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Fall 2020 Graduate Course Descriptions

Fall 2020

The following information is subject to change.

For the most up-to-date and comprehensive course information, including current offerings, meeting times, and classrooms, visit the Registrar’s website. For curriculum information, see the Academic Catalog.

Sections of ENGL 7976 Directed Study and ENGL 7990 Master’s Thesis are created upon successful petition. These are credit-bearing courses. See Banner Class Schedule for non-credit bearing course information (ENGL 6960, 7000, 8960, 9986, 9990, and 9996).

First day of Fall 2020 registration: April 3rd for continuing students, May 6th for new (incoming) students

Courses by Curriculum Area

Proseminar (Fall Only)

ENGL 5103 Proseminar

Instructor: Professor Lori Lefkovitz
Sequence: Wednesday, 6:00-9:20 PM

Introduces the history and current scholarly practices of English studies. Surveys theoretical, methodological, and institutional issues in the development of the discipline; introduces students to the research of the English department’s graduate faculty; and offers opportunities for the practice of key components of scholarly production, including formulating research questions, using databases, conducting literature reviews, and writing and presenting scholarship in common formats other than the long research paper, such as conference proposals, oral presentations, and book reviews. Prereq. English degree students only.

Theories & Methods (1)

ENGL 7370 Introduction to Digital Humanities

Instructor: Professor Ryan Cordell
Sequence: Wednesday, 2:30-5:50 PM

Offers a critical orientation to the tools, methods, and intellectual history of the digital humanities (DH). Explores key questions such as what debates are (re)shaping DH in this moment; what central theories lead humanities scholars to experiment with computational, geospatial, and network methodologies; how visualization can illuminate literature, history, writing, and other humanities subjects; and how new modes of research and publication might influence our teaching. Balances theory and praxis: Successful students come away with a well-grounded understanding of the DH field and a set of foundational skills to support their future research. No prior technical expertise is required to take the course, but students should be willing to experiment with new skills.

Literary Periods (2)

Literature Pre-1700

ENGL 7281 Afterlives of the Middle Ages

Instructor: Professor Kathleen Kelly
Sequence: Monday, 6:00-9:20 PM

The pointing finger on your computer screen. The gothic spires punctuating the American skyline. The landscape of many a video game. The US Marine holding a ceremonial sword. These and other residues of the Middle Ages are baked into our everyday lives. The appropriation of the medieval is ubiquitous, and never ideologically innocent, running the gamut from Wagner’s Ring opera to the Med-Ren Faire to Dreamworks’ Shrek to the shields that white supremacists carried in Charlottesville. In this course, our focus is on the persistence of the Middle Ages as a mode and a theme in literature, music, art, and architecture, as well as in film, video games, and other artifacts of popular culture. We will consider such topics as aesthetics, pleasure, danger, canonization, genre, colonialism, the gothic, fantasy literature, and modern responses to medieval representations of class, race, gender, and sexual preference and identity, and pair “host” texts and “symbiont” texts, such as Malory’s Morte Darthur and a selection of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and their reworkings, including film. As we read such texts as the Irish Táin Bó Cúailnge, the French Tristan and Iseult and Roman de Silence (a tale of born-sex vs. cultural assignment), the Icelandic Vínland Sagas (the tale of the Norse discovery of America), and the West African Sundiata, we will explore how—and why—we read medieval texts now. We will also read a few modern texts that are medievalized in some way, but don’t necessarily derive from any given medieval text (such as Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant). Students are encouraged to make connections between the medieval and their own areas of interest, and therefore will choose some of the materials for the last part of the course that should lead to final papers. All medieval texts in translation. Requirements: short responses to be read and discussed in class, a class presentation, and a final paper.

Literature 1700-1900

See Spring 2021.

Literature Post-1900

ENGL 7351 The Graphic Novel

Instructor: Professor Hillary Chute
Sequence: Monday, 2:40-6:00 PM

Today comics works have won Pulitzer Prizes, are required reading in universities, have been adapted for Broadway, occupy special issues of mainstream and academic journals, inspire dedicated imprints from major book publishers, and are reviewed everywhere, and with as much fervor, as novels are. Out of what histories does contemporary comics spring, and what can the form of comics accomplish? How do we describe its differences from other kinds of narratives? We will focus on the contemporary format of the book-length “graphic novel” (or “graphic narrative”). How does style appear as a narrative element in these works? How do they document subjectivity, for both fictional and nonfictional characters alike? How do they build a world through a series of marks? We will consider graphic novels through what they propose about materiality and material culture; through their connection to literary and art traditions (like the artists’ book); and through their connection to histories of the book, along with theories of reading and looking.

Writing & Rhetoric (1)

ENGL 7392 Writing and the Teaching of Writing

Instructor: Professor Mya Poe
Sequence: Tuesday, 4:10-7:30 PM

This course prepares graduate students to teach writing at the university level, drawing on recent scholarship in rhetoric and writing studies, as well as research in other fields into how people learn. We will explore various theories regarding the nature of writing, how people learn to write, and what kinds of environments and activities best help students learn writing. The goal is for each graduate student to use these theories to develop a coherent position on the teaching of writing, along with practical teaching materials that can be employed at Northeastern and elsewhere.

Electives & Certificate Courses (2)

INSH 7910 NULab Seminar

Instructor: Professor Julia Flanders
Sequence: Tuesday, 2:30-4:10 PM
Attributes:

  • Core Requirement: Elective
  • Digital Humanities approved elective

Offers students an opportunity to learn and use digital humanities methods with others in groups and across disciplines in the collaborative space of the NULab seminar. May be repeated up to three times.

ENGL 7370 Introduction to Digital Humanities

Instructor: Professor Ryan Cordell
Sequence: Wednesday, 2:40-6:00 PM
Attributes:

  • Core Requirement: Theories & Methods
  • Digital Humanities approved elective or core requirement

Offers a critical orientation to the tools, methods, and intellectual history of the digital humanities (DH). Explores key questions such as what debates are (re)shaping DH in this moment; what central theories lead humanities scholars to experiment with computational, geospatial, and network methodologies; how visualization can illuminate literature, history, writing, and other humanities subjects; and how new modes of research and publication might influence our teaching. Balances theory and praxis: Successful students come away with a well-grounded understanding of the DH field and a set of foundational skills to support their future research. No prior technical expertise is required to take the course, but students should be willing to experiment with new skills.

See the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities or Graduate Certificate in Womens, Gender and Sexuality Studies catalog pages for complete course lists and certificate information.

Upcoming Course Offerings

Spring 2021 (subject to change)
Theories & Methods ENGL 7351 Disability Studies Professor Altschuler
Writing & Rhetoric ENGL 7360 Rhetoric of Law Professor Britt
Literature 1700-1900 ENGL 7284 The Other, Race, and Slavery in the Novel Professor Aljoe
Literature Post-1900 ENGL 7351 Aesthetics & Finance Professor Kim