Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Outside the Box: What Other Departments Have to Offer

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Graduate School in English can be so overwhelming that we lose sight of what other departments have to offer. Many seasoned Grads will tell you that looking beyond our department and beyond our institution can benefit your studies and your overall graduate experience. Here are just some of the ways that you can tap into the valuable resources of other departments:
1) Take a class. I know it is hard to say no to the offerings of our own department each semester, but take a minute and consider the course options in different departments. Focusing on a specific historical period of Literature? Consider taking a graduate history course to supplement your understanding of that period. Interested in a specific theoretical approach? See what your campus has to offer in related fields. At least a few people on the EGSA board have taken courses in other departments and found the experience enriching and helpful.
2) Attend an event hosted by another department. You already know how busy the GW English calendar is, but have you considered checking out the history department calendar? Or the Women's Studies department calendar? Take a moment to look through events that might interest you - sometimes these talks can generate new ideas for your work or offer unique opportunities to meet interesting people in your field. As it happens, there is a history department event approaching this Thursday (see the event details below)
3) Join a Colloquium or Seminar group. Not only will this enable you to get different perspectives from different departments, it will also enable you to make contacts with people at other institutions. These groups meet around once a month and often have pre-circulated reading material. GW MEMSI and 19th Century Colloquium are just two examples - check the other departments to see if they host anything similar.
4) Take a class at another institution. Although the application process for this can be tricky, EGSA strongly encourages you to consider the course offerings in the area schools. This could be a great opportunity to take a specialized course in your field or to try something new.

So consider tapping into the valuable area/department resources. If you have questions about these options, talk with your adviser or mentor - ask around, we are willing to be that most of your peers have taken advantage of these opportunities.

Start your involvement with another department by attending the GW History Research Colloquium's talk with Professor Goldberg this Thursday October 13th at 2:00-:3:30pm in Phillips 328. Hear Prof. Goldberg speak on "Reading Other People's Mail: What Can We Discover about Islamic and Jewish Culture from Eleventh-Century Mercantile Letters Discarded in the Cairo Geniza?"
Also, check out this other upcoming history event: 
November 10, 4-6, Dagmar Herzog, City University of New York, "Sexuality in Europe: A Twentieth-Century History," location t.b.a.

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