Home » Undergraduate » Spring 2019 Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Spring 2019 Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Spring 2019

The following information is subject to change.

For the most up-to-date and comprehensive course schedule, including meeting times, course additions, cancellations, and room assignments, refer to the Banner Class Schedule on the Registrar’s website.

For curriculum information, see the Undergraduate Full-Time Day Programs catalog, also on the Registrar’s website.

Please note: 4000-level courses are open to all students (not just Juniors and Seniors), and everyone is encouraged to register for them. In the English Department, the course number designates the type of course, not the level of difficulty—4000-level courses are organized around a focused reading list and topic of analysis, and 1000-level classes are broad surveys.

BANNER LISTINGS GO LIVE ON OCTOBER 22.

 

ENGL by Course Number

Spring 2019

ENGL 1400 Introduction to Literary Studies

Instructor: Professor Erika Boeckeler
Sequence: TBD
Attributes:

This foundational course introduces the various disciplines that make up English Literary Studies. It explores strategies for reading, interpreting, and theorizing about texts; for conducting research; for developing skills in thinking analytically and writing clearly about complex ideas; and for entering into written dialogue with scholarship in the field. Readings include a mix of theoretical texts examining how, why, and what we read and a thought-provoking mix of literary genres from many periods. We will also discuss the pressing exigency of literary studies in our present society.

ENGL 1410 Introduction to Writing Studies

Instructor: Professor Neal Lerner
Sequence: A – MR 11:45-1:25
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Foundational, Theories & Methods
  • NUCore: Writing-Intensive in the Major
  • NUPath: Writing-Intensive in the Major (WI)

Introduces students to the basic histories, theories, and methodologies surrounding how people learn to write and how writing is used in home, school, work, and civic contexts. Explores writing practices in the U.S. and in international contexts, including the social and political significance of writing in such cultural contexts. Class projects emphasize archival research and research on the development of writing practices, including students’ understanding of their own experiences and practices of other groups. Satisfies introductory course requirement for English majors.

ENGL 1600 Introduction to Shakespeare

Instructor: Professor Erika Boeckeler
Sequence: 3-10:30-11:35 MWR
Attributes:

An introduction to Shakespeare’s plays in every genre, this course emphasizes questions of language and modes of reading as entryways into key themes and topics (e.g., gender, identity, kin/g/ship, desire) within the Bard’s corpus. An initial in-depth study of the first play will provide a foundational knowledge of rhetorical strategies, considerations of performance, thematic development, and historical context that will then shimmer throughout discussions of the other plays. We will also seek to answer the question: How does Shakespeare help us think through today’s world?

ENGL 1700 Global Literatures to 1500

Instructor: Professor Francis Blessington
Sequence: 3 – 10:30-11:35 MWR
Attributes:

Readings in Greek, Roman, and biblical literature and beyond: Homer, Virgil, Old and New Testament, and Dante’s Inferno. The works all writers read. Emphasis upon background to Western culture and imagination: myth, literary genres and conventions, philosophy, and religion.

ENGL 2420 Contemporary Poetry

Instructor: Professor Eunsong Kim
Sequence: 4 – MWR 1:35-2:40
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Comparative Literature
  • NUCore: Humanities Level 1
  • NUPath: Exploring Creative Expression and Innovation (EI)

This course will focus on the development of US poetics movements post 1945.
We will pay attention to how poets sought to differentiate their racial, gender and class politics through artistic and formal innovations. Particular attention will be given to: Objectivists, Confessional poetry, the Black Arts Movement and Language Poetry, as well as to present day collectives. In thinking about the developments of new movements and their debates we will look at the social movements surrounding and fueling the growth of new poetic camps, such as the Anti-capitalist and Anti-War movements, the Black Panther Party, US Women’s Rights, and Anti-colonial transnational feminisms. In order to grapple with the tensions of contemporary poetic movements, we will read from a range of anthologies, manifestos, critical essays and the collections of Anne Sexton, Louis Zukofsky, Nikki Giovanni, Harryette Mullen, Layli Long Soldier, Bhanu Kapil, Craig Santos Perez, and Don Mee Choi.

ENGL 2451 Postcolonial Women Writers

Instructor: Professor Nicole Aljoe
Sequence: A – MR 11:45-1:25
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Comparative, Diversity
  • NUCore: Comparative Study of Cultures
  • NUPath: Engaging Difference and Diversity (DD)
  • Other: WGSS; Cross-listed

An introduction to Postcolonial literatures, with a particular focus on issues of gender and sexuality in writing from and about the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. The course will explore the various aesthetic strategies and techniques employed by writers to communicate contemporary postcolonial themes such as feminism, neocolonialism, nationalism, and diaspora. For Spring 2019 texts may include: Smith White Teeth; al-Shaykh One Thousand and One Nights: A Retelling; Adichie Amerikanah; Dennis-Benn Here Comes the Sun; Roy The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

ENGL 2510 Horror Fiction

Instructor: Professor Gary Goshgarian
Sequence: 3 – MWR 10:30-11:35
Attributes:

This course explores European and American horror fiction from Edgar Allan Poe and Bram Stoker (Dracula) to contemporary masters such as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and others. Using short stories, novels, and movies, we will examine the evolution of horror fiction and the various themes, techniques, and uses of macabre. Student writing: announced quizzes, midterm & final take-home essay exams (7-10 pages); optional critical analysis of some horror work not covered in the course. (7-10 pages). Occasional horror author visits.

