Right, so I’ve been mum on the qualifying exams for a long while now. The reason for that is not because I haven’t been thinking about them, it’s because they kind of took a backseat during the month of September as this is the time when Canadian grad students and academics apply for SSHRC grants* which basically takes up a great deal of your time at the beginning of the year.
Now, I had been doing small bits here and there when I found suitable material or uncovered new thoughts that I didn’t know I had and on this past Friday (12 October) I sent a completed draft off to my committee with rationales and everything. I am going to post the lists as pdfs in five separate parts. Let me explain: the qualifying process in my department asks that a student create four possible reading lists. Two broadly defined as ‘teaching topics’ and the other two will be your subspecialty. Students will, with input from their committee, write two qualifying papers on two of these topics. What happens to the other two lists? They go bye bye. They’re still useful, you just don’t write papers on them. You can find all the details here. So, what I’m going to do here is post each reading list individually and then post the whole damn package — all 26 beefy Victorian pages! — as one file so that you can get a sense of what one of these things looks like which, if you will recall, was my whole motivation for sharing this process with you, the loyal blog reader and/or confused grad student.
Please send along any questions you may have about this process or these lists. Even though I’ve sent them along to my committee, it is clear to me that the qualifying topics and lists are works in progress that do not necessarily end when you hit send. These things are going to be with me for a long time to come and I do not think that these lists represent perfection or anything approaching completion. In fact, I feel rather low about certain aspects of these lists but I’m not going to tell you where they are. See if you can spot my diffidence!
Without any further gumflapping from me, here are the lists as my committee is seeing them.
*For any Fox News viewers who may be fans of the Fairly Serious blog, SSHRC is best explained as a socialist, communist, nanny-state, big government, uh, Obamacare death panel(?) that funds research in the social sciences and humanities in Canada.