Fall Forum


The purpose of this required independent reading course is to motivate students to begin reading during the summer following their first year in the M.A. program in preparation for the M.A. exams that will take place in the spring term of their second year.

During the spring term of the first year of the M.A. program, students will present to their advisors a reading list of 8 to 10 works to be studied during the summer. The books must belong to no more than two of the periods defined by the M.A. program, and five of the books must be taken from the Departmental Reading List. At least one of the texts should be a literary history or a similar text about the period. This approved list (signed by the faculty advisor) will be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies before the end of the spring term.

In fall term, students will register for a 4-credit, PASS/NO PASS RL 605 with the Director of Graduate Studies as instructor of record. This course number corresponds to independent summer reading and MA forum.

*The assignment should be mainly a one-page, double-sided reader response to every primary source in your Summer Reading List, which means a total of ten pages. The student needs to email this dossier to their advisor and CC the Graduate Coordinator and the Director of Graduate Studies during the Friday of Week 1 in the Fall term of the second year of the MA.

In the Friday of the first week of the fall term of the second year, students will submit their Summer Reading assignment, and after all the faculty members evaluate their presentation in the Fall Forum in week 3, they will receive a P/NP for their RL 605 that Fall.

The Fall Forum will take place on the Friday of week 3 in the second year of the MA and will be organized as an academic panel discussion. Students will present a short paper of 6 to 7 pages (15 minutes), in which they will present a section of their MA Essay. This Fall Forum presentation may stem from a paper that they wrote in their first year. There will be a chair for each session, a discussion will follow the presentations, and the department will provide refreshments. All MA students, most tenure track faculty, and some PhD students will attend.

Presentations will be 15 minutes long and will be delivered in English. Students may do a power point presentation, in particular students specializing on Linguistics. At the end of the presentations, there will be a Question and Answer session. In a meeting on week 4, faculty members will meet to evaluate the presentations. Upon satisfactory completion of this exercise, students will receive 2 graded credits for the RL 605 course. If the faculty members find that a presentation was deficient, they will recommend that the student do supervised reading with the faculty specialist in the period before being assigned a grade and receiving course credit.