MA Seminar (PHIL*6950) | College of Arts

MA Seminar (PHIL*6950)

Term: Winter 2014


The purpose of the MA seminar is to have a weekly space over the course of the entire first year of a Master's program where students brand new to graduate school have an opportunity to come together as a cohort and grapple with 3 distinct sets of demands that pertain to graduate-level education in philosophy -- research & scholarship, pedagogical and institutional -- and to work together on developing the skills required to meet those various demands well.

Research & scholarship: In the topic-based graduate seminars they are taking at the same time as the MA seminar, students are reading primary and secondary texts, performing exegesis, producing critique, building arguments and counter-arguments, and then pursuing further research for a term paper. Those term papers can be turned into submissions to journals, abstracts for conferences or form part of a future graduate work application package. Pedagogical: In the undergraduate courses they are now T.A'ing, Mater's students are running tutorials, possibly giving input into course structure and testing, meeting with students one-on-one, and of course, marking assignments. Attached to teaching and pedagogy are many, many subtle sub-responsibilities: everything from managing unruly behaviour like sexual harassment to understanding how the institution conceives of academic misconduct. Institutional: Over and above these scholarly and pedagogical challenges, graduate students are expected to participate in the life of professional philosophers: sitting on committees, helping out with conferences, giving commentaries, chairing sessions, offering formal and informal feedback to peers, attending department functions such as guest lectures, asking questions and participating in formal and informal conversations.

The MA seminar weekly meetings are intended as a collaborative forum to allow students to identify these challenges and build to the skills relevant to meeting them. Its aim is to support to their success and integrity as learners, scholars, active & visible members of a variety of public and professional communities, and as teachers, over the course of this year and also as future academics.


PDF icon PHIL6950 W14 Syllabus.pdf234.05 KB