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Spring 2017 Graduate Course Descriptions

Spring 2017

The following 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. See Banner Class Schedule for ENGL 9990 Dissertation and ENGL 9996 Dissertation Continuation CRNs.

For curriculum information, see the Program Guides.

Courses by Curriculum Area

Proseminar

See Fall 2017.

Theories and Methods courses

Title: ENGL 7213 Topics in Early American Literature: Print and Performance in the Atlantic World – 3 SH

Professor: Elizabeth Maddock Dillon

CRN: 37350

Sequence: Wednesdays, 3:30

Curriculum Area/s: 17th Century/18th Century -or- Theories and Methods

Description:
The field of literary studies has been transformed by a move away from the study of literature in nation-based frameworks (such as American literature or English literature) toward an array of alternative frameworks including transatlantic, hemispheric, diasporic, and global models. In this course we will read the literature of early America (including the Caribbean) in relation to its transatlantic production and reception; we will also read selected European texts that were widely circulated in the Atlantic world and that bear upon questions of colonialism and nation formation—specifically the advent of capitalism, race slavery, and the new science; the encounter with native peoples; and the development of literary and performance public spheres. Beginning with early colonial narratives of discovery, captivity, and settlement we will consider the relation between new world narration and existing literary genres, including romance, poetry, and scientific and commercial “news.” We will subsequently consider the role of both print and performance in the development of the public sphere as well as the rise of the novel in an Atlantic context, and the relation of the colonial Atlantic world to the development of literary nationalism in the United States. Students will be asked to engage in original archival work and to consider digital and archival methodologies as well as key debates in literary theory. Readings will include works by Richard Ligon, Leonora Sansay, Aphra Behn, Olaudah Equiano, Mary Prince and others.

Title: ENGL 7214 Topics in Nineteenth-Century American Literature: Emerson, Thoreau, and Fuller – 3 SH

Professor: Theo Davis

CRN: 37351

Sequence: Tuesdays, 3:30

Curriculum Area/s: 19th Century/20th Century -or- Theories and Methods

Description:
This class will conduct a sustained investigation of the Transcendentalist movement in American literature and thought, focused on the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller. Each of these writers shares a core understanding that literature is both a form of art and a mode of philosophical and spiritual discourse aiming to speak about transcendental truth; they also formulate conceptions of individuality, liberal society, and nature. The first focus of the class will be on achieving an in-depth understanding of the seriousness and subtlety of each writer’s project, with the understanding that the terms of those projects have had far-reaching implications for American literature and culture, which makes having an understanding of them useful for any Americanist critic. The second focus will be on several major moments in the discourse of Americanist literary criticism, from its early canonization of Emerson and Thoreau, the logic of critiques of the ideological element of their work, and contemporary criticism which rehabilitates and adapts the impromptu, anti-institutional elements of the intellectual work all three writers pursued.

17th Century/Restoration/18th Century courses

Title: ENGL 7213 Topics in Early American Literature: Print and Performance in the Atlantic World – 3 SH

Professor: Elizabeth Maddock Dillon

CRN: 37350

Sequence: Wednesdays, 3:30

Curriculum Area/s: 17th Century/18th Century -or- Theories and Methods

Description:
The field of literary studies has been transformed by a move away from the study of literature in nation-based frameworks (such as American literature or English literature) toward an array of alternative frameworks including transatlantic, hemispheric, diasporic, and global models. In this course we will read the literature of early America (including the Caribbean) in relation to its transatlantic production and reception; we will also read selected European texts that were widely circulated in the Atlantic world and that bear upon questions of colonialism and nation formation—specifically the advent of capitalism, race slavery, and the new science; the encounter with native peoples; and the development of literary and performance public spheres. Beginning with early colonial narratives of discovery, captivity, and settlement we will consider the relation between new world narration and existing literary genres, including romance, poetry, and scientific and commercial “news.” We will subsequently consider the role of both print and performance in the development of the public sphere as well as the rise of the novel in an Atlantic context, and the relation of the colonial Atlantic world to the development of literary nationalism in the United States. Students will be asked to engage in original archival work and to consider digital and archival methodologies as well as key debates in literary theory. Readings will include works by Richard Ligon, Leonora Sansay, Aphra Behn, Olaudah Equiano, Mary Prince and others.

19th Century/20th Century courses

Title: ENGL 7214 Topics in Nineteenth-Century American Literature: Emerson, Thoreau, and Fuller – 3 SH

Professor: Theo Davis

CRN: 37351

Sequence: Tuesdays, 3:30

Curriculum Area/s: 19th Century/20th Century

Description:
This class will conduct a sustained investigation of the Transcendentalist movement in American literature and thought, focused on the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller. Each of these writers shares a core understanding that literature is both a form of art and a mode of philosophical and spiritual discourse aiming to speak about transcendental truth; they also formulate conceptions of individuality, liberal society, and nature. The first focus of the class will be on achieving an in-depth understanding of the seriousness and subtlety of each writer’s project, with the understanding that the terms of those projects have had far-reaching implications for American literature and culture, which makes having an understanding of them useful for any Americanist critic. The second focus will be on several major moments in the discourse of Americanist literary criticism, from its early canonization of Emerson and Thoreau, the logic of critiques of the ideological element of their work, and contemporary criticism which rehabilitates and adapts the impromptu, anti-institutional elements of the intellectual work all three writers pursued.

