Welcome to the English Department

We offer Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degrees. Our courses span the range of American and English literature and writing studies, with particular expertise in American and transatlantic literatures (early and contemporary), writing studies, and digital humanities.  Our faculty are also involved in research and teaching in African-American Studies, Jewish Studies, Linguistics, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Please use the links on this page and the Chair’s Welcome to learn more about our people, programs, and opportunities.

Department News

Professor Cushman to receive Conference on Community Writing award

Professor Ellen Cushman was chosen by a national committee of community writing scholars and practitioners as the recipient of the 2017 Conference on Community Writing Distinguished Engaged Scholar in Community Writing Award.  She will receive the award and give a keynote address, “Place and Relationships in Community Writing,” at the Conference on Community Writing conference in Boulder in…
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Professor Altschuler joins Humanities Center leadership

On September 8, Dean Uta Poiger and Humanities Center Director Lori Lefkovitz announced Professor Sari Altschuler’s appointment as Associate Director of the Northeastern Humanities Center. In this role, Professor Altschuler will assist in the “general operations and growth and development of the Humanities Center” and “work with the board to develop initiatives in health humanities.”

Student’s poem published in Boston anthology

English major Elke Thoms’s poem, “Bedroom View,” appears in City of Notions: An Anthology of Contemporary Boston Poems (2017), a collection of poems that celebrate everyday life in Boston. City of Notions was published by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.

Professor Blessington pens new book of poetry

Professor Francis Blessington has published a new volume of poems, Poems from Underground (Deerbrook Press, 2017).

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Department Events


Boston Literary Landmarks Walking Tour

Join your fellow English majors on Saturday, September 23 for a walking tour of Boston’s many literary landmarks by Boston by Foot. This specially designed tour highlights the ‘homes and haunts’ of Boston-based writers like Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry James, Edgar Allen Poe, and Phyllis Wheatley. The tour departs at 11 a.m….
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Memorial for Professor Stuart Peterfreund

Please join us as we gather to remember Professor Stuart Peterfreund who passed away this summer…
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Dragon Prayer Book event: Michael Cuthbert, MIT

Professor Michael Cuthbert (MIT) will run a workshop on reading medieval music notation, concluding with a group chant of music from Northeastern University’s only medieval manuscript.  As far as we know, this music has never been decoded or sung in contemporary times.


Finding Honey in the Rock – A Workshop of Obsession

A writing workshop with poet Danez Smith.
What can’t you shake? What constantly comes back to you? What never leaves? In this workshop, we will talk about the obsessions that capture us for a season and obsessions that follow us for a lifetime. Limited seating. RSVP will be required. ..
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Danez Smith. Poet.

Danez Smith is the author of [insert] boy (2014, YesYes Books), winner of the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Their second collection, Don’t Call Us Dead, will be published by Graywolf Press in 2017. Danez is a two-time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist. ..
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Department Spotlights

Hillary Chute

Professor Hillary Chute, a renowned expert on graphic narratives and comics, holds joint appointments in Northeastern's Department of English (College of Social Sciences and Humanities) and Department of Art and Design (College of Art and Media Design). Her recent book, Disaster Drawn (Harvard University Press, 2016), investigates how hand-drawn comics have come of age as a serious medium for engaging history and explores the ways graphic narratives by diverse artists document the disasters of war.

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Joanne Afornalli

English BA and “Plus One”

Joanne has embarked upon her Master’s degree in the English department through the “Plus One” program.

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