DESCRIPTION & GOALS: This workshop meets every other week during the semester. It is an opportunity for graduate students focusing on Middle East Studies to bond as a cohort while also learning invaluable professional skills that will prepare them to for success in the field. Depending on the stage of your graduate career, you will develop and present several pieces of writing, including:
1. an academic conference proposal
2. a curriculum vitae
3. an op-ed or other piece of public scholarship
4. a sample course syllabus
5. a research proposal for a grant application
6. a dissertation proposal
The practicum fulfils the “workshop” requirement for the Duke-UNC Graduate Certificate in Middle East Studies (http://ncmideast.org/courses/graduate-certificate).
This course seeks to prepare students for professional academic careers in Middle East Studies and cognate disciplines by focusing on the skills and practices associated with success in research, publishing, and the job market. Over the course of the semester, we will consider and practice skills and strategies including, but not limited to, (1) conceptualizing and cultivating a professional persona (constructing a credible and persuasive c.v., establishing a peer network, managing your online
presence); (2) planning and presenting your research (selecting a dissertation topic, writing a prospectus), (3) applying for fellowships and grants, disseminating your research through different types of publication (conference presentations, journal articles, digital publishing), and (4) applying for academic positions. Along the way we will analyze various genres of writing from abstracts to conference papers, journal articles to grant applications. We will also discuss oral presentations, from conference talks to classroom teaching. Students will engage with each of the various professional skills through reading and writing exercises.
The goals of this class are:
1. mastering the professional norms, practices, and values of the field and the university.
2. gaining critical engagement and experience with writing and presenting in key professional genres.
3. developing a portfolio of professional documents for later refinement and use.