ENGL 2740 Writing and Community Engagement

Instructor: Professor Sarah Finn
Sequence: A – MR 11:45-1:25
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Writing, Experiential
  • NUCore: Experiential Learning, Writing-Intensive in the Major
  • NUPath: Writing-Intensive in the Major (WI), Integrating Knowledge and Skills Through Experience (EX), Interpreting Culture (IC)

This course explores writing as a means of learning about and participating in social change-oriented communities on campus. Study models and best methods used to create relationships with community members. Learn how campus student groups and organizations have been using writing to address the goals, audiences and purposes that they’ve defined. Develop projects that contribute to these communities through your own research and writing. Look through the lens of digital storytelling throughout the semester. This is an experiential education course and a number of class sessions will be held around campus.

ENGL 2850 Writing for Social Media: Theory and Practice

Instructor: Professor Cecelia Musselman
Sequence: F-1:35-3:15 TF
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Theories & Methods
  • NUCore: Writing-Intensive in the Major
  • NUPath: Exploring Creative Expression and Innovation (EI), Interpreting Culture (IC)

Explores the development and roles of social media writing. Asks students to describe, define, and contextualize current social media genre(s) using readings from social media sites, scholarship, popular/journalistic works, and fiction. Invites students to adopt and write about a new social media platform. Offers students opportunities to produce social media writing in short forms, longer individually-produced forms, and longer collaborative forms. Culminates in each student creating a curated, reflective portfolio which works toward an integrated personal/professional digital identity.

ENGL 3325 Rhetoric of Law

Instructor: Professor Beth Britt
Sequence: B-MW 2:50-4:30
Attributes:

In 1995, the televised double murder trial of O.J. Simpson brought courtroom rhetoric into the living rooms of millions of viewers. Skillful oral performances — such as defense attorney Johnnie Cochrane’s memorable summation line, “If [the glove] doesn’t fit, you must acquit” — seemed to epitomize rhetoric’s ability to mesmerize the listener, to spin the facts to favor one outcome over another. This ability, decried since the birth of rhetoric over two millennia ago, has prompted many attempts to “get past” the rhetoric, to separate content from form, substance from delivery. Yet scholars in all fields—including law—have begun to believe that words and ideas cannot be neatly or easily separated, that all ideas come from a particular perspective and are conceivable (and expressible) only through language, which is always biased. For the law, this recognition means that rhetoric doesn’t just exist in courtroom oratory; it exists in every piece of legislation, every judicial opinion, and even the very procedures through which law does its work. This recognition also means that the law is always “interested,” reinforcing particular social relations and ways of thinking at the expense of others. Because law “plays on a field of pain and death” (as legal scholar Robert Cover puts it), the relationship between rhetoric and law thus has profound implications for justice. This course explores this relationship. Readings are drawn from ancient and contemporary rhetoric, legal studies, and legal practice. Assignments include two papers and a take-home final exam. No prior coursework in rhetoric or law is required.

ENGL 3340 Technologies of Text

Instructor: Professor Ryan Cordell
Sequence: E – WF 11:45-1:25
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Theories & Methods
  • NUCore: Humanities Level 1, Math/Anly Think Lvl 2
  • NUPath: Analyzing and Using Data (AD), Exploring Creative Expression and Innovation (EI), Integrating Knowledge and Skills Through Experience (EX)

When you hear the word “technology,” you may think of your computer or smart phone. You probably don’t think of the alphabet, the book, or the printing press: but each of these was a technological innovation that changed dramatically how we communicate and perhaps even how we think. Literature has always developed in tandem with—and often in direct response to—the development of new media technologies—e.g. moveable type, the steam press, the telegraph, radio, film, television, the internet. Our primary objective in Technologies of Text will be to develop ideas about the ways that such innovations shape our understanding of classic and contemporary texts, as well as the people who write, read, and interpret them. We will compare our historical moment with previous periods of textual and technological upheaval. Many debates that seem unique to the twenty-first century—over privacy, intellectual property, information overload, and textual authority—are but new iterations of familiar battles in the histories of technology, new media, and literature. Through the semester we will get hands-on experience with textual technologies new and old through labs in letterpress printing, bibliography, digital editing, and computational text analysis, including through field trips to museums, libraries, and archives in the Boston area.

ENGL 3377 Poetry Workshop

Instructor: Professor Frank Blessington
Sequence: B – MW 2:50-4:30
Attributes:

Fundamentals of writing poetry: what makes your poetry poetry. Finding your voice. Further developments into different forms, free and metrical. Developing your judgment. You and your audience.

ENGL 3378 Fiction Workshop

Instructor: Professor Gary Goshgarian
Sequence: 2 – MWR 9:15-10:20
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Writing
  • NUCore: Writing-Intensive in the Major
  • NUPath: Exploring Creative Expression and Innovation (EI)

Because this is a fiction-writing workshop, the focus is on your writing, with an eye to producing material worthy of publication. It’s a hands-on opportunity for you to polish your craft, work on your project, and to offer insights on each other’s material. In effect, a kinder and gentler microcosm of the real writing world with a captive audience, instant editorial feedback from readers who care, and deadlines. If you have a novel in you, this is the opportunity to begin writing it. The course objective is for you to complete two polished novel chapters and a 3-4 page synopsis over the semester. You will be expected to read your material in class for roundtable response and to offer comments on others’ material. Maximum 15 students.

ENGL 3380 Topics in Writing: Found Poetry

Instructor: Professor Ellen Noonan
Sequence: D – TF 9:50-11:30
Attributes:

“Happy poets who write found poetry go pawing through popular culture like sculptors on trash heaps. They hold and wave aloft usable artifacts and fragments: jingles and ad copy, menus and broadcasts — all objet trouvés, the literary equivalents of Warhol’s Campbell’s soup cans and Duchamp’s bicycle. By entering a found text as a poem, the poet doubles its context. The original meaning remains intact, but now it swings between two poles. The poet adds, or at any rate increases, the element of delight. This is an urban, youthful, ironic, cruising kind of poetry. It serves up whole texts, or interrupted fragments of texts.” — Annie Dillard

In Topics in Writing: Found Poetry, we will all be “happy poets.” Though we will look at examples of the form—via Found Poetry Review’s archives, and texts like Charles Simic’s Dime Store Alchemy and Mary Ruefle’s A Little White Shadow—most of the class will be hands-on: making/composing individual and group found texts, and workshopping what we make/compose. Forms and practices will include (but will not be limited to): erasures, centos, cut-ups, and remixes. (An early assignment could very well include creating a poem from the Dillard quotation, above.)

