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Great Writers, Great Readings

Course Schedule and Descriptions



 Prof. J. DiGaetani

Students in this course read, study, discuss, and write about contemporary British theatre – that is, British drama since World War II.  Playwrights to be studied may include Samuel Beckett, John Osbourne, Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter, David Hare, Alan Ayckbourn, Peter Shaffer, Michael Frayn, and Christopher Hampton.  Since the course will be taught in London, classwork will be supplemented with performances of contemporary plays, along with the classics of world theatre (depending on what is being staged in London at the time).  Classwork will be augmented with performances at the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the West End and/or fringe performances, and a backstage tour of the Royal National Theatre.  The course will include four theatre performances.  Optional theatre performances are available as well.

The course will introduce students to the city of London as the literary and dramatic capital of the English-speaking world.  The British Library will be used as a major resource for literary research.   


ENGL 291P A DREAMING IN LITERATURE (Prof. .S. Harshbarger) R 6:30-8:20PM
CRWR 240 A POETRY WRITING (Prof. P. Levin) M  6:30-8:20PM                 
CRWR 241 A FICTION WRITING (Prof. M. McPhee) W   6:30-8:20PM
CRWR 293U A STORY & NATRATIVE VOICE (Prof. J. Markus) T 6:30-8:20PM
SPAN 240 A POETRY WRITING IN SPANISH (Prof. Miguel-Angel Zapata) T 6:30-8:20PM

(NB: The MFA Program requires students to complete credits in English; the MA Program allows students up to 6-credits in  CRWR  to count toward the degree.  Should you have any questions about our offerings or your degree requirements, please contact the graduate directors of your individual programs: for the MFA, contact Prof. Craig Rustici at engcmr[at]hofstra.edu

R  6:30-8:20PM

Prof. S. Harshbarger
Dreaming and Literature
If, as Bert States writes, “dreaming is the ur-form of all fiction," what can investigations into how and why we dream tell us about the nature, form, and function of literature?  Conversely, what can investigations into how and why we create literature tell us about the nature, form, and function of dreams and dreaming?  This course will draw on scientific research, literary theory, fiction, and poetry in order to explore how works of literature can illuminate the experience of dreaming and how theories about how and why we dream can illuminate literature.  While we focus on the relationship between dreaming and literary expression, we will discuss several related topics: play, ritual, religious experience, trance, lucid dreaming and other forms of consciousness akin to dream states.  Literary authors will include S.T. Coleridge, Thomas De Quincey, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Franz Kafka, and Lewis Carroll.

CRWR 240 A
M  6:30-8:20PM

Prof. P. Levin

In this poetry workshop we continue to compose and revise new poems while studying elements of the craft, the interplay of mystery and mastery. We critique each other's work with an ear and eye for problems and solutions, and problems as solutions—opportunities for risk and discovery. Exploring different ways of moving through a poem to find its essential sound and vital shape, we consider the dynamic interaction of rhythm, syntax, lineation, diction, and tone. We also devote time to discussing notable poems (including selected translations) exemplifying a range of voices, styles, and techniques. Students are encouraged to experiment with various stanza patterns and rhetorical forms, to discover myriad freedoms in the measure of a line—to swerve, soar, and dive into language.

CRWR 241 A     
W   6:30-8:20PM

Prof. M. McPhee

Heraclitus famously wrote, “Character is destiny.”  In this classic fiction workshop we will be looking closely at character in order to better understand psychological complexity and how character is the machine that drives narrative.  Though all stories submitted to class will have multiple characters, there should be one central character whose plight you are trying to articulate.  Remember that we must find all of our characters inside of ourselves.  There will be three submissions across the semester.  The stories should closely explore three DIFFERENT main characters.

Story & Narrative Voice
T 6:30-8:20PM

Prof. J. Markus

This graduate course allows the student to write either fiction or creative nonfiction.  Both genre are dependent for power and effect on the story that is told and the narrative voice that is employed to tell it.  These two elements will be explored throughout--both in students' work and in reading assignments to be determined. The emphasis in the course, however, is the creative development of students'   own work. Each week their work will be read in class and discussed.  Only revised work will be turned in to the instructor for a grade and an end term portfolio will allow for further refinement in style and content as well as an opportunity to reflect on both genre.  All are free to write in one or both genre to develop the narrative voice that best expresses the story they wish to tell.

Great Writers, Great Readings