Opportunities: Literature Classes in Summer and Fall 2020

Please spread the word that the English department is offering literature courses in the Summer and Fall 2020 semesters. These range from literature survey courses to really interesting special topics courses on storytelling or dystopias. I’m listing the Summer classes below, and more information about the Fall classes is available here.

ENG 2001 (Intro to Lit I-Fiction)
ENG 2002 (Intro to Lit II-Drama)
ENG 2003 (Intro to Lit III-Poetry)
ENG 2170ID (Intro to Studies in Maleness and Manhood)
ENG 2400 (Films from Literature)
ENG 3402 (Topics in Literature). This course will be taught by Prof. Goodison with the topic “Storytelling in Film, Art, & Design.” Students will study a selection of contemporary short fiction, short film, and art to discuss techniques of storytelling. They will then apply some of these techniques to create their own photography, sound, video, sketch, or multimedia project.

Assignment: Lecture 12 on Feminist SF and Afrofuturism

Here’s the penultimate (next to last) lecture in our Science Fiction class. It’s on Feminist SF and Afrofuturism, and it picks up the omitted reading from our last lecture by James Tiptree, Jr.

Apologies for the video being cropped. I didn’t realize until after I had recorded the hour long lecture that it cropped my screen’s resolution. I reviewed it and don’t think it is too detrimental. Listen to what I’m talking about and you can look up some of the images and details that are cut off from the video.

As a reminder, the last day of class is Wednesday, May 20. All assignments will be due by midnight that day. This includes your:

  • research essay
    • posted to OpenLab
    • directions included in the lecture 11 post last week)
  • weekly summaries
    • posted to OpenLab as comments on each “Assignment: Lecture” post
  • notebooks
    • email a scanned PDF or photos of each page as JPGs to jellis at citytech.cuny.edu
    • I will reply with confirmation
  • final exam
    • I will email the take-home final exam to everyone next week and post a copy on our OpenLab site.
    • Read the directions carefully.
    • Please write your answers to each question in your own words.
    • There are several ways to submit your exam to me via email at jellis at citytech.cuny.edu–I will confirm receipt
      • Write your answers into a Word docx file and attach it to an email
      • Write your answers into a Word docx file and copy-and-paste your answers into an email
      • Handwrite your answers on notebook paper and scan your responses into a PDF attached to an email

Opportunity: COVID-19 Stories Extra Credit

The OpenLab runs a student-focused blog called The Buzz. You’re invited to share your own stories related to COVID-19. If you’re interested in sharing your experiences with other students via The Buzz, I’m happy to give extra credit (adding points to a project or replacing a missed weekly writing assignment) for your participation.

To earn the extra credit, you’ll need to write a piece that’s at least 250-words long (longer is certainly okay) that responds to the prompt included below. Then, email your writing to me so that I can give you feedback. Finally, revise your essay and then follow the directions on this post to publish your work on The Buzz. The prompt is below:

You are invited to share your story on The Buzz, offering others a glimpse into your experience. You might share a story about yourself or your loved ones who are grappling with distress or describe how your everyday life and routines have changed due to health concerns and requirements for physical distancing. You might also write about ways that you have managed to find a sense of contentment or learned new strengths or skills you didn’t know you had.

Assignment: Lecture 11 on New Wave SF (continued) and Star Trek

Here’s the eleventh lecture, which continues New Wave SF with Samuel R. Delany and the original Star Trek series. Write a comment on this post by Wed, May 6 that is at least 250 words long summarizing the lecture, your reading of Samuel R. Delany’s “Aye, and Gomorrah,” and viewing of Star Trek’s “The City on the Edge of Forever.” While I asked you to read James Tiptree, Jr.’s “The Women Men Don’t See,” you may include it in this summary or hold it for the following week’s assignment when I lecture on it and Feminist SF (I wanted you to read ahead so that we could keep things on track). Email me at jellis at citytech.cuny.edu or come to my Wed 5-6pm office hours with questions.

Assignment: Posting Your Final Research Essay

You’ll want to submit your final research essay as a post to our OpenLab site by the end of the day of the last day of class on May 20. You’re welcome to turn it in early, too. If something comes up to prevent you from turning it on time, please drop me an email letting me know what’s going on and when you think that you can submit your work.

Below, I’m including a video demonstrating how to post your research essay to our OpenLab site. Further below, I have a set of screenshots that highlight the main points that I talk about in the video.

Screencast Showing How to Publish Your Research Essay to Our OpenLab Site

Steps for Publishing Your Research Essay to Our OpenLab Site

First, login to OpenLab. Then, navigate to our OpenLab site. Next, mouseover the plus and click on Post.
Add a check mark next to "Student Research Essay" under Categories.
Click in "Add title" and add your title and byline. Then, click in "Start writing" and paste your research essay from your word processor here.
In your essay, remember to center your title following your MLA name block and center the "Works Cited" title at the end of your essay.
Click Publish and then click Publish again to publish your work to our OpenLab site. Navigate back to our OpenLab site to confirm that it is in fact published.

Assignment: Lecture 10 on New Wave Science Fiction

Lecture 10 on New Wave Science Fiction, Harlan Ellison, and Philip K. Dick is embedded above. Write your own notes into your notebook for the lecture and your readings of Ellison’s “Repent, Harlequin, Said the Ticktockman!” and Dick’s “The Electric Ant.” Then, add a comment to this post of at least 250-words summarizing the lecture and your readings before Wednesday, April 29.

Keep track of the lectures and readings. You can check the Dashboard > Comments on our site to see if you’ve missed any 250-word summaries. If you have, get them done and send me an email letting me know which ones you’ve caught up on.

As I’ve said before, this is a challenging time that we find ourselves in right now. To be a successful student with distance learning requires tremendous self-discipline. I know that you all can do it, but depending on your circumstances, it can take more or less conscious effort on your part.

If you haven’t reached out to me yet about your research essay, please send me an email to jellis at citytech.cuny.edu with your plan. I’ll reply with some feedback and advice.

I will have my weekly office hours via Google Hangouts on Wednesday, April 22 between 5-6pm. I’ll post an announcement beforehand with the link. Email me if you need to talk at a different day/time.

If you’ve seen the film Galaxy Quest, you know the catchphrase: “Never give up! Never surrender!”

Assignment: Lecture 9 on Science Fiction Film through the 1950s and Forbidden Planet

For this week’s class, we’re turning our attention to Science Fiction Film through the 1950s and Forbidden Planet. Before Wednesday, April 22, watch the lecture and Forbidden Planet, and post a comment here of at least 250-words summarizing both.

Remember to email me at jellis at citytech.cuny.edu with your research essay project ideas and I’ll get back to you with some helpful feedback.

Also, I will have office hours on Wednesday between 5-6pm on Google Hangouts. I’ll post a link to our OpenLab site beforehand.

Stay well and good luck!