ENGL 3382 Publishing in the 21st Century

Instructor: Professor Sebastian Stockman
Sequence: 4-1:35-2:40 MWR
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Writing, Experiential
  • NUPath: Writing-Intensive in the Major (WI), Interpreting Culture (IC), Integrating Knowledge and Skills Through Experience (EX)

Who published your favorite book? Was it a Big Four corporate publishing house? An independent or non-profit publisher? A university press? The answers to these questions have a profound impact on what you read and how you read it.

In this course we consider how the things we read get into our hands or on our screens. In short, we’re going to consider how the business of publishing affects, shapes, nudges, and ultimately determines what reaches your hands and eyes as art or information. In this course, we will read up and eavesdrop on the conversation publishing has with itself. We will also talk to a range of people active in the field: agents, editors, and writers will visit the class to tell us about their corner of the industry.

ENGL 3730 20th and 21st Century Major Figure: “Larsen/Hurston”

Instructor: Professor Carla Kaplan
Sequence: B – MW 2:50-4:30
Attributes:

Students in this course will read the works of Harlem Renaissance writers Nella Larsen and Zora Neale Hurston, published and unpublished, with attention to both genre and to the relevant cultural materials, including other works of the Harlem Renaissance, which help to place Larsen and Hurston in cultural, theoretical, and historical context. Both Larsen and Hurston have been “recuperated” in recent years: brought back into attention (and print) after long decades of neglect. Through the dramatic changes in their literary fortunes, we will also address literary historical issues of canons and taste. Requirements will include two papers and active participation in discussion.

ENGL 4020 Topics in 17th/18th Century Literatures: Gender, Sex, and the Renaissance Body

Instructor: Professor Marina Leslie
Sequence: D – TF 9:50-11:30
Attributes:

This class focuses on the fascinating and sometimes bewildering variety of ways early modern culture understood and portrayed gender and sexuality. We will examine the gendered and sexed Renaissance body as it is represented (mapped, anatomized, regulated, and allegorized) in the literature, medicine, philosophy, politics, and visual arts of the 16th and 17th century. Among our areas of investigation will be courtly love, same-sex desire, reproduction, cross-dressing, and transsexuality, as well as the history of intimacy, the emotions, and subjectivity. Readings will include Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Christopher Marlowe’s Hero and Leander and Edward II, Elizabeth Cary’s Tragedy of Miriam, and Margaret Cavendish’s The Convent of Pleasure as well as the true history of a Basque nun who escaped the convent to live in Conquest-era Peru as a man. Assignments: an archival project and presentation, short writing assignments, and a final research project.

ENGL 4040 Topics in 19th Century Literatures: Nature and 19th-Century American Literature

Instructor: Professor William Bond
Sequence: 4-1:35-2:40 MWR
Attributes:

Nature and 19th-Century American Literature

What do we mean when we talk about Nature? The word can refer to the universe as a whole, or just the nonhuman world. For some, it conjures up images of wilderness, while for others it is an abstraction, a name for the laws that structure the physical world. The complexity in the modern Western idea of nature stems from the nineteenth-century when the concept underwent a series of transformations within the spheres of politics, art, and philosophy as well as in the sciences of evolutionary biology and ecology. This course will explore a broad range of literature from the long nineteenth century, investigating how nature was represented (and invented!) by the poets of the romantic (and postromantic) era.

The course will focus on the development of the idea of nature within American romantic poetry. In order to establish a sense of the roots of American romanticism we will begin by reading some of the most influential British romantic poets, paying particular attention to the way the romantic representation of nature in the work of poets like William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge is adopted and transformed by American romantics like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman. We will also be reading several classic works of American prose, that have been influential in shaping the American romantic sense of nature (including James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden). After tracing the romantic development of the idea of nature, we will examine how its representation changed after the Civil war, paying particular attention to the evolution of a post-reconstruction Southern pastoral and the Whitmanian tradition of free-verse vitalism.

Authors include: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Paul Laurence Dunbar.

ENGL 4710 Capstone Seminar: Fiction in the Archive:
Historical Novels and the Romance of History

Instructor: Professor Marina Leslie
Sequence: F-1:35-3:15 TF
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Capstone
  • NUCore: Capstone
  • NUPath: Writing-Intensive in the Major (WI); Demonstrating Thought and Action in a Capstone (CE)

In this course we will read a variety of historical novels to consider the practical, aesthetic, and theoretical issues that arise when fact meets fiction in novel form. We will traverse history in novels that recreate the Alexandrian empire, the English Renaissance, and colonial and civil war America, by authors such as Mary Renault, Ford Maddox Ford, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, Geraldine Brooks, and Octavia Butler.

A visit to the Massachusetts Historical Society will introduce us the rich archival resources available to us just a short walk from campus and we will explore, as well, the wealth of digital archives just a click away. Collectively, the class will consider the range of techniques and the variety of forms that produce historical fiction as a genre, as well as submit historical documents themselves to narrative analysis. Individually, students will identify works of historical fiction upon which to build their own original research projects, combining archival research and current critical analysis. Our goal is to better understand what is at stake and what (and who) is being represented when we engage historical topics in fictional form as 21st-century readers. Required assignments include Blackboard posts, short archival exercises, and a final 20 + page research essay.

