Jill Belli’s Profile

Faculty
active 1 month, 2 weeks 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

OpenLab Sandbox

OpenLab Sandbox

Sandbox course for OpenLab workshops

The Composition of Happiness

The Composition of Happiness

In English Composition I (ENG 1101), we will work our way through the complex and contradictory nature of “happiness,” exploring abstract concepts (such as virtue, value, freedom, and progress), zooming in to study individual needs and desires (and the ways in which these are both created by and marketed to by things such as popular culture, advertising, and self-help products), exploring the “science of happiness” as defined by the expanding field of positive psychology, and finally broadening our gaze to engage contemporary measurements of well-being and applications of it in areas such as social media, digital technologies, city planning, economic policies, and educational curricula. Throughout the course, we will engage “happiness” as a discourse (the rhetoric of happiness) that both circulates in and helps create our world and ourselves, and we will move from merely personal visions and/or cultural stereotypes of happiness to more critical, theoretically grounded perspectives on the subject. We will ask many questions about happiness/well-being, such as: • Why does studying/thinking critically about happiness matter? • How do we (and others) define happiness? • Are visions of happiness the same for everyone? • What values do these visions of happiness endorse (perhaps implicitly)? • How is happiness represented in various places, such as in the media, popular culture, advertising, schools, the government? • What do these representations teach us about what we should desire (and not desire), what we should value (and not value), what type of people we should be (and not be), and what type of actions we should take (and not take)? • Who gets to decide what happiness should look like? • Is happiness measurable? • How do you plan for/create happiness, both at the individual and the social level? • Is there equal access to happiness (or even the possibility of happiness)? • (Perhaps counter-intuitively) Is happiness (as defined by mainstream rhetoric/politics) even desirable? If not, how we might we imagine alternative visions of/methods for happiness/well-being? Since this is a composition course, we will never leave writing out of the picture: all class meetings will be devoted in part to writing, revising, and/or discussing ideas and drafts. The last segment of the course centers on a collaborative service learning assignment (with HUS 1101), involving fieldwork and research, that assesses well-being in the City Tech environment and presents recommendations to various stakeholders in our college community. *This course is part of a learning community with Human Services Professor Justine Pawlukewicz’s HUS 1101, D634 (80981), which meets on Wednesdays from 11:30am-2:00pm in Namm 419B. Ever wonder what happiness really is? In this English and Human Services learning community, you’ll explore–from pop culture, positive psychology, and social services perspectives–what makes individuals and communities flourish or flounder.

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.”

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/

My Projects

First-Year Writing Professional Development

First-Year Writing Professional Development

This project is for faculty participating in professional development for the First-Year Writing program at City Tech.

The Open Road

The Open Road

The Open Road is our place to highlight all that’s possible on the OpenLab. Join now to keep up on OpenLab news, events, and updates. Check our weekly In the Spotlight posts for a glimpse into the incredible work being done by City Tech students, faculty, and staff. Follow OpenLab News for announcements and site updates. And see our OpenLab Calendar for office hours, events, and workshops. You can find our workshop schedule and signup for workshops here as well. The Open Road is also a place for the OpenLab community (meaning you!). We would love your feedback, insight, and comments. Please send along anything on the OpenLab that you love! We are always available for any questions you might have. Email us anytime at openlab@citytech.cuny.edu!

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate Research

Realizing the value of the research experience at the undergraduate level, this project is committed to fostering research opportunities for City Tech students. Faculty and students can use this project as a place to share announcements about research opportunities, as well as a place to offer information about the experiences students and faculty have had in their research endeavors. A handbook on effective mentoring, developed by the Undergraduate Research Committee, is currently available for download.

Office of the Provost

Office of the Provost

City Tech’s Source for Academic Affairs Information

Open Pedagogy on the OpenLab

Open Pedagogy on the OpenLab

The purpose of this project is to create a forum to ask questions, generate discussion, and share teaching materials, resources, and ideas about teaching and learning on the OpenLab. Avatar image: “The open door” by hehaden.

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.