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PhD Exam Formats

Exams-at-a-Glance

Please note that roman numerals below indicate which of the three standard formats is being used:
Format I: 15 of 20 identifications, 3 of 5 short essays questions, 1 of 3 long essay questions
Format II: 5 of 8 short essay questions, 1 of 3 long essay questions
Format III: 3 of 5 long essay questions

 

AREA

Secondary Area

Primary Area

Primary Area Exam Components

AAS

Africana Studies

 

Portfolio

 intergenre bibliography (75 texts)

bibliography (25 texts)

annotated bibliography (15 texts),

 literature review (10 texts, 4000 words)

two questions and answers (4000-4500 words)

 an oral defense

AL1

American Literature to 1865

I

 

Comprehensive Exam Essays (each 2500 to 3500 words)

Review Essay (2500-3500 words)

Sample Syllabus

Oral Exam

AL2

American Literature from 1865 to 1945

I

 

Comprehensive Exam Essays (each 2500 to 3500 words)

Review Essay (2500-3500 words)

Sample Syllabus

Oral Exam

AL3

American Literature from 1945 to Present

I

 

reading list (50-80 primary and 20-30 secondary sources)

Two essays (each 3500-4000 words)

Review essay (2500 to 3500 words)

oral examination

BL1

English Literature to c.1500

I

I + Translation

Translation: 10-20 lines from the student’s previously selected specialization (Middle English or Old English) in one hour.

BL2

English Literature of the Renaissance

I

Portfolio + Oral

Annotated Bibliography of 10 secondary sources,

25-page paper suitable for submission to a journal or a 15-page creative piece with a 10-page critical introduction.

75-minute oral exam

BL3

English Literature of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century

I

I

n/a

BL4

British Literature of the Nineteenth Century

II

Portfolio + Oral

 8-10 page conference paper with cover letter

20-25 page article with cover letter

 2-3 page course proposal for a 200-level course for non-majors

BL5

British Literature from c.1900 to the Present

II

Portfolio

8-10 page conference paper

20-25 page article

2-3 page course proposal for a 200-level course for non-majors

CLS

Children's Literature

II

Portfolio

3 conference-length papers

1 journal-length essay

1 course proposal in children's/YA literature designed around our 200-level proposal guidelines.

CW

Creative Writing

II

Portfolio

reading list of 50 texts with 1-2 page introduction to topic

annotated bibliography of 25 texts

a long critical and scholarly essay (18-25 pages)

 a short craft and/or pedagogy essay (8-10 pages)

DRA

Drama

II

Portfolio

8-10 page annotated bibliography with entries of 150-200 words

8-10 page conference paper

20-25 page dramaturgy paper

2-3 page course proposal for a 200- 300 level drama course or playwriting workshop.

FLK

Folklore Studies

III

Portfolio

Comprehensive exam essay of ~ 5000 words

Reading list of no less than 50 items.

10+ research questions

FTC

Feminist Theory and Criticism

III

Portfolio

an annotated bibliography with annotations of 100-200 words

a literature review of 8-10 pages

a journal article of ~7500 words

a pedagogic component.

LTC

Literary Theory

 

III

 

LIN

Linguistics

 

Portfolio + Oral

Research: a conference-length paper, (2) a list of submitted/accepted articles, conference papers and abstracts; and a short essay (~8 pages).

Examination: 3 short essays (5-8 pages each)

Teaching: seminar presentation materials and teaching materials specifically for ENGL 351.

NFS

Narrative Film

II

Oral

2 hours

RCS

Rhetoric and Composition Studies

 

Portfolio

3 conference-length papers

1 normative length rhetoric and composition journal article

6-page teaching philosophy

SFF

Speculative Fiction

II

Portfolio

8-10 page conference paper

20-25 page article 

2-3 page course proposal for a 200-level

SLS

Southern Studies

II

Portfolio

Bibliography and Literature Review

2 comprehensive exam essays (4000-4500 words each)

Completed portfolio 40-45 pages

XTE

Open Topic

TBD

TBD

TBD

 

AAS: Africana Studies

Candidates electing to take their primary area exam in Africana Studies will submit a portfolio that includes the following components: an intergenre bibliography of primary sources (75 texts), a bibliography of secondary sources (25 texts),an annotated bibliography (15 texts), a literature review (10 texts, 4000 words), two questions and answers (4000-4500 words), an oral defense.

