Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
- Rensselaer Polytechnic
- University of Dayton
- Illinois State University
- St. Louis University
- James Madison University
- University of California - Santa Cruz
- San Diego State University
- Ohio University
- Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
- California State - East Bay
- University of Wisconsin - Platteville
- Georgia State University
- Mississippi State University
- University of Minnesota - Duluth
- Wayne State University
- Texas Tech
- University of Iowa
The two "place-holder" courses available for maintaining this continuous enrollment are C810 and G901. There are significant differences, which I'll discuss in another thread, but the topic right now concerns enrolling in on-campus or off-campus iterations of these.
Students who are living more than 25 miles from Bloomington may be eligible for "off-campus" enrollment. If you are eligible for this enrollment, you will pay somewhat less expensive mandatory fees. The assumption is that if you are not here to take advantage of the Health Center, the SRSC, campus transportation, etc. you shouldn't have to support them at the same level as your on-campus fellows.
C810 always has two different course numbers to accommodate this difference in fee schedules. G901 historically has as well, although since G901 incurs no mandatory fees anyway, the division is not necessary. (In fact, we will phase out this practice within the 2008-09 academic year.)
If you are off-campus and need to enroll in either C810 or G901, first please email me to set your permissions. Once that is done, when you go in to the catalog on Onestart to enroll, you'll need to click on the "VIEW ALL" tab on the blue line and then scroll down to find the "Off-campus" class. If you have any trouble, please contact me and I'll see what I can do.
Classes for which I always need to set permissions include:
If you plan to enroll in any of these for 4082 (spring term - 2008), please send me an email and I'll take care of it for you. This is an almost instantaneous process, but occasionally it takes a little while before I can get to your request. If it has been more than 24 hours since you asked me to set your permissions (except on weekends), please let me know. Reasons for the delay may include missed emails or too much other stuff on my plate, but may also signal a problem on the Registrar's end. If that's the case, we need to alert the proper folks so they can get on it right away.
Please remember that you have a 48 hour window in which you may play around with your schedule to your heart's content. However, after the window closes, any changes to your schedule will incur fees. Please also remember that enrollments made after the January deadline will incur late fees.
It's hard for me to know exactly what you see when you log in to the Registrar's website. I have a different access profile, so the screen I see is different from yours. However, I do have certain priviledges that make it easier for me to fix problems. If you run into problems when enrolling, let me know and I'll see what I can do.
If you need it for teaching, I probably have it. If I don't have it, make the case that you need it and I'll order it.
Please don't buy supplies for teaching; the department is happy to provide whatever you need - most orders are delivered within 1-2 days.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
From the Chair of the Communication Department at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana – Bloomington Campus - on the west side of
We have three second eight week classes starting Thursday and I am desperately in need of instructors for those classes.
Two of the classes are Fundamentals of Public Speaking. One is a hybrid meeting 0800 – 1050 on Thursdays. The other is a regular class meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 0200 – 0450.
The other class is an Interpersonal Communication Class that meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 0800 – 1050.
Anyone qualified to teach Fundamentals is also qualified to teach Interpersonal.
The first class meeting for all of these classes is this Thursday October 18, 2007.
The qualifications to teach these courses is a Master's in Communication or at least 18 graduate hours in communication related courses.
One person could do two of the classes but because of the 0200 - 0450 conflict of two of two of the classes I will need at least two instructors.
If anyone is interested she or he should contact me as soon as possible at the numbers below.
Keith K. Klein, Chair,
Communication Program and
Office: (812) 330-6262
Office Toll Free Phone: (866) 447-0700 ext. 6262
Fax: (812) 330-6144
Cell: (812) 340-0792
Thursday, October 11, 2007
– tips and topoi –
• You have to identify a problem to address, otherwise you have no dissertation. A better way to put this would be that you have to be able to argue that there is a problem (or a set of problems) that needs to be addressed. In other words, crafting this problem is just as important a part of your prospectus (and, eventually, of your dissertation) as showing how you’re going to solve the problem.