ENGL by Major Requirement

Foundational

ENGL 1400 Introduction to Literary Studies

Instructor: Professor Erika Boeckeler
Sequence: TBD
Attributes:

This foundational course introduces the various disciplines that make up English Literary Studies. It explores strategies for reading, interpreting, and theorizing about texts; for conducting research; for developing skills in thinking analytically and writing clearly about complex ideas; and for entering into written dialogue with scholarship in the field. Readings include a mix of theoretical texts examining how, why, and what we read and a thought-provoking mix of literary genres from many periods. We will also discuss the pressing exigency of literary studies in our present society.

ENGL 1410 Introduction to Writing Studies

Instructor: Professor Neal Lerner
Sequence: A – MR 11:45-1:25
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Foundational, Theories & Methods
  • NUCore: Writing-Intensive in the Major
  • NUPath: Writing-Intensive in the Major (WI)

Introduces students to the basic histories, theories, and methodologies surrounding how people learn to write and how writing is used in home, school, work, and civic contexts. Explores writing practices in the U.S. and in international contexts, including the social and political significance of writing in such cultural contexts. Class projects emphasize archival research and research on the development of writing practices, including students’ understanding of their own experiences and practices of other groups. Satisfies introductory course requirement for English majors.

ENGL 1700 Global Literatures to 1500

Instructor: Professor Francis Blessington
Sequence: 3 – 10:30-11:35 MWR
Attributes:

Readings in Greek, Roman, and biblical literature and beyond: Homer, Virgil, Old and New Testament, and Dante’s Inferno. The works all writers read. Emphasis upon background to Western culture and imagination: myth, literary genres and conventions, philosophy, and religion.

Literary Periods

Early Literatures

ENGL 1600 Introduction to Shakespeare

Instructor: Professor Erika Boeckeler
Sequence: 3-10:30-11:35 MWR
Attributes:

An introduction to Shakespeare’s plays in every genre, this course emphasizes questions of language and modes of reading as entryways into key themes and topics (e.g., gender, identity, kin/g/ship, desire) within the Bard’s corpus. An initial in-depth study of the first play will provide a foundational knowledge of rhetorical strategies, considerations of performance, thematic development, and historical context that will then shimmer throughout discussions of the other plays. We will also seek to answer the question: How does Shakespeare help us think through today’s world?

17th-18th Centuries

ENGL 4020 Topics in 17th/18th Century Literatures: Gender, Sex, and the Renaissance Body

Instructor: Professor Marina Leslie
Sequence: D – TF 9:50-11:30
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s 17th-18th Centuries
  • May be used as an elective for the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor 

This class focuses on the fascinating and sometimes bewildering variety of ways early modern culture understood and portrayed gender and sexuality. We will examine the gendered and sexed Renaissance body as it is represented (mapped, anatomized, regulated, and allegorized) in the literature, medicine, philosophy, politics, and visual arts of the 16th and 17th century. Among our areas of investigation will be courtly love, same-sex desire, reproduction, cross-dressing, and transsexuality, as well as the history of intimacy, the emotions, and subjectivity. Readings will include Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Christopher Marlowe’s Hero and Leander and Edward II, Elizabeth Cary’s Tragedy of Miriam, and Margaret Cavendish’s The Convent of Pleasure as well as the true history of a Basque nun who escaped the convent to live in Conquest-era Peru as a man. Assignments: an archival project and presentation, short writing assignments, and a final research project.

19th Century

ENGL 4040 Topics in 19th Century Literatures: Nature and 19th-Century American Literature

Instructor: Professor William Bond
Sequence: 4-1:35-2:40 MWR
Attributes:

Nature and 19th-Century American Literature

What do we mean when we talk about Nature? The word can refer to the universe as a whole, or just the nonhuman world. For some, it conjures up images of wilderness, while for others it is an abstraction, a name for the laws that structure the physical world. The complexity in the modern Western idea of nature stems from the nineteenth-century when the concept underwent a series of transformations within the spheres of politics, art, and philosophy as well as in the sciences of evolutionary biology and ecology. This course will explore a broad range of literature from the long nineteenth century, investigating how nature was represented (and invented!) by the poets of the romantic (and postromantic) era.

The course will focus on the development of the idea of nature within American romantic poetry. In order to establish a sense of the roots of American romanticism we will begin by reading some of the most influential British romantic poets, paying particular attention to the way the romantic representation of nature in the work of poets like William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge is adopted and transformed by American romantics like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman. We will also be reading several classic works of American prose, that have been influential in shaping the American romantic sense of nature (including James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden). After tracing the romantic development of the idea of nature, we will examine how its representation changed after the Civil war, paying particular attention to the evolution of a post-reconstruction Southern pastoral and the Whitmanian tradition of free-verse vitalism.

Authors include: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Paul Laurence Dunbar.

20th-21st Centuries

ENGL 3730 20th and 21st Century Major Figure: “Larsen/Hurston”

Instructor: Professor Carla Kaplan
Sequence: B – MW 2:50-4:30
Attributes:

Students in this course will read the works of Harlem Renaissance writers Nella Larsen and Zora Neale Hurston, published and unpublished, with attention to both genre and to the relevant cultural materials, including other works of the Harlem Renaissance, which help to place Larsen and Hurston in cultural, theoretical, and historical context. Both Larsen and Hurston have been “recuperated” in recent years: brought back into attention (and print) after long decades of neglect. Through the dramatic changes in their literary fortunes, we will also address literary historical issues of canons and taste. Requirements will include two papers and active participation in discussion.

