Graduate Course Offerings

GRADUATE COURSE OFFERINGS – SPRING SEMESTER 2015

Spring 2015 registration begins November 14, 2014 (8 a.m.).

This information is subject to change. For the most up-to-date and comprehensive course schedule, including meeting times, course additions, cancellations, and room assignments, visit the Registrar’s website.

Other helpful links:


ENGL 7215: Topics in Twentieth-Century American Literature: Harlem Renaissance in Black & White
Professor Carla Kaplan
3:30-5:59 W
Fulfills: Theories & Methods, 19th c., 20th c., WGSS
CRN: 33843

The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural explosion considered unprecedented even in its own day and notable as much for troubling paradoxes as for extraordinary productivity. On the one hand, Harlem was black America’s Mecca, “the symbol,” as Adam Clayton Powell Sr. put it, “of liberty and the Promised Land to Negroes everywhere” — the ideal, after decades of devastating racism, of black self-determination and self-definition; and the idea, entirely novel at the time, of eschewing white values and standards to, instead, embrace Blackness. And yet, the Harlem Renaissance was also thoroughly and complexly interracial: financially underwritten by many white philanthropists; promoted by white editors, publishers, gallery owners and theater producers; and deeply influenced – including in its black self-definitions – by a range of white writers, musicians, visual artists, actors, editors, publishers, political activists, and more. This interracialism – and its many attendant ironies and complexities – is deeply embedded into the fabric of Harlem Renaissance writing. But how successfully have literary historians accounted for this texture? For the Harlem Renaissance’s myriad ties to both modernism and realism? Applying a number of critical methods, from close reading to theories of intersectionality and periodization, we will read a range of Harlem Renaissance writers, including Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, Jessie Fauset, James Weldon Johnson, W.E.B. DuBois, Claude McKay, Mary White Ovington, Nancy Cunard, Josephine Cogdell Schuyler, George Schuyler, Zora Neale Hurston, Wallace Thurman, Bruce Nugent, Countee Cullen, Carl Van Vechten, and others, to re-consider this perennially fascinating period and, at the same time, inquire critically into how it has fascinated us, and why. Taking advantage of Boston’s excellent resources for archival work in this period, students will be encouraged to build an archival component – of some sort – into their final projects, as well as to use final projects to advance and explore specific critical methods and theories.


ENGL 7351: Topics in Literary Studies: Opening the Archive
Professor Marina Leslie
3:30-5:59 Tu
Fulfills: Theories & Methods
CRN: 34870

This course showcases the rich archival holdings of print materials in the greater Boston area to offer training in the materials, methods, and theories of primary source research. We will visit some of the remarkable research institutions we have here in the Boston area, including the Boston Public Library Rare Book Room, The Massachusetts Historical Society, and Harvard’s Houghton Library, in order to become more familiar with their unique collections and particular protocols. In class we will examine the complex traffic between self-consciously literary texts and other artifacts drawn from print culture along multiple trajectories: One will follow the uses and transformations of source material in Shakespeare’s most “contemporary” play, The Tempest.  Another will track the reinventions and transformations of The Tempest by William Davenant and John Dryden, Aimé Césaire, Roberto Fernández Retamar, Peter Greenaway, and others, to assess how adaptations negotiate their complex literary legacies with (and/or against) the multivalent historical, political, and aesthetic contexts of their own productions.  A third will seek to incorporate theories of the archive from Derrida, Foucault, Natalie Zemon Davis, Diana Taylor, Carol Steedman, Ann Laura Stoler, Craig Robertson, and others to dramatize the range of definitions and descriptions that attach to the term “archive” and to enable students to theorize their own research practices. Grades will be based on a series of research-based exercises that we will workshop in class and a final research grant proposal on a topic of your choice related to your own research agenda.