• You should have a thesis statement, just like in those five-paragraph essays you learned to write in junior high. It should be simple enough to be stated without excessive scholarly jargon, but complex enough to sustain a book-length project. It should be efficient without being anemic, scholarly without being arcane. Generally, this statement should take a “problem-solution” format: you’ve identified a problem of some kind, and you’ve developed a strategy for addressing it. If you can’t describe your project in one sentence, it’s generally a pretty good sign that you haven’t thought about it long enough. Everyone on the committee will realize that this is a provisional thesis, subject to sometimes major revision as the project develops; nevertheless, you should write it like it’s the firmest, truest, most enduring statement ever composed.
• You must prove to your audience that the project can be done — by you, in a reasonable period of time, and in a reasonable number of pages. And you must prove to your audience that the project is worth doing. And that it will be worthwhile for them to read it.
• The actual audience for your prospectus consists of your advisor and your research committee. No one else will read it. But always there must be a broader imagined audience — both in your head and in the heads of the members of your committee. Another of your tasks, then, is to help your committee imagine the same audience that you do.
• You will need to include a literature review. And at the same time, you don’t want to include one. You do want to demonstrate that you have a firm grasp of the key literatures (theories, texts, films, websites, academic controversies, whatever) relevant to your project. But you don’t want to write your prospectus with the express purpose of merely demonstrating this grasp. Rather, you demonstrate this grasp of the relevant literature through your efforts to demonstrate that you have a viable thesis statement, that you have identified a problem worth addressing, that the project is feasible, that you have an intended audience in mind, that the chapter outline makes sense, etc.
• Most prospecti include a chapter preview. Again, everyone will understand that this is, at best, a provisional preview; and, again, you should write it like it is not provisional at all. You want to be sure that in your prospectus you do not merely describe what the chapter will say but, more importantly, describe what it will do to further your argument.
• For most people, the prospectus functions as a very rough draft of the first chapter of their dissertation. Also, for most people, the first chapter of their dissertation bears only passing resemblance to their prospectus. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to write your prospectus as though it were the first chapter of your dissertation; but it does mean that you shouldn’t be surprised when you find yourself changing it around substantially.
Monday, October 8, 2007
There are few things along the path to your degree that MUST be done by a particular date. There are only two things I can think of that really do have to be completed by certain dates. One, you've all already done - the acceptance of our invitation for you to join the program. That date, April 15th, is set by the Council of Graduate Schools, and we must abide by it. The other is actually two dates - the deadlines (one per semester) for participation in commencement ceremonies and inclusion in the Commencement Program.
The other place where you may get into trouble over dates has more to do with the required space between events, rather than the date on which a particular event occurs. For example, you really must have your exam application in to me at least thirty days before your exam dates. Ditto the thirty days between your Dissertation Announcement and your Defense, the seven days between delivering copies of your Prospectus to your committee and the Review, etc. I can get many timing indiscretions waived, but these "gap" periods are pretty inviolable.
When in doubt, ask me, but don't procrastinate. It's always easier to get something fixed when it's not already a crisis.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Appointment of Advisory Committee form, Prospectus Defense form, Transfer of Credit form, Application for M.A. or Ph.D. Exam, yadda, yadda...
Yes, it's true that there are a lot of forms required to complete your degree. However, when you consider the amount of trust you expect people and institutions in your future to have in your credentials, I think you'll agree that some sort of documentation must exist to back up your claims to expertise.
While I would hate to give the impression that some forms are "more important" than others, I thought a brief discussion of how all these forms are ultimately routed might be of interest. Some forms are internal to the Department of Communication and Culture. These forms include, but may not be limited to:
- The Plan of Study for the Ph.D.
- The Application of the M.A. Examination
- The Application for the Ph.D. Examination
- The Prospectus Defense
- Pedagogy Intent
- C701 Contract
- C700 Plan
Other forms are destined for the UGS (remember the post about abbreviations?). These include:
- Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit
- Application for Advanced Degree (M.A.)
- The Appointment of Advisory Committee for the Ph.D.
- Nomination to Candidacy for the Ph.D.
- Nomination of Research Committee for the Ph.D.
To a large extent, the CMCL forms are precursors of the UGS forms. An internal form triggers a series of events which is ultimately validated by the filing of a UGS form.
