Students will work with their Primary Advisor to determine the precise format of their reading list. While there is a basic structure that all reading lists must follow, you have a great deal of flexibility here. 13 The purpose of the Reading List is for you to demonstrate your breadth and depth of knowledge and to show that you are fully prepared to undertake your proposed dissertation research. Since every dissertation project is different (especially in an interdisciplinary program like WGSS), we know that every Reading List will be unique. That said, you are strongly encouraged to ask your Primary Advisor or the Graduate Program Director for sample reading lists. You can also reach out to other WGSS PhD students who have already passed their exams to see if they will share their lists and their experiences.
The Reading List must be divided into three parts that correspond, in whatever way you and your Primary advisor see fit, with these three themes:
1) Feminist theories/interdisciplinary methods. This portion of your list should lay the theoretical and/or methodological foundation for your dissertation research.
2) One of the PhD program’s four areas of specialization: 1) globalization & transnational social movements; 2) media analysis and/or the politics of representation; 3) bodies, disability, and the politics of health; or 4) critical analyses of sexuality. This portion of your list often situates your dissertation project within broader field/s of study. You can be quite creative in how you engage with the program’s areas of specialization.
3) Special topic area. This portion of the list deals most directly with the topic of your dissertation.
Generally speaking, your Reading List will narrow in focus and scope across the three parts – starting with your theoretical/methodological foundations, moving into an exploration of the fields your project plans to engage, and ending with a deeper dive into your specific area of expertise.
One month before your scheduled Comprehensive Exam date (the first day of the Written Component), you must submit proof to the Graduate Program Director that your Reading List has been approved by your Exam Committee. This can be done over email. For instance, you can send a copy of your Reading List to your Exam Committee and the Graduate Program Director and ask your committee members to “reply all” with their approval of the list. The Graduate Program Director will add your Reading List to your WGSS file.