Jill Belli’s Profile

Faculty
active 2 days, 15 hours ago
Jill Belli
Title
Associate Professor; Co-Director of the OpenLab
Department
English
Office Location
Namm 520 (mailbox: Namm 512)
Academic interests

utopian studies, science fiction, positive psychology, happiness studies, composition and rhetoric, writing studies, pedagogy (the scholarship of teaching and learning), education, digital humanities, American studies, cultural studies

Bio

Jill Belli, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of English at New York City College of Technology, CUNY (City University of New York) and Co-Director of OpenLab, the college’s open-source digital platform for teaching, learning, and collaborating. She teaches courses in the department’s B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing, and on utopian studies, science fiction, literature, and composition. Her research centers on utopian studies, positive psychology/happiness studies, composition and rhetoric/writing studies, digital humanities, and education/pedagogy. Her current book project, Pedagogies of Happiness, explores these intersections. She is a founding member of the Writing Studies Tree (writingstudiestree.org), an online, open-access, interactive academic genealogy for the field of writing studies, and she serves on the Steering Committee, the Teaching Committee, and as the web developer for the North American Society for Utopian Studies (utopian-studies.org). When not researching, writing, or teaching, Jill practices yoga and plays violin with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra.

Work Phone
(718) 260-4974
Email address
Twitter
CUNY Academic Commons

My Courses

Introduction to Literature I: Fiction

Introduction to Literature I: Fiction

We will begin the semester by exploring short stories and learning the elements of fiction, and then we will move on to read two recent longer texts that foreground the act of storytelling itself. In particular, we will look closely at the ways in which the narrators of these texts constantly revisit, revise, and re-imagine their stories, blurring the lines between fiction and fact, and re-shaping both the plots and themselves in the process.

ENG 2420: Science Fiction

ENG 2420: Science Fiction

English 2420 combines analysis of science fiction as literature with consideration of the questions science and technology raise about past, present, and future societies. In class discussions and essays, students will focus on the basic elements of literary analysis, the historical development of the science fiction genre, and the thematic concerns of each assigned text. Class discussions will address issues of form and will delve into the cultural contexts that have helped shaped some of the core tropes of the genre, such as artificial intelligence and human/machine interactions, the exploration of space and time, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Attention will also be paid to the ways in which authors have used utopian and dystopian societies of the future to comment upon humanity’s present relationship with science and technology. Avatar Image Credit: NASA/Rachel Pike, https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa_langley/14170843814/in/album-72157644228081367/

English 2001: Introduction to Literature I Fiction

English 2001: Introduction to Literature I Fiction

Together, we will learn the elements of fiction and practice close reading through various short stories and two post-apocalyptic novels that explore notions of identity, storytelling, and imagining other possibilities/worlds. In particular, we will consider how the texts’ settings constrain their narrators, and how these narrators make sense—through language—of their lives when they don’t always have control over what happens to them. We will pay close attention to how these narrators constantly revisit, revise, and re-imagine their stories, blurring the lines between fiction and fact, and re-shaping the plots, themselves, and their worlds in the process. “Analysis and critical understanding of selected fiction. Exams and essays based on readings.”

Utopias & Dystopias (ENG 2000: Perspectives in Literature)

Utopias & Dystopias (ENG 2000: Perspectives in Literature)

This course is an introduction to literature through the lens of “utopia,” or the desire for a different, better way of being. Through exploring short stories, novels, poetry, songs, advertisements, films, TV shows, the news, social media, and our own experiences, we will critically examine the blurry line between utopia & dystopia: when/how/why various utopian impulses (such as happiness, progress, technological advancement, efficiency, stability) that are intended to improve society can go (and have gone) terribly awry. We will look at how thinkers have historically imagined some of the more frightening and perhaps unforeseen and unintended consequences of “utopia”, and then we will apply these fictional visions to the real-life contemporary world in which we live. We will ask ourselves the difficult (but unavoidable) questions that emerge from such a study: what are the values behind our actions? How do we conceive of/build for things such as happiness, progress, knowledge? How does our increasing dependence on science and technology (often viewed as utopian tools capable of leveling the playing field, sharing diverse ideas, bridging distances, and uniting people from different backgrounds/races/cultures) have the potential to transform into frightening methods of control, censorship, conformity, and isolation? Are our virtual connections/lives/memories displacing our sense of the “real”? Have we retained (and if so, can we continue to maintain) “humanity” in this “post-human” age of commodification, cybernetics, and catastrophe? Will the environment withstand our relentless abuse of it? Will people withstand our relentless abuse of one another? In our attempt to answer these questions (and others) throughout the semester, we will develop critical perspectives that are an integral part of becoming competent thinkers, readers, writers, and citizens of the world. — ENG 2000 Description: “Readings in and writings about literature across genres, eras and locales. Themes include family, the individual and society, good and evil, gender, faith, and “”the human heart in conflict with itself.”” Essays and exams based on readings.”

