Curricular Practices

Practica (500-level)

These courses can accommodate quite varied approaches and content, providing both extensive and intensive training in the teaching of composition or literature; techniques and manipulation of critical or research methodologies; and/or techniques and analysis of critical writing. 

Practica are typically taken during the first semester of student teaching as an aid to and support for the development of teaching skills. They are also taken during the semester students write and revise the prospectus for the dissertation. While some of these courses might be seen as “introductory,” and thus especially desirable for students just starting out in the program, this is by no means true of all of them, or of every version of any of them.

Readings courses (600-level)

These courses provide both extensive and intensive training in professional modes of reading. They are investigations of a literary historical period; studies of form or genre; and a focus on theoretical approaches. 

Taking a number of readings courses allows a student to gain expertise with a wide range of reading practices, such as broad period or thematic survey; intensive formal analysis; training in a particular interpretive strategy or school of thought; comparative or inter-disciplinary reading; historical and contemporary scholarly discourse on a given theme, author, or period; cultural and historical contextualization; intensive study of English and related languages. Writing for these courses varies according to the instructor’s goals.