Office Hours: Summer Hours: Monday 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Phone: +1 (212) 220-8299
Chris Vinsonhaler brings a wealth of experience to her teaching and scholarship. For two decades, she served on the roster of The Mississippi Arts Commission as a professional storyteller and musician. During that time, she toured nationally and internationally, working with schools to expand literacy programs through storytelling and audio materials, as a way to accelerate language acquisition and create community-centered alternatives to publishing industry biases. Her passion for oral narrative also prompted her performance study of the Old English poem Beowulf, which garnered a fellowship funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. In furthering that project, she entered the Florida State University Humanities program, and then the University of Iowa, where she earned a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in medieval studies. For the past six years, she has proudly served on the BMCC English Department faculty. During that time, she used a a CUNY Faculty Development grant to produce a new performance of Beowulf with BMCC students as stage designers and actors; she served as a fellow in the BMCC Teaching Academy and the Gateway Initiative; she submitted various essays on pedagogy to The Inquirer and the CETLS blog; and she worked with Jean Amaral and other faculty members to create the BMCC Voices podcast and the “This I Believe Public Reading Project.”
PH.D. University of Iowa, 2013.
Florida State University, Humanities Doctoral Program, May 2006.
M.L.S. University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. 1992.
M.A. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. in English, 1983.
Georgia College, Milledgeville, Georgia. 1980-81.
Courses for teacher certification, K-6 language arts.
Augusta State University, Augusta, Georgia. 1980-81.
Courses for teacher certification, K-6 language arts.
B.A. University of Georgia, 1978.
A.A. Emory University at Oxford, Oxford, Georgia, June 1976
- 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 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.
- This course studies and analyzes outstanding classical, contemporary and multicultural literature for children and adolescents, arranged by genre. Students are given an overview of the evolution of the literature from its cultural roots in myth and legend to its present role as a reflector of modern society.
Pre-Requisite: ENG 101 and ENG201 or ENG121
- This course presents a global approach to literature by introducing prose, poetry and drama representative of different world cultures and historical periods, from antiquity to the early modern era. Students engage in close readings of individual texts and contextual/comparative analyses. Written and spoken activities are designed to enhance students? appreciation of literature and their awareness of the ways it arises from, shapes and reflects the world?s cultures.
Research and Projects
Forthcoming: Co-authored with Richard Fahey: “Scyld and Grendel: Two Reigns of Terror” Heroic Age Journal.
Forthcoming: Review for Religion & Literature: Kathy Lavezzo: The Accommodated Jew: Anti-Semitism from Bede to Milton. Cornell University Press, 2016.
“The Hearmscaþa and the Handshake: Desire and Disruption in the Grendel Episode,” Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies. UCLA.
Beowulf: A Dramatic Translation 2004. Self-published with support from a fellowship funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Pearls: A Collection of Folklore from Hancock County. Editor and project consultant. Publication sponsored by The Mississippi Arts Commission and The Renaissance Project, 1997.
Honors, Awards and Affiliations
Distinguished Teaching Award, Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY). 2021
W.R. Irwin Teaching Award, University of Iowa. 2012
Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, University of Iowa. 2012
Teaching Fellow, Professional Development Program, University of Iowa. 2009-13
Leon Golden Teaching Award, Florida State University. 2006
Fellow, National Writing Project Summer Seminar (Gulfport, Mississippi). 2001
CUNY Faculty Development Award. 2017
NEH Summer Seminar on Beowulf (University of Western Michigan). 2016
NEH Summer Seminar on Narratology (University of Iowa). 2010
Humanities Fellowship on Beowulf in the Nowell Codex, Newberry Library, Chicago. 2007
Performance Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts. 2003
International Society for the Study of Early Medieval England
The Medieval Academy of America
International Association of Scholars of Mimetic Theory
Northeast Modern Language Association