ENG 2420: Science Fiction

ENG 2420: Science Fiction

English 2420 combines analysis of science fiction as literature with consideration of the questions science and technology raise about past, present, and future societies. In class discussions and essays, students will focus on the basic elements of literary analysis, the historical development of the science fiction genre, and the thematic concerns of each assigned text. Class discussions will address issues of form and will delve into the cultural contexts that have helped shaped some of the core tropes of the genre, such as artificial intelligence and human/machine interactions, the exploration of space and time, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Attention will also be paid to the ways in which authors have used utopian and dystopian societies of the future to comment upon humanity’s present relationship with science and technology. *Course Avatar Credit: Andrew Dutt (https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/members/cobaltdrew/) Andrew describes the image as follows: “The illustration featured above was done for a project where the theme was Robotics. It was done many years ago, and i guess that you could say I was influenced by The Matrix and Terminator in some of my robot designs. It shows a humanoid android cradling a human child in its arms, while an ominous sentinel-type machine looms behind with a menacing mechanical arm reaching for the baby. This dichotomy prompts the question: are the machines our friends or foe?”

My Projects

Exploratory Committee for English Degree

Exploratory Committee for English Degree

This is a private working group of the English department and its standing committee for exploring new curriculum and degree possibilities. Avatar Image Credit: Okefenokee Swamp (Jill Belli, personal photo)

Living Lab General Education Seminar Spring 2019

Living Lab General Education Seminar Spring 2019

This is a collaborative space for use by Living Laboratory General Education Seminar participants. This seminar will concentrate on incorporating the general education outcome of Information Literacies into our courses focusing on Kuh’s High Impact Educational Practices, place based learning, open pedagogy and assessment practices.

Living Lab General Education Seminar

Living Lab General Education Seminar

This site serves as a primary hub of information and resources for participants of the City Tech Living Lab General Education Seminar beginning in Spring 2019. General Education is a critical component of City Tech’s curriculum. This seminar provides support and training to full-time and part-time faculty seeking to enhance their integration of Gen Ed learning objectives into their assignments and courses. This site has compiled links to many of the Gen Ed seminar sites from previous years to serve as an archive and historical overview of the seminar.

OpenLab WeBWorK Integration Project

OpenLab WeBWorK Integration Project

This is a private group for members of the management and technical team that is developing OpenLab-WeBWorK integration. WeBWorK is an open source online homework system for math and science courses – more information can be found here: http://webwork.maa.org/ This project is part of the Title V Opening Gateways grant. Project Avatar by Flickr User Giacomo Milano https://flic.kr/p/8s4BjG

First Year Writing @ City Tech

First Year Writing @ City Tech

FYW@City Tech is a program and a digital forum for sharing curricular and pedagogical resources related to teaching and learning about writing at City Tech. The First Year Writing Program @ City Tech (FYW@City Tech) offers professional and curricular support for faculty teaching First Year Writing Courses (ENG1101 and ENG1121) at the college. As a repository of materials related to best practices in teaching writing, the FYW@City Tech Web site is a place where FYW instructors and faculty across the college can learn more about teaching writing and archive their unique disciplinary resources related to teaching writing at a college of technology.

My Clubs

Club Council OpenLab Workshop

Club Council OpenLab Workshop

This club site will be used for the tutorial portion of the Club Council OpenLab Workshop (Fall 2017) and will house materials that may be useful to club representatives in building out their own sites on the OpenLab.