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All English majors visit the English Majors Packet

The Writing Center ( is now offering both online and in-person tutoring.

For full details, including schedules, click on this link: Writing Center Tutoring.

Professor Janet Ng Dudley


Sincerity and Authenticity
We will explore the idea of self and self-identity in different cultures and in different historical periods. We examine how different societies understand what it means to be a genuine person or a good person. We ask how these societies deal with contradictions between individual desires, aspirations and social expectations. We also explore if there is a true self within us to which we can be completely faithful. And if so, should we?

This class is HYBRID ASYNCH
and meets on: TH 12:20 – 2:05

Prof Janet Dudley

Professor Maryann Feola


Love and Marriage
Welcome to the magical, lyrical, thought-provoking century known as the English Renaissance. The texts we will study address many of the same passions and problems that engage us today: politics, religion, rebellion, travel, love, and marriage. We also will explore the fascination that writers had with innovation and literary form.

This class is HYBRID SYNCH
and meets on: TTH 10:10 – 12:05

Prof Maryann Feola

Professor Cate Marvin


Ever wonder when reading a piece of writing, be it a poem, an essay or story, why you find yourself powerfully moved by the language? This course is an introduction to hard and fast means by which you can make your writing vivid, visceral, and uniquely you own. We will read a lot, we will write a lot, and we’ll have great conversations about the power of literature to enact change.

This class is ONLINE SYNCH
and meets on: MW 10:10 – 12:05

Prof Cate Marvin

Assistant Professor Sohomjit Ray


The Rural Indian Novel
“For me, India begins and ends in the villages.”— M. K. Gandhi
For better or worse, India has been imagined frequently through its villages, whether in popular culture or literature. Seen variously as the site of authenticity, beauty, tradition, simplicity, self-sufficiency, gender- and caste-based oppression, Indian villages figure in literature as both myth and reality. In this course, we will read four novels set in 20th century rural India.

This class is IN PERSON
and meets on: MW 12:20 – 2:15

Prof Sohomjit Ray

Professor Ashley Dawson


What does it mean to come of age today, in a world fractured by multiple crises, from the erosion of democracy to the breakdown of a stable climate? Can we imagine better futures for our children and young people? In this course, we will explore Young Adult literature that represents possible alternative futures to our crisis-ridden present.

This class is HYBRID ASYNCH
and meets on: T 6:30 – 9:50

Prof Ashley Dawson

Professor Timothy Gray


This course in American fiction published since 1945 will explore several themes: how countercultural types are made to measure progressive ideas about racial and sexual difference as their unconscious desires get exposed; an affluent white woman navigates the toxic atmosphere of late 1960s Los Angeles, where sexism runs rampant amongst Hollywood’s dirty cheats; a poor Chippewa woman aims to survive assault and illness, bolstered by deep-seated spiritual kinships, as her winnowing tribe, wracked by settler colonialism, faces the loss and environmental degradation of their homeland. And more!

This class is IN PERSON
and meets on: TTH 4:40 – 6:20

Prof Timothy Gray

Professor Timothy Gray


Lyric Geographies
This course in 20th century poetry focuses on four poets, each based in the Americas, whose travels provided detail for some of their era’s finest literary explorations; Elizabeth Bishop, Octavio Paz, Gary Snyder, and Yusef Komunyakaa. In addition to the social issues they address, the ever-changing definition of “home” will loom large as we survey the work of Bishop and Paz. From different angles, Snyder and Komunyakaa show how the borderlands of America and the Pacific Rim were imagined in the late 20th century, often as a zone of conflict, but at other times as a utopian space capable of facilitating cooperation and peace.

This class is IN PERSON
and meets on: TH 6:30 – 9:50

Prof Timothy Gray

Assistant Professor Sohomjit Ray


After political decolonization in twentieth century, postcolonial drama became a zone of exciting formal experimentation where playwrights sought to create a new theatrical language to meet the moment. In this course, we will look at examples from Africa and South Asia explore how they combine Western dramaturgical structures and influences with a range of indigenous audiovisual elements inspired by classical dance, religious ritual, and popular entertainment to forge new cultural idioms for drama in the postcolony.

This class is IN PERSON
and meets on: MW 4:40 – 6:20

Prof Sohomjit Ray

Professor Katharine Goodland


Making, Unmaking, and Mistaking Identity
Shakespeare was master of balancing his plays on what Frances Dolan describes as “the fine, unstable, line between comedy and tragedy.” We will look closely at the relationship between identity and love, considering how these very funny comedies often teeter on the brink of tragedy.

This class is HYBRID ASYNCH
and meets on: W 12:20 – 2:05

Prof Katie Goodland

Associate Professor Maria Bellamy


African American Graphic Novels
We’ll be delving into contemporary African American Graphic Novels! Growing out of the world of comics, graphic novels have grown in popularity in recent decades and often address challenging historical and cultural issues, including resistance, rebellion, and social justice.

This class is HYBRID ASYNCH
and meets on: TH 10:10 – 12:05

Prof Maria Bellamy

Professor Christopher Miller


The Novels of Jane Austen
This course offers an in-depth study of Austen’s novels as entertaining but serious works of social observation and critique, with attention to their role in the development of English prose fiction and in the long tradition of female novelists. Along the way, we will consult critical commentary on Austen’s work, and we will consider several feature-length film adaptions and web series inspired by Austen’s novels.

