The Program in Writing and Critical Inquiry

We are a diverse community of teachers and scholars who offer UAlbany's first-year students a rigorous introduction to the work of writing and thinking in college.

Our 25 full-time faculty members are experts in helping students to become effective, lifelong learners by connecting writing practices to the process of critical thinking.

Our first-year writing seminar, Writing and Critical Inquiry (UUNI 110), is a dynamic learning environment where students benefit from small classes and one-on-one interactions with their instructor. Writing and Critical Inquiry is a required course for all incoming first-year students and fulfills the general education requirement for writing and critical inquiry. If you're a student who will be taking WCI, click here!


We are currently accepting submissions for the Spring, 2021 WCI Writing Contest. Submissions will be accepted through December 31, 2020. For more information about how to submit your essay, visit the WCI Writing Contest page. You can also click on the flyer for more details.






Recently, Moriah Hampton had the opportunity to sit down and interview Donna Hemans, author of River Woman and the more recent Tea by the Sea. Moriah touches upon the following topics in the interview: words of encouragement in these difficult times; the significance of water in both of Hemans's books; and how to find the motivation to continually write. Use the following link to read the interview in its entirety.  

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WCI's own Kimberly M. Smith has been recognized for her dedication and outstanding work with a President’s Award for Excellence in Support/Classified Service. 

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Tori Ferraro's book Blue Jay DreamsTori Ferraro, a former WCI student and finalist in the Personal Inquiry category from the Spring, 2017 WCI Writing Contest, has just published her first book of poetry and prose: Blue Jay Dreams.

The book is described as one that "will help you to see the truth and clarity in heartbreak, life, and the happiness in loving yourself" (Amazon).





The Death Spiral, a collection of poems by Sarah Giragosian, has just been released by Black Lawrence Press 

April Ossmann, author of Event Boundaries, notes: 

Giragosian’s fierce, gorgeous poems embody our role as one in body and mind with other peoples, plants and animals—living and extinct—arguing a familial connection integral to the survival of species including our own: “he is a thrashing turtle/on a bone hook, speaking from otherwhere/of his apartness. I point to hearth, to kin…” These poems hope we won’t find ourselves with, “Nothing left on Earth to love or fear,” asthey invoke the beauty around us, and in us.

For more information (and to purchase your own copy) use the following link: Black Lawrence Press.



Peer mentor application deadline has been extended to April 3rd, 2020. For more information on how to apply, visit the Peer Mentor page



Wildlife Rehabilitation Event  Join us on March 29th for a wildlife rehabilitation event. If you're interested in learning more about the event, click on the flyer. 





 We are now accepting submissions for the Fall, 2020 WCI Writing Contest. For more information about how to submit your essay, click on the flyer. 





Congratulations to Amber Jackson and Shawn Jasinski. They were recently honored at the UAlbany Athletics Faculty Appreciation Night.



Introduction to Feminist Thought and Action: #WTF and How Did We Get Here? #WhosThatFeminist #WhatsThatFeminism by Allison V. Craig and Menoukha Robin Case is available through Routledge. The work is being described as an "accessible foundation that whets appetite for further study" (Routledge).







The Albany Book Festival is taking place this Saturday, September 14th in the Campus Center. From 10:30-11:15am, in the West Boardroom, past winners of the WCI Writing Contest will be reading from their essays. Join us to celebrate their hard work.

Moriah Hampton’s short story “While at the Park” recently appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of The Sonder Review.

Rae Muhlstock has been selected to receive one of the The Lillian Barlow Awards made available through Initiatives for Women.  Award winners will be recognized at a special reception on Thursday, July 18 in the Campus Center Assembly Hall at 2:00p.m. 



Marcie Newton was nominated for the Torch Faculty/Student Engagement Award for outstanding faculty/student academic engagement. Congratulations, Marcie. 



Mock Trial at ORCSOn February 23-24, Marcie Newton, Mock Trial’s faculty coach, accompanied the A and B teams to Regionals at Princeton University, hosted by America Mock Trial Association. Team A tied with Princeton in the final round to secure an Open Bid for the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS). This year ORCS was held in just nine national locations with 24 teams competing per location to win a bid for the national championship. On March 9-10, Marcie accompanied Team A to ORCS in Central Islip, Long Island. "It has been a great year for UAlbany Mock Trial," said Marcie. "I’m so proud of what all the team members have accomplished."