For example, your application to take the Ph.D. Exam causes me to contact your professors and put together your exam. When your writing period is over, you let me know when your Oral Exam is scheduled. I prepare your Nomination to Candidacy for the PhD. form, which you take with you to your orals. If your committee signs the form at the end of your exams and you return it to me, I send it to the UGS for approval. The UGS records the date on this form, which sets the clock ticking toward the expiration of your candidacy seven years hence. If you are required to rewrite some portion of your exam, the Nomination to Candidacy form will be rewritten to reflect the date on which your second scheduled orals are passed, giving you the full seven years to complete your degree requirements.
Likewise, filing your request to schedule your Prospectus Defense alerts me that I need to prepare a Nomination of the Research Committee for the Ph.D. form for you. Again, your committee's signatures will attest to your success. If your committee declines to sign at this time, you will need rewrite your prospectus and reschedule your Defense. In either case, I will only file the form with the UGS when you have been successful.
You're probably thinking, "So What?" Well, here's what - when, in your future, someone contacts the university to confirm your credentials, only your successes will be reflected in your record. If it took you two times to pass your exams, no one will ever know. Five Prospectuses before you got your committee's approval? The UGS will never know, so neither will anyone else.
No one likes a lot of paperwork, but there is often a method to the madness. All things considered, I think the number of forms required for something as important as an advanced degree is minimal. Just my $0.02.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Employment Opportunites are posted weekly in the CMCL Newsletter, which is delivered to your inbox every Wednesday. Additional jobs are posted on the bulletin board outside my office. A notepad on the bulletin board provides you with paper for copying information from these hardcopy listings.
Monday, October 1, 2007
The Dissertation Prospectus
The View from Performance/Ethnography
Professor Dick Bauman
The primary audience for your prospectus is your research committee.
Accordingly, the proposal should be keyed to the knowledge (theoretical and substantive) of your committee members.
However, ethnographic projects commonly require research funding.
Consequently, the prospectus for a dissertation based on ethnographic research tends to be shaped by the requirements of grant proposals.
While the requirements and standards of funding agencies vary to a degree, there is a
substantial degree of common ground among them.
The following framework, drawn primarily from the application guidelines of the
Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, serves well as a guide
for the ethnographically oriented research prospectus more generally.
Describe your research question/hypothesis or research objective.
That is, what will the focus of your investigation be?
Clear, well defined, achievable research question or questions:
• what do you want to learn?
• what do you seek to discover?
• what do you seek to understand?
How does your research build on existing scholarship?
Not just a review of the literature.
Rather, contextualization of your project vis-à-vis scholarly concerns in the area of your
To whom do you want to address your dissertation? what constituencies to you want
to reach? what scholarly conversation(s) do you want to join?
Your answer to question 2 then does the work of aligning you to those addressees,constituencies, conversations.
Needs to be constructed, not found.
Must be up-to-date, but also demonstrate awareness of research traditions in your area.
What evidence will you need to collect to answer your research question?
How will you go about collecting this evidence?
This is the most productive way to think about methodology.
Not simply “participant observation,” “open-ended interview,” whatever.
Rather, what orders of data will you need to answer your research questions?
How will you go about acquiring those data?
What will you actually do in the field?
• concrete, detailed, realistic, feasible program of activities
• directed at acquiring necessary data.
Describe your training and preparedness for this research.
Describe any work you have already done on this project, and/or how it relates to your prior
Program of study, field language(s), tool skills, pilot projects.
Include also efforts you have made to establish collegial and
institutional connections in the host country/region.
What contribution does your project make to scholarship?
No “filling gaps.”
No “it fits” rhetoric (here’s the theory, here’s my case, and lo and behold, it fits!).
What news are you going to bring us?
How to Write a Research Proposal
Methods of Media Research
Professor Christopher Anderson
Department of Communication and Culture
A proposal should be approximately 20-25 pages and should be structured to answer the following sets of questions.
1.) Describe the phenomenon.
What is the phenomenon you plan to study? Be specific and describe its relevant features. Be as engaging as possible in describing it.
Why is it of interest? Is it of interest to a particular scholarly field, to a multidisciplinary scholarly audience, to people with particular political or social identities, to 'general' readers, etc.? Don't assume that your phenomenon is intrinsically interesting. You are responsible for convincing the reader that it merits attention.
