Schrag Syllabus

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These instructions are specific to students in Zachary Schrag's directed readings courses. The course will meets 4-6 times during the semester, depending on the topics selected. Meetings run about 90 minutes to two hours.

Although the main purpose of a directed-readings course is to prepare the student for a written or oral comprehensive exam, it remains a letter-graded course in its own right, with its own requirements.




Prior to each meeting, each doctoral student will read three books. One will be a text we all read in common, the others will be books you and I choose to meet your particular needs and interests. Each topic page on the Historiographiki lists books on the topic, and I have posted general advice on Choosing books. But please let me know your particular interests, so that I can suggest titles, approve titles you come up with, and coordinate your readings with your classmates'.

You are not expected to read every word of every book, but to read enough to understand the argument and its factual underpinnings, and to write a thorough critique.


For each book, each student will post a response to the Historiographiki. If no page exists for that book, add one by adding a link to the topic page. If a blank page exists, fill it, following the instructions on Adding a book entry. If a page already exists, improve it, by editing the current summary, and by adding your own commentary at the bottom.



Professor Schrag will lead the first discussion meeting of the term; the remainder will be led by students. The student discussion leader is responsible for updating the page for the topic under discussion. To do this, she will need a good understanding not only of the books she has read, but also those read by her classmates, and the relationship of all the books together. The discussion meeting is her opportunity to make sure she understands the content of each book and the connections among them.

Comprehensive Exams

I have posted some advice on "The Comprehensive Exam" on my personal website.

Master's students planning to take written comprehensive exams with me and doctoral students planning to include me on their committee should compile, as early as possible, a list of all scholarly books and journal articles on which they expect to be tested. These will mostly be taken from your graduate syllabi, but if you have read books on your own or for research projects and know them well, do include them.

I encourage you to schedule a practice exam with me some weeks before the actual exam.

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