ENGL 890-01: MA Capstone Seminar

Section Description:

This seminar has one goal: to prepare you to construct a strong capstone project that reflects and contributes to your learning in the English MA program. We’ll focus on three activities: developing the scholarly foundation for your work, planning your projects, and developing a critical and supportive community. Any significant project benefits from support, insights, and constructive criticism from others, and advising each other will help you make good choices about your own projects. Along with consulting with each other, you’ll also work closely with your faculty advisor, and I’ll provide support and advice, too. Capstone projects can present huge challenges, but you’ll get plenty of support as you work through the process. [From the department’s website] Capstone students will: Design a public and/or digital humanities project that builds on their M.A. coursework Develop a bibliography and synthesis of the relevant research that informs their project Apply critical and creative methods to articulate scholarly ideas in a non-traditional form for specific public and/or academic audiences Connect their curricular work with their professional interests and goals The assignments we’ll tackle this semester are designed in response to these 4 goals. I’ve tagged each assignment below with the relevant goal/s so that we know clearly why we’re doing everything we do. The capstone seminar this fall is only one part of the timeline of your project, though it’s an important one. As you know, you established your relationship with your faculty advisor last spring and you likely conducted some research and reading during the summer. This fall — in our seminar and in your own independent work — you will advance both the content and the form of your capstone project. In the seminar, we adopt a design approach that will help you to make all the key choices about your project’s methods, strategies, content, platform/s, etc. By the end of the seminar, you will have built a working prototype of your project, focusing on its audience and shape but with enough content for our critical community to provide useful feedback. The spring will be dedicated to completing the project — filling in the content, so to speak. I’ve often continued to meet with each cohort throughout the spring term, even as you each meet regularly with your advisor, in order to keep up our critical community. If we decide to continue meeting, I’m happy to do so. The capstone lifespan — or the part that we all share, at least — concludes with a gallery show at the end of the spring semester. I hope all of you build projects this year that in fact live long beyond the end of your degree at Georgetown.