Join us on May 1st for a celebration of student writing. Winners of the Fall, 2018 WCI Writing Contest will read from their work. The event will be held in the Campus Center Assembly Hall. For more information about the event--and for instructions on how to RSVP--click on the flyer.

Congratulations to Rae Muhlstock for receiving the Community Engaged Learning award from the Center for Experiential Education. 

 

We are now accepting submissions for the Fall, 2019 WCI Writing Contest. For more information about the contest and for submission instructions, see the WCI Writing Contest page. 

Announcing the winners and honorable mentions for the Fall, 2018 WCI Writing Contest. 



Official submissions for the Spring, 2019 WCI Writing Contest are being accepted. Visit the Writing Contest section of the WCI website for more information on the contest and the submission process. 



Join us November 1st-4th for the WCI Film Festival and Lecture series. This year's theme is Science Fiction. For more information visit the Film Festival section of the WCI website. 



Rae Muhlstock is currently being featured on the University's  Faculty Spotlight page for her use of experiential learning in the classroom. 

Titcha Ho will be presenting a webinar and discussion entitled "Multilingual Writers & Technology: 4 Ideas from the Second Language Writing Standing Group at CCCC" on Friday, April 27 from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (EDT). The focus of the presentation will be on how to use technology to teach ESL writing with TESOL.

To join the webinar on your computer, tablet or smartphone, go to https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/959077325
You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (872) 240-3412
Access Code: 959-077-325
Joining from a video-conferencing room or system?
Dial: 67.217.95.2##959077325
Cisco devices: 959077325@67.217.95.2

Registration is not required. The session will be recorded by TESOL and posted on YouTube if you can't attend.



On April 9th, Rae Muhlstock delivered a lecture on "Myth, Metaphor, and Movies: The Labyrinth on Film" at Montclair State University. The lecture was hosted by the Department of Classics and General Humanities and held in Schmitt Hall, room 104. 

WCI's Joe Meyer is being recognized at the Disability Resource Center Annual Awards Reception for outstanding service to individuals with disabilities. The ceremony will be taking place from 3:30-5:00pm in Assembly Hall on April 27th. Join us in celebrating this wonderful recognition of service. 

Please join us on May 2nd from 3-5pm in the Campus Center Assembly Hall for a Celebration of Student Writing. Winners from the Spring, 2018 WCI Writing Contest will be reading from their works. Light refreshments will be served. If you would like to attend, please RSVP with Kim Nava by April 25th at knava@albany.edu

The Spring, 2018 WCI Faculty Colloquium will take place from 3-5pm on April 6, in the Large Conference room in Empire Commons. 

Our speakers will be reading from their creative works and academic research. There will be light refreshments available.

Bethany Aery Clerico: "Waking Up Different"
Rae Muhlstock: "Crete in the Catskills: The Mythopoesis of Michael Ayrton’s Arkville Maze"
Joe Meyer: "Henry's Quest for Narrative in the Red Badge of Courage"
Peter Monaco: "Youth Against Fascism"

Marcie Newton accompanies UAlbany's Mock Trial teams to New Haven Regional Tournament at Yale University, February 16-18. For more information, click on the following link: mock trial

Titcha Ho served as roundtable leader for a workshop on "Languaging with Technology in Diverse Settings: Multilingual Writers and the Digital Age" at the 2018 CCCC in Kansas City, MO.

Additionally, Titcha Ho Contributed to the CCCC 2018 statements for social justice (All-Convention Event). Link: Statement (15).

Lisa Arrastia answers 5 questions from the We Are Human campaign. You can watch and listen to the video here: link to video.

Charlie Rossiter of Poetry Spoken Here interviews Sarah Giragosian on Queer Fish and on teaching in the WCI program. You can listen to the interview here: link to interview.

WCI's own Rae Muhlstock is interviewed by The Alt on the topic of how studying zombies can help us build knowledge and community. For the full interview, click the following link: "UAlbany professor uses zombies to educate and build community"

WCI open house event welcomes all to our new home in LI B. 