Why are you interested? Are you specifically interested in the phenomenon, or is it a vehicle for exploring the implications of theory and/or method? Your decision about addressing this question depends upon whether you think a researcher should account for his or her social identity, motivations, interests, and objectives. Depending upon your intended audience and/or the conventions of your particular field, this question may not be discussed explicitly.
How is this phenomenon implicated in larger questions (e.g., about society, culture, politics, etc.)?
What sort of scholarly questions does it raise?
2.) Review of literature.
Identify and reconstruct the scholarly "dialogue" about this subject – about the phenomenon itself, the theoretical frameworks used to study such phenomena in particular scholarly fields, or the methods that have been employed.
How has thinking about the subject developed in the particular scholarly field within which you are constructing your professional identity? What are the key concepts, terms, methods, etc. recognized by this scholarly community for the study of a phenomenon such as this? How has the dialogue about this subject developed over time?
If your field has not addressed this subject adequately, can you find theoretical or methodological insights in the literature of other related fields?
For the purposes of analysis, break this complex phenomenon into components and explain how the literature offers strategies for analyzing each component separately and, then, for integrating them in order to draw conclusions.
3.) Establish your role in this dialogue.
What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses in the literature -- as you have organized and presented it?
How will you locate your work in relation to the scholarly dialogue?
Which concerns will you take up? Which are less important? How will you adapt, revise, or redefine these concerns?
4.) Researching the phenomenon.
How do you propose to study this phenomenon? Which questions will you ask and where will you look for answers?
How will you attempt to answer these questions? How will you define the phenomenon in order to make a study of it manageable? Will you use a case study? If so, how can you be certain that the case will enable you to answer your research questions?
How will you gather evidence? What kind of evidence will you seek? Where will you search? How will you know when you have gathered enough evidence to carry out an effective study or to make a convincing argument?
What strategies will you use for analyzing the evidence? How will you deal with the areas in which you have an information deficit and can't locate evidence (e.g., responses of past audiences, proprietary business information, etc.)? How will you deal with the areas in which you have an information surplus and need to make sense of a huge body of evidence (e.g., Internet discussion groups, episodes in a TV series, etc.)?
How will the act of conducting empirical research enable you to answer the questions that you've asked?
5.) Significance of project.
Ultimately, it all boils down to the question, so what?
What will your study contribute to an understanding of the phenomenon itself?
What will it contribute to the scholarly dialogue that you've identified above?
What will it add to an understanding of larger issues related to communication, culture, society, etc.?
The Brown Bag Discussion of September 28th included many valuable hints for writing your Dissertation Prospectus. From both faculty and student panelists come the following:
- Work closely with your advisor to determine expectations.
- Be focused, but not narrow - choose a central question or problem which animates your research.
- Write your Prospectus as if it is the last word on your topic, as if you were preparing to carve your words in stone, but realize that it's not and your stone is sand; you will be changing your prospectus a lot before it evolves into your dissertation.
- Don't wait too long after your Quals to begin; momentum can help sustain motivation. In fact, well crafted Exam questions should function as preparation for your Prospectus and your Orals may function as "practice" for your defense.
- Be prepared to explain why your topic matters. Who cares? Why do you?
- Be aware of your audience; think like a scholar, but write like a journalist. Be interesting.
- Don't simply review the literature; this assumes the existence of a "canon." There simply is no such animal. Position yourself in the literature.
- Be current, but don't ignore historical scholarly foundations.
- Have a thesis statement and don't wait until page 20 to state it.
- "This research fills a much needed gap." When you frame your work in terms of "filling gaps" in the existing scholarship, you run the risk of being received as a "much needed gap." Just don't do it!
From the student panelists on choosing your topic:
- Look at all the seminar papers you've written and find the recurring theme.
- Find something that makes you mad - it makes it easier to sustain passion.
- Outlines are a good thing!
- Don't be crippled by perfectionism - you're going to be changing it anyway
- Be disciplined - make time every day to write. Some days will be more productive than others, but a day with no writing will definitely be unproductive.
- Your Prospectus will only be slightly longer than a seminar paper; save the length for the Dissertation itself.