Fall 2013

ENGLISH MAJOR OFFERINGS
Fall 2013

Fall course registration begins April 8, 2013. 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: ENGW1111/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 Faculty Advisor, Professor Beth Britt, in 409 Holmes (x 5170) e.britt@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.

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Introduction to English Studies
(required for major)

 

ENGL1400: Introduction to English Studies
Aljoe
CRN: 13729
Sequence 2 (9:15-10:20 M/W/Th)

A foundational course required of all English majors. Introduces students to 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.   Texts will include: Austen Northanger Abbey, Hansberry A Raisin in the Sun, and Andy and Lana Wachowski The Matrix.

 

ENGL1400: Introduction to English Studies
Mullen
CRN: 13727
Sequence 3 (10:20-11:35 M/W/Th)

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.

Literary Backgrounds (required for major)

ENGL2100: Backgrounds in English and American Literature

Blessington
CRN: 10016
Sequence D (9:50-11:30 Tu/F)

A study of ancient Greek and Roman literature and the Bible in translation in order to learn the elements of Greek philosophy and mythology, as well as the tenets of Judaism and Christianity and the conventions of epic, drama, and lyric poetry. Readings in Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Virgil, and the Old and New Testament.

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

ENGL1600: Introduction to Shakespeare
TBA
CRN: 16539
Sequence H (11:45-1:25 Tu/3:15-4:30 Th)

Fulfills the Pre-nineteenth Century Period Requirement For English majors.

Introduces students to a selection of Shakespeare’s major plays in each of the principle genres of comedy, tragedy, history, and romance.

 

ENGL4606: Topics in Medieval Literature: Medieval Romance
Kelly
CRN: 16185
Sequence A (11:45-1:25 M/Th)

Fulfills the Pre-nineteenth Century Period Requirement For English majors.

We will read a variety of medieval romances (all in translation) and survey the development of the medieval vernacular romance—and the development of “romance”—in its historical and cultural context, and consider audience, theme, function, and influence. Likely texts: Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale and/or Troilus and Criseyde; selections from Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte D’Arthur; a few French romances, including excerpts from the legend of Tristan and Iseult and from the works of Marie de France and Chrétien de Troyes; and short treatises on love, lovesickness, adultery, marriage customs and laws. We will also examine some of these medieval romances in their modern versions or retellings as they appear in mainstream literary texts, fantasy, fairy tales (Snow White, for example), film, and art. In essence, we will study what Denis de Rougemont famously called Love in the Western World, and consider how the medieval concept of love, desire, and romance has certain continuities and discontinuities with our own. Requirements: a few very brief response papers and two essays, one due at midterm and one at the end of the course.

 

ENGL4621: English Romantic Poetry
Peterfreund
CRN: 13730
Sequence 3 (10:30-11:35 M/W/R)

Fulfills the Nineteenth Century Period Requirement For English majors.

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
Brown
C
RN: 15883
Sequence D (9:50-11:30 Tu/F)

Fulfills the Comparative Study of Cultures Requirement in the NU Core; Fulfills the 20th/21st Century Period Requirement For English majors.

This course will examine African American literature in the postwar period, as American identities are coalescing around the concept of the US as a world power.  Specifically, our task during the semester will be to discuss the myriad ways black authors and artists attempt to interrogate the structure of racial hegemony by creating poetry and prose meant to expand notions of culture and form.  Themes of alienation and marginalization will be explored in order to highlight import and the utility of cultural production in this period.  Writers will include James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, Alice Walker and bell hooks.

 

ENGL4673: Modern Drama
Bernstein
C
RN: 16187
Sequence F (1:35-3:15 Tu/F)

Fulfills the Comparative Study of Cultures Requirement in the NU Core; Fulfills the 20th/21st Century Period Requirement For English majors.

Explores the development of drama from realism to surrealism, from Ibsen to Beckett.