Comparative

ENGL 2420 Contemporary Poetry

Instructor: Professor Eunsong Kim
Sequence: 4 – MWR 1:35-2:40
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Comparative Literature
  • NUCore: Humanities Level 1
  • NUPath: Exploring Creative Expression and Innovation (EI)

This course will focus on the development of US poetics movements post 1945.
We will pay attention to how poets sought to differentiate their racial, gender and class politics through artistic and formal innovations. Particular attention will be given to: Objectivists, Confessional poetry, the Black Arts Movement and Language Poetry, as well as to present day collectives. In thinking about the developments of new movements and their debates we will look at the social movements surrounding and fueling the growth of new poetic camps, such as the Anti-capitalist and Anti-War movements, the Black Panther Party, US Women’s Rights, and Anti-colonial transnational feminisms. In order to grapple with the tensions of contemporary poetic movements, we will read from a range of anthologies, manifestos, critical essays and the collections of Anne Sexton, Louis Zukofsky, Nikki Giovanni, Harryette Mullen, Layli Long Soldier, Bhanu Kapil, Craig Santos Perez, and Don Mee Choi.

ENGL 2451 Postcolonial Women Writers

Instructor: Professor Nicole Aljoe
Sequence: A – MR 11:45-1:25
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Comparative, Diversity
  • NUCore: Comparative Study of Cultures
  • NUPath: Engaging Difference and Diversity (DD)
  • Other: WGSS; Cross-listed

An introduction to Postcolonial literatures, with a particular focus on issues of gender and sexuality in writing from and about the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. The course will explore the various aesthetic strategies and techniques employed by writers to communicate contemporary postcolonial themes such as feminism, neocolonialism, nationalism, and diaspora. For Spring 2019 texts may include: Smith White Teeth; al-Shaykh One Thousand and One Nights: A Retelling; Adichie Amerikanah; Dennis-Benn Here Comes the Sun; Roy The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

ENGL 2510 Horror Fiction

Instructor: Professor Gary Goshgarian
Sequence: 3 – MWR 10:30-11:35
Attributes:

This course explores European and American horror fiction from Edgar Allan Poe and Bram Stoker (Dracula) to contemporary masters such as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and others. Using short stories, novels, and movies, we will examine the evolution of horror fiction and the various themes, techniques, and uses of macabre. Student writing: announced quizzes, midterm & final take-home essay exams (7-10 pages); optional critical analysis of some horror work not covered in the course. (7-10 pages). Occasional horror author visits.

Theories & Methods

ENGL 1410 Introduction to Writing Studies

Instructor: Professor Neal Lerner
Sequence: A – MR 11:45-1:25
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Foundational, Theories & Methods
  • NUCore: Writing-Intensive in the Major
  • NUPath: Writing-Intensive in the Major (WI)

Introduces students to the basic histories, theories, and methodologies surrounding how people learn to write and how writing is used in home, school, work, and civic contexts. Explores writing practices in the U.S. and in international contexts, including the social and political significance of writing in such cultural contexts. Class projects emphasize archival research and research on the development of writing practices, including students’ understanding of their own experiences and practices of other groups. Satisfies introductory course requirement for English majors.

ENGL 3325 Rhetoric of Law

Instructor: Professor Beth Britt
Sequence: B-MW 2:50-4:30
Attributes:

In 1995, the televised double murder trial of O.J. Simpson brought courtroom rhetoric into the living rooms of millions of viewers. Skillful oral performances — such as defense attorney Johnnie Cochrane’s memorable summation line, “If [the glove] doesn’t fit, you must acquit” — seemed to epitomize rhetoric’s ability to mesmerize the listener, to spin the facts to favor one outcome over another. This ability, decried since the birth of rhetoric over two millennia ago, has prompted many attempts to “get past” the rhetoric, to separate content from form, substance from delivery. Yet scholars in all fields—including law—have begun to believe that words and ideas cannot be neatly or easily separated, that all ideas come from a particular perspective and are conceivable (and expressible) only through language, which is always biased. For the law, this recognition means that rhetoric doesn’t just exist in courtroom oratory; it exists in every piece of legislation, every judicial opinion, and even the very procedures through which law does its work. This recognition also means that the law is always “interested,” reinforcing particular social relations and ways of thinking at the expense of others. Because law “plays on a field of pain and death” (as legal scholar Robert Cover puts it), the relationship between rhetoric and law thus has profound implications for justice. This course explores this relationship. Readings are drawn from ancient and contemporary rhetoric, legal studies, and legal practice. Assignments include two papers and a take-home final exam. No prior coursework in rhetoric or law is required.

ENGL 3340 Technologies of Text

Instructor: Professor Ryan Cordell
Sequence: E – WF 11:45-1:25
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Theories & Methods
  • NUCore: Humanities Level 1, Math/Anly Think Lvl 2
  • NUPath: Analyzing and Using Data (AD), Exploring Creative Expression and Innovation (EI), Integrating Knowledge and Skills Through Experience (EX)

When you hear the word “technology,” you may think of your computer or smart phone. You probably don’t think of the alphabet, the book, or the printing press: but each of these was a technological innovation that changed dramatically how we communicate and perhaps even how we think. Literature has always developed in tandem with—and often in direct response to—the development of new media technologies—e.g. moveable type, the steam press, the telegraph, radio, film, television, the internet. Our primary objective in Technologies of Text will be to develop ideas about the ways that such innovations shape our understanding of classic and contemporary texts, as well as the people who write, read, and interpret them. We will compare our historical moment with previous periods of textual and technological upheaval. Many debates that seem unique to the twenty-first century—over privacy, intellectual property, information overload, and textual authority—are but new iterations of familiar battles in the histories of technology, new media, and literature. Through the semester we will get hands-on experience with textual technologies new and old through labs in letterpress printing, bibliography, digital editing, and computational text analysis, including through field trips to museums, libraries, and archives in the Boston area.

