Laura Westengard’s Profile

Faculty
active 2 weeks, 5 days ago
Laura Westengard
Title
Associate Professor
Department
English
Office Location
Namm 503
Academic interests

American Literature and Cultural Production after 1900, Queer Studies, Feminist Discourses, Trauma Studies, Composition Studies

Bio

Point Person–Gender & Sexuality Studies
Faculty Advisor–PRIDE Club
Chair–Literature Curriculum Committee

Laura Westengard earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Riverside, and she holds an M.A. from the University of California, Riverside and a B.A. from California State University, San Bernardino. Her research and teaching interests include American literature and culture after 1900, queer studies, cultural studies, trauma studies, intersectional feminism, Gothicism, composition, and developmental writing. She recently co-edited the book 25 Sitcoms that Changed Television: Turning Points in American Culture (Praeger, 2018), a collection that explores American culture after 1945 through the analysis of television sitcoms and their cultural resonances. Her current book project, Gothic Queer Culture, proposes the existence of a 20th and 21st century queer culture that responds to and challenges traumatic marginalization by creating a distinctly “Gothic” aesthetic (University of Nebraska Press, Fall 2019). Using a cultural studies approach to examine the Gothicism in queer art and literature–live burial in lesbian pulp fiction, monstrosity in AIDS poetry, sadomasochism in trans performance art, the undead in contemporary film and television–the book argues that queer culture is Gothic at its core.

Courses Taught/Developed

Literature:
ENG 2000: Perspectives in Literature (Outsider Literature; Gender and Sexuality Through Literature)
ENG 2400: Films from Literature
ENG 3402: Special Topics in Literature (Vampires in 20th and 21st Century American Literature, Film, and Television)
ENG 3407: Gothic Literature and Visual Culture

Gender & Sexuality Studies:
ENG 2160: Introduction to Women’s Studies
ENG 2180: Studies in Identity and Orientation

Composition and Developmental Writing:
ENG 092W: Developmental Writing II
ENG 1101: English Composition I

Education
Ph.D., English, University of California, Riverside
M.A., English, University of California, Riverside
B.A., English, with highest honors, California State University San Bernardino

Academic Interests
American literature and culture after 1900
Queer studies
Cultural studies
Trauma studies
Intersectional feminism
Gothicism

Publications

Articles in Refereed Journals:
“Comparing Faculty and Student Perception of Academic Performance, Classroom Behavior, and Social Interactions in Learning Communities.” Co-authored with Karen Goodlad and Jean Hillstrom. College Teaching. 13 April 2018. https://doi.org/10.1080/87567555.2018.1453472

“The Making of a New Writer: Tragedy and Tableau in Steinbeck’s Brooklyn.” Co-authored with Alan Lovegreen. Steinbeck Review. 13.1 (2016): 1-15.

“‘Conquering Immortality’: Gothic AIDS Literature as Queer Futurity in Gil Cuadros’ City of God.” JNT: Journal of Narrative Theory. 45.2 (2015): 274-300.

“Vampire Fantasy: Twilight’s Post-9/11 Neoqueer Vampires.” Assuming Gender. Special Issue “Neoliberal Gender, Neoliberal Sex.” 5.1 (2015).

Chapters in Edited Books:

“Gothic Gaga: Monstrosity, Trauma, and the Strategic Artifice of Lady Gaga’s Pop Stardom.” Star Power: The Impact of Branded Celebrity. Ed. Aaron Barlow. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2014.

Books:

Gothic Queer Culture: Marginalized Communities and the Ghosts of Insidious Trauma. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2019 (forthcoming).

The 25 Sitcoms that Changed Television: Turning Points in American Culture. Co-edited with Aaron Barlow. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2018.

Write It: A Process Approach to College Essays with Readings (Third Edition), Instructor’s Manual. Co-authored with Kimberly Turner, Jim Condon, Joshua Fenton, Helen Lovejoy, and Megan MacAlystre. Dubuque: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2011.

Pronouns
She/her/hers
Work Phone
718-260-5761

My Courses

ENG2180 OER Studies in Identity and Orientation

ENG2180 OER Studies in Identity and Orientation

This course provides students with an introductory understanding of identity, focusing specifically on the concepts of gender and sexuality as they intersect with race, class, ethnicity, and other aspects of social location and identification. Students will analyze the appearance of gender and sexuality as integrated social concepts by reading and discussing contemporary American literature across multiple genres and media, learning relevant biographical information about the authors, situating the texts within their historical and literary context, and exploring the major symbols and themes present in the work.

ENG3407 Gothic Lit, Sp2019

ENG3407 Gothic Lit, Sp2019

The purpose of this course is to gain a better understanding of the popular genre of the Gothic as it was developed and practiced in the late-eighteenth century and through to today in a variety of cultural contexts. An important foundation to this class is the idea that the Gothic is more than simply mysterious or strange; it is a transgressive and provocative sort of strange. The course will focus on key concepts such as horror, haunting, madness, monsters, and the undead, concepts that serve as entry points to theories such as the uncanny, queerness, and the sublime. Students will critically read, analyze, and write about the ways that the Gothic questions what it means to be normal or accepted. The class will learn about and practice using tools for reading, interpreting, and critically responding to fiction, film, poetry, and other cultural manifestations of the Gothic. In addition, students will participate in conversations about contemporary American identities and also engage in experiential learning through field trips to Gothic architectural spaces. Avatar photo by James Cherry, used with permission of the artist

ENG1101-D386 Comp 1, SP2019

ENG1101-D386 Comp 1, SP2019

This is a course in effective essay writing and basic research techniques, including use of the library. Demanding readings are assigned for classroom discussion and as a basis for essay writing.

ENG1101 Comp 1, Fa2018

ENG1101 Comp 1, Fa2018

This is a course in effective essay writing and basic research techniques, including use of the library. Demanding readings are assigned for classroom discussion and as a basis for essay writing.

ENG3407 Gothic Lit., Sp2016

ENG3407 Gothic Lit., Sp2016

The purpose of this course is to gain a better understanding of the popular genre of the Gothic as it was developed and practiced in the late-eighteenth century and through to today in a variety of cultural contexts. An important foundation to this class is the idea that the Gothic is more than simply mysterious or strange; it is a transgressive and provocative sort of strange. The course will focus on key concepts such as horror, haunting, madness, monsters, and the undead, concepts that serve as entry points to theories such as the uncanny, queerness, and the sublime. Students will critically read, analyze, and write about the ways that the Gothic questions what it means to be normal or accepted. The class will learn about and practice using tools for reading, interpreting, and critically responding to fiction, film, poetry, and other cultural manifestations of the Gothic. In addition, students will participate in conversations about contemporary American identities and also engage in experiential learning through field trips to Gothic architectural spaces.

My Projects

L4: Living Lab Learning Library

L4: Living Lab Learning Library

Welcome to L4, a virtual resource exchange of innovative teaching practices. To see all that L4 has to offer, please click on the “Visit Project Site” link.

Office of the Provost

Office of the Provost

City Tech’s Source for Academic Affairs Information

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!

ENG 1101 Co-Req Professional Development

ENG 1101 Co-Req Professional Development

This project is for faculty participating in professional development for the ENG 1101-CO course at City Tech.

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

LGBTQFaculty&Staff@CityTech

LGBTQFaculty&Staff@CityTech

This club is for support and friendship among the staff and faculty LGBTQ community.