The intergenre bibliography of primary sources will demonstrate a sense of breadth and scope of the Africana literary canon, from its beginnings to present. This bibliography can focus exclusively on the African American canon, or the canon can include Anglophone literature from other locations in the Diaspora.

The bibliography of secondary sources will target a topic of the candidate’s choosing, comprised of theory, literary and/or cultural criticism, and literary and/or cultural histories. This bibliography may include texts in translation.

The annotated bibliography will draw fifteen (15) texts from the bibliography of secondary sources. Annotation entry length: 150-250 words.

The literature review will draw ten (10) texts from the annotated bibliography in order to synthesize patterns and convergences that shed light on the scholarly discourse about the candidate’s chosen topic. Review length: 4000-4500 words.

The questions will be devised by the candidate to address concerns significant to the field and to the candidate’s own research. One question should aim to address breadth and scope, demonstrating a broad knowledge of the field, while the other should demonstrate a deep interest in a more specific topic. The student can, and should, work with the faculty members in the construction of these questions, with the understanding that the ability to pose relevant, substantive research questions is one of the skills the portfolio is testing. Each question should be answered in a 4000-4500 word essay.

For this process, the candidate will work with a 3-person faculty committee assigned by the PhD Exam Committee. The candidate is encouraged to meet with the members of the committee individually or as a group several times during the process — to develop and discuss the texts for the annotated bibliography, to consider the writing strategies particular to literature review, to discuss the scope of the questions, and the approach, organization, drafting, and revision of the answers.

 (S)he will submit the entire portfolio at a date predetermined with his/her committee, keeping in mind the graduate program’s Ph.D. exam schedule that semester.

AL1: American Literature to 1865

Candidates electing to take their primary area exam in American Literature to 1865 will submit a portfolio that includes the following components.

Comprehensive Exam Essays. Two questions and answers that address significant concerns in the field. The answers should demonstrate an understanding of historical scope. The candidate should work with the exam committee in the construction of these questions looking toward the prospectus. Each essay should be 2,500 to 3,500 words.

Review Essay. A 2,500 to 3,500-word review essay of three recent critical monographs on American literature to 1865 chosen by the candidate. The candidate should work with the exam committee to select texts relevant to their research interests looking toward the prospectus.

Sample Syllabus. A syllabus and course schedule for an American literature to 1865 survey course containing texts the candidate has read. The candidate should demonstrate an understanding of the breadth and depth of the period and articulate methods, lenses, or key questions organizing the survey in the course description. The candidate should also include brief annotations that explain the rationale behind the choice of specific texts and assignments.

Oral Exam. An oral examination focused on the above three components meant 1) to prepare the candidate to write the prospectus and 2) to allow the candidate to expand on the breadth and depth of their understanding of the period as demonstrated in the written portion of their portfolio.

AL2: American Literature from 1865 to 1945

Candidates electing to take their primary area exam in American Literature 1865 to 1945 will submit a portfolio that includes the following components.

Comprehensive Exam Essays. Two questions and answers that address significant concerns in the field across the period 1865 to 1945. The answers should engage with multiple genres and demonstrate an understanding of historical scope. The candidate should work with the exam committee in the construction of these questions looking toward the prospectus. Each essay should be 2,500 to 3,500 words.

Review Essay. A 2,500 to 3,500-word review essay of three recent critical monographs on American literature from 1865 to 1945 chosen by the candidate. The candidate should work with the exam committee to select relevant texts to think with and through looking toward the prospectus.

Sample Syllabus. A syllabus and course schedule for an American literature 1865 to 1945 survey course containing texts the candidate has read. The candidate should demonstrate an understanding of the breadth and depth of the period and articulate methods, lenses, or key questions organizing the survey in the course description.

Oral Exam. An oral examination focused on the above three components meant 1) to prepare the candidate to write the prospectus and 2) to allow the candidate to expand on the breadth and depth of their understanding of the period as demonstrated in the written portion of their portfolio.

AL3: American Literature from 1945 to Present

Candidates electing to take their primary area exam in American Literature 1945 to the present will submit a portfolio that includes the following components. (Please note the oral examination is part of this portfolio.)

A reading list of approximately 50-80 primary sources and 20-30 secondary sources.  The primary source list should include texts equally distributed throughout the period and include texts from multiple genres, including novels, short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. The secondary source list should survey the field today, meaning that entries represent either a foundational perspective in the field or a significant, recent intervention. The combined reading list must be approved by members of the exam committee.

