Prof. Pari-Pfisterer has been teaching at BMCC since 1996 and continues to be a vibrant, enthusiastic, and innovative professor. Her publications are in the fields of Composition and Rhetoric and Italian American Studies. She co-edited three volumes of essays on Freirean critical liberatory pedagogy with Ira Shor and contributed chapters to several volumes on her working-class pedagogy at BMCC. In Italian American Studies, she published essays on working-class Italian American women’s writings and on Pascal D’Angelo, an immigrant laborer who wrote the first autobiography of an Italian immigrant. She is currently working on applying translingual theories and practices to writing courses and to Italian American literature. She is also working on pedagogical interventions that support students’ growth mindsets, increase equity, and reduce withdrawals and failures. At BMCC, she co-created ENG 100.5, one of the first co-requisite courses at BMCC and helped provide professional faculty development for the course. She served as Coordinator of Intensive Writing courses (1999-2002; 2014-2018) and as Deputy Chair of the English Department (2018-2020).
Composition and Rhetoric/writing pedagogy; literacy narratives; immigrant autobiography; Italian American literature; working-class pedagogy; growth mindset and culture of care; research on community colleges; faculty development; translingual theories and practices.
Ph.D in English. The City University of New York Graduate School
M. Phil. in English. The City University of New York Graduate School
B.A. in English, Honors Program Queens College, City University of New York
- Students placed in ENG 100.5 are offered extra support, afforded through additional instructional time. Students completing ENG 100.5 will have mastered the fundamentals of college-level reading and writing, including developing a thesis-driven response to the writing of others and following the basic conventions of citation and
documentation. They will have practiced what Mike Rose calls the a??habits of minda?? necessary for success in college and in the larger world: summarizing, classifying, comparing, contrasting, and analyzing. Students will be introduced to basic research methods and MLA documentation and complete a research project. Students are required to take a departmental final exam that requires the
composition of a 500 word thesis-driven essay in
conversation with two texts. Successful completion of this course is equivalent to passing ENG 101.
Prerequisite: Students who scored between 48-55 on the CAT-W and 70 or higher on the CAT-R can take this course
- English Composition is the standard freshman writing course. The course introduces students to academic writing. By its conclusion, students will be ready for English 201 and for the writing they will be asked to do in advanced courses across the curriculum. Students completing ENG 101 will have mastered the fundamentals of college-level reading and writing, including developing a thesis-driven response to the writing of others and following the basic conventions of citation and documentation. They will have practiced what Mike Rose calls the "habits of mind" necessary for success in college and in the larger world: summarizing, classifying, comparing, contrasting, and analyzing. Students will be introduced to basic research methods and MLA documentation and complete a research project. Students are required to take a departmental final exam that requires the composition of a 500 word, thesis-driven essay in conversation with two designated texts.
Prerequisite: Pass the CAT-R and CAT-W or Accuplacer tests
- This is a course that builds upon skills introduced in English 101. In this course, literature is the field for the development of critical reading, critical thinking, independent research, and writing skills. Students are introduced to literary criticisms and acquire basic knowledge necessary for the analysis of texts (including literary terms and some literary theory); they gain proficiency in library and internet research; and they hone their skills as readers and writers. Assignments move from close readings of literary texts in a variety of genres to analyses that introduce literary terms and broader contexts, culminating in an independent, documented, thesis-driven research paper. By the conclusion of English 201, students will be prepared for the analytical and research-based writing required in upper-level courses across the curriculum; they will also be prepared for advanced courses in literature.
Prerequisite: ENG 101
- This course will introduce the student to autobiography in the context of literary debate: why do we read autobiography? How do we classify autobiography, as non-fiction or fiction? Works by both men and women of many cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds will be included. Students will examine the various styles, elements, as well as the recurring themes in autobiography, while working on their own "reflection of the self.