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Transhistorical/Transnational Courses
(two required) 

ENGL1501: Survey of British Literature 2
Peterfreund
CRN: 16183
Sequence 4 (1:35-2:40 M/W/Th)

Fulfills the Arts/Humanities Level 1 requirement in the NU Core

This course provides both an overview and some close critical analysis of English literature from the English Romantic, Victorian, and Modern periods, that is, from roughly 1789 to the second half of the twentieth century. In this long century and a half, England moved from the view that human aspirations and human nature were relatively constant—and that everyone had his or her “place” in society—to a view that at least entertained the possibilities of reform and improvement of the lot of all, especially the lower classes.  The eras under survey included successive mandates for change, moments of uncertainty, and encounters with instability; as well as challenges to religion, to hierarchies of gender and race as well as the hierarchy of class.  These eras also bore witness to imperial conquest and colonial revolt. The variety and rapidity of the changes that England experienced provoked a variety of literary responses — nostalgia and cynicism; wonder and horror; celebration, elegy, and rebellion. The authors covered in this survey may include: William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Shelley, John Keats, Felicia Hemans, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, Christina Rossetti, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, W. B. Yeats, Joseph Conrad, W. H. Auden, and Derek Walcott. Written work will include three papers of medium length (five to seven pages).

 

ENGL1503: Survey of American Literature
Brown
CRN: 12775
Sequence F (1:35-3:15 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 (1865) to 1930.  We will read across genres, focusing on poetry, short stories and novels in order to cover the largest swath of literary publications taking place during the era.  Our interest as a class will be to parse out literary commonalities and the connections being fostered through form, content, and artistic focus.  Focusing on canon formation and creative influences, the class will have a visual component linking the artistic advances taking place with their literary counterparts. Authors include: Whitman, DuBois, Cooper, Dickinson, Eliot, Williams and Melville.

 

ENGL3398: Topics in Genre: Memoirs
TuSmith
CRN: 16561
Sequence B (2:50-4:30 M/W)
Fulfills the Arts/Humanities Level 1 requirement in the NU Core

This course examines the modern/contemporary American memoir as a literary genre.  Narrative theory on nonfictional prose (memoir, autobiography, personal narrative) informs its critical methodology and provides solid foundation for a range of culturally diverse texts.  We will consider each work from both the reader’s and writer’s perspective.  Requirements include weekly posts on Blackboard, a midterm exam, 2 short papers (e.g., textual explications), and a final analytical paper.

 

ENGL3406: Science Fiction
Goshgarian
CRN: 16184
Sequence F (1:35-3:15 Tu/F)

This course traces the development of various science fiction themes, conventions, and approaches from early human-versus-machine tales to alien encounters. We will examine how SF is a time capsule of ideas about the relationship between humans and technology, humans and nature, humans and the stars in all their promise and dangers. From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, through H.G. Wells, through short fiction of the “golden age” (1940s and 50s), to the visions of current authors.  Short stories, novels, movies.

Student writing: announced quizzes; midterm & final take-home essay exams (7-10 pages each); optional original SF story or critical paper (7-10 page) analyzing some SF work not read in the course.

 

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

 

ENGL1160: Introduction to Rhetoric
Britt
CRN: 14480
Sequence 4 (1:35-2:40 M/W/R)

Fulfills the Arts/Humanities Level 1 requirement in the NU Core

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 by examining the work of three important thinkers—Aristotle (fourth century B.C.E.), Kenneth Burke (20th century), and Judith Butler (20th-21st century)—who articulate the range and diversity of rhetorical theory. We will read theoretical texts by each of these authors with an eye toward applying them to examples of rhetoric drawn from modern-day culture. Assignments may include reading quizzes, several short papers, and a take-home final exam.

 

ENGL3350: Opening the Archive

Leslie
Section 1, CRN: 16581
Sequence H (11:45-1:25 Tu/3:15-4:30 Th)

Fulfills the Writing Intensive in the Major Requirement

This seminar is designed to introduce students to the rich archival holdings in the greater Boston area and to offer training in the materials and the methods of primary source research.  We will visit the world-class collections of the Boston Public Library rare book room, the Massachusetts Historical Society, Harvard’s Houghton Library, and other important local archives, where we will survey a rich array of materials, including books of all shapes and sizes, manuscripts, letters, pamphlets, broadsides, journals, playbooks, scrapbooks, maps, illustrations, photographs, etc. dating from the sixteenth through the twentieth century.  Together we will explore the theory and practice of archival research through a series of short, guided assignments, culminating in an independent research project designed around resources that excite you on a topic of your design. Ideal for students considering graduate level study, potential librarians or archivists, or for any student excited about the possibility of doing original research.  Class is limited to 15.  Fulfills the intensive writing requirement.

