Home » Graduate Program in English » Spring 2019 Graduate Course Descriptions

Spring 2019 Graduate Course Descriptions

Spring 2019

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 spring graduate class registration: November 9

The following information is subject to change.

Courses by Curriculum Area

Proseminar (Fall only)

Offered in Fall semesters only.

Theories and Methods (2)

ENGL 7370 Topics in Digital Humanities: Reading Machines: Technology and the Book

Instructor: Professor Ryan Cordell
Sequence: Wednesday – 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Attributes:

  • Core Requirement: Theories and Methods -or- Literatures 1700-1900
  • Digital Humanities approved elective

This course will pivot around the double valence of its title, outlining a literary history of “new media” from the hand-press period to the present. First, we will draw on scholarship in book history, bibliography, media studies, and digital humanities to better understand machines of reading (e.g. the printed book, the internet) as material, historical, and cultural objects. We will examine how practices of reading, writing, and publishing have interacted—thematically and materially—with contemporaneous technological innovations over the past 250 years. We will complement our readings with praxis, gaining hands-on experience with textual technologies from letterpress (using the English Department’s new letterpress studio) to computer programming, as well as direct experience with archival materials in special collections around Boston. Together, weekly “book labs” and course discussions will help us consider relationships among modes of textual production, reception, and interpretation: including in our purview both “intellectual work,” such as writing, and “manual labor,” such as typesetting. Through our discussions, we will unpack the second valence of the course title, developing greater capacities to critically read machines, analyzing the political, cultural, and social forces that shape—and are shaped by—textual technologies. We will raise urgent questions around privacy, algorithmic bias, intellectual property, information overload, and textual authority, asking how a rich new media history might inform our technological present and contribute to a richer construction of the digital humanities field. Important Note: this course will include a substantial introduction to programming in the R language, but presumes no prior technological expertise. IOW: we will start at the very beginning (a very good place to start).

ENGL 7358 Special Topic: Feminism and Visual Culture

Instructor: Professor Hillary Chute
Sequence: Monday, 1:35-5:05 p.m.
Attributes:

  • Core Requirement: Theories and Methods
  • WGSS approved elective
  • Cross-listed with ARTH 5902-02 ST: Feminism and Visual Culture

Explores a range of creative forms, including but not limited to: comics and graphic novels, film, painting, performance art, theater, photography, propaganda, television, digital projects, and music videos.

We will also establish a critical trajectory by reading historically important works of theory and criticism alongside additional feminist and visual theory. We will focus on frameworks for understanding varieties of feminist cultural production that exist in the realm of visual culture—and also that themselves shape what “visual culture” means.

This interdisciplinary course offers a grounding in key concepts driving feminist cultural production, and in overlapping debates about visual culture, including around issues such as embodiment, subjectivity, spectatorship, and desire. What does the visual accomplish for differently-conceived feminisms?

Literary Periods (2)

1700-1900 (new curriculum)

ENGL 7370 Topics in Digital Humanities: Reading Machines: Technology and the Book

Instructor: Professor Ryan Cordell
Sequence: Wednesday – 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Attributes:

  • Core Requirement: Theories and Methods -or- Literatures 1700-1900
  • Digital Humanities approved elective

This course will pivot around the double valence of its title, outlining a literary history of “new media” from the hand-press period to the present. First, we will draw on scholarship in book history, bibliography, media studies, and digital humanities to better understand machines of reading (e.g. the printed book, the internet) as material, historical, and cultural objects. We will examine how practices of reading, writing, and publishing have interacted—thematically and materially—with contemporaneous technological innovations over the past 250 years. We will complement our readings with praxis, gaining hands-on experience with textual technologies from letterpress (using the English Department’s new letterpress studio) to computer programming, as well as direct experience with archival materials in special collections around Boston. Together, weekly “book labs” and course discussions will help us consider relationships among modes of textual production, reception, and interpretation: including in our purview both “intellectual work,” such as writing, and “manual labor,” such as typesetting. Through our discussions, we will unpack the second valence of the course title, developing greater capacities to critically read machines, analyzing the political, cultural, and social forces that shape—and are shaped by—textual technologies. We will raise urgent questions around privacy, algorithmic bias, intellectual property, information overload, and textual authority, asking how a rich new media history might inform our technological present and contribute to a richer construction of the digital humanities field. Important Note: this course will include a substantial introduction to programming in the R language, but presumes no prior technological expertise. IOW: we will start at the very beginning (a very good place to start).

