Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Culture

Graduate Studies in English at Northeastern University

Our faculty in Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Northeastern offer a diverse and complementary array of courses from medieval romance to Shakespeare to 17th-Century poetry to popular prose genres. Critical approaches include ecocriticism & animal studies, gender studies, history of the book, material studies, and digital humanities. Our social/intellectual club “Kankedorts and Cockatrices,” meets regularly to discuss criticism, share work, & attend local theater productions. We are active in the Boston early modern scholarly community with events like Professor Leslie’s “Women and Culture in the Early Modern World” seminar at Harvard’s Mahindra Humanities Center.

Our Faculty

Erika Boeckeler (Shakespeare; Western and Eastern European early modern literature and culture; visual studies; history of the book)
Featured Work: Playfull Letters: A Study in Early Modern Alphabetics (University of Iowa Press, 2017) [full bio]

Kathleen Coyne Kelly (ecocriticism; medieval literature and culture; digital humanities)
Featured Work: “Lost Geographies, Remembrance, and The Awntyrs off Arthure,” in The Politics of Ecology: Land, Life and Law in Medieval Britain,  Ed. Randy P. Schiff and Joseph Taylor, (Ohio State University Press, 2016) [full bio]

Marina Leslie (early modern literature and culture; gender studies; archival studies)
Featured Work: Mind the Map: Fancy, Matter, and World Construction in Margaret Cavendish’s ‘Blazing World,” Renaissance and Reformation, Vol 35.1, Special Issue: Gendering Time and Space in Early Modern England (Winter 2012): 85-112.; Co-chair of the Women and Culture in the Early Modern World Mahindra Humanities Center seminars (with Diana Henderson, MIT) [full bio]

Selected Recent Dissertations and Theses

Amy Carleton, “Eternal Palimpsest: Milton’s Rome” (directed by Francis Blessington)

Sarah Connell, “‘No Room in History’: Genre and Identity in British and Irish National Histories, 1541-1691” (directed by Marina Leslie)

Karla Gaitan, Entering in the Italicized: A Transnational Study on Crossdressing and Stage Direction in Shakespearean Comedy and Spanish Comedia” (co-directed by Marina Leslie and Erika Boeckeler)

Shannon Garner-Balandrin, “Into Something Rich and Strange: Early Modern English Romance and Ecotheory” (directed by Marina Leslie)

Kasra Ghorbaninejad, “Re/Imagining Imperial Narratives: Shakespeare’s Histories, Safavid Shāhnāmahs, and Anglo-Persian Alliance Building, 1590s-1620s” (co-directed by Marina Leslie and Erika Boeckeler)

Amy Kaufman, “‘Ye Are Nat Wyse to Kepe the Swerde Fro Me’: Feminist Re-Vision of Malory’s ‘Morte Darthur’”(directed by Kathleen Coyne Kelly)

Jessica Myers, “‘Nox Perpetua’: Reception and Translation of Catullus in Renaissance England” (directed by Francis Blessington)

Sarah Stanley, “‘Prynte It in His Name’: Gender and the Early Modern Use of Le Livre de la Cité des Dames” (supervised by Kathleen Coyne Kelly)

Tanya Zhelezcheva, “The Poetics of the Incomplete in the Works of Thomas Traherne (ca. 1638–1674)” (directed by Francis Blessington)

Recent News

Selected Recent Courses
  • Becoming Human – ENGL 7282 Topics in Renaissance Literature
  • Early Modern Literature & Visual/Material Cultures – ENGL 7358: Topics in Literature and Other Disciplines
  • Early Modern Close Reading – ENGL 7342 Topics in Criticism
  • Gender and the Culture of Crime – ENGL 7282 Topics in Renaissance Literature
  • Gender and Sexuality in Medieval Romance and Modern Film Adaptations – ENGL 7281 Topics in Medieval Literature
  • History of the Book for Literary Scholars – ENGL 7358 Topics in Literature and Other Disciplines
  • Milton – ENGL 7275
  • Opening the Archive – ENGL 7351: Topics in Literary Studies
  • Topics in Shakespeare – ENGL 7274
  • Why Do People Still Read Chaucer? – ENGL 7281 Topics in Medieval Literature


01/28 - Kankedorts and Cockatrices Meeting


Kankedorts & Cockatrices January meeting

Please RSVP to Hannah Lee ( by Friday, January 25th. Participants are asked to prepare for the discussion by reading the “Feminist Snap” chapter of Sara Ahmed’s Living a Feminist Life and a pamphlet on Annis Dell. Contact Hannah for materials.