Queer Fish, a book of poetry by Sarah Giragosian, has just recently been released by Dream Horse Press. Sarah's book is the recipient of the American Poetry Journal Book prize.

 

 

 

 

 

 



TentTalk FlyerIf you're looking for some opportunities to socialize, check out the upcoming TENTTalk event. These are essentially informal opportunities for undergraduates to meet with faculty and other students in a setting that follows the university’s guidelines for physical distancing and safety. The purpose is to provide students a space and time to meet others and socialize when typical opportunities for such interactions are not available to them because of the pandemic. These events will take place on 9/15, 9/16, and 9/17 from 7-8:30pm.

For more information, click on the flyer. 






Join us on March 29th for an event on wildlife rehabilitation. 




Join us on Wednesday, December 4 from 3-5pm in Campus Center 375 to celebrate the winners and finalists of the Fall, 2019 WCI Writing Contest.  For more information, and for instructions on how to RSVP for the event, click on the flyer. 



The annual WCI Faculty Reading event will be held on Friday, April 5th from 3-4:15pm in Empire Commons (110). 

Sarah Giragosian reading new creative nonfiction

Bob Yagelski reading his new work "Writing as a Tool for Living" from his book-in-progress

Marcie Newton with a talk based on her paper "'Secret Guilt by Silence Is Betrayed': Navigating Contradictory Narratives of Sexual Trauma and Symptom Formation in Freudian Theory and the Early Work of Karl Abraham"

Jeff Janssens with his short story "Dustheads," just published in the Hong Kong Review 



Spring, 2019 WCI Writing Contest FlyerJoin us on May 1st for a celebration of student writing. Winners of the Fall, 2018 WCI Writing Contest will read from their work. The event will be held in the Campus Center Assembly Hall. For more information about the event--and for instructions on how to RSVP--click on the flyer.




Even from a remote setting, there are plenty of ways that you can connect with diverse communities of thinkers. Below, you will find various organizations that are remotely hosting multiple discussions and events.  


The WCI Film Festival & Lecture Series has gone virtual for 2020. Check out our YouTube channel for films and in-depth discussions. You can also go to the Film Festival & Lecture Series section of the WCI website for more information and schedules. 


CURCE has been working with students eager to engage in research. Recognizing that many aspects for the university have changed as a result of COVID-19, the CURCE team will be hosting the Fall Fair in a new VIRTUAL format. The fair will be a week-long event, Monday, October 5, 2020 – Friday, October 9, 2020 via the CURCE Community Blackboard Page. For more information about participating and/or attending, visit the CURCE homepage. 



The Albany Book Festival is excited to host several pre-recorded conversations with a diverse group of speakers, including Edwidge Danticat, Noam Chomsky, Gish Jen, Colum McCann, and Sister Helen Prejean. For more information about the authors and various events being offered remotely, visit the Albany Book Festival website. 



The AJC Decatur Book Festival offers several remote conversations and events. Registration for the events are required, but the events themselves are free. Upcoming events include "Keynote: Jericho Brown"; "Kidnote: I Am Every Good Thing with Derrick Barnes and Gordon James"; "Cooknote: Jubilee Talks with Toni Tipton-Martin"; "My Quest for Health Equity: Notes on Learning While Leading"; and more. Visit the Decatur Book Festival for more information. 



The Boston Globe offers free recorded conversations through their Op-Talks series. The topics range from the role that performance art plays in political change to reimagining cities in a post-pandemic world. Visit the Op-Talk section of the Boston Globe for more information. 

 

Introduction to Feminist Thought and Action: #WTF and How Did We Get Here? #WhosThatFeminist #WhatsThatFeminism by Allison V. Craig and Menoukha Robin Case is available through Routledge. The work is being described as an "accessible foundation that whets appetite for further study" (Routledge).





Moriah Hampton’s short story “While at the Park” recently appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of The Sonder Review.

Marcie Newton's recent article, “Thoughtful People Do Psychohistory,” can be found in Clio’s Psyche, Vol. 25.2 (Winter 2019): 172-174.

