Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Fall course registration begins March 26, 2012. If you are a junior or senior and need to complete your major requirements, you are strongly advised to register at the first opportunity, or you may find yourself unable to meet graduation requirements.  Please note: ENGL1111/ENG U111 (or the equivalent) is a prerequisite for all ENGL courses except ENGL 1400.  For the most up-to-date information about course scheduling, go to myNEU and search the Fall course offerings by clicking the “Schedule of Classes (Fall 2012)” link.  Please see the English Department Head Advisor, Professor Laura Green, in 405 Lake (x 4540) la.green@neu.edu if you have any questions.

Combined majors in English and Cinema Studies or English and Linguistics should consult the websites of those programs for the full range of offerings.  The only linguistics courses listed below are those which meet the English major requirement for a course in Theory and Methods.

All registration is now done through the Banner Self Service registration system, accessible through the myNEU Web Portal. For detailed instructions on how to use this system, go to http://www.northeastern.edu/registrar/ref-udc-reg-ugd-details.html.


Introduction to English Studies
(required for major)

ENGL1400: Introduction to English Studies
Section 1, CRN: 14677 Sequence D (9:50-11:30 Tu/F)              Green
Section 2, CRN: 14678 Sequence 2 (9:15-10:20 M/W/Th)      Mullen

A foundational course, required of all English majors. Introduces the various disciplines that make up English studies, such as literature, cultural studies, linguistics, film, rhetoric, and composition. 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.

Literature Backgrounds
(required for major)

ENGL2100: Backgrounds in English and American Literature
CRN: 10016
Sequence 6 (11:45-12:50 Tu/Th/F)
Fulfills the Historical, Ethical, and Aesthetic Perspective requirement in the CAS Core

A reading of major works of Greek and Roman literature and the Bible that have influenced English and American literature: Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, representative plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, major books of the Bible. Emphasis upon the development of myths and literary genres, as well as major philosophical and theological ideas. Midterm and final examinations and short writing assignments.

Literary Periods
(five courses: three pre-ninteenth-century; one ninteenth-century; 0ne twentieth-century)

ENGL3614: Topics in Shakespeare: Late Works
CRN: 16373
Sequence G (3:25-5:05 Tu/F)

This course will focus—after a few early plays for context and comparison—on some of Shakespeare’s later and less often performed plays.  The reading list will be: (The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar), Antony & Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Troilus & Cressida, Timon of Athens, Pericles, The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline, The Two Noble Kinsmen. 

We will read these plays intertextually, tracking Shakespeare’s evolution as an artist.  The later plays contain some of his most powerful, challenging poetry and some of his most radical experimentation with the limits and possibilities of drama.  A guiding theme of the semester will be Shakespeare’s negotiation between two sources for the stories: classical writers such as Plautus, Ovid and Plutarch, and early English writers such as Chaucer and Gower.  This course is suitable for students who have studied Shakespeare before and wish to continue their exploration of his works; no prior experience, however, is absolutely required.

ENGL3671: Multiethnic Literature of the U.S.
CRN: 15884
Sequence 4 (1:35-2:40 M/W/R)
Fulfills CAS Core Diversity, NU Core Comparative Study of Cultures

This course explores contemporary literature by and about writers from distinctive American ethnic groups  (e.g., Native, Asian, African, Latino/a, Jewish, Italian, Irish, Arab).  It features a variety of works that reflect the artistically and culturally diverse nature of American literature.  The course emphasizes classroom discussion and other interactive activities for collaborative learning.   Requirements include brief weekly responses to readings (posted on Blackboard), a midterm exam, and a final paper.

ENGL4664: Topics in 18th Century Literature: The Literature of Feeling
CRN: 16379
Sequence F ( 1:35-3:15 Tu/F)

Eighteenth and early nineteenth century American culture was preoccupied with the falling of tears, the heaving of sighs, and bursts of elation. Reading poetry and fiction of the era, we will ask why authors and readers were so interested in representations of intense emotional states. What did it mean to think of literature as a medium for conveying emotions? What social and political ends could be served by summoning and examining emotional experience? Our consideration of such historical questions about feeling in literature will be accompanied by reflection upon the meanings given to emotional life in our own times. Assignments will include four short papers and informal writing exercises.

