The Senior Seminar is the first course in a 2 part sequence, required of all senior English majors. An immersive, research and writing methods course, the Senior Seminar prepares students to produce a significant piece of critical or creative work, guiding each year's senior cohort through the methods and best-practices that invigorate longer-forms of creative inquiry and research. Similar to other senior design and research courses throughout the university, the Senior Seminar engages students in the deeper and more rewarding processes of sustained writing and research, and offers all students the opportunity to prepare and build an independent research project with sustained faculty support.
ENGL 410 English Senior Seminar & Research Workshop
Fall 2019 Tuesdays, 5- 7:50 pm
Instructors: Professor Krista Comer Professor Sarah Ellenzweig Professor Ian Schimmel
The Senior Seminar & Research Workshop is an immersive, year-long, research and writing methods course that prepares Rice English majors to produce a significant piece of critical or creative work. Each year, the course will be co-taught by three English faculty members from different areas of expertise, including one creative writer. Beginning in AY 2019/2020, the course will be a requirement for all matriculating English majors. For students who matriculated before Fall 2019, the Senior Seminar & Research Workshop will be optional but recommended.
The Fall Senior Seminar will guide each year’s senior cohort through the methods and best-practices that invigorate longer-forms of creative inquiry and research. The Spring Research Workshop functions as a more hybridized course, with some classes exploring topics relevant to the entire cohort, and others geared towards smaller, workshop-style discussions. At strategic points throughout the Spring writing process, students will meet individually with one of the faculty instructors, as well as with an outside faculty reader in their field of interest. All students will have the opportunity to present and celebrate their work at an end-of-the-year departmental symposium.
The culmination of the course is an in-depth critical or creative work with the potential for public-facing components (ex. performances, websites, e-zines, podcasts, community events), as well as collaborations with a student’s secondary major or minor. While some projects will grow out of previous coursework in students’ area of specialization, or in the creative writing concentration, we would hope that others will use the project as a way articulate creative intersections between your other intellectual pursuits and/or your professional areas of interest.
Similar to other senior design and research courses throughout the university, the Senior Seminar & Research Workshop engages students in the deeper and more rewarding processes of sustained writing and research. The course helps students regard both forms of inquiry as powerful skills within their professional set.
Note: For students who intend to graduate in December or who plan to study abroad in their senior year, the senior seminar may be begun in the junior year and completed in the senior year. Special circumstances such as this one will be advised by the DUS.
FALL 2019 SENIOR SEMINAR SAMPLE SYLLABUS
The Fall Senior Seminar will consist of ten large-group meetings and two small-group meetings. The Fall semester will require students to compile the following in a final portfolio: an annotated bibliography with at least 5 entries (not including the primary text), 3 mini-papers (totaling 10 pages), a midterm paper (critical or craft, totaling 8-12 pages), and a research prospectus. Approximate total page count will be 18-22+ pages, not including the prospectus or bibliography. Students will also present their prospectus to an advising committee.
August 20 - Course Introduction
Identifying Primary Texts & Topics
Active and Engaged Reading
August 27 - Primary Texts
Reading as a questioner
Generating complex questions
September 3 - Labor Day: No Class
September 10 - Historical, Political, & Material Contexts
Methods for contextualizing your text & topic
September 17 - Critical & Craft Contexts
Critical research & craft
September 24 - Annotated Bibliographies
Craft, criticism, or a combination
October 1 - Small-Group Meetings
October 8 - Midterm Recess: No Class
October 15 - Midterm Paper (Critical or Craft) & Meta-Questions
October 22 - Introduction to the Research Prospectus
October 29 - Research & Reading Methods Part 1
November 5 - Research & Reading Methods Part 2
November 12 - Small-Group Meetings
November 19 - Prospectus Presentations
November 26 - No Class: Thanksgiving
December 3 - Individual Meetings with Advisor