In 2014, I moved to Ithaca to live with my partner and began teaching at Ithaca College. I had just taken early retirement, after 22 years, from Long Island University, Brooklyn, where I was a professor of English, had founded the women’s/gender studies program, and directed the Writing Center (2009-2014). During those years, I also taught – either as visiting full-time faculty or part-time – at the CUNY School of Professional Studies, Syracuse University, and Cornell’s NYS School of Industrial and Labor Relations (Manhattan). Previously, I had taught at Hunter College, New York University, and the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Most notably for me, for three years (1987-90) I directed the writing program at the Hofstra University/UAW-District 65 Institute of Applied Social Science in Manhattan. This was a college program for adult workers housed in a labor union that Martin Luther King once called “the conscience of the labor movement.” From 1993 through 1997, I was on the Board of Directors of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS), CUNY.
I love interdisciplinary work – which makes sense, since so many of my formative moments (as both student and teacher) were in women’s/gender studies, queer studies, race studies, labor studies, and cultural studies. Writing, for me, has always occurred as an intense melding of personal and social concerns. I used to write and publish fiction, and hope to again someday, but creative nonfiction has definitely taken over much more of my life as I’ve gotten older. I’ve written in other genres, as well, including:
- a play, Minus One, which was produced off-off-Broadway in 1989 and published in the collection Intimate Acts: Eight Contemporary Lesbian Plays;
- a lesbian/feminist/leftie/Jewish standup comedy act, performed by comic Sara Cytron for twelve years (1987-99), that took us to clubs, campuses, theaters, comedy joints, cruises, conferences, and festivals around the country and the world (excerpts from the shows A Dyke Grows in Brooklyn and Take My Domestic Partner—Please! are in Out, Loud, and Laughing: A Collection of Lesbian and Gay Humor, Anchor Books/Doubleday, 1995);
- reviews for The Women’s Review of Books (1994-present);
- an academic book, Textual Orientations: Lesbian and Gay Students and the Making of Discourse Communities (Heinemann, 1995);
- political journalism – from pieces on Central American solidarity in the (now-defunct) New York radical leftist newspaper The Guardian in the 1980s (highlight: a breakfast interview with Bernie Sanders in Managua, Nicaragua, 1985!) to, most recently, pieces about Palestinian solidarity for the online, independent, and progressive “new media” journal Common Dreams;
- an ongoing mega-book-project provisionally entitled Sometimes Something is True: Zionism, Propaganda, and the Uses of Hasbara - which I’ve been researching and writing for years, and may well continue to for the rest of my life…..
I’m very happy being at Ithaca College – because it’s a great place for a lover of the liberal arts; because it has quite a number of wonderful, powerful, smart, loud-mouthed students and faculty who won’t take crap from above; because it’s so queer-friendly; because there’s actually a whole department devoted to writing – all kinds of writing; and because I get to teach three of my all-time favorite courses: Women & Writing, Queerness & Writing, and the Ithaca Seminar Palestine in Literature and Film. I'm also thrilled and appreciative that in 2016 a group of exceptionally bright, dedicated, talented, social justice-conscious students formed an IC chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine; I'm extremely proud to be their faculty advisor.
Other fulfilling pursuits include hiking in Ithaca’s gorges and hills (and in mountains and woods around the US and world), working with Jewish Voice for Peace, co-founding Olive Branch Film Series: Ithaca Explores Palestine through Films at Cinemapolis, participating in activities related to human rights, and, always, a lot of reading.
- Ph.D., New York University, Rhetoric & Composition, 1993
- MA, TESL, Hunter College, 1984
- MFA Fiction, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1981
- BA, English Literature, Queens College, 1976
Selected (Relatively) Recent Publications
- “Liberal Human ‘Rights’ Discourse and Sexual Citizenship” in Sexual Rhetorics. Eds. Jonathan Alexander and Jacqueline Rhodes. Routledge, 2016.
- “Torches and Metonyms of Freedom” in “Queer and Now” special edition of The Writing Instructor. Guest eds. Aneil Rallin, Robert Koch, and Trixie G. Smith, 2015.
- “A Few Words Are Worth a Thousand Images.” Common Dreams, December 7, 2014.
- "The Icon Across the Street" in Peitho: Journal of the Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric & Composition 15.2, 2013.
- “Lesbian Studies and Postmodern Queer Theory” in Revisto do CEAM, No. 2 (2), 2013. (Centro de Estudos Avançados Multidiciplinares, Universidade de Brasilia, Brasil). Trans. Tatiana Nascimento as “Estudos lesbianos e teoria cuíer pós-moderna.” Originally published in The New Lesbian Studies: Into the Twenty-First Century. Eds. Bonnie Zimmerman and Toni McNaron, NY: The Feminist Press, 1996.
- “Other Anne Franks”: Review essay of Rutka’s Notebook: A Voice from the Holocaust by Rutka Laskier and Helga’s Diary: A Young Girl’s Account of Life in a Concentration Camp by Helga Weiss, The Women's Review of Books, November-December 2013.
- Review of As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks 1964-1980 by Susan Sontag, Women's Review of Books, November 2012.
- Critical bibliography contributor (Palestine entries) to First Middle East Contemporary Cinema Exhibition/Primera Muestra de Cine de Medio Oriente Contemporaneo (book, bilingual edition). Ed. Sergio Becerra. Bogota, Colombia: La Cinemateca Distrital, 2010.
- “E-Love” in Stepping on My Brother’s Head and Other Secrets Your English Professor Never Told You, a theme-based college reader. Eds. Charles Schuster and Sondra Perl, Heinemann-Boynton/Cook, 2010.
- “I Will Tell Everything”: Review essay of Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood by Ibtisam Barakat and The Diary of Mary Berg: Growing Up in the Warsaw Ghetto, The Women's Review of Books, July 2008.
- “Columbus and Israel: Thought for Israel’s Election Day,” in Common Dreams, February 11, 2009.
- “Forum on Radical Teaching Now” (contributor) in Radical Teacher #83, Winter 2008.
- “Jenny and Pearl: A Retrospective” (oral history) in Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal, Vol. 11, No. 2, August 2006..
- “The Sword and the Shield: A Conversation with Independent Journalist Amy Goodman,” in The Women’s Review of Books, September 2004.
- Review of The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them by Amy Goodman with David Goodman, Women's Review of Books, September 2004.
- “The Uses of Literacy in a Globalized, Post-September 11 World” in Composition Studies in the Twenty-First Century. Eds. Lynn Z. Bloom, Donald A. Daiker, and Edward M. White, Southern Illinois U.P., 2003.
- Review of Nothing Sacred: Women Respond to Religious Fundamentalism and Terror, Ed. Betsy Reed in The Women's Review of Books, September 2003.