English 162W is a writing-intensive course for non-English majors that uses literature to deepen the understanding of the rich, complex, and varied engagement between human beings and the places they inhabit and imagine. We will examine how places, with their history, traditions, myths, customs, tensions, social structures, and physical form interact with people’s lives, and with our lives. This section of 162W will focus in two ways. Together, we will be examining the literary imaginary around New York City (as our shared place) and writing about the ways in which our own experiences living here interact with that imaginary. However, on your own, you will each be choosing a place of your own to examine, a place that is significant to you specifically, and you will be using both literary analysis as well as research to explore the ideas that surround that place, that construct its imaginary and your relationship to it.

This is a general education course that satisfies the Literature requirement for the Queens Core under the CUNY General Education structure called Pathways. The course also satisfies the Reading Literature requirement under the Perspectives curriculum that was in effect at Queens before CUNY introduced Pathways.



In this course, students will:

  • Develop close reading skills to interpret literary texts across different genres;
  • Develop familiarity with some conventional disciplinary language and its use to think about how texts work (for example, assessing literary works in terms of voice, tone, and structure);
  • Understand how context works with ideas to produce the meaning of a text;
  • Use both informal and formal writing as opportunities to discover one’s own ideas in conversation with the ideas of others;
  • Write thoughtful, analytical and coherent essays that are firmly grounded in the text and adhere to MLA guidelines.


You can find our course syllabus here:

s19 162W syllabus

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