Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jessica Hagedorn's Playwriting Class Welcomes Michael Friedman to Campus

Professor Hagedorn's playwriting workshop (Creative Writing MFA program) is exploring what it means to adapt a work from one medium to another. You are invited to join the class on November 5 for a conversation with Michael Friedman, composer & lyricist of the current hit musical, The Fortress of Solitude, based on the acclaimed novel by Jonathan Lethem.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Faculty Mentors for English Majors (undergrad)


Prior to registration each semester, every undergraduate English major should meet with Wayne Berninger, the Department’s Undergraduate Advisor. Mr. Berninger uses an app called Setster for appointment booking. Setster allows you to book your own appointment without having to play phone tag or send a bunch of e-mails. To use this free service to book your own appointment, click here. Here is a video that will show you how to use Setster.


Mr. Berninger uses an app called Remind, which makes it possible to send send a single text message that goes to the whole group. To sign up for this free service, go here. The widget below shows the most recent text messages that have gone out.








For guidance with everything other than registration, please meet with your Faculty Mentor at least once per semester. 

Go here for mentors' contact info.


Assignments are as follows.
  • student (concentration) -- mentor
  • Sarai Arroyo (CW) -- John High
  • Jocelyn Baskett (Lit) -- Srividhya Swaminathan
  • Krista Benitez (WR) -- Michael Bokor
  • Barrington Boothe (WR) -- John Killoran
  • Stephen Cadavillo (Lit) -- Patrick Horrigan
  • Fanta Camara (Lit) -- Sealy Gilles
  • Alexa Carter-Rodriguez (CW) -- John High
  • Melissa Clermont (Lit) -- Donald McCrary
  • Stacy D'Cunha (Lit) -- Carol Allen
  • Ralph Dorsinville (Lit) -- Jonathan Haynes
  • Kathryn Dure  (Lit) -- Sealy Gilles
  • Laquesha Ekowo (CW) -- John High
  • Celina Flores (CW) -- Lewis Warsh
  • Alicia Folk (WR) -- Donald McCrary
  • Kristin Griffith (Lit) -- Maria McGarrity
  • Candace Harris (Lit) -- Louis Parascandola
  • Kristen Heim (Lit) -- Srividhya Swaminathan
  • Joy Jackson (WR) -- Michael Bokor
  • Yu June Lee (WR) -- Michael Bokor
  • Madison Lukosius (WR) -- John Killoran
  • Jessica Montrose (Lit) -- Sealy Gilles
  • Muzahid ("Jahid") Mowla (WR) -- Patricia Stephens
  • Rose Nash (Lit) -- Michael Bennett
  • Warline Norzeus (Lit) -- Carol Allen
  • Jessica Persaud (WR) -- Patricia Stephens
  • Brittany Rader  (WR) -- John Killoran
  • Rebecca Rimple (CW) -- Lewis Warsh
  • Anisha Robertson (WR) -- Deborah Mutnick
  • Daniel Rosenberg (CW) -- Lewis Warsh
  • Roksolana Sheverack (Lit) -- Leah Dilworth
  • Mahima Singh (Lit) -- Bernard Schweizer
  • Tashawana Smith (WR) -- Patricia Stephens
  • Miguel Sosa (WR) -- Donald McCrary
  • Aaron Stewart (CW) -- John High
  • Shannon Thomas (WR) -- Wayne Berninger
  • Remson Younge (WR) -- Deborah Mutnick

Book Party for Lewis Warsh


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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Our Condolences to the Family & Friends of Rosemary Mayer

We are saddened by the news that Rosemary Mayer, an adjunct professor in the English Department at Long Island University from 1988 to 2009, died on Saturday morning, October 18, after a long illness. In recent years, she was a lecturer in the Fine Arts Department at LaGuardia Community College.

Rosemary was born in Ridgewood, Queens and lived in New York for most of her life. She studied classics at St. Joseph’s College and at the University of Iowa and art at the School of Visual Arts and the Brooklyn Museum Art School. She was most well-known for her sculptural work and installations in the 1970s and 1980s as well as her involvement in the feminist art movement. Her translation of the diary of the Italian Mannerist artist Jacopo da Pontormo, which included a catalogue of Mayer’s work, was published in 1979. Her most recent projects involved illustrating the epic stories of Beowulf and Gilgamesh and the history of the women of the Roman Empire. She received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Council on the Arts, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. She had solo exhibitions at A.I.R Gallery, the Monique Knowlton Gallery, the Pam Adler Gallery, among many others.

