ENGLISH 520 - Introduction to Graduate Studies
Fall 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Graduate standing in English or Women's Studies and permission of instructor.
Other Course Info:
A required course for first-year Language & Literature and English & Women's Studies Graduate students only.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This seminar serves as an introduction to the fields of literary and cultural studies, to U of M’s Department of English Language and Literature, to the Rackham graduate school, and to the pressures, debates, and controversies that impact knowledge production—and life—within and beyond the academy. This seminar is not intended as a fourth, substantive course on literature, criticism, theory, or method. It aims to provide opportunities for structured and free-wheeling conversations about topics that could inform and enhance your involvement in scholarly work, courses, fields, the department, the university, academia, and your eventual career, whether inside academia or out. Together we will explore your evolving academic identities and modes of participation in new intellectual environments, seek to develop confidence in the give-and-take of academic performance, and discuss strategies for planning your intellectual path.

Our emphasis will be more on the how than the what—on developing a robust toolkit and set of resources rather than mastering a particular field of knowledge. We will, however, pause over difficult key terms and concepts when they arise and/or when it seems useful to address certain gaps in knowledge. We will move between practical strategies for thinking and writing to exploring potential methodological strategies, theoretical principles, and real-world commitments. The course will value not only what we already know, but what we don’t (yet, or care to) know; we will explore what it means to commit to an intellectual disposition of openness, curiosity, and generosity.

In addition to some short pieces and academic websites, readings will be primarily one essay or chapter chosen by each of you; this mode of reading will provide a framework within which to articulate your professional/personal identities and encourage you to interact with your cohort’s intellectual passions and priorities. Students will facilitate discussion on their chosen essay, prepare one substantive discussion question on another essay, interview a faculty member, engage in short exercises meant to develop specific skills, and participate in the intellectual community of the English department. I will ask you to reflect on your past academic experiences, consider which strategies have and haven’t worked well for you, be open to learning from the experiences and strategies of others, and identify those areas in which some concentrated effort will augment your capacity to handle whatever lies ahead.

Intended Audience:

This course is restricted to and required of 1st Year Lang & Lit and E&WS Ph.D.’s Only

Class Format:


Class Discussions:


ENGLISH 520 - Introduction to Graduate Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
F 12:00PM - 3:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for ENGLISH 520.001

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for ENGLISH 520 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)