This class is IN PERSON
and meets on: TTH 12:20 – 2:15

Prof Christopher Miller

CSI Dolphin


We’ll be reading the works of playwright Tony Kushner, best known for his two-part epic play about the gay community in the time of AIDS, Angels in America. Kushner’s works take on huge subjects in world and American history, from the fall of the Soviet Union in Slavs to the treatment of African Americans in the southern United States in the 1960s. We’ll also take a look at the films he’s written for Steven Spielberg, including Lincoln and Munich.

This class is IN PERSON
and meets on: W 6:30 – 9:50

Prof Lee Papa

Assistant Professor Sohomjit Ray


Interlingual Literature
Despite the global dominance of English, contemporary literature has often turned to themes of multilingualism, translation, and language confusion to make sense of the world. In this course, we will read texts that can be called interlingual: they come bearing traces of other languages, cultures, worlds, persistently reminding us that in the wake of complex planetary events and processes like globalization, climate change, colonization, and war, one language for literature simply isn’t enough.

This class is IN PERSON
and meets on: M 6:30 – 9:50

Prof Sohomjit Ray

Professor Cate Marvin


The Blessing of Obsession
“A real diehard, indestructible, irresolvable obsession in a poet is nothing less than a blessing . . . It is always right there, welling up like an Artesian spring on a piece of property with bad drainage,” poet Tony Hoagland observed. The same can be said for all creative writing. In this advanced multi-genre creative writing course, we will explore the obsessions that haunt us and propel us.

This class is ONLINE SYNCH
and meets on: MW 2:30 – 4:25

Prof Cate Marvin

Full Professor Patricia Smith


Students will look before the surface of the poem to search for the source of its rhythm and narrative muscle. Beginning with the poetic line, the class briefly look at the foundation of poetic meter before writing poems in free-verse and traditional forms--such as the sonnet, sestina and villanelle--as well as more contemporary forms, including the golden shovel, duplex, bop and contrapuntal.

This class is HYBRID ASYNCH
and meets on: F 10:10 – 12:15

Prof Patricia Smith

Black Lives Matter Statement: Our Commitment to Antiracism

In 2020, we found ourselves in the midst of intertwined crises. The Covid-19 pandemic forced us into lockdown. While some of us were inconvenienced by directives to stay at home, Black, Brown, immigrant, working-class, and poor communities, lacking access to health care and social and economic safety nets, were ravaged by the novel coronavirus. As many CUNY students, faculty, and staff struggled to adjust to remote learning and remote work, New York State and CUNY leadership chose to lean into their austerity policies, once again subjecting the university to deep budget cuts. Their persistent refusal to invest in CUNY, the “engine of economic mobility,” has especially burdened our minoritized students, who have to contend with rising tuition fees and course caps, shrinking library and academic support services, and campuses in disrepair.

The nation was also shaken by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Walter Wallace, Jr. and the shooting of Jacob Blake. As Mr. Floyd was being brutalized, he repeatedly uttered, “I can’t breathe.” His words painfully echoed the last words of Eric Garner, who died six years ago from an illegal chokehold in Stapleton, Staten Island. Even while Mr. Garner’s murder inspired national outrage, we have yet to witness substantial police reform. We keep saying the names of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Atatiana Jefferson, and many others as our demands for justice and reform remain unheard. We think also of the countless Black Americans targeted by racist policing and police violence whose names we do not know.

As the horrifying assault on the Capitol in early January made clear, the troubling issues of 2020 have not miraculously vanished at the dawn of a new year. To confront and undo the racist, unjust policies and practices that shape our systems of education, health care, employment, housing, and policing, we need to dedicate ourselves to consistent action and engage in critical self-reflection. Through teaching, research, and community work, the faculty of the English Department of the College of Staten Island demonstrate how the humanities can be a tool for social transformation. The study of literature and language and the practices of reading and writing can deepen our understanding of the gaps between our ideals and our realities, can enable us to imagine and create alternatives to inequitable and violent systems. But we also recognize that the humanities and higher education must undergo transformation in order to become more racially just. The English Department recommits itself to an antiracist curriculum and antiracist pedagogies as we continue the hard work ahead.

19 January 2021

English Department Overview

Welcome to the English Department at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York! English is one of the largest and most diverse departments at the College, and also houses the Writing Program, the Writing Center, and the Speech Laboratory. English faculty members contribute to interdisciplinary programs such as American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and they teach courses on a wide variety of topics - from Coming of Age Narratives, Journalism, and Shakespeare, to syntactic theory, phonetics, sociolinguistics, and more.

View all courses in College Catalog

The Writing Center

Basic Services and Goals

The Writing Center, under the direction of the English Department, assists students in improving their reading and writing skills in all subject areas. Our tutors do this by providing students with meaningful feedback and engaging them in discussion aimed at helping the students fulfill their potential through a better understanding of course requirements, assignments and readings.

Primary Modes of Tutoring

To meet these goals, we offer two primary modes of tutoring.

  • Online sessions are conducted via appointment only.
  • During in-person hours, students will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you wish to schedule an online appointment, please submit your request to
If you prefer to see someone in person, come join us in 2S-216 during our scheduled drop-in hours.

If you have questions or require further information, feel free to call us @ 718.982.3635.

For Students Whose First Language is not English (ESL Students)

The English Department offers writing courses that are tailored especially for students whose first language is not English.  For more information about our ESL courses please click here.

English News
Dec 13, 2022 - 9:08 am
Oct 14, 2022 - 2:52 pm
English / Modern Languages Building
Building 2S, Room 218
Willowbrook Campus

Department Contact

Lee Papa

Chair and Associate Professor

Email Lee Papa

Fredricka Grasso

Administrative Assistant

Email Fredricka Grasso

Kathleen Passantino

Office Assistant

Email Kathleen Passantino