Folger Institute Scholarly Programs – Skills Course Spring 17

A Folger Orientation to Research Methods and Agendas
Late Spring Intensive Skills Course

The best research is inquiry based and allows for serendipity. A scholar needs to sharpen research questions and search skills simultaneously and with sensitivity to the ways questions and sources affect each other. The available evidence may invite a new thesis, require a revised approach, or even suggest a new field of exploration. This intensive week is not designed to advance participants’ individual research projects. Rather, it aims to cultivate a habit of curiosity into primary sources with exercises that engage participants’ research interests. It is offered to help early-stage graduate students develop a set of research-oriented literacies as they explore the Folger’s rich collections. With the guidance of visiting faculty and Folger staff, up to two dozen participants will examine bibliographical tools and their logics, hone their early modern book description skills, and improve their understanding of the cultural and technological histories of texts. Participants will ask reflexive questions about the nature of primary sources, the collections that house them, and the tools whereby one can access them.

Schedule: Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., May 8 – 12, 2017.

Apply: January 17, 2017 for admission and grants-in-aid. This skills course is intended for students in the early years of graduate work. In addition to following the general application guidelines, applicants for this course should describe a research question, the motivating reason to look to primary sources to answer this question, and any previous experience with early modern materials. This skills course may be taken for one credit of independent graduate study; if a participant is able to arrange for one graduate credit on the home campus under the direction of an on-campus advisor, the Institute will certify participation.

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