Phone: +1 (212) 346-8608
A proud product of the City University of New York, David Bahr received his B.A. in English from Hunter College and his Ph.D. in English literature from The Graduate Center, where he was an Andrew W. Mellon dissertation fellow.
His area of research and scholarship is American literature after 1945, with a focus on creative nonfiction and autobiography. Related interests: the Beats, graphic narrative and comics, New Journalism, and pedagogy and social class.
Prior to his appointment as assistant professor, he was a writing fellow at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Over the years, he has taught writing and literature at Baruch, Queens College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and The New School for Social Research.
His journalism and creative writing have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, GQ, Poets & Writers, Publishers Weekly, The Village Voice, Prairie Schooner, Time Out New York, The Advocate, Out, Spin, and the anthology Boys to Men: Gay Men Write about Growing Up. His work has been cited by The Best American Essays series and The Missouri Review, and he has been awarded writing fellowships at Yaddo and The Edward Albee Foundation.
He hopes to inspire and mentor thousands of BMCC students in the coming years.
Autobiography Studies, Autobiography and Memory
- B.A. Hunter College, CUNY, English,
- Ph.D. The Graduate Center, CUNY, English literature,
- 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 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 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 teaches the writing of formal and informal essays, articles, and reviews in a personal voice. Through the reading of modern and contemporary essayists students learn to identify the unique qualities of writers in order to develop an individual style applicable to the various disciplines of public and personal writing.
- In this course examines the unique syntax, grammar and conventions of this literary art form. It traces graphic narrativea??s history from the 19th Century, as a working-class commodity in print newspapers, to the mid-20th Century, when it reconfigured itself as a medium of rebellion and mode of autobiography, up to today. Through regular writing assignments, students will critically engage with the art form and recent scholarship, developing their own arguments about how certain comics
communicate specific subjectivities.
Prerequisite: ENG 201
- This is a film history and appreciation course, with special emphasis on style, techniques, genres and themes. During one double period in which a full-length film is shown, students are encouraged to take notes. In the next class the film is discussed and analyzed. Students will read about the development of the cinema and write essays about well-known films.
Pre-Requisite: ENG101 and ENG201 or ENG121
- 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
- This course will focus on a specific theme, concept, cultural milieu, or major author to be announced in advance. Topics for the following semester will be made available by the English Department during registration. Each section of the course will cover in-depth a single special topic, such as one of the following: the Harlem Renaissance, Literature and the Environment, Utopian and Dystopian Literature, Literature and Medicine, The Beat Generation, Literature of the Working Class, Satire in the 18th Century, Censorship and Literature, Literature of Immigration, War in Literature, Madness and Inspiration in Literature, Gay and Lesbian Literature, and Women in Shakespeare. Prerequisites: ENG 101 and 201, or ENG 121
Research and Projects
- Aesthetic Autobiography: TK
A memoir/scholarly exploration of the sensational body as autobiography.
- “Feeling My Way Through: Writing about a Childhood in Foster Care.” Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture, 13.1 (2013). Web.
- “Can You Believe My Luck?” Prairie Schooner, University of Nebraska Press, 2010. Print.
- “Mothered.” GQ, 2004.
- “Labile Lines: Darryl Cunningham’s Psychiatric Tales and the Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness.” Lifewriting Annual: Biographical and Autobiographical Studies, 3.1, (2015). Print.
- “‘Loops and spins’: Autobiography, Autofiction, and Tim O’Brien’s Serial Selves.” American Creative Nonfiction. Critical Insights series. Ed. Jay Ellis. Massachusetts: Grey House Publishing , 2015. Print.
- “Jodi.” Out of Many: Multiplicity and Divisions in America Today. Eds. Kim Goodison, Ph.D., and Racquel Goodison, Ph.D. Dubuque: Persea Books. Forthcoming, Print.
- “Listening to the Body: Autobiography and the Recovery of Lost Memories.” Inquirer, Vol. 20 (2013): 7-14. Print.
- “The Things We Carry: Embodied Truth and Tim O’Brien’s Poetics of Despair,” Affective (Dis)order and the Writing Life: The Melancholic Muse. Ed. Stephanie Stone Horton. Palgrave Macmillan , 2014. Print.
- “No Matter What Happens,” Boys to Men: Gay Men Write About Growing Up. Ed. Rob Williams and Ted Gideonse. Caroll & Graff: Da Capo Press , 2006. Print.
- “‘Outside the Box’: Teaching Graphic Narrative in the Multicultural Community College Classroom.” Class, Please Open Your Comics: Essays on Teaching With Graphic Narratives. Ed. Matthew Miller. McFarland , 2015. Print.
- “Choreographing Time: Art Spiegelman’s Present Past(s) and The Craft of Creative Nonfiction Comics.” American Creative Nonfiction. Critical Insights series. Ed. Jay Ellis. Massachusetts: Grey House Publishing , 2015. Print.
- “Photo Graft: Revision, Reclamation, and The Graphic Photo.” Approaches to Teaching Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. Ed. Judith Gardiner. New York: Modern Language Association , 2018. Print.
- Book review: “The Phenomenology of Autobiography: Making It Real”, Life Writing, Fall 2018
Honors, Awards and Affiliations
- Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellowship.
- PSC-CUNY 44 Research Award, 2013-14
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Faculty Publication Program Fellowship, City University of New York (January 2014?May 2014)
- PSC-CUNY 45 Research Award, 2014-15
- Faculty Development Grant 2014
- PSC-CUNY Research TRADA-47-97, 2016-17