She also has another article forthcoming in The Journal of Psychohistory entitled, “’Secret Guilt by Silence Is Betrayed’: Navigating Contradictory Narratives of Sexual Trauma and Symptom Formation in Freudian Theory and the Early Work of Karl Abraham,” The Journal of Psychohistory (forthcoming June 2019)

Titcha Ho gave two presentations in Pittsburgh at CCCC this past March.

"Fake It till You Make It: A Qualitative Study of Undergraduate International Students’ Experiences as TAs in the ESL Composition Classroom" on Friday, March 15.

"Viva la revolución!: A Guerrilla Fighter’s Guide to English: Promoting Text Comprehension in an ESL Composition Classroom" on Saturday, March 16.

Wilder, L., and Yagelski, R.P. (2018). Examining cross-disciplinary analytic strategies in first-year college writing. Research in the Teaching of English, 52(4).

Yagelski, R. P. (2017-2018) Writing, silence, and well-being. Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Writing, 23, pp. 14-24.

“Feedback on Writing for College Success: Machine Scoring of Essays on Self-Regulated Learning.” With Heidi Andrade and Jason Bryer. Paper presented at the 16th International Conference of the EARLI Special Interest Group on Writing, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; August 29, 2018.

“Re-Imagining Plagiarism as Educational Opportunity: A Transformative Workshop.” With Gerald Nelms and Valerie Jacobs. Workshop conducted at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Kansas City, MO; March 17, 2018.

“Retention, Student Success, and First-Year Writing: Purposes and Cross-Purposes.” Paper presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Kansas City, MO; March 15, 2018.

Titcha Ho will be presenting at the 2018 Applied Linguistics Winter Conference (ALWC 2018) on Saturday, April 21, 2018 on "Investigating cultures in the glocalized ESL composition classroom" at Columbia University.

Joe Meyer delivers paper on "Miltonic and Romantic Covenantal Theology in Alien: Covenant" at the 2018 Northeast Modern Language Association conference in Pittsburgh, PA; April 15, 2018.

Robert P. Yagelski conducted a workshop on “Re-Imagining Plagiarism as Educational Opportunity: A Transformative Workshop” With Gerald Nelms and Valerie Jacobs at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Kansas City, MO; March 17, 2018.

Robert P. Yagelski presented a paper on “Retention, Student Success, and First-Year Writing: Purposes and Cross-Purposes”  at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Kansas City, MO; March 15, 2018.

In "BreakoutEDU:Helping students break out of their comfort zones," Susan Detwiler, along with coauthors Trudi Jacobson and Kelsey O’Brien, explores the use of BreakoutEDU (an"immersive games platform") in the classroom as a pedagogical tool for teaching critical inquiry. The article is featured in Vol. 79.2 of Association of College and Research Libraries. 

"Henry's Quest for Narrative in the Red Badge of Courage", an essay by Joe Meyer, has been published in the Autumn, 2017 edition of the Midwest Quarterly. It deals with Henry Fleming's yearning to build a coherent narrative within the chaos of war and our distrust with his maturation as both writer and person. 

Peter Monaco delivers paper at the 2017 Mid-West Modern Language Association Conference in Cincinnati, titled "Youth Against Fascism: Image, Immanence, and Activism in Contemporary Comics."

Moriah Hampton's story, "Prime View," recently appeared in The Hamilton Stone Review. Link to story.

Robert P. Yagelski delivers keynote address on “Writing, Teaching, and Well-Being" at the 12th Annual IDEAS Symposium, Nassau Community College, Hempstead, NY; November 3, 2017.

Joe Meyer's article, "Sharing a Smile: Dantean Poetics in Henry James's "The Jolly Corner," has been published in the Explicator. In the article, Joe discusses the influence that the relationship between Dante and Beatrice had on the creation of James's Alice Staverton and Spencer Brydon. 

On November 2 at 3:30pm, Dr. Rae Muhlstock will offer a lecture and workshop at the Nano College about writing personal statements for graduate school applications.

