I’ve wanted a PhD since I was eight years old. Eight-year-old me would in fact be disappointed that I am 27 and still in the process of obtaining a PhD, and I should have had those three letters after my name by age 25. But here I am, better late than never. I’m getting to study what I’m interested in, and I enjoy what I get to write about. Part of this journey, which I intend to enjoy as much as possible, is reading the important works in my field to become an expert.
My goal for the next four months will be to prepare to take my comprehensive exams. As I am getting my PhD in English, I will need to take three comprehensive exams: one on a century of literature, one on a genre (e.g. novel, short story, poetry, essay, etc), and one on either a special topic, author, or another century. I’ve chosen for my comprehensive exam lists to cover twentieth century American literature, the novel, and my dissertation topic—performance in twentieth century African American literature and culture.
As soon as I finalize my lists with my advisor, I’ll post my lists here and start reading. In order to be done with reading all the books on my lists (which are quite large) in a timely manner, I’m going to have to plan, and follow up with myself and have some accountability. To build notes for study and to keep myself accountable, I’ll to regularly update this section of my website with brief summaries and talking points for each of the works on my reading lists. And by regularly, that is at least weekly; many weeks it will be updated daily.
If you’re following along, I hope that my brief summaries, talking points, and occasional commentary on the works will encourage you to read some of the works I’ve chosen for my lists and expertise. I’ll organize my entries by list, subject matter, and critical discussion points. As I go, feel free to peruse and engage if you like.
Here’s to the next four months and beyond!