Honors in English

To: English Majors
From: Marshall Alcorn and Robert McRuer

January 23, 2009

Dear English Major,

Welcome back to campus! You are warmly invited to apply to the English Department Honors Program. Department Honors offers a unique opportunity to participate in an intensive and supportive year-long program, comprising the fall and spring semesters of the senior year. The following email gives you details of the program and instructions, for this spring, on how to apply.

After students have been accepted into the English Department Honors Program, they participate, in the fall semester, in a small (6-12 students) seminar focused on contemporary theory and application
to texts. Readings in recent seminars have included the theoretical work of Raymond Williams, Georg Hegel, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Gilles Deleuze, Elaine Scarry, and Amitav Ghosh.

The fall semester seminar also prepares students for writing the honors thesis. A step-by-step process moves students through research strategies and theoretical frameworks to the writing of the thesis proposal; intermediate drafts are discussed in the seminar, enabling students to engage with each other’s projects and to form a support system for the final semester.

During the spring semester of the senior year, students take a three-credit “course” designed to provide time for writing the thesis. Students meet regularly with a Director and Reader of their choice, and produce a forty-page thesis which reflects research in and development of a topic of particular interest to them.

To prepare students who wish to apply for the Honors Program, the English Department will offer this February and March a workshop series in Literary Studies. The series comprises three workshops on undergraduate research. All students who wish to apply for the English Honors program (but not those studying abroad!) are expected to attend the three workshops. The series will include workshops on

• New Directions in English Studies, featuring English department faculty (3 PM on February 9);

• Library Skills and Resources, featuring staff from the Gelman Library and the Library of Congress, as well as faculty from the Folger Shakespeare Library (3 PM on March 9);

• How to Write a Thesis, featuring current English Honors students (in late March, following spring break).

Please let Marshall Alcorn know as soon as possible (alcornma@gwu.edu) if you will sign up for the workshop in Literary Studies! This course may be taken for 1-credit, and the CRN is 48006.

Some bureaucratic information:

• You do NOT need to be a member of the University Honors Program to participate in English Honors. If you ARE a member of the UHP, the English Honors sequence will fulfill UHP requirements forboth coursework and senior thesis.
• The seminar counts as a theory course for the English majors’ requirements.
• You CANNOT substitute any other course for the seminar; you must be on campus in the fall of senior year.
• You CANNOT write the thesis while not on campus.

• Application forms are available in the English Department office. These should be submitted to the office or to Marshall Alcorn by Wednesday, March 25, 2009. In addition to the form, please submit a transcript and a writing sample.
• You can certainly apply from abroad. Get the application from Connie Kibler (ckibler@gwu.edu) via email, and send me the completed application by email or snail mail if there’s time.

Please feel free to contact Marshall Alcorn or myself with questions! I would also be delighted to see you in my office hours to talk about the program in person: I am in Rome Hall 769 on Tuesdays from 2-3:30 PM and Thursdays from 1-3:30 PM.

Similar Posts