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PhD Preparation Seminar - Central European University...

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1 of 6 Central European University, Department of Gender Studies PhD Preparation Seminar Mandatory course for 1 st year PhD Students GENS 6004, 2 credits Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 Eva Fodor Office: 507/b Zrinyi 14 Office hour: Wednesdays 2-3pm and by appointment Course Description The PhD Preparation Seminar is a mandatory course for first-year PhD students in Comparative Gender Studies at CEU. It is a workshop-style course designed to guide probationary doctoral students through the conceptualization and development of the PhD Thesis Proposal and accompanying Fields and Themes Paper, the written materials required for the Comprehensive Exam and subsequent advancement to PhD Candidacy (i.e. proceeding to the research and writing of the doctoral thesis). The first meetings of the class will focus on understanding the form, function, and scope of the PhD Proposal as well as the practical considerations that go into preparation for the Comp Exam. We will discuss the components of a thorough and convincing proposal (central hypotheses, research questions, situating projects within relevant scholarly literatures and debates, methodological and theoretical approaches, methods and research design, scholarly significance), and students will give each other feedback on broad outlines of these elements. Subsequent sessions will concentrate on identifying key scholarly literatures and fields as well as underexplored or neglected areas/questions within those research fields, as a basis for identifying and developing each student’s Fields and Themes Paper (FTP), the accompanying bibliography, and ultimately a clear scholarly rationale for each thesis project. A draft FTP must be completed by the end of the fall term. In the winter, attention will shift to the PhD Proposal itself, with a concentrated set of meetings in which we workshop student proposal drafts and exchange feedback on how to strengthen them before The Proposal and the FTP Outline are submitted to the Doctoral Committee. A final meeting will address Comprehensive Exam Committees and strategies for moving through the rest of the PhD program. An additional goal and function of this seminar is to nurture the exercise of dialogue, debate, and constructive criticism within the student cohort as a whole. By listening to one another, and discussing each other’s projects students will develop key analytical and academic skills: critical analysis, self-reflexivity, scholarly debate (written and verbal), as well as methods and strategies for engaging in interdisciplinary research and dialogue (as a complex and challenging yet central facet of gender studies, this PhD program, and to our department as a whole). The seminar is also intended to foster dialogue between students and their supervisors, as well as build students’ academic confidence for participation in events such as conferences which require clear and confident presentation of data and findings, confidence in public delivery/speaking, and the ability
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