Seminar Syllabus 2012-2013
The Columbia Journey Seminar, modeled after the Core classes, combines presentations and small discussion sections facilitated by a Graduate Student Mentor (GSM). It offers students the opportunity, while developing community among peers, to develop research skills and discover the campus resources that will support academic and community engagement throughout each student's tenure at Columbia.
In this introduction to principles of inquiry and the practice of research students gain an analytical framework for formulating, researching, and assessing academic questions, and exposure to key resources in the university and surrounding city. The class develops skills in unpacking arguments, in developing counterarguments and devising research questions. We consider how to establish the epistemic authority of authors, the scope and impact of journals, and the legitimacy of online material (websites, blogs, fora). We consider how to conduct interviews and how to access places in New York City, from archival libraries to cultural centers. An annual theme, in 2012-13 it is "Play and Performance" which provides a lens through which to pursue these goals. Over the course of the year we read short pieces from a range of academic disciplines (and genres) on this theme. The pieces form the basis for group discussion, written responses, presentations, and more.
Create an interdisciplinary community that allows Scholars to explore the annual theme and contemporary issues from a variety of viewpoints utilizing multiple research methodologies.
- Provide an institutional foundation to help Scholars take intellectual risks as they learn about the process of academic research and the resources available at Columbia and in New York City
- Develop Scholars’ research skills, including in-person interviews and the organization and analysis of information.
- Build the basis of the "Scholar Community" which will continue throughout the Scholars' four years of study and life at Columbia through advising, programming and research opportunities.