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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) and Conceiving Normalcy: Rhetoric, Law, and the Double Binds of Infertility (University of Alabama Press), as well as articles in such journals as Rhetoric Society Quarterly; Law, Culture and the Humanities; Science as Culture; and the Journal of Business and Technical Communication. She is currently working on a book chapter on the feminist implications of the rhetoric of Justice Anthony Kennedy, a book chapter on the relevance of sophistic rhetoric for contemporary legal education, a co-edited collection on classical rhetoric and contemporary law, and a study of intervention programs for domestic abusers.

Professor Britt teaches undergraduate courses in writing and rhetoric, including “Introduction to Rhetoric,” “Writing for Prelaw,” “Rhetoric of Law,” and “Style and Editing.” At the graduate level, she has recently taught courses in rhetorical theory, rhetorical education, and legal rhetoric.

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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Courses

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.