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Elizabeth Britt

Professor of English

Beth Britt is a feminist rhetorical theorist and critic whose research focuses on legal rhetoric. She is the author of Reimagining Advocacy: Rhetorical Education in the Legal Clinic (Penn State University Press, 2018) and Conceiving Normalcy: Rhetoric, Law, and the Double Binds of Infertility (University of Alabama Press, 2001) and is the co-editor of  Rhetorical Traditions and Contemporary Law (under contract with Cambridge University Press).

View CV
  • Faculty Fellow, Northeastern University Humanities Center, 2018-19.
  • Excellence in Teaching Award. Northeastern University, 2007.
  • Predoctoral Grant. Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, 1995-96.

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Course catalog
  • Introduces students to legal reasoning and to the contexts, purposes, genres, audiences, and styles of legal writing. Emphasizes the role of writing and argument in U.S. legal culture. Using strategies drawn from rhetorical theory and criticism, students examine briefs, memoranda, opinions, and other legal texts to identify and describe techniques of analysis and persuasion. In a workshop setting, offers students an opportunity to evaluate a wide variety of sources and develop expertise in audience analysis, critical research, peer review, and revision.

  • Introduces students to major concepts, traditions, and issues in rhetorical studies. Explores the range of ways that people persuade others to change their minds or take action; the relationship among language, truth, and knowledge; and the role of language in shaping identity and culture. Focuses on recognized thinkers from the Western tradition as well as writers that challenge the rhetorical canon. Emphasizes contemporary and interdisciplinary approaches to rhetoric interested in the entire range of rhetorical artifacts, with primary attention given to methods of critically investigating texts and their effects.

  • Style and Editing

    ENGL 2710

    Explores the relationship between style and substance through close attention to choices made at the level of the paragraph, sentence, and word. Introduces editorial processes and practices and gives students practice in editing for themselves and others.