ENGL 2850 Writing for Social Media: Theory and Practice

Instructor: Professor Cecelia Musselman
Sequence: F-1:35-3:15 TF
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Theories & Methods
  • NUCore: Writing-Intensive in the Major
  • NUPath: Exploring Creative Expression and Innovation (EI), Interpreting Culture (IC)

Explores the development and roles of social media writing. Asks students to describe, define, and contextualize current social media genre(s) using readings from social media sites, scholarship, popular/journalistic works, and fiction. Invites students to adopt and write about a new social media platform. Offers students opportunities to produce social media writing in short forms, longer individually-produced forms, and longer collaborative forms. Culminates in each student creating a curated, reflective portfolio which works toward an integrated personal/professional digital identity.

Writing

ENGL 2740 Writing and Community Engagement

Instructor: Professor Sarah Finn
Sequence: A – MR 11:45-1:25
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Writing, Experiential
  • NUCore: Experiential Learning, Writing-Intensive in the Major
  • NUPath: Writing-Intensive in the Major (WI), Integrating Knowledge and Skills Through Experience (EX), Interpreting Culture (IC)

This course explores writing as a means of learning about and participating in social change-oriented communities on campus. Study models and best methods used to create relationships with community members. Learn how campus student groups and organizations have been using writing to address the goals, audiences and purposes that they’ve defined. Develop projects that contribute to these communities through your own research and writing. Look through the lens of digital storytelling throughout the semester. This is an experiential education course and a number of class sessions will be held around campus.

ENGL 3377 Poetry Workshop

Instructor: Professor Frank Blessington
Sequence: B – MW 2:50-4:30
Attributes:

Fundamentals of writing poetry: what makes your poetry poetry. Finding your voice. Further developments into different forms, free and metrical. Developing your judgment. You and your audience.

ENGL 3378 Fiction Workshop

Instructor: Professor Gary Goshgarian
Sequence: 2 – MWR 9:15-10:20
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Writing
  • NUCore: Writing-Intensive in the Major
  • NUPath: Exploring Creative Expression and Innovation (EI)

Because this is a fiction-writing workshop, the focus is on your writing, with an eye to producing material worthy of publication. It’s a hands-on opportunity for you to polish your craft, work on your project, and to offer insights on each other’s material. In effect, a kinder and gentler microcosm of the real writing world with a captive audience, instant editorial feedback from readers who care, and deadlines. If you have a novel in you, this is the opportunity to begin writing it. The course objective is for you to complete two polished novel chapters and a 3-4 page synopsis over the semester. You will be expected to read your material in class for roundtable response and to offer comments on others’ material. Maximum 15 students.

ENGL 3380 Topics in Writing: Found Poetry

Instructor: Professor Ellen Noonan
Sequence: D – TF 9:50-11:30
Attributes:

“Happy poets who write found poetry go pawing through popular culture like sculptors on trash heaps. They hold and wave aloft usable artifacts and fragments: jingles and ad copy, menus and broadcasts — all objet trouvés, the literary equivalents of Warhol’s Campbell’s soup cans and Duchamp’s bicycle. By entering a found text as a poem, the poet doubles its context. The original meaning remains intact, but now it swings between two poles. The poet adds, or at any rate increases, the element of delight. This is an urban, youthful, ironic, cruising kind of poetry. It serves up whole texts, or interrupted fragments of texts.” — Annie Dillard

In Topics in Writing: Found Poetry, we will all be “happy poets.” Though we will look at examples of the form—via Found Poetry Review’s archives, and texts like Charles Simic’s Dime Store Alchemy and Mary Ruefle’s A Little White Shadow—most of the class will be hands-on: making/composing individual and group found texts, and workshopping what we make/compose. Forms and practices will include (but will not be limited to): erasures, centos, cut-ups, and remixes. (An early assignment could very well include creating a poem from the Dillard quotation, above.)

ENGL 3382 Publishing in the 21st Century

Instructor: Professor Sebastian Stockman
Sequence: 4-1:35-2:40 MWR
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Writing, Experiential
  • NUPath: Writing-Intensive in the Major (WI), Interpreting Culture (IC), Integrating Knowledge and Skills Through Experience (EX)

Who published your favorite book? Was it a Big Four corporate publishing house? An independent or non-profit publisher? A university press? The answers to these questions have a profound impact on what you read and how you read it.

In this course we consider how the things we read get into our hands or on our screens. In short, we’re going to consider how the business of publishing affects, shapes, nudges, and ultimately determines what reaches your hands and eyes as art or information. In this course, we will read up and eavesdrop on the conversation publishing has with itself. We will also talk to a range of people active in the field: agents, editors, and writers will visit the class to tell us about their corner of the industry.

Diversity

ENGL 2451 Postcolonial Women Writers

Instructor: Professor Nicole Aljoe
Sequence: A – MR 11:45-1:25
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Comparative, Diversity
  • NUCore: Comparative Study of Cultures
  • NUPath: Engaging Difference and Diversity (DD)
  • Other: WGSS; Cross-listed

An introduction to Postcolonial literatures, with a particular focus on issues of gender and sexuality in writing from and about the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. The course will explore the various aesthetic strategies and techniques employed by writers to communicate contemporary postcolonial themes such as feminism, neocolonialism, nationalism, and diaspora. For Spring 2019 texts may include: Smith White Teeth; al-Shaykh One Thousand and One Nights: A Retelling; Adichie Amerikanah; Dennis-Benn Here Comes the Sun; Roy The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Experiential in the Major

ENGL 2740 Writing and Community Engagement

Instructor: Professor Sarah Finn
Sequence: A – MR 11:45-1:25
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Writing, Experiential
  • NUCore: Experiential Learning, Writing-Intensive in the Major
  • NUPath: Writing-Intensive in the Major (WI), Integrating Knowledge and Skills Through Experience (EX), Interpreting Culture (IC)

This course explores writing as a means of learning about and participating in social change-oriented communities on campus. Study models and best methods used to create relationships with community members. Learn how campus student groups and organizations have been using writing to address the goals, audiences and purposes that they’ve defined. Develop projects that contribute to these communities through your own research and writing. Look through the lens of digital storytelling throughout the semester. This is an experiential education course and a number of class sessions will be held around campus.