She lived for forty years in a loft in Tribeca and most recently in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Please send letters of condolence to Lewis Warsh at lwarsh@mindspring.com.

UPDATE 10/23/2014: Link to New York Times obituary.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Update from Professor Jonathan Haynes

Professor Jonathan Haynes (English) took part in the Australasian Nollywood Film Festival as a panelist (via video link) on a forum, "Nigerian Movies in the Diaspora," at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. The event took place October 9. 

On October 16, he will be on another panel at Auckland University of Technology.

In other news, Professor Haynes has been elected to the Democratic Party Committee of the Town of Southampton.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Undergraduate Courses -- Spring 2015

http://bit.ly/1AJ6V01
Don't wait! Register now for Spring 2015! 

These course descriptions are provided by the professors teaching the courses. 

For more information, write to them directly. 

English Majors — Before you register, make an appointment to meet with Wayne Berninger to review your outstanding requirements. Then register as early as possible to keep courses from being canceled.

Non-Majors — The writing and analytical skills gained in English courses are useful in a variety of professions. Any student may take these courses as general electives. A minor in English (four courses 100 or above) will satisfy the Distribution Requirement for any major. For more information, make an appointment to meet with Wayne Berninger.




ENG 104 Creative Writing (Course ID# 5449)
Diaries, Letters Home, Poems
Professor John High
Mondays & Wednesdays 4:30-5:45

This course will satisfy a Creative Writing elective requirement in the Literature concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can count as one of the four required Creative Writing workshops in the Creative Writing concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor.

Writing letters home, turning diary entries into artistic expressions, opening up your journal and composing poems and stories again—as you once loved to do as a child (remember that world of imagination?)—this is the goal of the course. Who is it you need to reach, need to communicate with now that you are here? What’s at the core of personal feelings and what happens when you express the inner mappings of the roads you have travelled to arrive on this campus? What is the music, lyrics—the artists who carried/carry you through, spoke to you in deep ways? Here we will tap into the inner voice.  It is worth saying, writing, expressing, as so many great artists, musicians, and writers have suggested and done for so many centuries of time. And why do expressions of our true nature have to be seen as superfluous when inside we know our own intimate need to express our experience is primary to our well being and thriving in the university and in life.  Poems of laughter, poems of rage, stories of becoming. Diaries of dreams. Musings of the natural world. Contemplations of urban life in NYC. Haikus. Lyrics. Prayers. Epistles. Flights of imagination. Who said we have to give up these games of being and recognizing our relationship to the universe we live in? In this course we’ll play and explore the writing we once did, often still do, even secretly, in order to transform new words into literary paths, into a new language of realizing our own experience and secret lives, and of honoring that as the core of who we are and want, even need, to become. This course will include weekly readings and writings to music, contemplation, and workshops, and it will conclude with putting together a chapbook (a small book artistically and attentively constructed) of your own writings.

ENG 126 News Writing (Course ID# 4665)
Professor Donald Bird (Journalism Department)
Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:30-2:55

This course will satisfy a Writing & Rhetoric elective requirement in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can satisfy a general English elective requirement in the Literature concentration. It can satisfy the Writing & Rhetoric requirement in either the Literature concentration or the Creative Writing concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor. Please note that this course is cross-listed with JOU 119. Students who wish this course to count toward the English major (or minor) should be sure to register for ENG 126 — not JOU 119. Contact the Journalism Department for information about the content of this course.

ENG 129 Later British Literatures (Course ID# 4356)
The Artist Coming of Age: Creating the “Uncreated Conscience”
Professor Maria McGarrity
Mondays & Wednesdays 3-4:15

This course is required in the Literature concentration.  It can satisfy a Literature requirement in either the Creative Writing concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor.

This course will examine the development of artistic consciousness in the British tradition.  We will examine the role of the artist in society, his or her alienation from society, the unique perspectives of the artist and his or her role as critic, both literary and social.  We will begin with the youthful artistic idealism of Keats, move onto a discussion of Wordsworth’s vision of the poet, Byron’s art in action, and expand our vision of the artist to include the feminine with Christina Rosetti and Virginia Woolf.  We will transition into the Modern period with Wilde’s conception of criticism as art.  Finally we will examine modernity and the aftermath of Joyce’s achievement through the twentieth century.  We will challenge the idea that any writer can, as Joyce claimed to through his character Stephen Dedalus, “create the uncreated conscience of [his] race.”

Required Texts
  • Greenblatt, et al., eds. The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors. Volume B. 9th Edition.
  • Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as  Young Man. Norton Critical Edition.

