Composition and Literature
Academics > Academic Divisions & Departments > Composition and Literature > Our Faculty > James H. Zorn

James H. Zorn


Assistant Professor
                                                 

Office: L-329
Campus Extension: 201-493-3689
Email: jzorn@bergen.edu

Degrees: Master of Fine Arts, Creative Writing (Fiction), New School University; Master of Teaching (English as a Second language) The School for International Training

Year Started at BCC: 2003.

AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION: Creative Writing, Composition, Literature; Faculty Editor, The Labyrinth, BCC student literary magazine

COURSES TAUGHT: Creative Writing, Composition, Literature

CURRENT PROJECTS: a variety of short and long fiction projects

SPECIAL INTERESTS: i am very interested in folklore, mythology, children's literature, and contemporary fiction

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY: I believe that creativity and a sense of exploration are essential to the learning process. I also believe that freedom is the mastery of form. In both creative and academic writing, it is essential for students to seek to express themselves and find their own voices, but at the same time, to understand that while all forms of writing (even academic) are art, not subject to "rules" as such, there are patterns that have been proven over time to be effective. Students need to know and understand the patterns and seek to express their voices within those patterns while at the same time (hopefully!) pushing beyond them.

 

BIO:
James H. Zorn graduated from the University of Georgia in 1979 with a Bachelor’s degree in English with minor concentrations in History and German. After graduation, he moved to West Germany, where he worked for the University of Maryland in Heidelberg before beginning to teach English as a Second Language in the Sprachinstitute im Amerika Haus in Stuttgart. Two and a half years later, he returned to the United States, where he taught Academic ESL for the University of Georgia before entering The School for International Training, in Brattleboro, Vermont, to pursue an M.A.T. degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. While at SIT, he did student teaching in Boston’s Chinese American Civic Association, working primarily with refugees from Vietnam. After completing his M.A.T. degree, he was hired as a Teacher Supervisor in the Philippine Refugee Processing Center, Morong, Bataan, Philippines, where he assisted mainly Filipino teachers in preparing refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos for resettlement in the United States. After two years in the Philippines, he moved to Sendai, Japan, where he taught at a private English school. Two years later, he moved to Barcelona, Spain, where he worked for the Institute of North American Studies as a professor of ESL.

In 1989, he returned to the United States and accepted a position as Director of the International Students Program at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he remained for the next nine years, teaching ESL, Academic Writing, Creative Writing, and administering the college’s rapidly-growing international programs. In 1998, he moved to New York to pursue a second Master’s, this one in Creative Writing, at New School University. From 1998 until 2003, he taught at a variety of colleges and universities in the New York City area, including Columbia University, Queen’s College, Laguardia Community College, Westchester Community College, and Kingsboro Community College before joining the faculty of Bergen Community College in the department of English.

At BCC, James Zorn has taught courses in composition, literature, and creative writing. Since 2007, he has been faculty advisor to The Labyrinth, the college’s student literary magazine. He is frequently a guest editor and judge for the annual Pegasus high-school student literary competition sponsored by the college. He is a former member of the faculty senate and has served on numerous college and departmental committees.

Zorn’s writing career began in high school, when he was features editor of his high school newspaper. In 1975, while a sophomore at UGA, he won first prize in a state-wide competition for student fiction writers. His work appeared in The Red and Black student newspaper and in the university’s literary magazine, Stillpoint, as well as other student publications. In the early eighties, he was fiction editor for the controversial underground Athens, Georgia culture-and-politics magazine Line of Sight. Since then, his work has appeared in numerous venues, most recently in The Westchester Review 2013, The Westchester Review 2014, and The Westchester Review 2015 (forthcoming); the online science fiction magazine Third Flatiron (2013), and The Seven Hills Review (2013). In 2010, he won first prize in an annual writing competition sponsored by William Patterson University. In 2013, one of his short stories was named in the Top 25 in the prestigious Glimmer Train magazine Very Short Fiction competition.