ENGL 3340 Technologies of Text

Instructor: Professor Ryan Cordell
Sequence: E – WF 11:45-1:25
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Theories & Methods
  • NUCore: Humanities Level 1, Math/Anly Think Lvl 2
  • NUPath: Analyzing and Using Data (AD), Exploring Creative Expression and Innovation (EI), Integrating Knowledge and Skills Through Experience (EX)

When you hear the word “technology,” you may think of your computer or smart phone. You probably don’t think of the alphabet, the book, or the printing press: but each of these was a technological innovation that changed dramatically how we communicate and perhaps even how we think. Literature has always developed in tandem with—and often in direct response to—the development of new media technologies—e.g. moveable type, the steam press, the telegraph, radio, film, television, the internet. Our primary objective in Technologies of Text will be to develop ideas about the ways that such innovations shape our understanding of classic and contemporary texts, as well as the people who write, read, and interpret them. We will compare our historical moment with previous periods of textual and technological upheaval. Many debates that seem unique to the twenty-first century—over privacy, intellectual property, information overload, and textual authority—are but new iterations of familiar battles in the histories of technology, new media, and literature. Through the semester we will get hands-on experience with textual technologies new and old through labs in letterpress printing, bibliography, digital editing, and computational text analysis, including through field trips to museums, libraries, and archives in the Boston area.

ENGL 3382 Publishing in the 21st Century

Instructor: Professor Sebastian Stockman
Sequence: 4-1:35-2:40 MWR
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Writing, Experiential
  • NUPath: Writing-Intensive in the Major (WI), Interpreting Culture (IC), Integrating Knowledge and Skills Through Experience (EX)

Who published your favorite book? Was it a Big Four corporate publishing house? An independent or non-profit publisher? A university press? The answers to these questions have a profound impact on what you read and how you read it.

In this course we consider how the things we read get into our hands or on our screens. In short, we’re going to consider how the business of publishing affects, shapes, nudges, and ultimately determines what reaches your hands and eyes as art or information. In this course, we will read up and eavesdrop on the conversation publishing has with itself. We will also talk to a range of people active in the field: agents, editors, and writers will visit the class to tell us about their corner of the industry.

Capstone

ENGL 4710 Capstone Seminar: Fiction in the Archive:
Historical Novels and the Romance of History

Instructor: Professor Marina Leslie
Sequence: F-1:35-3:15 TF
Attributes:

  • Major Requirement/s Capstone
  • NUCore: Capstone
  • NUPath: Writing-Intensive in the Major (WI); Demonstrating Thought and Action in a Capstone (CE)

In this course we will read a variety of historical novels to consider the practical, aesthetic, and theoretical issues that arise when fact meets fiction in novel form. We will traverse history in novels that recreate the Alexandrian empire, the English Renaissance, and colonial and civil war America, by authors such as Mary Renault, Ford Maddox Ford, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, Geraldine Brooks, and Octavia Butler.

A visit to the Massachusetts Historical Society will introduce us the rich archival resources available to us just a short walk from campus and we will explore, as well, the wealth of digital archives just a click away. Collectively, the class will consider the range of techniques and the variety of forms that produce historical fiction as a genre, as well as submit historical documents themselves to narrative analysis. Individually, students will identify works of historical fiction upon which to build their own original research projects, combining archival research and current critical analysis. Our goal is to better understand what is at stake and what (and who) is being represented when we engage historical topics in fictional form as 21st-century readers. Required assignments include Blackboard posts, short archival exercises, and a final 20 + page research essay.

ENGL by Attribute

NUCore

NUCore

Capstone

ENGL 4710 Capstone Seminar (see Capstone)

Comparative Study of Cultures

ENGL 2451 Postcolonial Women Writers (see Comparative, Diversity)
ENGL 2510 Horror Fiction (see Comparative Literature)

Experiential Learning

ENGL 2740 Writing and Community Engagement (see Writing, Experiential)

Humanities Level 1

ENGL 1700 Global Literatures to 1500 (see Foundational)
ENGL 2420 Contemporary Poetry (see Comparative Literature)
ENGL 3340 Technologies of Text (see Theories & Methods)

Math/Anly Think Lvl 2

ENGL 3340 Technologies of Text (see Theories & Methods)

Writing-Intensive in the Major

ENGL 1410 Introduction to Writing Studies (see Foundational, Theories & Methods)
ENGL 2740 Writing and Community Engagement (see Writing, Experiential)
ENGL 3378 Fiction Workshop (see Writing)

NUPath

NUPath

AD = Analyzing and Using Data

ENGL 3340 Technologies of Text (see Theories & Methods)

CE = Demonstrating Thought and Action in a Capstone

ENGL 4710 Capstone Seminar (see Capstone)

DD = Engaging Difference and Diversity

ENGL 1700 Global Literatures to 1500 (see Foundational)
ENGL 2451 Postcolonial Women Writers (see Comparative)
ENGL 3730 Twentieth and Twenty-first Century Major Figure: “Larsen/Hurston” (see 20th-21st Centuries)

EI = Exploring Creative Expression and Innovation

ENGL 2420 Contemporary Poetry (see Comparative Literature)
ENGL 2451 Postcolonial Women Writers (see Comparative, Diversity)
ENGL 3340 Technologies of Text (see Theories & Methods)
ENGL 3377 Poetry Workshop (see Writing)
ENGL 3378 Fiction Workshop (see Writing)
ENGL 3380 Topics in Writing (see Writing)

