This exciting series of courses further introduces SJC Brooklyn's scholars and their passions into the intellectual ecosystem that is Clinton Hill and Fort Greene. With a limited run and at a modest cost, these courses are where personal edification, thoughtful conversation and an engaged community converge.
Fall 2018 Courses
Flash Fiction Writing
Six weeks: Oct. 9 through Nov. 13
Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Put your prose through a pressure cooker in this six-week class devoted to flash fiction. What makes a successful story? How do we accomplish that in 500 words or 1,000 words? Through a series of prompts and exercises, students will generate short pieces for critique and revision with an eye toward publication. Compression forces us to take risks and to be merciless; it demands selectivity and precision. As we whittle down our stories to their essentials, we will discuss elements of craft: structure and point of view, character, voice, plot, dialogue and word choice. This class will demonstrate that “flash” is a misnomer and that the very short form makes for lasting and unshakable stories, packing more power than its limited word count might have you believe.
Sara Lippmann is the author of the story collection “Doll Palace” (Dock Street Press), which was long-listed for the 2015 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She was the recipient of an artist’s fellowship in fiction from New York Foundation for the Arts, and multiple stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and featured in Wigleaf’s Top 50 [very] short fictions. She teaches at Rutgers University and at St. Joseph's College.
Introduction to Indian Theater Arts
Six weeks: Nov. 7 through Nov. 21 and Dec. 5 through Dec. 19
(There is no class on Nov. 28)
Wednesdays, 7 to 9 p.m.
This immersive program will take you on an experiential and historical journey of India through its performing arts. Led by award-winning choreographer Preeti Vasudevan, this course is designed for those who are new to Indian culture as well as those who want to go deeper. The sessions will cover topics ranging from theater, dance (classical, folk, Bollywood) and music, delving into our cultural pasts and contemporary expressions, the modernization of traditional styles, and cross-pollination across borders. Each class will be a mix of embodied learning (moving, singing and using your body as a tool) and a collection of audio-visual information. Be prepared to move and get creative!
Preeti Vasudevan is the founder of the Thresh performing arts collective. She has performed at New York Live Arts, the New Victory Theater and in many dance venues around the world.
Science, Technology, and the Great War
Michael Hanophy, Ph.D.
Six weeks: Oct. 10 through Nov. 14
Wednesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
One hundred years ago, the world experienced the most scientifically and technologically advanced war to date. The First World War was marked not only by industrial and technological innovation; we also saw a flu outbreak that swept around the globe, the beginnings of the industrial use of bacteria in the chemical industry and the first carefully planned covert use of biological weapons. In this six-week seminar, we will consider the importance of science and technology during World War I, with particular emphasis on microorganisms, microbiology and the long-term effects that the events of a century ago had on history and science.
Michael Hanophy, Ph.D., is the executive dean for academic affairs and a professor of biology at St. Joseph’s College. He is also a Fellow of the Science Teachers Association of New York State, and he is a member of the Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives Committee of the American Society for Microbiology.
Reading and Writing the American Gothic
Lee Clay Johnson
Twelve weeks: Sept. 25 through Dec. 11
Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
This course will examine the craft of American Gothic fiction, as well as the thematic significance of its tropes. Spontaneous combustion, ventriloquism, irrational violence, hidden bones, false prophets, grim landscapes and a town haunted by its gruesome past—what are the effects of these motifs, and how do they continue to influence contemporary fiction? In our own writing, we will employ techniques from authors such as Charles Brockden Brown, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Toni Morrison and Charles Johnson. Students will participate in weekly workshops and submit revised work.
SJC Writer’s Foundry (M.F.A.) Fiction Writing Professor Lee Clay Johnson is the author of the novel “Nitro Mountain” (Knopf), which won the 2017 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, Lit Hub, the Oxford American, The Common, Appalachian Heritage, Salamander and the Mississippi Review.