ENGL4621: English Romantic Poetry
CRN: 14685
Sequence D (9:50-11:30 Tu/F)

This course surveys the six canonical male English Romantic poets: William Blake; William Wordsworth; Samuel Taylor Coleridge; George Gordon, Lord Byron; Percy Bysshe Shelley; and John Keats. The course also incorporates writing by prominent female poets of the period, such as Anna Laetitia Barbauld, Joanna Baillie, Felicia Hemans, and Elizabeth Laetitia Landon. All of these poets wrote during the English Romantic Period (1789-1832), an era of significant social and intellectual change, although this change was not without its turbulence, confusion and, on too many occasions, its violence. The period was one in which English culture moved beyond traditional modes of knowledge, social organization, and belief, and into an intellectual, sociopolitical, and religious milieu in which the only certainty was uncertainty and the only constant was change. We will study the impact of the era on the individual, and the artistic response of that individual to the era. Students functioning in small work groups will take responsibility for framing some of the questions we should address in response to our reading. Grades in this course will be determined on the basis of three five-to-seven-page papers, written on topics chosen from a list of options.

ENGL4670: Modern African-American Literature
RN: 15883
Sequence F (1:35-3:15 Tu/F)
Fulfills CAS Core Diversity and NU Core Comparative Cultures

With a particular focus on three historical moments — the Harlem Renaissance; modern African American literature after World War II; and the contemporary period — this course will consider African American literature both as a distinct tradition and in relation to the mainstream, white, literatures to which it so often responds. We will place this literature in an historical context which includes slavery, emancipation, Reconstruction, the Great Migration; the Great Depression, wars, and modern civil rights.  At the same time, we will ask about the ways in which formal categories such as naturalism, realism, and modernism do – and do not – fit this tradition.  Themes that help us connect our reading will include identity, invisibility, authenticity, recognition, blindness, double consciousness, memory, and others. As a class we will parse out literary commonalities and differences, with attention also to demystifying and strengthening the skills of literary and cultural analysis.  Among the authors we will read are: James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, Alain Locke, Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, and Anna Deveare Smith.  Assignments will include short reading responses and papers.

ENGL4671: The Modern Short Story
CRN: 15885
Sequence 3 (10:30-11:35 am M/W/Th)

This course explores a range of American short stories by a diversity of prominent writers from 20th and 21st centuries.  It emphasizes the artistic aspects of a specific literary genre, including subjects such as the short story cycle, narrative structure, point of view, visual imagery, linguistic experimentation, thematic development, and social/historical context.  Requirements include brief weekly responses to readings (posted on Blackboard), textual explications, annotations of scholarly articles, and a final analytical paper.

ENGL4674: Modern Poetry
CRN: 16374
Sequence B (2:50-4:30 M/W)

This course will explore a variety of voices and styles in modern poetry, with an emphasis on close reading and on the range of poetic responses to modernity in British and American poetry.  We will refer to other traditions, especially the impact of Europe on Anglophone writers, and to questions of lyric tradition and cultural iconoclasm, including surrealism, the lost generation, the impact of world history, travel, the world wars, and life in the modern world.  Discussion and personal response (in short essays, reading journals, and several experiments and exercises in writing poetry) will be emphasized, as will the appreciation of the arts across time periods and the arts in society.


Transhistorical/Transnational Courses
(two required) 

ENGL1503: Survey of American Literature
CRN: 13716
Sequence G (3:25-5:05 Tu/F)
Fulfills the Arts/Humanities Level 1 requirement in the NU Core

This course examines American literature from the end of the American Civil War to the mid-twentieth century, a time period during which the world seemed to change, completely, every decade or so. We will read across genres in order to place a range of literary publications into an historical, intertextual context.  A set of thematic concerns will unify these transhistorical and cross-genre questions, allowing us to pull together different literatures from diverse historical moments.  As a class we will parse out literary commonalities and differences, with attention also to demystifying and strengthening the skills of literary and cultural analysis. Authors include: Stowe, Whitman, Dickinson, Eliot, Melville, Twain, Chopin, Cooper, McKay, DuBois, Faulkner, Hemingway and Hurston. Assignments include a number of short writing assignments and a possible exam.

ENGL4683: Post-Colonial Literature
CRN: 15878
Sequence H
11:45-1:25 Tu,
2:50-4:30 Th

Postcolonial Literature & Film Introduction to Postcolonial literatures and film through a comparative discussion of the development of the Postcolonial novel and film in Nigeria, India, and the Anglophone Caribbean. Texts may include: Achebe Things Fall Apart, Adichie Purple Hibiscus, Rushdie Midnight’s Children, Roy, The God of Small Things, Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea, Cliff, Abeng, and Lovelace Salt. Films may include: The Harder They Come, Dancehall Queen, Bombay. Assignments will include several short papers and a final project.

ENGL4687: 20th Century Major Figure: James Joyce
Section 2, CRN: 16188
Sequence 3 (10:30-11:35 M/W/Th)

Description to follow.


