GER 389K:
Fundamentals of Scholarship

Fall, 2007 Unique 39280
EPS 4.104 TTH 9:30-11

Katherine Arens

Syllabus | Texts | Assignments |
Final Portolio Assignment | Précis Assignment


This course is designed for beginning graduate students, to introduce the various branches of literary, linguistic, and cultural studies today, in the context of the national literatures and for comparative literature.

The first section of the course focuses on today's professions of teaching and research in languages and literature; it introduces literary, linguistic, and cultural studies as professions and as areas of scholarship. Intertwined with this introduction of the major subject areas will be systematic work on bibliographic and reference sources, professional organizations, journals, and conferences. The goal of this introduction is to aid students in developing efficient research strategies and to familiarize them with basic reference tools; students will work on evolving their own lists of professional tools as they go along.

The second section of the course is an introduction institutions of higher education, and how they function and will affect your career. The third section of this course introduces major streams of literary and cultural theory (including some kinds of linguistics), as they can be used to analyze the texts and artifacts at the basis of literary, linguistic, and cultural studies.

Throughout the course, students will be working on entries on the Texas Theory Wiki (, as practice in research and basic writing, and in order to familiarize themselves with basic areas of literary, linguistics, and cultural studies.

Assignments and Grading:

**NOTE: for assignments other than the in-class final, full credit will be given for appropriate work done on them, not for any “correct” or exhaustive answer. Conversely, points will be deducted for answers that do not address the full scope of the assignment, or that simply do not make an appropriate attempt to identify and fulfill the tasks set in the assignments.

More time spent will not necessarily mean a better grade, since you will be graded on quality and logic rather than on sheer quantity.