Pre-Requisite: ENG101 and ENG201 or ENG121
Italian American literature surveys fiction, poetry, and drama throughout the history of Italian Americans in the United States beginning in the first half of the twentieth century and continuing into contemporary America. This literature will be considered in the context of recurring themes in the artistically framed experiences of Italian Americans beginning in the first half of the twentieth century and continuing into contemporary America: cultural-national identity conflict, anti-colonization by church and state, religion, gender relations, generational differences and relations, class conflict, for example working class vs.the bourgeois, or working class immigrant and sons and daughters vs. the dominant American culture, the problem of education in early Italian American history, the dilemma of cultural and linguistic loss, intercultural conflict, intracultural conflict, family values, oppression, social dysfunction, and assimilation.
Prerequisites: ENG 101 and 201, or ENG 121
Research and Projects
“Understanding Italian American Texts Through Translingualism.” Diaspore Italiane International Symposium. Calandra Institute, NY. November 2, 2018.
“Redesigning Developmental Writing with a Translingual Approach.” Two Year College Association (TYCA). LaGuardia CC, NY. October 11,2018
“Classroom Applications of the Translingual Approach to Writing Instruction.” SoTL Forum. BMCC. November 10, 2017.
“Accelerating Writing at BMCC-CUNY with ENG 100.5.” Two Year College Association (TYCA). Hartford. CT. October 15, 2016.
“Inside Accelerated Courses in Writing and Reading at BMCC.” Conference on Developmental Education (CADE). Baltimore, MD. June 16, 2016.
“Conflicting Values: The Educational Journeys of Italian American Women.” 48th Annual International Conference of Italian American Studies Association. Washington, D.C. October 16, 2015.
“From Mario Cuomo to Andrew Cuomo: Tracing the Disappearance of Immigrant Rhetoric in Political Speeches.” 46th Annual Conference of IASA, Italian American Studies Association. New Orleans, LA. October 6, 2013.
“‘Capital’s Monstrous Outrages: The Voice of Immigrant Labor in Pascal D’Angelo’s Son of Italy.” VIA: Voices in Italian Americana, Spring 2021.
“Divided Worlds: Autobiographical Literacy Narratives of Italian-American Women Writers.” VIA: Voices in Italian Americana. Fall 2015. (Republication of best essays in last 25 years). (refereed journal)
Review of Italian Women in Chicago. Eds. Dominic Candeloro, Kathy Catrambone, and Gloria Nardini. VIA: Voices in Italian Americana. Fall 2011. (refereed journal)
“Divided Worlds: Autobiographical Literacy Narratives of Italian-American Women Writers.” VIA: Voices in Italian Americana. Spring 2011. (refereed journal)
Education is Politics: Critical Teaching Across Differences (Vol. II: Post-secondary). Editors: Ira Shor and Caroline Pari. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann-Boynton/Cook. March 2000.
“Developing Critical Pedagogy at a CUNY Community College” Attending the Margins. Eds. Michelle Kells and Valerie Balester. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann-Boynton/Cook. October 1999.
Education is Politics: Critical Teaching Across Differences (Vol. I: K-12). Editors: Ira Shor and Caroline Pari. Portsmouth,NH:Heinemann- Boynton/Cook. September 1999.
Critical Literacy: Writing Words, Changing Worlds. Editors: Ira Shor and Caroline Pari. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann-Boynton/Cook. March 1999.
“‘Just American:’ Reversing Class and Ethnic Assimilation in Academia.” Teaching Working Class. Ed. Sherry Linkon. University of Massachusetts Press. March 1999.
Honors, Awards and Affiliations
Gateway Project (2018-2019)
Fellowship Leave (Spring 2017)
PSC-CUNY Research Grant (2011-12)
Faculty Development Grant (2009)
Fellowship Leave (2007-2008)
Member, Modern Language Association
Member. National Council of Teachers of English
Member, Italian American Studies Association
BMCC representative, CUNY Writing Discipline Council