Professor Joan Dupre - English

Name: Joan Dupre, Assistant Professor

Ph.D. in English, CUNY Graduate Center
M.A. in English, Queens College, CUNY
B.A. in Philosophy & Religion, NYU

EN 101  English Composition – with connections to politics, music, drama, and film
EN 102  Introduction to Literature: Love, Death, & Betrayal in Poetry, Fiction, & Drama
EN 303 Readings in Poetry
EN 216 Popular Culture
EN 412 American Literature II: Civil War – Present
EN 446 Contemporary Literature in English

Teaching philosophy: I see myself as a facilitator creating a space in which knowledge and wisdom can emerge and be shared.  Rows are abandoned in favor of a semi-circle where students reveal ideas and feelings and make observations.  Thinking out loud is encouraged. We come up with hypotheses and test them with evidence from the poems, stories, novels or essays we are reading. No one sleeps or spaces out or sends text messages in peace. Call it forced engagement, but that’s how we keep the energy high in the room.  I intend to engage with each of you and encourage you to grow as thinkers, readers, writers and citizens of the world.  You will get to know and trust your classmates as we work together (as a class and in small groups) to wrestle with published texts of various kinds (print and visual) – and the texts you create for the course.  I will ask you many questions, but most often I don’t have a particular answer in mind.  The questions – and your homework and paper assignments -- are meant to make you reflect – to contemplate – and then to try out some possible answers in a safe environment.
Henry David Thoreau said that “most men live lives of quiet desperation.”  I wish for you, above all, lives of passionate engagement.     

Other activities: I am the faculty advisor to Writers Anonymous, a club for poets and fiction writers who do readings on and off campus.  I also work with poets who compete at the Bowery Poetry Club as part of the QCC poetry slam team.  Slams take place every month during the school year.  Interested students should contact me by email or stop by during my office hours.

Research Interests: I’m interested in the relationship between writers’ lives and the work they produce. That is, how do their lives and their work intersect?  Who were (or are) their influences?  Under what circumstances do writers change their agenda and strategies?  My doctoral dissertation was on the contemporary fiction writer Paul Auster.  The focus was on three levels of paternity: biological, literary, and ethical.  I’m currently writing an article on the trajectory of Auster’s career and where he has come to in his last two novels.   

I’m also interested in how students learn, especially in a community college setting, so I plan to do some research into pedagogy in the near future. I want to know what the best classroom practices are and how we can best measure student achievement.

Favorite Quote:
“It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”  --William Carlos Williams   

Recommended books:
By Marshall B. Rosenberg:
Speak Peace in a World of Conflict: What You Say Next Will Change Your World
Raising Children Compassionately
Non-Violent Communication

The Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide
By Samantha Power

By Karen Armstrong
Muhammed: A Prophet For Our Time
A History of God
The Great Transformation: The Beginnings of Our Religious Traditions

The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew – Three Women Search For Understanding
by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, Priscilla Warner

Ghandi’s Truth – Erik H. Erikson

Recommended websites: -- The Campus Writing Center

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center exterior lit up at nightOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Russian Ballet performing at the Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art Gallery exterior in the afternoonOpens in a new window
QCC Art Gallery

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.