Post-1900 (new curriculum); 19th Century/20th Century (old curriculum)

ENGL 7351 Topics in Literary Study: Neoliberal Aesthetics: The Poetics of Finance

Instructor: Professor Eunsong Kim
Sequence: Thursday – *updated 1/2/19* 3:15-6:15 p.m.
Attributes:

  • Core requirement: Post-1900 (new curriculum); 19th Century/20th Century (old curriculum)
  • Other: Cross-listed with Department of Cultures, Societies and Global Studies

In this course we will examine the language of finance, and the financialization of aesthetics. Historians have examined the economic and cultural shifts from liberalism to neoliberalism. We will take up this study to close read the language of neoliberalism and ask: what kinds of imagery and what kinds of metaphors become deployed in the advocation of financialization? What kinds of imagery and metaphors are taken up in its critique? We will begin by looking at Marx’s Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, and inspect speeches made to shareholders and economic leaders throughout the course. Other texts include, Bankers and Empire by Peter James Hudson, The Value of Nothing by Raj Patel, The Art of Cruelty by Maggie Nelson, The Radical Imagination by Max Haiven among others.

Writing and Rhetoric (2)

ENGL 7360 Topics in Rhetoric: Contemporary Rhetorical Theory and Research

Instructor: Professor Beth Britt
Sequence: Monday – 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Attributes:

  • Core Requirement: Writing and Rhetoric

Classicist George Kennedy defines rhetoric as the “energy inherent in emotion and thought, transmitted through a system of signs, including language, to others to influence their decisions and actions.” This expansive definition offers a framework for thinking about rhetorical theory and research in the 21st century. If rhetoric is an “energy,” what kind of energy is it? Can nonhuman animals, machines, or objects possess or deploy it? If this energy is inherent in emotion and thought, how might it be managed or controlled? What is the relationship between this energy and social positions and identities? What kinds of signs, besides language, fall within its scope? Who is influenced, and through what means? How can we develop capacities for both influence and resistance?

This course will take up these questions through an examination of keywords identified in a 2018 issue of Rhetoric Society Quarterly as particularly salient in contemporary rhetorical scholarship, including the body, the digital, the public, genre, and memory. To explore these keywords, we will read examples of current rhetorical history, theory, criticism, and field study, with an eye towards understanding how rhetoric scholars frame research questions and develop methodologies to address them. Assignments will include a presentation, a proposal, and a project designed according to individual student interests.

ENGL 7392 Writing and the Teaching of Writing

Instructor: Professor Mya Poe
Sequence: Tuesday – 2:40-5:40 p.m.
Attributes:

  • Core Requirement: Writing and Rhetoric

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. Assignments will include a writing history, an assignment analysis, a textbook review, an observation report, and a syllabus for first-year writing. Note: Required of first-year PhD students. MA students may enroll with permission of instructor.

Electives & Certificate Courses (3)

ENGL 7370 Topics in Digital Humanities: Reading Machines: Technology and the Book

Instructor: Professor Ryan Cordell
Sequence: Wednesday – 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Attributes:

  • Core Requirement: Theories and Methods
  • Digital Humanities approved elective

