Found Object: The M.A. Final Exam, 1976 and 2020

ma_exam_memo_call_nominations_8sept1976
Location: Discovered between file folders and other papers from Associate Professor Emeritus Michael Donnelly. Object: A department memo from September 8, 1976 to the Graduate Faculty soliciting titles for the “new” 50-item M.A. Final Exam, with Professor Emeritus Jerry Dees’s recommendations. Observations: Before our current M.A. final examination process (a capstone writing project and final defense), our graduate students used to prepare for an exam that covered 50 texts, some of which were tailored to the year’s course offerings.
ma_exam_memo_prelim_list_8sept1976
Location: Discovered between file folders and other papers from Associate Professor Emeritus Michael Donnelly. Object: The provisional list of 44 books attached to the departmental memo from September 8, 1976 to the Graduate Faculty soliciting titles for the “new” 50-item M.A. Final Exam. Observations: The texts one should know in 1976, it appears, are written by white men, except for women writers Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson.

 

ma_exam_memo_final_list_1976
Location: Discovered between file folders and other papers from Associate Professor Emeritus Michael Donnelly. Object: A draft of the memo to Graduate faculty announcing the final list of 50 texts for the year’s M.A. final exam, following suggestions. Observations: The Graduate Curriculum Committee had graduate student representatives as well as faculty in 1976, a collaborative approach that our Graduate Advisory Committee continues today.

ma_exam_final_list_1_28_1976

ma_exam_final_list_29_50_1976
Location: Discovered between file folders and other papers from Associate Professor Emeritus Michael Donnelly. Object: The final list of texts for the “new” 50-book M.A. Final Exam for the 1976-1977 academic year. Observations:  1) Joining Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson to offer some additional diversity, following faculty and graduate student input: Flannery O’Connor and Ralph Ellison. 2) The 19th century has cornered the market on both sides of the Atlantic!
katie_cline_ma_exam_zoom_16march2020
Location: Overheard on Twitter, 16 March 2020. Object: A commemorative photo of Katie Cline (MA ’20) completing her final examination for her M.A. writing project “Potter, Pussies, and the Patriarch: The Gendered Relationship Between Cats and Women in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series” via Zoom, following on the university’s limited operations in response to the novel coronavirus. Observations: 1) We’re far from the 50-item final examination now in 2020, and we value the increased collaboration between faculty and graduate students and the opportunity graduate students have to tailor their capstone project to their areas of interest. 2) Congratulations to all of our second year grad students who are defending their projects, especially under the current challenging circumstances of a global pandemic. We’re so proud of your success!

Karin Westman, Department Head

 

 

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