The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

GC Events

Fall 2020 Writing Center Courses

The Writing Center manages a range of professional development courses designed to help students at the Graduate Center in their careers and professional activities. These courses do not carry credit, are ungraded, and do not appear on the student’s transcript. Students register for these courses as they do their academic classes: log into CUNYFirst; go to Student Center and select “Search,” which takes you to the “Search for Classes” page. Select the institution (Graduate Center) and term, and enter the course number (listed below).

Note: Because these course are zero-credit, Level 3 students are eligible to enroll.

Fall 2020 Courses


Public Writing for Academics (PDEV 79406)

Prof. Briallen Hopper—Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15 PM

More and more, academically trained writers are writing for public audiences. Participating in public writing can be a way for academic writers to contribute to important conversations, to make their work meaningful in new ways, to expand and advance their careers, and to re-engage with their own research on a personal level. Taught by a faculty member with broad experience in public writing, and featuring a range of similarly experienced guest speakers who write in genres including personal essays, political journalism, cultural criticism, op-eds, and public-facing books, this course offers practical guidance and workshop opportunities to students who want to convey their academic expertise to a wider public.


Effective Academic Writing for Native English Speakers (PDEV 79403)

Prof. David Hershinow—Mondays, 6:30-8:30 PM

This course grounds students in the fundamental elements that inform all argument-based academic writing in order to help them better understand and navigate the sometimes bewildering away of genres in which they are expected to write, from seminar papers and conference presentations to grant applications and dissertation proposals to theses, dissertations, job letters, abstracts, and journal articles. At once a seminar and a workshop, this course combines opportunities for peer review with instruction in the genres of academic writing, revision techniques, advanced outlining, the art of the paragraph, methods for overcoming writer’s block, and other skills. The syllabus will be developed in coordination with students’ stated interests and needs.


Effective Academic Writing for Non-Native English Speakers (PDEV 79403)

Prof. Sharon Utakis—Tuesdays, 11:45 AM-1:45 PM

This course is a workshop that aims to help non-native English-speaking students take control of their writing process as they move forward in their graduate studies. We look at the conventions that shape academic writing, keeping in mind that these conventions vary from discipline to discipline and from genre to genre. We focus on the writing process by looking at various steps we can take in order to create “effective academic writing,” with emphasis on discussing writing in progress. Students work on improving writing projects connected to their coursework. We deal with grammar and other writing convention issues as needed.


Teaching Strategies (PDEV 79401)

Prof. Luke Waltzer—Fridays, 11:45 AM-1:45 PM

This course provides Graduate Center students with community and structure to help them prepare for and reflect on their development as teachers. This work proceeds from an understanding of the social contexts of teaching, as well as the positionalities of graduate student instructors and adjuncts. This discussion-based course will use brief theoretical readings to facilitate participants’ development of their own teaching philosophies and materials. The curriculum and structure will be responsive to the needs of the group, and to the instructional realities of the moments in when we are teaching. The course will have particular utility for instructors who are preparing for, or are in the process of adjusting to, teaching online as a result of the 2020 public health crisis. Foundational topics include classroom community, student-centered and active learning approaches, accessibility, course design and policies, lesson planning, assignment design, assessment, educational technology, writing pedagogy, affective responses in classroom settings, and Critical University Studies. This course is designed for those who are preparing to (or are) teaching for the first time, as well as more experienced instructors who want a communal, reflective space on pedagogy.