Two essays that address significant concerns in the field. Early in the process the candidate should work with the exam committee in the construction of these questions. The answers should engage with multiple genres and demonstrate an understanding of historical scope. Early in the process the candidate should work with the exam committee in the construction of these questions. Each essay should be 3,500-4,000 words.

A 2,500 to 3,500-word review essay of three recent critical monographs on American literature from 1945 to the present chosen by the candidate. The candidate should work with the exam committee to select relevant texts to think with and through looking toward the prospectus.

An oral examination focused on the above three components meant 1) to prepare the candidate to write the prospectus and 2) to allow the candidate to expand on the breadth and depth of their understanding of the period as demonstrated in the written portion of their portfolio.

BL1: English Literature to c.1500

Examinations with BL1 as their primary area will be a timed, on-site examination of two separate sittings. Students will take the current three-part exam with any examinees minoring in Area 1. In addition, Area 1 major examines will have an on-site, timed translation test in either Old or Middle English (student's pre-determined choice) – to be taken during the same semester as the other Area 1, before the end of the examination period. The translation portion will call upon students to translate approximately 10-20 lines in one hour.

BL2: English Literature of the Renaissance

Examinations with BL2 at the primary area will be consist of both a submitted portfolio and an oral exam.

Annotated Bibliography of 10 secondary sources relevant to Renaissance studies with annotations of approximately 250-300 words each.

One 25-page paper suitable for submission to a journal or a 15-page creative piece with a 10-page critical introduction.

Once the final version of the portfolio has been submitted, the student will take a 75-minute oral exam based on a Renaissance literature reading list available here. The goal of this oral exam will be for the candidate to demonstrate broad reading knowledge of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century texts. This oral exam will be given by the three members of the student’s major exam committee.   

The portfolio and oral components of the Area 2 Major Exam will be graded as a whole, and the student will receive the results by the announcement date for all other exams given that semester.

If the portfolio and/or oral exam results are unsuccessful, a student may retake one or both components that semester.

BL3: English Literature of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century

The candidate selecting a Major Exam in Area 3 will answer 15 of 20 identifications, 3 of 5 short essay questions, and 1 of 3 long essay questions.

BL4: British Literature of the Nineteenth Century

Examinations with BL2 at the primary area will be consist of both a submitted portfolio and an oral exam.

Portfolio containing the following: [It is understood that the student will work with the 2 primary readers as the portfolio takes shape ~ i.e. drafts of the portfolio components will be read and commented on by those 2 readers prior to submission of the final version.]

8-10 page thoroughly researched conference paper. This can be based on a seminar paper, but should be more thoroughly researched and should include a cover letter that includes a conference proposal and the title of a conference to which the paper can be proposed. 

20-25 page thoroughly researched article [on a different topic and texts from the conference paper]. This can and probably should be a seminar paper that has been reworked. However, it must have developed quite substantially beyond what was presented in the seminar. This article should be finished enough to be close to submission to a journal, and should include a cover letter [to the examiners] that states the argument and purpose of the article, along with the title of a journal to which it can be submitted. 

2-3 page course proposal for a 200-level course for non-majors following our in-house 200-level course proposal guidelines. It should include several genres, should include texts from across the breadth of the 19th century and should not overlap in any significant way with existing courses -- that is, it should be an original course proposal. 

Once the final version of the portfolio has been submitted, the student will undergo a 1-hour oral exam based on a wide-ranging 19th-cenury British literature reading list [provided to the student by faculty in the area.] This oral does not replace the final exam oral that covers all exam areas. Some reference may be made to weaknesses/strengths in the portfolio during this exam, but the goal of the oral is for the student to display her knowledge of a range of texts from across the long 19th Century.

Examiners will make grading decisions after both the portfolio and oral components are completed. This means that the student must complete both components and will be informed of the pass/fail/needs revision status of the exam as a whole, and receive written comments on the exam as a whole.  The student will receive the result of the whole exam at the exam result announcement date for all exams that semester.

Note: If the student does well in the oral but it is deemed that the portfolio needs additional work, then that revision can be accomplished during the same semester as the exam. If the student does well on the portfolio, but does not do well on the oral portion, then that oral may be retaken that same semester.

