ARTH 800 - Séminaire Intégrateur
INSTRUCTOR: DR. MARTHA LANGFORD
This seminar has two objectives. The first is the smooth integration of incoming students into the doctoral program. The second is the development of the students' principal research projects, through the conceptual, critical, analytical and organizational phases that are the basis of the program's admission to candidacy: the drafting of the Atelier paper, or thesis proposal, and its examination by the doctoral student's committee which normally occurs at the end of the student's second year in the program.
The first objective, integration, is a two-fold process: individual and collective. Individual members of the seminar will be led to understand better the differences between the Master's degree that they have successfully completed and the next stage of their studies, and they will reach this understanding collaboratively, within their cohort. To move from the Master's program to Art History's terminal degree is not simply a matter of meeting more challenging program requirements, but calls for a clearer idea of individual research objectives, the skills to communicate and defend them, and the tools of reflexive self-evaluation, peer-evaluation, and teamwork that define and enhance scholarship. Integration will then proceed on the basis of the member's sense of mission and community as it has developed to that point, and the first task will be to address and challenge models relied on to that point. This aspect of the seminar will build on the theme of 'les incontournables', focusing on texts that have inspired individual students who will bring them forward for collective analysis. This process is also the building of the cohort. Not only are students privy to the intentions of their colleagues at the doctoral level, but they are exposed to the scaffolding of their scholarly practices. This approach encourages interdisciplinary thinking by seminar members, as well as intellectual risk-taking within the safety of their cohort.
The second objective, which is building the foundations of the thesis, will be addressed systematically under the headings of methodology, historiography, and theory, clarifying the relationship of these systems to the member's first and most daunting task, the conceptualization and drafting of the thesis proposal. Problems to be grasped and tackled are embedded in the requirements: the identification and delimitation of a corpus; achieving the right balance between objects of study, primary documents, and theory; the development and articulation of an original contribution to knowledge whose emplacement in the discourse is also clear. These questions are close variations on problems addressed in previous years, and will benefit from the experiences of students who are further along in the program, notably those delivering at the Doctoral Forum and/or defending. Attendance at both sessions of the Doctoral Forum (fall and spring) will be obligatory for members of this seminar, nourishing their analysis of current scholarship, as well as their own objectives. Members will also benefit from the input of faculty invited in the second term to offer guidance on doctoral research and its dissemination through publication and teaching. Themes will include the development of research networks, and the position of solitary research within the context of team-research.
Two conditions noted by the architects of this program will naturally hold:
- The seminar is not intended to impinge on the privileged relationship between student and supervisor - the selection of the text to be proposed can, for example, be made in consultation with the supervisor; the strengthening of the cohort and access to other members of the faculty are intended to enhance the fundamental processes of the program;
- The seminar will be conducted in a bilingual structure and atmosphere, members expressing themselves freely in French or English, within their oral presentations, in-class debates, written submissions, and correspondence between members, including the seminar leader.