Laura Westengard’s Profile

Faculty
Active 12 hours, 9 minutes ago
Laura Westengard
Display Name
Laura Westengard
Pronouns
She/They
Title
Associate Professor
Department
English
Office Location
Namm 503
Academic interests

American Literature and Culture after 1900, Intersectional Feminism, Queer Studies, Critical Trauma Studies, Gothicism, Medical Humanities

Bio

Coordinator–Gender & Sexuality Studies Minor
Faculty Advisor–PRIDE Club
Board Co-Chair–CLAGS: Center for LGBTQ Studies, CUNY Graduate Center
Editorial Board Member–WSQ Journal, The Feminist Press
Member–CUNY LGBTQIA+ Consortium

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, critical trauma studies, intersectional feminism, Gothicism, and medical humanities. She 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 book Gothic Queer Culture: Marginalized Communities and the Ghosts of Insidious Trauma, 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, 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.

Teaching, The Graduate Center, CUNY

PSYC 80103/WSCP 81000: Foundations of Queer Studies

Teaching, New York City College of Technology, CUNY

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:
ENG 092W: Developmental Writing II
ENG 1101: English Composition I
ENG 1101CO: English Composition I with co-requisite

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

Publications

Books:

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

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.

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:

“Queer Gothic Visual Art.” Queer Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion. Ed. Ardel Haefele-Thomas. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (forthcoming).

“Queer Poetry after 1945.” The Bloomsbury Handbook to Contemporary American Poetry. Ed. Steven Axelrod and Craig Svonkin. London: Bloomsbury Publishing (forthcoming).

“Queer Horror.” The Cambridge Companion to American Horror. Ed. Mark Storey and Stephen Shapiro. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022.

“Queer Gothic Literature and Culture.” Twentieth Century Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion. Eds. Sorcha Ní Fhlainn and Bernice Murphy. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2022.

“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.

Invited Talks and Podcasts:

“Vampire Expert Reviews Vampires In Movies & TV,” Vanity Fair Reviews, Season 1, Episode 8, October 2022.

“Gothic Ghosts: Queer Trauma and its Spectral Reverberations,” Spooky Evenings Lecture Series, Nebraska Wesleyan University, November 2021.

“Monster, Vampire, Cannibal: Queer Horror and the Gothic,” Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, October 2020.

“Gothic Queer Culture,” New Books Network Podcast, September 2020.

“Gothic Queer Culture,” The Morbid Anatomy Online Journal, June 2020.

“Gothic Queer Culture,” Part 1 and Part 2. Why Are People Into That!?, October 2019.

Work Phone
718-260-5761
Facebook
@lwestengard
X (formerly Twitter)
@lwestengard

My Courses

ENG3407 Gothic Sp2024

ENG3407 Gothic Sp2024

Students critically read, analyze, and write about the popular genre of the Gothic. As represented in both literary and visual terms, in both Europe and the United States beginning in the late-18th century to today. Key concepts include horror, haunting, madness, and monsters.

ENG1101D274Sp2023

ENG1101D274Sp2023

A course in effective essay writing and basic research techniques, including use of the library. College-level readings are assigned for classroom discussion and essay writing.

ENG2180 Identity & Orientation FA2023

ENG2180 Identity & Orientation FA2023

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 FA2022

ENG3407 Gothic FA2022

Students critically read, analyze, and write about the popular genre of the Gothic. As represented in both literary and visual terms, in both Europe and the United States beginning in the late-18th century to today. Key concepts include horror, haunting, madness, and monsters.

ENG 1101CO MODEL COURSE

ENG 1101CO MODEL COURSE

This is a model course for ENG 1101CO.

My Projects

Office of the Provost

Office of the Provost

City Tech’s Source for Academic Affairs Information

Gender & Sexuality Studies Minor

Gender & Sexuality Studies Minor

Gender & Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary Minor that explores issues of gender and sexuality from various perspectives. It currently includes courses in English, Human Services, Social Science, and African American Studies, and will continue to grow to include even more disciplines. Students can take courses that focus on humanity, sexuality and sexual orientation, studies in gender identity/roles, representations of genders in literature and film, among other course themes. All courses are open-ended; as such, the course syllabi and themes may vary from year to year. Many Gender & Sexuality Studies courses at City Tech are Pathways certified and can satisfy Writing Intensive and Interdisciplinary Baccalaureate Degree requirements for graduation.

Literature Curriculum Committee of the Department of English

Literature Curriculum Committee of the Department of English

This site aims to share information about assignments, course design, and the activities of the Literature Curriculum Committee.

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!

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.