BL5: British Literature from c.1900 to the Present

Candidates electing to take their primary area exam in British Literature 1900 to the present will submit a portfolio that includes the following components:

8-10 page thoroughly researched conference paper. This can be based on a seminar paper, but should be more thoroughly researched to be included in the portfolio and should include a cover letter that includes a conference proposal and the title of a conference to which the paper can be proposed.

20-25 page thoroughly researched article [on a different topic and texts from the conference paper]. This can and probably should be a seminar paper that has been reworked to be included in the portfolio. However, it must have developed quite substantially beyond what was presented in the seminar. This article should be finished enough to be close to submission to a journal, and should include a cover letter [to the examiners] that states the argument and purpose of the article, along with the title of a journal to which it can be submitted. 

2-3 page course proposal for a 200-level course for non-majors following our in-house 200-level course proposal guidelines. It should include several genres, should include texts from across the breadth of the 20th century and should not overlap in any significant way with existing courses -- that is, it should be an original course proposal. 

CLS: Children’s Literature

Candidates electing to take their primary area exam in American Literature 1945 to the present will submit a portfolio that includes the following components.

Three conference-length papers, one focused around history, one around theme/critical reading, one around genre, each with an abstract.

One journal-length essay, which should be an expanded version of one of the conference-length papers.

A course proposal in children's/YA literature designed around our 200-level proposal guidelines.

The primary and any required secondary sources for the three conference topics must cover selections from both English and American literature from at least three periods.

CWS: Creative Writing Studies

Candidates electing to take their primary area exam in Creative Writing will submit a portfolio in their chosen genre that includes the following components:

A reading list of 50 texts compiled by student and approved by CW studies exam committee in their genre, at least one semester before, ideally two semesters before, the exam is due.  Texts may be individual essays, stories, poems, or full-length collections/novels. This list should reflect students critical and creative interests and should be viewed as preparation for the dissertation. The list should be accompanied by 1-2 page explanation of student's topic/interest, including the questions and explorations they hope to engage with. Students should be wary of issues of overlap with other exam areas, and have a range of historical periods on their reading list and secondary as well as primary texts.

Each entry in the annotated bibliography of 25 texts should be 200-300 words, no longer.  Entries should give a general overview of text, should cite at least one specific detail/scene/quoted material from the text, and should explain why text is useful for an investigation into exam topic. Examples of entries are on Moodle. The student is encouraged to submit a draft of one entry to their exam committee for review.

The long critical and scholarly essay (18-25 pages) is not on pedagogy or craft, but on any other topic specified within the declared genre and topic of the exam list, and making an original argument using texts from the list. Must not be a paper previously submitted for a seminar or other course, though may be related in topic to coursework. While the committee will not read full drafts of essays, the student is encouraged to submit their topic/thesis statement to their exam committee for review. 

The short essay  (8-10 pages) should examine trends/forms/craft/pedagogy or some aspect of the practice or teaching of creative writing. Pedagogical papers may take on a range of issues in the creative writing classroom, and should be thought of as a paper you could submit to a pedagogical journal. Craft essays should be prescriptive of one element of craft, but also use texts from the student's list to illustrate examples of success in that particular craft element. The student is encouraged to submit their essay topic/thesis statement to their exam committee for review. 

Essays need to be worthy of "B" grade or higher in a seminar in order to pass the exam. Please note that the Creative Writing portfolio does not include creative work, and essays should not address one’s own creative work.

DRA: Drama

Candidates electing to take their primary area exam in drama will submit a portfolio that includes the following components:

8-10 page annotated bibliography relevant to the candidate’s interests and/or dissertation scope. The annotations will focus on critical materials (theory, literary and/or cultural criticism, practice). Annotation entry length: 150-200 words.

8-10 page thoroughly researched conference paper whose topic will be devised by the candidate to address concerns significant to the field and to the candidate’s own research. The paper should demonstrate either a broad knowledge of the field, or a deep interest in a more specific topic such a particular play, playwright, dramatic genre, etc. The student should work with the faculty members in choosing the paper topic with the understanding that the ability to pose relevant research questions is one of the skills the portfolio is testing.

20-25 page thoroughly researched dramaturgy paper. Understanding the dramaturg as “a critical thinker who provides literary, cultural, and artistic insight before, during, and sometimes after the creation of a piece,” the student is expected to choose a play or a series of related plays (an example of this would be O’Neill’s play cycle Mourning Becomes Electra) and write a dramaturgical case study. The dramaturgy paper can be accompanied by additional materials such as preliminary costume sketches, set design model, soundtrack, etc.

