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!


2021 Writing with the Stars Event FlyerJoin us on November 18 from 4-5pm in the WCI conference room for Writing with the Stars.

Writing with the Stars is a workshop and pizza party for all WCI students. It's designed to help students who want to submit to the Writing Contest by connecting them with past winners and finalists.

Our stars will first talk about their experiences with the contest and give advice. Then, we'll break into a workshop. Current students will pair up with a star and they'll work together on a draft that the student has prepared.

RSVP by 11/11 with Dr. Clerico at [email protected]


Moriah Hampton's story "Mother to Be" appeared recently in Wordgathering A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature along with photographs from her "Time Worn" series.  See https://wordgathering.com/vol15/issue3/fiction/hampton/ and https://wordgathering.com/vol15/issue3/art/hampton/

Photo from "Time Worn" series by Moriah HamptonTime Worn I: A wide-angle shot of a mailbox on a country road in Vermont. The mailbox, purplish-blue and partly patina covered, sits on the far right of the shot. Behind the mailbox and to the left are green trees and grass, slightly out of focus. A dirt road winds down the left-hand side of the shot, shadows falling across some of the gravel.

For more photographs, click on the link above or on the picture. 



The 4th annual Albany Book Festival proved to be a wonderful success. One of the highlights of the event is Dr. Rae Muhlstock's conversation with best-selling author Elizabeth Brundage in Assembly Hall. 

Spring 2022 WCI Essay Contest FlyerThe WCI Writing Contest is accepting submissions for our Spring, 2022 contest cycle. Click on the flyer for more details. 







The WCI AIJC enjoyed a beautiful sunny day as we joined over 500 participants in the Race for Equity 5k this past weekend. We met many former (and a few current) WCI students along the way, and heard over 25 mini-presentations from student organizations sharing social justice milestones in NY and the U.S., the issues still at hand, and how their organizations are working for equity on campus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Elizabeth Alexander is interviewed by poet Sarah Giragosian, and joined by UAlbany students from English 350: Contemporary Writers at Work taught by Ed Schwarzschild, and an Honors Writing and Critical Inquiry class taught by Sarah Giragosian



The Program in Writing and Critical Inquiry, Division of the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education, invites faculty, staff, students, and the general public to the Spring, 2021 WCI Faculty Colloquium. This year's colloquium will take place on Friday, April 30, from 3:00-4:30pm. The event will feature readings by Susan Cumings, Jonathan Dubow, Sarah Giragosian, Moriah Hampton, Amber Jackson, and Rae Muhlstock. 

Please contact Jeffrey Janssens at [email protected] or Courtney Ryan at [email protected] for more information.

Congratulations to Anika Lamia, peer mentor under Dr. Marcie Newton in the WCI Program. Anika has received a President's Award for Leadership in the category of Outstanding Senior Award.  







Congratulations to Dr. Marcie Newton and the UAlbany Mock Trial Team. They have received a President's Award for Leadership/Great Dane Award from the University in recognition of their hard work and leadership. 






Congratulations to Kavipriya Kovai Palanivel for her recent President's Award for Leadership/Great Dane Award. Not only is Kavi currently a peer mentor with WCI's Dr. Giragosian, but she was also a finalist in all three of the essay categories from the Fall, 2020 WCI Writing Contest: the Personal Essay, Analytical Essay, and Conversation/Research Essay.





"Calloused" by Lilly NewtonCongratulations to University at Albany students Lilian Newton and Seth Butler for their Honorable Mentions at the 120° Intercollegiate Art Regional. Lilian and Seth are two of seven students representing the University: Tianqi Niu, Juliana Haliti, Alicia Barton, Angela Marden, and Maggie Schwind. The art exhibition runs from March 6 through April 16. It is being held at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, NY. For more information about the exhibits and the organization, see their website: artscenteronline.org

(Picture: "Calloused" by Lilian Newton)

 



We are now accepting submissions for the Fall, 2021 WCI Writing Contest. For more information about the contest and how to enter, click on the WCI Writing Contest link. You can also see the flier for more information. 