Moriah Hampton's story, "Prime View," recently appeared in The Hamilton Stone Review. http://www.hamiltonstone.org/hsr37.html

Amanda Giracca, Bethany Aery Clerico, Sarah Giragosian, Marcie Newton, and Peter Monaco recently presented "The Value of Student Writing: Re-Conceiving the Writing Contest as Collaborative Inquiry Among Faculty and Students in a First-Year Writing Program" at the 2017 SUNY Council on Writing Conference in Syracuse.

Peter Monaco will give a paper at the Mid-West Modern Language Association Conference in Cincinnati, OH this November titled "Youth Against Fascism: Image, Immanence, and Activism in Contemporary Comics."

Lisa Arrastia co-chaired "New Narrators" panel at the 2017 NonFictioNOW conference in Reykjavik, Iceland.


Queer Fish,
a book of poetry by Sarah Giragosian, has just recently been released by Dream Horse Press. Sarah's book is the recipient of the American Poetry Journal Book prize. 

New edition of Robert Yagelski's textbook published as of November: Writing: Ten Core Concepts, 2nd ed. Boston: Cengage, 2018.

Robert Yagelski took part in conducting workshop on plagiarism and delivered paper on "writing as a means to well-being" at CCCCs conference in March, 2017.

“Cultivating Strategic Action in Teaching Against Plagiarism: Using Plagiarism as Educational Opportunity.” With Gerald Nelms, Carole Papper, Valerie Jacobs, and Scott Leonard. Workshop conducted at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Portland, OR; March 18, 2017.

“Writing About More Than Writing: Teaching Academic Writing as a Means to Well-Being.” Paper presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Portland, OR; March 16, 2017.

 
 
This summer Rae Muhlstock will be a keynote speaker at the "Cyborg Humanities" symposium sponsored by the Classics and Ancient History Department at the University of Bristol, UK. She has been asked to speak and write about British author and artist Michael Ayrton's use of the Classical cyborg figure Talos, whom Ayrton hybridizes with another Classical figure, Perdix, in his novel The Maze Maker (Bantam Books 1965). Through this contemporary act of hybridity Ayrton raises questions not just about each figure as an individual and as an amalgam, but he raises questions, as well, about bringing disciplines like literature, narrative theory, and fine arts into our modern understandings of the Classics.
 
 

Titcha Ho will be presenting a paper titled, " "A- isn’t an Asian F”: Using Peer Review to Help L2 Students See Beyond the Test in the L2 Composition Classroom” at The 16th Symposium on Second Language Writing at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand in July 2017.

 
 

 

Jaclyn Amoroso has been and continues to serve on the UAC Committee on General Education. For more information, see the following link: Committee On General Education.

Joe Creamer works with Rebekah Tolley to host Campus Equity event on October 31, in the Fine Arts building, room 223.

 

Tori Ferraro's Blue Jay Dreams

Tori Ferraro, a former WCI student and finalist in the Personal Inquiry category from the Spring, 2017 WCI Writing Contest, has just published her first book of poetry and prose: Blue Jay Dreams.

The book is described as one that "will help you to see the truth and clarity in heartbreak, life, and the happiness in loving yourself" (Amazon).




Congratulations to Elise Coombs (seen in picture below with Faculty Honoree, Marcie Newton) who received an Outstanding Senior Award for the President’s Award for Leadership. During her time atElise Coombs at Award Ceremony UAlbany, Elise has been a tremendous asset to WCI. She was part of the Peer Mentor Program, moderated Honor’s College presentation panels, and accompanied WCI pre-law students to Albany Law School for its annual Open House.
"Working as a peer mentor with the Program in Writing and Critical Inquiry was one of several leadership opportunities I had on campus,” said Elise. “I enjoyed working with the pre-law section to help students develop their writing. My favorite part has been helping with the mock trial portion of the class and teaching LSAT skills. I loved developing my leadership skills as a peer mentor while encouraging students' interest in the legal field and helping them prepare for a career in law."

Elise has been accepted at Albany Law School and will be starting her studies there in the fall. We all wish her good luck as she embarks on this new phase of her own journey towards a career in law. 


WCI students from Titcha Ho's class break down how gaming can make you smarter


Former WCI student Mumen Bishawi gives his speech at the Fall, 2016 Emerging Leaders Celebration.