LING1150: Introduction to Language and Linguistics
Section 2,   CRN 10541, Sequence 3  (10:30-11:35 M/W/Th)                    Hughes
Section 3,   CRN 10392, Sequence 4  (1:35-2:40 M/W/Th)                       Hughes
Section 4,   CRN 10383, Sequence D  (9:50-11:30 Tu/F)                           Malhotra
Section 5,   CRN 12141, Sequence 2  (9:15-10:20 M/W/Th)                      TBA
Section 7,   CRN 12485, Sequence 3  (10:30-11:35 M/W/Th)                    Randall
Section 8,   CRN 12486, Sequence F  (1:35-3:15 Tu/F)                            TBA
Section 9,   CRN 12487, Sequence A  (11:45-1:25 Tu/Th)                        TBA
Section 10, CRN 12488, Sequence 4  (1:35-2:40 M/W/Th)
                        Randall
Fulfills the Arts/Humanities Level 1 requirement in the NU Core

This course addresses fundamental questions about language, including:  What makes human language unique?  What does a speaker of a language know (sometimes unconsciously) about that language?  How can languages vary? How does a child learn a language?  Why do speakers of the same language from different places sound different?

The course offers a basic glimpse into how human language works.  It starts with core areas of formal linguistics:  phonetics and phonology (the sounds and sound patterns of language), morphology (the internal structure of words), syntax (the structure of sentences), and semantics (meaning).  It then moves to political and social topics, and explores common language “myths”.  This is the first course in the linguistics minor and major and the English/Linguistics combined major.

 

Capstone Seminar (one course required)

ENGL4710: Junior/Senior Seminar: Late Joyce & His Legacies
Mullen
Section 1, CRN: 10649
Sequence 2 (9:15-10:20 M/W/Th)
Fulfills the Capstone requirement in the NU Core; Fulfills the Writing Intensive in the Major Requirement

This course will undertake as its primary task the reading of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, a text that critics have referred to as a beautiful corpse.  While this may seem like a daunting task, the goal of the course is to make an engagement with the text possible and pleasurable.  The first question will be to take the pulse of the text—is it dead?  Is it alive?  Is it readable?  What might it mean to read such a text?  Joyce was a close reader of world literary history and in turn provided writers from around the globe a rich resource for thinking about their craft.  To enrich our experience of the wake we will also be exploring the network of texts plugged into the wake.  These might include Lewis Carrolls’s Through the Looking Glass, The Book of Kells, Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, and Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman.  We will also consider a range of critical and philosophical engagements with the Wake.  Students will write a series of short responses and a longer final seminar essay.  The course will be organized through class discussion and participation.

 

ENGL4710: Junior/Senior Seminar: Literary Tricksterism in American Lit
TuSmith
Section 2, CRN: 10648
Sequence A (11:45-1:25 M/Th)
Fulfills the Capstone requirement in the NU Core; Fulfills the Writing Intensive in the Major Requirement

“Change the joke and slip the yoke”—from folklore to fiction, tricksters abound in American literature.  This seminar covers a range of works by writers such as Melville, Twain, Erdrich, Chin, and Diaz in conjunction with current theories on the trickster figure in literature and culture.  By identifying “tricksterism” in its various literary guises—as theme, character, literary trope, and narrative strategy—it examines the American brand of a sociocultural phenomenon.  Requirements include weekly posts on Blackboard, short papers, a scholarly class presentation, and a seminar paper.

 

Creative Writing

ENGL3372: Creative Writing
Bernstein
CRN: 10650
Sequence G (3:25-5:05 pm Tu/F)

Gives the developing writer an opportunity to practice writing both poetry and prose. Features in-class discussion of student work.

 

ENGL3377: Poetry Workshop
Blessington
CRN: 13729
Sequence C (8-9:40 Tu/F)

The composition, analysis, and revision of student poems. Emphasis on aesthetics, originality, and technique. Ways to extend your poems through, e.g., image, backstory, plot, dialogue, statement, and stream of consciousness. The writing of six revised poems, two in fixed form. Text: The Mind’s Eye by Kevin Clark.

 

ENGL3378: Fiction Workshop
Goshgarian
CRN: 14479
Sequence E (11:45-1:25 W/F)

This is a fiction-writing workshop, the objective of which is to get you started on  the novel you always wanted to write. With an eye to producing material worthy of publication, our primary objective is for you to produce at least two solid chapters (the first and a subsequent chapter) and an enticing synopsis which will serve as bases to develop and eventually present to a literary agent and or editor.  Any fictional genre is acceptable—mainstream, literary, mystery, thriller, horror, science fiction, romance, western, etc.—all but vampire or zombie stories.  Those have been overdone. I do not encourage writing short stories since they don’t sell. You will be expected to read your own material in class for roundtable response and to offer comments on others’ material.  Maximum 15 students.