WCI Write-Ins--every other Tuesday, from 7-8 p.m. 

"This semester the WCI Writing Contest Committee will be hosting a virtual Write-In every other Tuesday evening, from 7-8 p.m. starting 2/16.  This is an optional event, where students will have a dedicated time and space to write alongside other WCI students and faculty. Feel free to join once, or every time. The mood is casual, yet productive. Guest hosts and writers may include past contest winners, or many of our spectacular peer mentors.  For more information, email Dr. Orr at [email protected]

Zoom link page. 



University at Albany's Mock Trial's A team has won a bid to the Opening Round Championship Series. The Open Round Championship Series is usually dominated by private schools, so it is quite the achievement for the University at Albany to make the Series yet again. Congratulations to WCI's Marcie Newton and our incredible students for all of their hard work and dedication.



University at Albany Mock Trial, with WCI’s pre-law lecturer and faculty coach Marcie Newton, hosts its 2nd Annual Capital Region Clash Mock Trial Invitational. 

For more information on the event, click on the following link



Dr. Robert Yagelski appeared on The Long Conversation podcast with Rachel Jepsen, episode #5. The "discussion ranges from the classroom to the office to the heart, in search of answers to one (massive) question: How can we write ourselves awake?" (Jepsen).

Listen to the episode



Announcing the winners and finalists for the Fall, 2020 WCI Writing Contest. Visit the Writing Contest webpage for more information about our authors, interviews, and student feedback on the essays.





 


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.
 

 

ANNOUNCING THE LIVE, IN-PERSON ALBANY BOOK FESTIVAL THIS SATURDAY, SEPT. 25TH!

Join Rae Muhlstock, Chair of the WCI Film Festival, in conversation with bestselling horror writer Elizabeth Brundage, at the 4th Annual Albany Book Festival in the Campus Center on the University at Albany’s Uptown Campus, 1400 Washington Ave. It’s FREE and open to public. Click the following link for more information: Albany Book Festival.



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.
 

 

Virtual Events for Students and Faculty
 


The Program in Writing and Critical Inquiry, Division of the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education, invites faculty, staff, students, and the general public to the Spring, 2021 WCI Faculty Colloquium. This year's colloquium will take place on Friday, April 30, from 3:00-4:30pm. The event will feature readings by Susan Cumings, Jonathan Dubow, Sarah Giragosian, Moriah Hampton, Amber Jackson, and Rae Muhlstock. 

Please contact Jeffrey Janssens at [email protected] or Courtney Ryan at [email protected] for more information.


WCI Write-Ins--every other Tuesday, from 7-8 p.m. 

"This semester the WCI Writing Contest Committee will be hosting a virtual Write-In every other Tuesday evening, from 7-8 p.m. starting 2/16.  This is an optional event, where students will have a dedicated time and space to write alongside other WCI students and faculty. Feel free to join once, or every time. The mood is casual, yet productive. Guest hosts and writers may include past contest winners, or many of our spectacular peer mentors.  For more information, email Dr. Orr at [email protected]

Zoom link page. 


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. 

 

 



Moriah Hampton's story "Mother to Be" appeared recently in Wordgathering:  A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature along with photographs from her "Time Worn" series.  See https://wordgathering.com/vol15/issue3/fiction/hampton/ and https://wordgathering.com/vol15/issue3/art/hampton/

Moriah Hampton Photo from CollectionTime Worn I: A wide-angle shot of a mailbox on a country road in Vermont. The mailbox, purplish-blue and partly patina covered, sits on the far right of the shot. Behind the mailbox and to the left are green trees and grass, slightly out of focus. A dirt road winds down the left-hand side of the shot, shadows falling across some of the gravel.

For more photographs, click on the link above or on the picture. 



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,” as they invoke the beauty around us, and in us.

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



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.