EX = Integrating Knowledge and Skills Through Experience

ENGL 2740 Writing and Community Engagement (see Writing, Experiential)
ENGL 3340 Technologies of Text (see Theories & Methods)
ENGL 3382 Publishing in the 21st Century (see Writing, Experiential)

IC = Interpreting Culture

ENGL 1600 Introduction to Shakespeare (see Early Literatures)

ENGL 1700 Global Literatures to 1500 (see Foundational)
ENGL 2510 Horror Fiction (see Comparative Literature)
ENGL 2740 Writing and Community Engagement (see Writing, Experiential)
ENGL 3325 Rhetoric of Law (see Theories & Methods)
ENGL 3382 Publishing in the 21st Century (see Writing, Experiential)
ENGL 3730 Twentieth and Twenty-first Century Major Figure: “Larsen/Hurston” (see 20th-21st Centuries)

ND= Engaging with the Natural and Designed World

 

SI = Understanding Societies and Institutions

ENGL 1600 Introduction to Shakespeare (see Early Literatures)

WI = Writing Intensive in the Major

ENGL 2740 Writing and Community Engagement (see Writing, Experiential)
ENGL 3380 Topics in Writing (see Writing)
ENGL 3382 Publishing in the 21st Century (see Writing, Experiential)
ENGL 4710 Capstone Seminar (see Capstone)

ENGL by Minor

Courses for Minors

English Minor

Introductory Course Offerings*

  • ENGL 1400 Introduction to Literary Studies (see Foundational)
  • ENGL 1410 Introduction to Writing Studies (see Foundational, Theories & Methods)
  • ENGL 1600 Introduction to Shakespeare (see Literary Periods)

*Students in the English minor will need to contact Michaela Modica (m.kinlock@northeastern.edu) to have the ENGL 1400 registration restriction removed, as the class is currently only open to English majors and combined majors in Banner.


Rhetoric Minor

Elective

  • ENGL 3325 Rhetoric of Law (see Theories & Methods)

Writing Minor Courses

Writing Theories & Methods

  • ENGL 1410 Introduction to Writing Studies (see Foundational, Theories & Methods)
  • ENGL 3325 Rhetoric of Law (see Theories & Methods)

Writing Electives

  • ENGL 1410 Introduction to Writing Studies (see Foundational, Theories & Methods)
  • ENGL 2740 Writing and Community Engagement (see Writing, Experiential)
  • ENGL 2850 Writing for Social Media: Theory and Practice (see Writing)
  • ENGL 3325 Rhetoric of Law (see Theories & Methods)
  • ENGL 3340 Technologies of Text (see Theories & Methods)
  • ENGL 3377 Poetry Workshop (see Writing)
  • ENGL 3378 Fiction Workshop (see Writing)
  • ENGL 3380 Topics in Writing: Found Poetry (see Writing)
  • ENGL 3382 Publishing in the 21st Century (see Writing, Experiential)

Digital Methods in the Humanities Minor

Digital and Computational Methods

  • ENGL 3340 Technologies of Text (see Theories & Methods)

Culture, Society, and Value in the Digital Age

  • ENGL 3340 Technologies of Text (see Theories & Methods)
  • ENGL 2850 Writing for Social Media: Theory and Practice (see Writing)

Health, Humanities, and Society Minor

Humanities Requirement

  • ENGL 4040 Topics in 19th Century Literatures: Nature and 19th-Century American Literature (see Literary Periods)
  • ENGL 4710 Capstone Seminar (see Capstone)

 

Upcoming ENGL Course Offerings

Fall 2019 (subject to change)

The following information is subject to change.

For the most up-to-date and comprehensive course schedule, including meeting times, course additions, cancellations, and room assignments, refer to the Banner Class Schedule on the Registrar’s website.

For curriculum information and basic course descriptions, see the Undergraduate Full-Time Day Programs catalog, also on the Registrar’s website.


Foundational

  • ENGL 1160 Introduction to Rhetoric
  • ENGL 1400 Introduction to Literary Studies
  • ENGL 1700 Global Literatures to 1500

Literary Periods – Early Literatures

  • ENGL 1600 Introduction to Shakespeare
  • ENGL 4000 Topics in Early Literatures

Literary Periods – 17th-18th Centuries

  • ENGL 2296 Early African American Literature
  • ENGL 3618 Milton

Literary Periods – 19th Century

  • Topics in 19th Century Literature TBD

Literary Periods – 20th-21st Centuries

  • ENGL 2301/ARTE 2301 The Graphic Novel
  • ENGL 2440 The Modern Bestseller

Comparative

  • ENGL 1120 Trouble in Utopia
  • ENGL 2455 American Women Writers

Theories and Methods

  • ENGL 1140 Grammar: The Architecture of English
  • ENGL 3340 Technologies of Text
  • ENGL 4410 Research in Rhetoric and Writing

Writing

  • ENGL 2700 Creative Writing
  • ENGL 2710 Style and Editing
  • ENGL 2740 Writing and Community Engagement
  • ENGL 2770 Writing to Heal
  • ENGL 3376 Creative Nonfiction
  • ENGL 3375 Writing Boston
  • ENGL 3378 Fiction Workshop

Diversity

  • ENGL 1700 Global Literatures to 1500
  • ENGL 2296 Early African American Literature
  • ENGL 2455 American Women Writers

Experiential in the Major

  • ENGL 2740 Writing and Community Engagement
  • ENGL 3340 Technologies of Text
  • ENGL 3375 Writing Boston

Capstone

  • ENGL 4710 Capstone Seminar
  • ENGL 4720 Capstone Project