The English Department Capstone Symposium

The English Department Capstone Symposium provides an opportunity for Senior majors to present independent work they’re doing or have done – either in one of their 400-level seminars or for their senior thesis. This symposium will be held early in the spring semester. These will be 10-minute presentations, and take place in panels. Don’t worry! – we’ll be offering you plenty of opportunities to practice your presentation and get feedback on it. You will not be graded on your project or your performance: the Comprehensive requirement is that you present.

Participation in Capstone Symposium study sessions is part of the requirement. We’ve found that students really enjoy and benefit from the opportunity to be part of an intellectual community. This comps format draws on this desire for community and creates occasions for us to gather together to talk about ideas. In addition, the presentation process and preparation for it supports students in learning how to form research questions and develop independent critical or creative projects.

All Department faculty will attend the symposia, and all majors will be required to attend, whether or not they are presenting.

We will be sending more information out prior to the fall semester. In the meantime, we urge you to think, when you’re taking your 400-level courses, about which project you may be interested in presenting at a symposium.

The Director of Studies will be holding an open meeting in the early fall to provide more details and to field your questions. Feel free to email her with your questions, too.

Here is a wonderful article about the 2017 Capstone Symposium:

A Major Change

Capstone course presentations
Four seniors giving their presentations: (Clockwise from top left): Sophie Chung ’17, Malinda Labriola ’17, Lauren Tuiskula ’17, and Christopher Roll ’17.

The English Department ends its comp exam, and launches a dynamic student symposium instead.

For some six decades, each senior English major, in order to graduate, had to pass the department’s Comprehensive Exam. Until something better came along.

Read more