Upon completion of the MA, students will be able to:

1) demonstrate mastery of the discipline by detailing the development and current practices of literary studies, rhetoric, or film.

(a) In the literature and film concentrations, the student’s knowledge of the medium will be sufficient to allow that student to contextualize and judge contemporary literature or film in a long continuum (as would be expected, for instance, of an editor, producer, or publishing professional); to describe literature or film in terms of major periods, practices, and/or genres (as would be expected, for instance, of a community college instructor); and to evaluative the significance of individual works in their cultural and intellectual contexts (as would be expected, for instance, of an archivist, curator, or bibliographer).

(b) In the rhetoric and writing concentration, the student’s knowledge of the history, theory, and practice of the medium will be sufficient to allow that student to explain, evaluate, and practice divergent pedagogical methods (as would be expected, for instance, of a writing teacher); to describe rhetoric contextually and comparatively (as would be expected, for instance, of a rhetorical ethnographer); and/or to historicize and theorize emerging forms of composition and expression (as would be expected, for instance, of a professional in the ever-expanding world of digital communication).     

2) demonstrate mastery of the discipline by characterizing, instantiating, and critiquing the dominant critical theories, methodologies, and practices in the field. Mastery will be achieved and represented by the successful completion of ENG 514, Introduction to Graduate Studies, and, thereafter, by the inclusion of substantial critiques of the relevant scholarly literature in end-of-term essays and in the thesis.

3) conduct research that leads to a substantial original thesis, written over the course of the second year, in a subfield of the student’s choice. The thesis will be directed by a major professor in the subfield and additionally advised by two minor professors in related subfields.

4) conduct research that engages and responds to diverse audiences of scholars, students, and community members. This will be demonstrated through the thesis defense; through presentations at professional conferences; through internships and independent studies; through the use of research on pedagogical approaches to writing/literature/film in university teaching assignments; and/or through intellectual events within the School (including the annual graduate student conference, seminar presentations, and scholarly talks).

5) perform all activities in an ethical manner. This will be demonstrated at the disciplinary level by the student’s ability, in coursework and in written essays, to recognize and to appropriately document the prior scholarly conversation informing any given line of research or argument; by the student’s engagement, in coursework, with historically under-represented perspectives and a diverse canon of primary and secondary works in literature/writing/film; and by the use of unbiased language in written and oral scholarly conversation. Training in these areas will be provided by ENG 514, Intro to Grad Studies, by the varied research methods and subfields addressed in courses, and by a curriculum that includes historically marginalized works.