Getting to know Professor Belli :)

I’m an Assistant Professor of English at New York City College of Technology, CUNY (City University of New York) and Co-Director of the OpenLab, the college’s open-source digital platform for teaching, learning, and collaborating (the same OpenLab that you’re reading this post on right now!). One of my favorite things to do here a the college is to teach courses on science fiction, utopias, dystopias! One of the most recent science fiction book I read is Station Eleven, a heart-wrenching post-apocalyptic narrative that I really enjoyed.

I’m also a founding member of the Writing Studies Tree, an online, open-access, interactive academic genealogy for the field of writing studies, and serve on the Steering Committee, the Teaching Committee, and as the web developer for the North American Society for Utopian Studies (utopias/dystopias overlap quite a bit with science fiction, an intersection we’ll be discussing throughout the semester!).

I stumbled upon this cafe in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was delighted to see its name almost mine (close enough!). In Russian, it means "once upon a time" ...

I stumbled upon this cafe in St. Petersburg, Russia, and was delighted to see its name almost mine (close enough!). In Russian, it means “once upon a time” …

I earned my Ph.D. from The Graduate Center, CUNY, and my current research interests are in utopian studies, happiness studies/positive psychology, writing studies, digital humanities, American studies, and education/pedagogy (feel free to ask me what any of these areas are!).

I played ice hockey in college (right wing), and have played the violin since I was two years old (and have played with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, though I’m taking a break at the moment to focus more on my scholarship). I practice yoga pretty regularly, love Thai food (the spicier the better!), Himalayan food, &  kale, and adore watching old sitcoms from the 70s and 80s (some of my favorites are Maude, Rhoda, Soap, The Golden Girls (I even wrote a book chapter on this show that’s being published in a few months)!), The Facts of Life, & Family Ties). I’m not stuck in the past though, and like more contemporary shows too. Some of my current favorites are Westworld, Breaking Bad, and Grace & Frankie.

I also really enjoy traveling: a few summers ago (when that photo above is from) I spent five weeks wandering abroad, in Russia, Finland, Czech Republic, and Switzerland, and spent much of this past Winter Break in Thailand … what amazing experiences!

I look forward your reading your Introductions and getting to know you, first virtually and then in person, as the semester progresses, and to discussing all-things-fiction together over the coming months! :)

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