ENGL 7360: Topics in Rhetoric: Rhetorical Education
Professor Beth Britt
3:30-5:59 Th
Fulfills: Rhetoric and Composition
CRN: 36657

Rhetoric has been a cornerstone of education for much of Western history. Although the scope and definitions of rhetoric have shifted over the centuries, most formal schooling has included instruction in this powerful art. This course will focus primarily on rhetorical education as training in the art of civic discourse, a central feature of the traditions of ancient Athens and Rome that has received intense attention from contemporary scholars. We will examine key moments in classical Greece, Renaissance Europe, 18th century Britain, and 19th and 20th century America. For each historical moment, we will ask these questions: Where does rhetorical education occur? Who participates and for what ends? What is taught and learned? What are the practices of teaching and learning? What are the claims of rhetorical education? Along the way, we will examine not only formal sites of rhetorical education but also informal or alternative sites, especially as locations for women and members of other marginalized groups to create new forms of both rhetoric and rhetorical education. We will read theoretical treatises as well as contemporary research on the sites and methods of rhetorical education from the classical world to the present. Assignments will include a presentation, several short papers, and a project designed according to individual student interests.


ENGL 7392: Writing and the Teaching of Writing
Professor Neal Lerner
3:30-5:59 M
Fulfills: Rhetoric and Composition
CRN: 36658

ENGL 7392—Writing and the Teaching of Writing is intended to provide Northeastern English Department graduate students with disciplinary and professional preparation to teach composition and other writing-intensive courses. Students will acquire a strong grounding in the theory and practice of composition-rhetoric at the university level. The course includes reading and writing on four key intellectual areas in the study and teaching of college writing—multilingual writers, multimodal composing, community engagement, writing across the curriculum—as well as extensive practical coverage of issues germane to our work in the writing classroom. Students will develop syllabi and assignments for First-Year Writing, explore a range of teaching strategies, develop and articulate their teaching philosophy, and learn how to represent and document the intellectual work of teaching writing in a teaching portfolio (paper or electronic). Overall, course materials, discussion, and assignments are intended for students to deepen their understanding of composition-rhetoric theory and practice, and to develop the materials and intellectual framework they will need to teach First-Year Writing and Advanced Writing in the Disciplines at Northeastern and elsewhere. Note: Required of first-year PhD students. Open to MA students; however, because of limited seats available, priority is for second-year MA students. Fulfills elective requirement for MA.


ENGL 8966: Practicum (1 SH)

Professor Julia Flanders and Professor David Lazer
2:00-3:30 W, alternate weeks (subject to change)
CRN: 37222
Students interested in participating in the practicum should contact the faculty (d.lazer@neu.edu, j.flanders@neu.edu). Students who would like to be involved with the NULab but are unable for any reason to participate formally in the course are also encouraged to contact the instructors.

The NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks (http://www.northeastern.edu/nulab/) has a new affiliate program for graduate students who are interested in being involved in the NULab’s research and activities. The NULab is a new research center at Northeastern focused on digital methods in the humanities and social sciences. It brings together faculty and graduate students for collaborative research, discussion, presentations, and other shared activities. This year, the affiliate program is being organized as a full-year, one-credit practicum course offered by the departments of English and Political Science and taught by the NULab co-directors, David Lazer and Julia Flanders. Course meetings will include class discussion, guest presentations, and guided research to be shared on the NULab web site.

The course will explore the broad domains of digital humanities and computational social science, with special attention to the distinctive methods, research questions, tools, and assumptions at work. Specific research areas might include text mining, visualization, text encoding, network science, mapping and GIS, and any other areas of shared interest. Participants will be encouraged to draw on work they are doing for other classes or research projects. No prior technical experience or familiarity with the field 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.


WGSS Certificate Courses

WMNS 7976: Directed Study, via Graduate Consortium for Women’s Studies

  1. NU graduate students must apply for admission into Graduate Consortium for Women’s Studies (GCWS) courses. Students who submit GCWS applications must first secure the support of their faculty advisors.
  2. Notify the Graduate Office immediately upon receiving an acceptance email from GCWS.
  3. Fill out the registration form from GCWS. On that form, list the course as WMNS 7976: Directed Study and the supervisor as the current Graduate Program Director.
  4. Get the Registrar’s and faculty advisor’s signatures.
  5. Bring the form to 413 Lake Hall. The Graduate Office secretary will seek out the Dean’s signature and return the completed form to the student. At that time, the student will be enrolled in WMNS 7976.

Course Offerings Archive (PDF)

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