This course will pivot around the double valence of its title, outlining a literary history of “new media” from the hand-press period to the present. First, we will draw on scholarship in book history, bibliography, media studies, and digital humanities to better understand machines of reading (e.g. the printed book, the internet) as material, historical, and cultural objects. We will examine how practices of reading, writing, and publishing have interacted—thematically and materially—with contemporaneous technological innovations over the past 250 years. We will complement our readings with praxis, gaining hands-on experience with textual technologies from letterpress (using the English Department’s new letterpress studio) to computer programming, as well as direct experience with archival materials in special collections around Boston. Together, weekly “book labs” and course discussions will help us consider relationships among modes of textual production, reception, and interpretation: including in our purview both “intellectual work,” such as writing, and “manual labor,” such as typesetting. Through our discussions, we will unpack the second valence of the course title, developing greater capacities to critically read machines, analyzing the political, cultural, and social forces that shape—and are shaped by—textual technologies. We will raise urgent questions around privacy, algorithmic bias, intellectual property, information overload, and textual authority, asking how a rich new media history might inform our technological present and contribute to a richer construction of the digital humanities field. Important Note: this course will include a substantial introduction to programming in the R language, but presumes no prior technological expertise. IOW: we will start at the very beginning (a very good place to start).

ENGL 7358 Special Topic: Feminism and Visual Culture

Instructor: Professor Hillary Chute
Sequence: Monday, 1:35-5:05 p.m.
Attributes:

  • WGSS approved elective
  • Cross-listed with ARTH 5902-02 ST: Feminism and Visual Culture

Explores a range of creative forms, including but not limited to: comics and graphic novels, film, painting, performance art, theater, photography, propaganda, television, digital projects, and music videos.

We will also establish a critical trajectory by reading historically important works of theory and criticism alongside additional feminist and visual theory. We will focus on frameworks for understanding varieties of feminist cultural production that exist in the realm of visual culture—and also that themselves shape what “visual culture” means.

This interdisciplinary course offers a grounding in key concepts driving feminist cultural production, and in overlapping debates about visual culture, including around issues such as embodiment, subjectivity, spectatorship, and desire. What does the visual accomplish for differently-conceived feminisms?

INSH 7910 NULab Project Seminar – 2 semester hours

Instructor: Professor Julia Flanders
Sequence: Wednesday – 2:30 p.m.
Attributes:

  • Core Requirement: Elective
  • Digital Humanities approved elective

This workshop course supports the project development component of the certificate in Digital Humanities, aimed at graduate students enrolled in MA and PhD programs in humanities and social sciences. Students in the course will engage in a sustained, interdisciplinary exploration of digital humanities methods and projects as they plan and develop their own research projects during their progress on the certificate. As needed, the course will also organize working groups on special topics to cover additional skills and methods. The course is designed to be taken in successive years by students in the certificate program, but may also be taken on its own. No prior technical experience or familiarity with digital humanities or digital tools is required, but participants should be prepared to identify an area of research interest that is connected in some way with the general domain of digital humanities, computational social science, and related fields.


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

Upcoming Course Offerings

2019-2020 ENGL Graduate Course Offerings (subject to change)

Last updated October 2, 2018

FALL 2019

Proseminar

ENGL 5103 Proseminar

Theories and Methods

*Updated 10/26/18* ENGL 7342 Topics in Criticism: Foucault, Sedgwick, Butler

Writing and Rhetoric

ENGL 7395: Topics in Writing: Writing and Community Engagement

Literature Pre-1700

*Updated 10/26/18* ENGL 7282 Topics in Renaissance Literature: Shakespeare

Literature Post-1900

*Cancelled 10/26/18* More info to come! ENGL 7351 Topics in Literary Study: Trauma, Memory, and Contemporary Literature

Elective and Certificate Courses

INSH 7910 NULab Project Seminar

SPRING 2020

Theories and Methods

ENGL 7370 Topics in Digital Humanities: Humanities Data Analysis

Writing and Rhetoric

ENGL 7392 Writing and the Teaching of Writing

ENGL 7360 Topics in Rhetoric: Decolonial Theory and Practice

Literature 1700-1900

ENGL Victorian Literature TBA

Literature Post-1900

ENGL 7244 African-American Novel

Elective and Certificate Courses

ENGL 7244 African-American Novel (WGSS)

ENGL 7370 Topics in Digital Humanities: Humanities Data Analysis (DH)

INSH 7910 NULab Project Seminar (DH)