ENG 159 Literature of the United States Since 1865 (Course ID# 4083)
Professor Michael Bennett
Wednesdays 6-8:30


This course is required in the Literature concentration.  It can satisfy a Literature requirement in either the Creative Writing concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor.

What is American literature? In one sense, the answer would have to be any creative writing by an author who was born, lived, or currently resides in the United States.  But what kind of creative writing do we count as literature worthy of study? We will consider the content and form of creative writing that seems to qualify, encountering a variety of texts from authors of different races, genders, sexualities, classes, politics, and other social characteristics because this diversity reflects the range of individuals and cultures that make up American society.  Our reading will include various genres (fiction, poetry, drama, and cross-genre work), and you will be encouraged to think about the unique features of each genre and how each creates meanings that are open to critical interpretation.

For the first few centuries of the history of American literature, traditional forms were predominant. Poetry was written, for the most part, in meter, using rhyme and/or rhythm and/or received forms. Fiction and drama utilized classical plot structures and observed, as much as possible, the unities of place, time, character, and action.  But with the arrival of the twentieth century, something different happens:  meter is abandoned, narratives fracture, unities break down. These evolutions in form and technique are related to socio-historical transformations—the impact of urbanization, industrialism and post-industrialism; the rise of mass consumer culture; the spread of new media technologies, such as film, television, the internet, hypertext; developments in other art forms, including music (jazz and rock), art (impressionism, expressionism, abstract expressionism), and architecture (with its own modern and postmodern styles); "advances" in globalization and permanent warfare. By and large, modernists bemoan this cultural fragmentation while postmodernists celebrate, or at least accept, it. Where does this leave the contemporary American writer? With at least these options: attempt to revivify the traditional forms that evolved from the neo-classical era to the age of realism; join the modernists in lamenting, or postmodernists in making the most of, what has been lost; or try to form an avant-garde that is somehow post-postmodern. Together we will look at the literature that has shaped these choices and see how these forms are transposed in poetry, fiction, drama, and cross-genre works written in the United States.

ENG 166 Fiction Workshop (Course ID# 4136)

Professor Lewis Warsh
Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:30-5:45

This course will satisfy a Creative Writing elective requirement in the Creative Writing concentration.  It can satisfy a general English elective requirement in the Literature concentration. It can satisfy the Creative Writing requirement in either the Literature concentration or the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor. English majors concentrating in Creative Writing may take this course a second time for credit.

This workshop will focus on the way autobiography overlaps with fiction and how the past is fictionalized as a way of keeping it alive. We'll consider the possibility of writing about ourselves with total detachment, as objectively as if we were writing about someone else. Our writing project will include working with secrets, memories, observations, opinions, overheard conversations--fragments of everything.  Class time will be spent critiquing each other's writing and discussing traditional and experimental forms and approaches. Writers under discussion include Marguerite Duras, Paul Bowles, Anna Kavan, Clarice Lispector, Roberto BolaƱo, Jack Kerouac, Zora Neale Hurston and Franz Kafka.

ENG 172 Introduction to Contemporary Rhetorical Theory (Course ID# 5777)
Professor Patricia Stephens
Tuesdays 6-8:30

This course is required in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration.  It can satisfy a general English elective requirement in the Literature concentration. It can satisfy the Writing & Rhetoric requirement in either the Literature concentration or the Creative Writing concentration. It can also be applied toward the English minor.

In the first half of the semester, we will immerse ourselves in reading works by key contemporary rhetoricians (from the 19th Century to the present).  We will focus primarily on western rhetorical traditions, though we will occasionally look at other traditions for the purposes of comparison. We will begin by studying influential teachers of Rhetoric and Writing, noting how rhetorical theories informed teaching practices at various universities, including (but not limited to) Harvard, Yale, Amherst, Wiley College (an historically Black college in Marshall, TX), and others. In addition, we will study the rhetorics of public figures and activists such as Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Kenneth Burke, Henry Louis Gates, W.E.B DuBois and Gloria Anzaldua. Throughout, we will focus on mastery of key rhetorical concepts and ever-changing trends as we apply forms of rhetorical analysis to a variety of contemporary texts.