Writing or Rhetoric courses

Title: ENGL 7392: Writing and the Teaching of Writing – 3 SH

Professor: Chris Gallagher

CRN: 34632

Sequence: Mondays, 6:15

Curriculum Area/s: Writing or Rhetoric

Description:
This course provides Northeastern English Department graduate students with disciplinary and professional preparation to teach writing at the university level. It will focus on three primary questions: How do people learn? How do people learn writing? How can we best teach writing based on those understandings? (Or, more expansively, how can we design environments, materials, and practices that help students learn about writing and develop as writers?)

In addition to shorter pieces, we will read three books together: Ambrose et al.’s How Learning Works, Adler-Kassner and Wardle’s Naming What We Know, and Gallagher and Lee’s Teaching Writing That Matters. Assignments are designed to help students develop both a theoretical understanding and practical materials for the teaching of writing both at Northeastern and elsewhere. They include a writing history, an institutional discourse analysis, an observation report, and a theory-in-practice essay. Notes: Required of first-year PhD students. MA students may enroll with permission of instructor.

Title: ENGL 7395: Genre Theory/Topics in Writing – 3 SH

Professor: Mya Poe

CRN: 35920

Sequence: Tuesdays, 6:15

Curriculum Area/s: Writing or Rhetoric

Description:
While genres appear to us in the form of single texts within particular social situations, they are parts of larger systems which reinforce their familiarity, patterning, meaning, and even recognizability of variation and distinctiveness. The larger systems locate the texts within groupings of readers, relations to other texts, and larger nexuses of organized activities, for which those genres are produced. The genres carry out activities within those groups, as part of the overall operations, relations, and accomplishments of those groups. Thus the text’s meaning does not just reside in itself as a collection of linguistic signifiers but as a functioning part of systems of organized human activity in the intended work to be done by the text and in the functional relationships and roles it establishes and reaffirms among the participants.
Jack Andersen, Charles Bazerman and Jesper Schneider. “Beyond single genres: Pattern mapping in global communication” Handbook of Writing and Text Production, 2014.

Genres provide highly differentiated, scaffolded communicative spaces in which we learn the cognitive practices of specialized domains, including identification and display of relevant material, forms of inscribing experiences and data, forms of reasoning and issues to be addressed, stances to be taken, and relation to other texts in the domain.
Charles Bazerman, “Genre and Cognitive Development: Beyond Writing to Learn,” 2007. 

What makes a letter a letter? At first blush, the answer to that question seems easy enough—a letter is a fixed set of textual features. But is a letter merely a set of fixed textual features? If so, why is there such variability in the letter form? And what is one supposed to do when one receives a letter? When and how does one learn to produce and circulate letters? What other genres do letters travel with? It is exactly such questions about the social relationships involved in genre that are the basis of this course. In this course we will explore theories of genre, such as uptake and meta-genre, as well as research on how prior knowledge, ideology, and identity shape the circulation and reception of genres. Books will include texts such as Genre: An Introduction to History, Theory, Research, and Pedagogy and Genre and the Performance of Publics.

NULab Research Seminar - 1 SH

Professors: Élika Ortega Guzman and Julia Flanders

CRN: 36034

Sequence: Mondays, 2:00-3:00 (tentative)

Curriculum Area/s: Elective, DH certificate requirement

Description:
Note: Three INSH 7910 enrollments satisfy one MA Elective.

This workshop course supports the project development component of the certificate in Digital Humanities, aimed at graduate students enrolled in MA and PhD programs in humanities and social sciences. Students in the course will engage in a sustained, interdisciplinary exploration of digital humanities methods and projects as they plan and develop their own research projects during their progress on the certificate. As needed, the course will also organize working groups on special topics to cover additional skills and methods. The course is designed to be taken in successive years by students in the certificate program, but may also be taken on its own. No prior technical experience or familiarity with digital humanities or digital tools 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.

Upcoming Course Offerings

Fall 2017 (subject to change)

Last updated 12-01-2016

Proseminar

  • ENGL 5103 Proseminar, Professor Theo Davis

Theories and Methods courses

  • ENGL 7292 Romantic Poetry – 3 SH, Professor Stuart Peterfreund

Medieval Through Early Renaissance courses

  • ENGL 7261 Medieval Literature – 3 SH, Professor Kathleen Kelly

17th Century/Restoration/18th Century courses

  • ENGL 7284: Topics in 18th-Century Literatures: The “Other” in British Novels of the Long-Eighteenth Century – 3 SH, Professor Nicole Aljoe

19th Century/20th Century courses

  • ENGL 7292 Romantic Poetry – 3 SH, Professor Stuart Peterfreund
  • ENGL 7358 Topics in Literature and other Disciplines: Visual Culture and Contemporary Literature – 3 SH, Professor Hillary Chute

Rhetoric or Composition courses

  • ENGL 7395 Topics in Writing: Qualitative Methods & Methodologies- 3 SH, Professor Ellen Cushman

NULab Research Seminar

  • INSH 7970 NULab Project Seminar – 1 SH, Professor Julia Flanders
    Note: Three INSH 7910 enrollments satisfy one MA elective.