Theory and Methods
(one course in Literary Criticism, Linguistics or Rhetoric)

LING1150: Introduction to Language and Linguistics
Section 1,   CRN 11029, Sequence D  (9:50- 11:30 am Tu/F) HONORS     Hughes
Section 2,   CRN 10647, Sequence F  (1:35-3:15 pm Tu/F)                       Bjorkman
Section 3,   CRN 10469, Sequence G (3:25-5:05 pm Tu/F)                       Hughes
Section 4,   CRN 10454, Sequence 2  (9:15-10:20 M/W/Th)                      Malhotra
Section 5,   CRN 12547, Sequence 2  (9:15-10:20 M/W/Th)                      Bjorkman
Section 6,   CRN 12949, Sequence 2  (9:15-10:20 M/W/Th)                      TBA
Section 7,   CRN 12950, Sequence 3  (10:30-11:35 M/W/Th)                    Malhotra
Section 8,   CRN 12951, Sequence 3  (10:30-11:35 M/W/Th)                    Bjorkman
Section 9,   CRN 12952, Sequence 3  (10:30-11:35 M/W/Th)                    Jones
Section 10, CRN 12953, Sequence 4  (1:35-2:40 M/W/Th)
Fulfills the Arts/Humanities Level 1 requirement in the NU Core
Fulfills the Methods of Inquiry (Humanities Context) in the CAS Core

This course introduces students to a new way of thinking about language.  Normally using language is an unconscious activity: when we speak and understand sentences, we are unaware of the complex mental activities going on at each moment.  In this course, we will have an opportunity to look carefully at our unconscious knowledge of sentence structure (syntax), meaning (semantics), word forms (morphology), and sound patterns (phonology).  These lead to related issues: “talking” computers, the nature/nurture controversy, and sociolinguistic debates about language standards, language and gender, and language change.  A weekly problem set or essay plus a final exam will be required.

ENGL1160: Introduction to Rhetoric
CRN: 13307
Sequence E (11:45-1:25 W/F)

How do we persuade others to change their minds or take action? How do we come to beliefs about ourselves, each other, and the world around us? What is the relationship between language and truth, between knowledge and belief? How do verbal as well as nonverbal symbols—such as images, architecture, clothing, and music—influence what we do, believe, and think we know? This course explores these questions through the art of rhetoric, or what the ancient Greek thinker Isocrates imagined as instruction in the wisdom of choosing what to say or do. We will read classical as well as contemporary texts, with an emphasis on applying theories and concepts to examples drawn from modern-day culture and politics. Assignments will include reading quizzes, two exams (one of which will be take-home), and several short papers.

LING2350: Linguistic Analysis
CRN: 13765
Sequence 4 (1:35-2:40 M/W/Th)

This course will explore the nature of human language by focusing on four theoretical areas, namely phonetics, phonology, morphology, and syntax.  The aim is to investigate the structure of a language to get an insight into the human mind.  The  objective of the course is to (1)  reinforce and improve analytic skills and linguistic problem-solving; (2)  gain a deeper understanding of the core concepts of linguistics; and (3)  develop the ability to write analytically, in a style appropriate to scientific study (including argument style, formatting, and citations).  It is assumed that students have a basic, working knowledge of linguistic concepts, structures, and analysis.  Prerequisite: LING 1150 (formerly LINU150/ENGU150).

ENGL3339 Topics in Literary Criticism: Technologies of Text
CRN: 16384
Sequence 4 (1:35-2:40 M/W/R)

When you hear the word “technology,” you may think of your computer or iPhone. You probably don’t think of the alphabet, the book, or the printing press: but each of these inventions was a technological innovation that changed dramatically how we communicate and perhaps even how we think. Texts are at the heart of most disciplines in the humanities—literature, composition, philosophy, history, religious studies—but this course will argue that technology and humanistic study are deeply intertwined. Literature in English, for instance, has developed in tandem—and often in direct response to—the development of new technologies—e.g. moveable type, the steam press, radio, film, television, the internet. Our primary objective in this course will be to develop ideas about the ways that modern innovations, including computers and the internet, continue to shape our understanding of texts, both classic and contemporary, and the human beings that write, read, and interpret them. Many of the debates that seem unique to the twenty-first century—over privacy, intellectual property, and textual authority—are but new iterations of familiar battles in the tumultuous history of technology and literature. We will also gain new skills for working with texts in “humanities lab” sessions, where we will explore the ways modern scholars illuminate these debates in our textual past using the rapidly changing tools of our textual present: e.g. geographic information systems, data mining, textual analysis.

LING3412: Language and Culture
CRN: 14565
Sequence D (9:50-11:30 Tu/F)

This course will explore the complex, often inexplicit relationship between language and culture.  We will investigate a variety of topics which are drawn from the fields of anthropological linguistics and sociolinguistics.  The course will begin with a general overview of what constitutes language.  We will then turn to examine the different proposed hypotheses which attempt to account for the nature of the relationship between language and culture.  The remainder of the course will cover a variety of topics which explore language in its social context.  Questions that we will address will include the following:  How is language used to create and maintain social institutions and rituals?  How do we use language to create different personae?  How is language used by people of different genders, ethnicities, and social classes?  How are social and linguistic roles acquired by children?  Prerequisites: LING 1150 (minimum Grade of D-) AND ENGL 1111 (minimum Grade of C).