ENG 180 Genre Studies / Fascination Satan: The Devil Across the Ages in Religion & Art (Course ID# 6182)
Professor Bernard Schweizer
Tuesdays & Thursdays 3-4:15

This course will explore the meaning of Satan (aka Lucifer, aka Samael) in different religious traditions, literary texts, art, and pop culture productions. The principal artists to be studied include John Milton, Mark Twain, Mikhail Bulgakov, Charles Baudelaire, Elie Wiesel, James Morrow, and others. We will consistently approach our subject from four complementary perspectives:
  • Artistic adaptations of Satan (all of the assigned primary texts).
  • Scholarly analyses of these artistic adaptations.
  • Historical inquiries into the development of the figure of Lucifer/Satan in Jewish, Christian, as well as “heretical” belief systems (Pagels, Russell, Matthews).
  • Pop-cultural uses of Satan, including manifestations of organized Satanism.
This interdisciplinary course weaves together strands of inquiry ranging from religious history, to theology, to philosophy, to literary history and criticism, to art history, to the history of ideas. Among the topics to be explored are: Satanism; Satan and comedy; theodicy (or the Problem of Evil); Satan as muse & culture hero; Satan and liberation; Satan and witch-craft; Gnosticism and the demiurge; Satan and misotheism; Satan in Jewish and Christian scriptures.

The religious background of Satan is anything but straight-forward: in the Old Testament, Satan functions as God’s messenger, as a member of God’s inner council and as a correctional obstruction acting in man’s best interest. The identification of Satan as the purely evil opponent of God only came into focus around the time of Jesus’ life. The early Christians also took pains to depict non-Christian deities (such as the Greek fertility God Pan) as demons. Since then, the image of Satan has remained in flux. While he is the embodiment of evil and sin in traditional Christian lore, in some Western literary traditions, notably in Romanticism, Satan comes off as a political liberator and a culture hero. And don’t forget that rock and roll was originally called the “Devil’s music.” The reception of Satan includes these as well as many other aspects across the ages.

In addition to the following readings, we will go to the MET to study pictorial representations of Satan. The MET will organize a docent-led tour of the relevant sections of the museum with rich offerings in the subject.

Assigned Primary Texts:

from Paradise Lost by John Milton
From The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake
The Temptation of Christ (Matt. 4:1-11)
The Book of Job
Baudelaire, “The Litany of Satan”
Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger
Anatole France, Revolt of the Angels*
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita*
Elie Wiesel, The Trial of God*
James Morrow, Blameless in Abaddon*

Assigned Secondary Texts:

Mephistopheles: The Devil in the Modern Age by Jeffrey B. Russell *
Excerpts from Satan: The Early Christian Tradition by Jeffrey Burton Russell
Excerpts from Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages by Jeffrey Burton Russell
“The Social History of Satan”; excerpt from Elaine Pagels, The Origins of Satan
“Character Profile;” from Harold Bloom’s Major Literary Characters: Satan
“Satan” by C.S. Lewis
Excerpts from Chris Mathews, Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Radical Subculture
“Protest or Process: Theodicy Responses to Elie Wiesel’s The Trial of God by Dustin Faulstick

ENG 190 Senior Seminar in Literature (Course ID# 3986)
Staff TBA
Mondays 6-8:30


This course is required in the Literature concentration. If you register for this course, and it cancels due to low enrollment, consult the Undergraduate Advisor (Wayne Berninger). If you need it for May graduation, we can arrange for you to take it as a Tutorial. Otherwise, we may ask you to wait until the next time it’s offered.

ENG 191 Senior Seminar in Creative Writing (Course ID# 4289)
Professor John High
Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:30-5:45

This course is required in the Creative Writing concentration. If you register for this course, and it cancels due to low enrollment, consult the Undergraduate Advisor (Wayne Berninger). If you need it for May graduation, we can arrange for you to take it as a Tutorial. Otherwise, we may ask you to wait until the next time it’s offered.

ENG 192 Senior Seminar in Writing & Rhetoric (Course ID# 4087)
Staff TBA

Thursdays 6-8:30

This course is required in the Writing & Rhetoric concentration. If you register for this course, and it cancels due to low enrollment, consult the Undergraduate Advisor (Wayne Berninger). If you need it for May graduation, we can arrange for you to take it as a Tutorial. Otherwise, we may ask you to wait until the next time it’s offered.




Honors Courses Taught by English-Department Faculty

When taught by English Department faculty, Honors courses numbered 100 and above may be applied toward the English major or the English minor. Please discuss your plan with Wayne Berninger in the English Department before you register in order to confirm which requirement the course may satisfy. The following are eligible courses being offered in Spring 2015.

HHE 111 Studies in Material Culture (Class ID# 5844)
Professor Leah Dilworth / Mondays 3-5:30

HHE 112 Classics in Performance (Class ID# 5845)
Professor Sealy Gilles / Wednesdays 6-8:30

HHE 114 Post Apartheid in South Africa (Class ID# 5847)Professor Patricia Stephens / M 10-12:30