College of Music

University of Colorado Boulder

Elissa Guralnick

Professor Emerita

Elissa Guralnick holds an AB and AM in English literature from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD, also in English literature, from Yale University. Tenured in CU’s department of English, she has taught a wide range of literature courses, including introductions to fiction, poetry, and drama; critical writing; Victorian literature; modern and contemporary literature; and modern and contemporary drama.

From 1985 to 2001, she co-directed CU’s University Writing Program. In addition to teaching required composition courses at the freshman and junior level, she developed and frequently taught a graduate-level course in science writing. She has conducted numerous writing workshops for lawyers and judges, including the justices of the Colorado Supreme Court. Currently, through CU’s Faculty Teaching Excellence Program (FTEP), she conducts workshops for faculty in “Writing for Publication.” Her approach to teaching writing is set out in her essay “Breaking with Tradition: Honors Composition for Gifted Seniors,” Change 33:3 (May/June 2001), 58-64.

Among Professor Guralnick’s other publications are anthologized essays on Mary Wollstonecraft’s The Vindication of the Rights of Women (originally published in Studies in Burke and His Time; republished in the 1988 and 2008 Norton editions of The Vindication, as well as in Gale’s Literature Criticism from 1400-1800, vol. 90) and on Tom Stoppard’s radio and television plays (originally published in The Cambridge Companion to Tom Stoppard; to be republished in Gale’s Drama Criticism, 2008). Her essay “Artist Descending A Staircase: Stoppard Captures the Radio Station—and Duchamp” (PMLA 105:2 [March 1990}, 286-300) received CU’s 1991 Faculty Essay Prize. She is also the co-author of The Weighty Word Book, a whimsical vocabulary builder for children. The book’s sequel, Weighty Words, Too, will be published by the University of New Mexico Press in 2009.

Professor Guralnick’s current research interest in words and music dates back to her book Sight Unseen: Beckett, Stoppard and Other Contemporary Dramatists on Radio (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1996). One chapter of the book addresses “The Musical Challenge” through analysis of radio plays by Robert Ferguson, Samuel Beckett, and John Cage. Her recent essay “ ‘Ah, Clara, I Am Not Worthy of Your Love’; Re-Reading Frauenliebe und Leben, the Poetry and the Music” (Music and Letters 87:4 2006, 580-605) has received CU’s Eaton Prize. The essay forms the basis for a theater piece devised by Elizabeth Mansfield, “Clara’s Gift,” to be presented as a special event for Leeds Lieder, a biennial international festival of art song, in November 2008.

Professor Guralnick is currently at work on essays about Glenn Gould’s “contrapuntal” radio pieces (the Solitude Trilogy) and Gerald Finzi’s settings of Thomas Hardy’s poetry. Since joining the Musicology faculty in 2007, she has conducted workshops for graduate students in writing about music, and will teach undergraduate courses in “Words and Music” and “Music in Literature.”

*TB-1 is a small brick building attached to the Clare Small Gym. If you position yourself in the parking lot next to the Rec Center, so that the Rec Center is on your right, Sewall Hall is on your left, and Norlin Library is behind you, you’ll be facing TB-1. Room 207 is on the second floor, the last office on your right.