Found Object: Spring Cleaning II

blog_grad_school_catalog_1954_56_cover
Location: Discovered yesterday in a stack of materials initially rescued following a flood of water in ECS five years ago, dried, boxed, and then caught again by a slow leak from an HVAC unit in the main office area of ECS.
Object: The Kansas State College Bulletin — The Graduate School Catalogue, 1954-1955, 1955-1956.
Observations: 1) The deep red cover is striking if also absent of the usual purple.  2) Mold grows rather quickly on old heavy-weight glossy paper and thick paper covers. 3) Who is H.C. Combs?
blog_grad_school_catalog_1954_56_degrees
Object: Page 13 of The Kansas State College Bulletin — The Graduate School Catalogue, 1954-1955, 1955-1956.
Observations: 1) Graduate students could earn the M.S. (rather than the M.A.) in English in the 1950s. 2) The Ph.D. in English was not yet an option. 3) The older heavy-weight glossy pages hold up surprisingly well when damp. 4) Mold grows even more rapidly on the damp interior pages.
blog_grad_school_catalog_1954_56_english
Object: Page 52 of The Kansas State College Bulletin — The Graduate School Catalogue, 1954-1955, 1955-1956.
Observations: 1) The requirements for the Master’s degree have elements of the familiar and the strange. While we still require “competence in reading knowledge” of a foreign language, candidates are as likely to present Spanish as much as French and German.  There are no “Tracks” as we know of them today, but the reference to “special emphasis” suggests the beginning of their existence. 2) “Literature for Children” makes a surprising appearance on the list of possible graduate courses. 3) The list of graduate faculty forecasts the names we honor each year when announcing awards and scholarships at our annual banquet: The Earle Davis Award, the Hallam Walker Davis Award, the Conover Award, and the Brewster Rogerson Award.
blog_grad_school_catalog_1954_56_english2
Object: Page 53 of The Kansas State College Bulletin — The Graduate School Catalogue, 1954-1955, 1955-1956.
Observations: 1) “Literature for Adolescents” makes a surprising appearance on the list of possible graduate courses.  2) Courses featuring literature from England outpace those featuring literature from the U.S.  3) It’s the U.S. side that gets the atypical and heroic title for ENGL 650: “American Theater Triumphant.”
blog_grad_school_catalog_1954_56_english3
Object: Page 54 of The Kansas State College Bulletin — The Graduate School Catalogue, 1954-1955, 1955-1956.
Observations: 1) There’s a surprising number of courses in contemporary literature.  2) What did the syllabus look like for ENGL 675 “World Classics I” and ENGL 685 “World Classics II”?
blog_grad_school_catalog_1954_56_back
Object: Back cover of The Kansas State College Bulletin — The Graduate School Catalogue, 1954-1955, 1955-1956. Observation: One step closer to solving the mystery of the front cover: H.C. Combs is Homer C. Combs.
blog_proposal_phd_1960_cover
Location: Discovered in the same stack of materials initially rescued following a flood of water in ECS five years ago, dried, boxed, and then caught again by a slow leak from an HVAC unit in the main office area of ECS.
Object: A Proposal for a Ph.D. Program in English, Department of English, Kansas State University, 1960.
Observations: 1) Between 1956 and 1960, Kansas State College has become Kansas State University.  2) The heavy-weight pages of the old catalogues buffered the lighter-weight proposal from the water and mold.
blog_proposal_phd_1960_intro
Object: Page 1 of A Proposal for a Ph.D. Program in English, Department of English, Kansas State University, 1960.
Observations: 1) Our graduate program has been awarding Master’s degrees since 1897.  2) In the 1950s, K-State English Department was graduating more undergraduate majors than other English Departments in Kansas. 3) Our number of Graduate Teaching Assistants has grown over the years from 13 in 1960 to 45 by 2010 and resides between 35-40 during this decade. 4) Fort Riley continues to be an important draw to our graduate program. 5) This proposal was persuasive, as K-State had a Ph.D. in English until 1987, when the Ph.D. was dropped by the Kansas Board of Regents and the M.A. program remained.
blog_proposal_phd_1960_course_offerings
Object: A Proposal for a Ph.D. Program in English, Department of English, Kansas State University, 1960.
Observations: 1) Between 1956 and 1960, graduate course offerings in Children’s Literature and Adolescent Literature have disappeared while graduate course offerings in creative writing have appeared.  2) More information on Homer C. Combs: he served as the instructor for courses in American Literature.
blog_proposal_phd_1960_combs
Object: A Proposal for a Ph.D. Program in English, Department of English, Kansas State University, 1960.
Observations: 1) Further clarity on the opening mystery of H.C. Combs, who graduated with his Ph.D. from Northwestern in the auspicious year of 1939. 2) He had an impressive range of specialization, spanning three centuries and two national literatures.
blog_proposal_phd_1960_not_listed_detail
Object: A Proposal for a Ph.D. Program in English, Department of English, Kansas State University, 1960.
Observations: 1) Another name we honor with an award at our annual banquet is tucked away on this list that appears at the end of the proposal: Esther B. Glenn.  2) The five women on the faculty in 1960 “are not listed in detail.” 3) It’s time to learn more about Joye Ansdell, Jean Throckmorton, Mary Frances White, and Helen Wroten!

Karin Westman, Associate Professor and Department Head

 

 

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