LING3422: Phonology
CRN: 13245
Sequence 4 (1:35-2:40 M/W/Th)
Fulfills the Mathematical/Analytical Thinking Level 2 requirement in the NU Core

Explores the acoustic and articulatory basis of phonology. Covers phonetics, phonetic variation, natural classes of sounds, phoneme alterations, rule systems, and prosodic phonology. Introduces major contemporary theories including autosegmental phonology and feature geometry. Prereq. (a) LING 1150 and (b) LING 2350 or permission of instructor.

LING3454: History of English
CRN: 12548
Sequence F (1:35-3:15 Tu/F)
Fulfills the Historical, Ethical, and Aesthetic Perspective requirement in the CAS Core

This course will examine the history of the English language from its Indo-European roots to present day. In doing so, we will focus on the complex social contexts which have led to changes in the English language, as well as the specific linguistic features that have changed over time. This will lead to a greater appreciation of contemporary English, and why it is the way it is today. For example, why are there silent letters in words like castle, know, gnat, soften? Why does the English spelling system seem so irregular? Why do so many words in English seem to come from French? How are sets of words like triangle and three, fish and Pisces, foot and pedestrian related? How did the word meat, which originally referred to food in general (think of the compounds sweetmeat, nut meat, and mincemeat), come to refer to the flesh of animals? In studying the history of English, students will gain an understanding of the various factors that give rise to language change, and the long-term results of these forces. Requirements will include four assignments and a final exam.

Capstone Seminar
(one course required)

ENGL4710: Junior/Senior Seminar: Witnessing Domestic Abuse
Section 1, CRN: 10768
Sequence B (2:50-4:30 M/W)
Fulfills the Capstone requirement in the NU Core

Victims and survivors of domestic abuse often suffer not only from the injuries inflicted by an intimate partner but also by disbelief from the outside world. To persuade others (and sometimes themselves) about the reality and severity of the abuse, victims and survivors often turn to witnessing—providing testimony about one’s own experience. In this course, we will look at various forms of witnessing about domestic abuse, including memoir, legal testimony, fiction, and film, to explore how credibility is created through discourse. Readings will include primary texts as well as theoretical pieces about witnessing, testimony, and memory. Assignments will include Blackboard postings about the readings, a proposal, and a final project.

ENGL4710: Junior/Senior Seminar: Black Women Writers
Section 2, CRN: 10767
Sequence G (3:25-5:05 Tu/F)
Fulfills the Capstone requirement in the NU Core

This course will be organized around four themes prevalent in contemporary portrayals of the black female experience in the Diaspora.  The themes, Body, Voice, Memory, and Movement provide a center from which discussions of agency, representation and counter-narrative can be situated within a larger discourse of canon formation.  We will explore various parts of the United States and the Caribbean through analyses of literature and visual culture, paying particular attention to shifting dialogues of gender, culture and nation.  Among the central questions posed will be:  What constitutes a feminist ideology in black women’s literature?  How are images of subjection and victimization re-appropriated by black women writers and image-makers and utilized for their own empowerment?  What are the penalties inherent when a black woman “comes to voice” in the arena of self-representation? Writers will include: Gayl Jones, Jamaica Kincaid, Toni Morrison, Michelle Cliff, bell hooks, June Jordan, Octavia Butler, and Myriam Warner-Vieyra.  Four response papers, a presentation, and a final paper are required for the successful completion of the course.

(two required)

ENGL3372: Creative Writing
CRN: 10769
Sequence D (9:50-11:30 am Tu/F)

Gives the developing writer an opportunity to practice writing both poetry and prose— –particularly the short story.  Features in-class discussion of student work in a workshop atmosphere.  Several writing strategies will be explored, and opportunities will be given to revise submissions.

ENGL3377: Poetry Workshop                                                             Peterfreund
CRN: 14683
Sequence F (1:35-3:15 W/F)

After studying how to write poetry and discussing selected modern and contemporary poems, the class will begin to circulate and comment on student work electronically.  Students must complete at least twelve units of work (one unit equals a complete poem of one page or less), at least half of which must be revised and will form the basis of a student’s grade.  The class itself will be taught in a workshop or seminar format.

ENGL3378: Fiction Workshop
CRN: 15881
Sequence D (9:50-11:30 Tu/F)

A study of the elements of fiction. The writing of fiction. Text: Janet Burroway, Writing Fiction (Longman).