15pm

We will examine the storytelling possibilities of writing for this highly technical and collaborative art form.  Students will develop a script for the large or small screen – either film, television or webseries, and participate in brief “read-alouds” of portions of the drafts, and feedback discussions of classmates’ work.  Those interested in adapting one of his or her works of fiction, non-fiction or poetry to a screenplay form are encouraged to do so. This process comes with its own interesting set of expectations and strategies, and can be an enlightening exercise in the general honing of your story structure.

Engl 32400
Children’s Writing Workshop
Prerequisite: English 22100
29296                   sec. 3DE                 Pamela Laskin                       W 12:30 – 3:15pm

This course explores all the essential aspects of writing for children, including language/appropriate vocabulary, voice, audience, style and technique. The class will be taught sequentially in terms of age level, starting with pre-k and progressing to young adult. This class will be conducted as both a lecture/discussion and a workshop. Every week a select group of students will be required to bring in Xeroxed copies of their work for class critiquing. The skills of editing, revision and presentation will be explored.

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

ARAB 31303: Minorities in Contemporary Middle Eastern Literature and Cultures
ASIA 33200: Modern Chinese Literature
BLST 31100: Black Women Novelists
FREN 28300: Literature of Contemporary France

Publishing Courses

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.

Engl 31131
Digital & E-Book Publishing
35709                   sec. 4ST              Philip Rappaport                        TH 4:50 – 7:20pm

This course will examine the rise of the eBook from the advent of the internet and Google’s plan to digitize all books in print to the current debates about eBook formats offered via Kindle, the Sony Reader, the nook and the iPad. Rights, pricing and formats will be addressed. Ultimately, the future of publishing and the “book” will be discussed.

Engl 32501
Introduction to Publishing
35890                   sec. 2LM             Jennifer Buno                                  T 9:30 – 12:15pm

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. 

Engl 32502
Publishing Practicum
35735                   sec. 2ST             Yona Deshommes                        T 5:00 – 7:30pm

Students simulate the complete book-publishing process from contract negotiations to bound book.

Engl 32600
Books for Young Readers
35737                   sec. 1GH                 Nick Thomas                           M 5:00 – 7:30pm

A look at the world of publishing for children and young adults. Licensing, merchandising, sales and marketing to all age groups and reader categories will be discussed. Includes substantial reading of children’s titles.

Engl 32700
The Editorial Process
35869                   sec. 3HJ               Danny Vazquez                          W 6:30 – 9:00pm

An in-depth look at the editorial process from a corporate and employment-seeking perspective. Includes visits from authors and industry professionals.

Engl 31003
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.