The honors seminar is organized around a different set of critical questions every year, but its underlying goals stay the same, and they intersect with each other. In the fall semester of the honors seminar, students will:

  • Become more literate in the scholarly debates that engage professional critics today;
  • Launch into those debates with curiosity and growing degrees of authority;
  • Heighten their curiosity about matters of literary interpretation that have broad relevance to the field;
  • Identify an interpretive question that is genuinely interesting, and engage with other critics to answer it;
  • Produce a work of literary criticism that is as original as it is convincing, using the best practices of writing and research;
  • Locate their scholarship in a longer tradition on the honors exam; and
  • Build a lively and supportive intellectual community.

Practically speaking, the primary goal of students in the fall semester is to prepare well for the thesis and exam in the spring.

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