2-3 page course proposal for a 200- 300 level drama course or playwriting workshop.

FCS: Folklore Studies

The purpose of the portfolio with folklore studies as its primary area is to establish a writer’s broad familiarity with the scope and sweep of folklore studies from its roots in the Enlightenment to the present moment as well to establish her/his engagement in a particular topic or thread within that history. To do this, the faculty ask that you:

Write a comprehensive essay of approximately 5000 words. The essay should be clear to articulate a larger understanding of the domain of folklore studies as well as the writer’s place within it. Paths through periods are perfectly acceptable, with a focus on predecessors encouraged.

Compile a bibliography of no less than 50 items, divided into sections of your own devising with each section possessing a head note of 250 words or more. The bibliography should be wider in scope, and perhaps deeper in places, than those sources cited in the essay and could very well include work not yet read or not yet fully digested.

Enumerate a series of research questions that identify both future research opportunities and gaps in the domain that you argue should be addressed, either by yourself or others. (Depending upon the complexity of the questions, these could be as few as half a dozen or as many as a dozen.)

Defend the composition and relationships of these components during an oral exam which is meant to showcase the breadth and depth of your understanding of the field.

FTC: Feminist Theory and Criticism

Candidates electing to submit a portfolio with Feminist Theory & Literary Criticism as their primary area of concentration will submit a portfolio that includes the following components:

The bibliography will target a topic of the candidate’s choosing, with annotations focused on critical materials (theory, literary and/or cultural criticism, literary and/or cultural histories). Annotation entry length: 100-200 words.

The literature review will draw on the annotated bibliography in order to synthesize patterns and convergences that shed light on the scholarly discourse about the candidate’s chosen topic. Review length: 8-10 pages.

The journal article will take as its foundation these two components. The journal article should be approximately 7500 words in length (including notes). While the topic is open, the candidate is urged to consult with faculty to develop the article’s research question. The candidate will research potential journals to which (s)he might submit this article.

For the pedagogic component the candidate will submit a document that testifies to his/her thinking about feminism and teaching. A syllabus, statement of feminist pedagogy, narrative of teaching experience with feminism, documentation of class activity or assignment are all potential options.

For this process, the candidate will work with a 3-person faculty committee assigned by the PhD Exam Committee. The candidate is encouraged to meet with the members of the committee singly or as a group several times during the process — to develop and discuss the texts for the annotated bibliography, to consider the writing strategies particular to literature reviews, to discuss the scope, research question, approach, organization, drafting, and revision of the journal article.

 (S)he will submit the entire portfolio at a date predetermined with his/her committee, keeping in mind the graduate program’s Ph.D. exam schedule that semester.

LIN: Linguistics

The portfolio for linguistics as the primary area consists of three components: Research, Examination, and Teaching and includes and oral examination.

Research: (1) A conference-length paper (not abstract) presenting original research or description of a research problem; (2) A list of submitted/accepted articles, conference papers and abstracts. (a vita); and (3) A short essay (~8 pages) describing their research plan and how they see themselves as fitting into the field of linguistics. 

Examination: (1) Three short essays (5-8 pages each) responding to prompts provided by the committee at the outset of the examination semester. The student will have approximately 3 weeks to write these essays. The prompts will address different subfields of linguistics, asking students possibly to respond to recent or important articles, evaluate differing approaches to a topic, or address how linguistics might be applied in a related field. The goal of these essays is to demonstrate the student’s understanding of linguistics as a general field.

Teaching: (1) Seminar presentation materials (overheads, self-evaluation) (2) Teaching materials (syllabus with some example activities and a rationale for the syllabus) specifically for ENGL 351.

After the committee has reviewed the portfolio, they will meet with the student to address any questions raised by the portfolio before issuing a grade for it.

LTC: Literary Theory

This exam will be a five-hour on-site exam using Format III, three long essays.

NFS: Narrative Film

The exam will be 2 hours in length and will require the student and the 3 examiners to be present. It must be set no fewer than two weeks before the Graduate School’s deadline for Ph.D. orals for the comprehensive exam.

