Geoffrey D Klock
Office Hours: Thursdays from 11-2pm
Phone: +1 (212) 220-8000;ext=5189
Geoff Klock teaches people about poetry, parables, Shakespeare, David Lynch, superheroes, and philosophy.
D.Phil., Oxford University, English, 2007
MA, NYU, English, 2000
BA, NYU, English and Philosophy, 2000
- 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
- Introduction to Literary Studies is an inquiry into what it means to study literature, involving close reading, critical and creative analysis of a wide variety of prose fiction, drama, and poetry, and informed by an introduction to some of theoretical issues currently invigorating literary studies. In addition to works of literature, students will read critical and theoretical works. This course combines a study of literature with continued training in clear and effective expression. It is designed for prospective Writing and Literature majors and other interested students.
Prerequisite: ENG 101 or 121
Corequisite: 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 provides careful, in-depth readings from Shakespeare's tragedies, histories and comedies. The course examines some of the main characteristics of his work, including his major themes, the development of character and plot, and the special worlds that he creates through his poetic language.
Research and Projects
Something to do with Shakespeare and David Lynch, still thinking about it really
How to Read Superhero Comics and Why (Continuum, 2000)
Imaginary Biographies: Misreading the Lives of the Poets (Continuum 2007)
The Future of Comics, The Future of Men: Matt Fraction’s Casanova (Sequart, 2015)
Aestheticism, Evil, Homosexuality, and Hannibal: If Oscar Wilde Ate People (Lexington, 2017)
Also I wrote like 25 essays but I don’t feel like listing them here.
Honors, Awards and Affiliations
Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Distinguished Teaching Award 2017
Geoff Klock (b. 1979) has a doctorate from Oxford, where he attended Balliol College, and is a tenured full professor in the English department at the Borough of Manhattan Community College at the City University of New York, a rank he achieved before the age of 40. He teaches Shakespeare, canonical poetry in English, parables, film (with an emphasis on movies about movies and David Lynch) and philosophy (mostly the philosophy of art). He won BMCC’s distinguished teaching award, and a colleague once remarked that he had never heard Geoff say anything negative about a student. He has been teaching English for more than ten years and has never taught a novel. Four students have taken four classes each — essentially minoring in Geoff Klock Studies.
He is the author 25-ish essays (including one on Mulholland Drive and Hamlet, and one on action figures and Wordsworth) and four books: How to Read Superhero Comics and Why (Continuum, 2002), which looks at comic books through Harold Bloom’s poetics of influence; Imaginary Biographies: Misreading the Lives of the Poets (Continuum, 2007), which looks at bizarre portrayals of historical poets in poems (e.g. Virgil in Dante’s Inferno); The Future of Comics, the Future of Men: Matt Fraction’s Casanova (Sequart, 2015), a study of masculinity and creator-rights which takes a spy comic book as its central text; and Aestheticism, Evil, Homosexuality, and Hannibal: If Oscar Wilde Ate People (Lexington, 2017), which investigates the bittersweet legacy of art-for-art’s sake in popular culture, and the Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter character in particular.
He has done 100 or so presentations at academic and popular venues, including hosting Basic Instinct at the 92Y TriBeCa, talking about fashion and superheroes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, capitalism and spies at Webster Hall, Shelley and polyamory for Chandelier Creative (the people who made the Old Navy ads), Batman at a rock climbing gym, parables at the Kickstarter HQ, Hamlet and the Joker on bleachers in front of Penn Station, chivalry and the X-Men in a keynote at Princeton, cannibalism at the Blue Apron offices, Neutral Milk Hotel at the Strand’s Rare Book Room, Spenser at the NYC Poetry festival on Governor’s Island, and Plato and Harry Potter at the recording studio where Tupac Shakur was shot.
He has been cited by academics 329 times, was quoted in the LA Times, had a lecture highlighted by the New Yorker, and made a mash up of pop culture Hamlet quotes on YouTube that got more than 57,000 views, which is roughly the population of the capital of Wyoming. Southwest Airlines Magazine featured him prominently, including in pictures, in a story about ThinkOlio in 2018.
His friend Mitch says of his work “it not only takes a highbrow literary thing and applies it to a more mainstream thing in a fun way, it also serves as a simple introduction to that highbrow thing.”
Geoff Klock went to a performing arts high school where he was trained as a singer and actor, and worked as a night watchman for two years in lower Manhattan after September 11th. He has titanium plates in his wrist and shoulder, which he got from surviving, on a bicycle, a hit-and-run collision with a NYC taxi. He has read poetry at the circus, was in a play with Christopher Lloyd, won a sexy Halloween costume contest at a burlesque show in NYC, shared a conga line with Rebecca Del Rio in LA, gave a toast at a wedding that entertained Iron Man director John Favreau, and sang “Auld Lang Syne” with the three children from It’s a Wonderful Life in upstate New York. He has lectured on David Lynch at a sold out event between the hours of midnight and one AM. He was married at Coney Island and was on his honeymoon, eight miles deep, on foot, into a lava field in Hawaii, when he received a national emergency message to seek cover because a ballistic missile strike was imminent. In the summer of 2019 Wisconsin will see the production of a musical based on his aborted self-help manuscript The Surface: How Poetry, Pop Culture, Orgy Sex and the End of the World Will Save Your Life. He has cooked hundreds of different dinners successfully and can do a surprising number of pull-ups, for a professor. Grab him on all the social media things.