Each week students will be expected to complete a series of scholarly readings. We recommend that you print these out, mark them up as you read them, and take notes summarizing their key claims and questions. In a seminar like this one, where both students and faculty come to the table with different areas of experience and expertise, the readings provide a crucial shared basis of understanding for productive seminar discussion.
You should plan on at least 100 pages of reading a week (eg. four 25-page research articles or chapters).
Each student should come to seminar prepared to discuss each of the readings. Being able to concisely articulate the topic and thesis of each reading is a good first step. Being aware of the theoretical framework and methodological approach of each reading helps as well. Another strategy to help open up discussion of a reading is to try to identify a single question that the article raises for you, and how you might begin to answer that question. Or you might simply bring to class your vote for the "Most Important Sentence" (MIS) of the article (and why).
Please note: During one week late in the semester, students will be asked to collectively assemble that week's readings.
Both required and optional readings can be found in PDF format here. (Use your normal UW NetID and password for access.)
Each week, a different group of students will have responsibility for managing our discussion of that week's readings. Each student in the group will be expected to have major responsibility for one reading, except for one who will have responsibility for summarizing our class discussion afterward.
During your assigned week, the group will have the following extra responsibilities both in-person and online:
- Coordinate with your fellow students to determine who will analyze which reading, and who will do the discussion summary.
- For the reading that you analyze in-depth, you need to post an analytical summary to the blog 24 hours before our in-person meeting. Generally these are between 500 and 1000 words. Include some information about who the author is. And end with two or three questions that can help us in discussion.
- During that week's seminar, each student who has special responsibility for a reading will be expected to take an active role in managing our discussion of that reading. You may want to coordinate with your fellow students beforehand if there are cross-cutting themes or interesting contradictions between the readings that you want to highlight.
- Finally, after the discussion, the student from your group who did not prepare a reading analysis beforehand needs to post a brief summary of key ideas and issues raised during our seminar discussion. This means that student needs to be taking good notes! (It is OK for the notetaker to have a somewhat lessened role in the discussion.)
With the number of students in this seminar and the number of readings we will cover, you can expect to be assigned to this responsibility for multiple weeks.
Each student produce a final research or review paper, related to the themes of the course in a way that is appropriate and useful to their own graduate research program. We are willing to provide a great deal of leeway in the form and scope of this project, but we must insist that the work for this project is unique to this course — in other words, you may design a paper that works together with other aspects of your program, other projects you are working on, or other courses you are taking, but you can not simply "repurpose" a paper from another course for this one. The work for this course must be new, and there must be clear evidence that it has been influenced by and connected to the work we have done in seminar (for example, citations from the readings we have been working through).
Remember, research papers seek out an interesting primary data source — interviews, documents, survey data, etc. — and analyze that data within a particular theoretical framework and set of methodological techniques. Review papers seek out other secondary work on an issue, from both scholarly and professional sources, to map out, interrogate, and synthesize arguments.
Both research and review papers start with an interesting question that you believe deserves scholarly inquiry.
For purposes of example, a typical research or review paper for a graduate seminar like this one is usually between 20 and 40 pages, double-spaced, not including references.
The final session of this course will be devoted to a collaborative presentation by all students, highlighting cross-cutting themes and/or interesting contradictions from individual projects-in-progress.
Students may organize this presentation in any way they see fit; however, we recommend breaking into small groups that can each focus on a particular aspect of interdisciplinarity or innovation.
This exercise is partly an opportunity for each student to present a key aspect of their own individual final project, and it is partly an opportunity to collaboratively draw upon that project work to make broader claims or raise broader questions about issues that all students are confronting.
The presentation will be 90 minutes, including 45 minutes for presentation and 45 minutes for discussion. The presentation will be promoted through the Holtz Center as a brown-bag discussion, and outside faculty, staff, and graduate students will be encouraged to attend. Thus your audience is an informed and interested group of academics who nevertheless have not been researching the material that you have throughout the semester.
The grade for this presentation will be applied to the entire group equally.