The PhD Exam Committee will assign three faculty members as examiners for the major oral exam in Narrative Film. The oral exam will treat the history and theory of popular, experimental, and documentary film, in a discussion format that allows questioners to raise, clarify, and refine questions pertinent to these areas and encourages candidates both to address professional matters of history and theory and to demonstrate a personal synthesis and project relating to such matters. The exam will also involve discussion of a specific film or films (no more than three, but at least one) announced in advance, so that all participants will have these freshly in mind. The discussion may include dissertation planning. Prior to the examination, candidates should consult with relevant faculty, who may provide suggestions for both general and specialized reading and film viewing.

RCS: Rhetoric and Composition Studies

The major comprehensive portfolio in Rhetoric and Composition Studies will contain the following:

¬∑     Three conference-length papers (8 double-spaced pages each) representing both original work and appropriate attention to previous scholarship in each of these areas: history of rhetoric; composition theory; and contemporary issues in composition and rhetoric. Each paper must have a one-page abstract suitable for submission to a conference such as the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Computers and Writing, Feminisms and Rhetorics, or the Watson Conference, all important conferences for the study of rhetoric and composition.

¬∑     An expansion of one of the conference papers (and therefore of one of three areas currently examined) into an article manuscript (20 to 25 double-spaced pages) as chosen by the student, with that length being understood as the normative length for rhetoric and composition journal articles.

¬∑     A six-page teaching philosophy focusing on the composition classroom, a document that represents our field‚Äôs concern with the teaching of writing as a major part of who we are, and that reflects the historical and current scholarship that is the best of our field.

The student may consult with rhetoric faculty throughout the drafting and revision process of composing the portfolio. The portfolio will be evaluated by two first readers and, if necessary, a second reader, using these criteria:

Show evidence of being able to advance and add to the scholarship of the field in ways appropriate to a student on the verge of writing the PhD dissertation.

Show an awareness of current and historically relevant scholarship in the field through the student’s reading to date.

Present a clear argument and organizational plan for each of the written components of the portfolio.

Demonstrate an adequate understanding of the conventions of critical scholarship in the field, including (but not limited to) such matters as citation. The portfolio should evidence a good control of the mechanics usual to the genres written in this field.

Demonstrate an ability to place the student’s teaching in the scholarship and best practices of the field.

SFF: Speculative Fiction

Candidates electing to submit a portfolio with Speculative Fiction as their primary area of concentration will submit a portfolio that includes the following components:

8-10 page thoroughly researched conference paper. This can be based on a seminar paper, but should be more thoroughly researched and should include a cover letter that includes a conference proposal and the title of a conference to which the paper can be proposed.

20-25 page thoroughly researched article [on a different topic and texts from the conference paper]. This can and probably should be a seminar paper that has been reworked. However, it must have developed quite substantially beyond what was presented in the seminar. This article should be finished enough to be close to submission to a journal, and should include a cover letter [to the examiners] that states the argument and purpose of the article, along with the title of a journal to which it can be submitted. 

2-3 page original course proposal for a 200-level course for non-majors following our in-house 200-level course proposal guidelines.

SLS: Southern Literary Studies

Candidates electing to submit a portfolio with Southern Literary Studies as their primary area of concentration will submit a portfolio that includes the following components:

Reading list: A reading list of approximately 50-80 primary sources and 20-30 secondary sources. The primary source list should include from multiple periods and genres, including novels, short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. The secondary source list should survey the field today, meaning that entries represent either a foundational perspective in the field or a significant, recent intervention. The combined reading list must be approved by members of the exam committee.

Comprehensive Exam Essays. Two questions and answers that address significant concerns in the field. The questions will be devised by the candidate to address concerns significant to the field and to the candidate’s own research. One question should aim to address breadth and scope, demonstrating a broad knowledge of the field, while the other should demonstrate a deep interest in a more specific topic. The student should work with the exam committee in the construction of these questions, with the understanding that the ability to pose relevant, substantive research questions is one of the skills the portfolio is testing. Each question should be answered in a 3500-4000 word essay. Think of the questions and answers as seeds for a dissertation prospectus and/or chapter.

Review Essay. A 2,500 to 3,500-word review essay of three recent critical texts (monographs and/or edited collections) chosen by the candidate. The candidate should work with the exam committee to select relevant texts to think with and through looking toward the prospectus.

Oral Exam. An oral examination focused on the above three components meant 1) to prepare the candidate to write the prospectus and 2) to allow the candidate to expand on the breadth and depth of their understanding of the period as demonstrated in the written portion of their portfolio.