Blogging my quals

My main task this summer, besides prepping three courses for my new gig, is to begin reading for my qualifying exams. I haven’t set a date, but I’m probably going to take them in the spring, likely over spring break at Seton Hall, when I won’t have teaching commitments to interfere with writing.

Between now and then, I need to do a lot of reading, and a lot of note-taking. I think that in order to keep myself honest and not piddle away the rest of the summer, I’m going to start blogging my reading list. I’ve set a goal of 150 pages per day. I think it’s reasonable on most days to expect that.

I don’t know what these posts are going to look like. Maybe short summaries combined with commentary, like formal annotated bibliographies or short response papers. Maybe just notes and thoughts on ideas they inspire for my dissertation.

But if you happen to read this, and think you might want to follow along, you’re likely to see a whole lot of U.S. journalism history covered here, particularly the intellectual history of American journalism (which is a theme I may take up in the dissertation), and the history of journalism education. There will also be a lot of First Amendment reading, which will be the biggest subset of the intellectual history of American journalism reading that I’m doing.

First off, I’m going to re-read E.H. Carr’s ‘What is History?‘ which I read at the beginning of David Greenberg‘s media history seminar at Rutgers. I think a good philosophical look at historiography is a good way to start.

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