Professor Belli | Fall 2022 | City Tech

Getting to Know Professor Belli :)

Hi everyone! I’m an Associate Professor of English here at City Tech, and for many years I also served as Co-Director of the OpenLab, the collegeโ€™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 at City Tech is to work with our amazing students, so I’m really excited to spend the next few months with you in this course.

I earned my Ph.D. from The Graduate Center, CUNY; that makes me a proud CUNY alum (just like you will be in a few years!). My research interests are utopian studies, science fiction, happiness, grief, writing studies, digital humanities, education, and the tarot. Feel free to ask me what any of these things mean, or why they matter!

Views from a hike I did in Mount Rainier National Park (in Washington State), just before fog rolled in so thick you couldn’t see right in front of you! Such a mind-bogglingly beautiful place.

Fun facts about your professor? I played soccer growing up, and played ice hockey in college. I am a violinist (I started when I was two years old!), and play with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra; in early 2020, right before the pandemic hit, we went on tour in Mexico City (what an amazing experience!). I love traveling the world, rambling road trips, hiking, and camping. I especially find joy in spending time in nature and soaking up all the sunsets & all the stars. It makes me feel peaceful, grateful, and expansive. I often eat pizza, kale, and Himalayan food, and put way too much hot sauce on basically everything. Sometimes I wear glow-in-the-dark dinosaur socks ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m your professor, but I’m also a human being. I do my best to bring my whole self to the classroom, to my community, and to my writing. I hope you will as well. I believe that’s when the best (most meaningful, most joyful, most authentic) teaching and learning happens. That’s when we do our best work. That’s when we connect and grow most — as writers, as readers, as thinkers, as people.

I look forward to reading your Introduction posts, and to connecting and growing with you this semester. Let the journey begin …


  1. Rubi

    It seems your a nice chill teacher and knows what your doing

    • Jill Belli

      Thanks for the kind words ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Jasper

    Hello Professor. Can you explain a little about what the tarot is? Is that something related to tarot cards and fortune telling?

    • Jill Belli

      Sure Jasper — thanks for your interest! The tarot is a deck of (playing) cards, traditionally made up of 78 cards broken down into the major and minor arcana (don’t get bogged down in all the terminology, though I’d be happy to explain further if you’re interested!). Here is a link to images / descriptions of the major arcana (cards 0-21, typically represented as the “fool’s journey):

      The tarot has a really long history, and the cards have been depicted and used differently in different cultures and times. Some people see tarot as a means of divination, or fortune-telling, but personally, I don’t see them as predictive (meaning I don’t see them telling the future of what will happen). For me, they are a way of story-telling, of understanding different symbols and patterns in your life (and the lives of others), of creativity and self-reflection.

      • Mozeer

        Thats pretty interesting!

        • Jill Belli

          I think so Mozeer … glad you do too! In fact, I am working on developing a writing curriculum around the tarot, where we use the cards as “texts” in our ENG 1101 course. Hopefully I can offer that in future semesters here at City Tech, and hopefully the students will find it interesting too ๐Ÿ™‚

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