Friday, March 2, 2012

Notes from Draper's recent MA Thesis Workshop

Draper student, Chris Iverson, took some detailed notes at Draper's recent MA Thesis Workshop that he was kind enough to share. We hope they will be helpful to many of you.

You'll see that both Steve and Theresa, who led the workshop, mention that Draper has a collection of award-winning and -nominated theses. It's true! We do! If you haven't heard of or seen it yet, please feel free to come take a look. The theses are housed in rm 107 and are available to browse during office hours (M-F, 9-5). You can read them at Draper or check a couple out for a week or so. As Steve and Theresa point out, this can be a great resource when it comes to writing/formulating your own thesis.

If anyone has additional notes from this workshop that they'd be willing to share, we'd love to post them to the listserv in addition to Chris's excellent overview, below.

Please email notes to


Draper Thesis Workshop 2/24/12

· Draper has a collection of award-winning and -nominated theses to read.

o This might help with format.

· A thesis topic should relate to where you’ve been and/or where you are going.

o Draw on previous research or design the thesis to help in future work.

· Three starting points might help when considering a topic:

o Method/methodology

o Data/types of sources

o Theory

Steve Moga’s Talking Points

· Pick something that motivates you.

o If your topic does not interest you, this will be painful.

· Write all the way through.

o Do not collect data and wait to write. You may forget some context or lose steam.

· Be in communication with your advisor.

· Think about the thesis in the simplest possible way (elevator speech). It helps to think about a title to keep on track.

· In the planning stages, it helps to set a deadline and work backwards. This is a way to get an vision of what the finished thesis should look like and break it up into more doable parts.

Theresa MacPhail’s Talking Points

· Writing is thinking.

o Freewriting is a valuable parctice when “stuck.”

o Idea mapping gives the material a physical dimension.

· Reverse outlining can help organize

o Taking a written passage and notating the margins can help find the stucture hidden in a written text. This allows for organizing at a basic level .

· Do not start at the beginning!

o The thesis or topic may not become clear until the bulk of the paper is written and organized.

· Look at other papers and “steal” the format.

o Like, for example, see Draper's collection of award-winning and -nominated theses.

· Have a friend or other educated reader take a look at the text to make sure that it does what you want it to do. If another intelligent reader cannot follow the logic, then it may not be organized properly.

· Write a one-sentence thesis statement to help simplify the idea that will make the core of the argument.

· Don’t be afraid to “kill your babies.” In other words, you may have to delete blocks of great text if they prove tangential and do not return to your topic.

o A way to make this less painful is to cut and paste “outtakes” into another file so thay are not lost forever. They may even prove helpful for a future project.

CEMS Talk w/ J. Lezaun, March 5: "Biopolitical exceptionalism in Europe"

You are invited to a lecture on

"Biopolitical exceptionalism in Europe: the limits of coexistence"

Javier Lezaun, James Martin Lecturer in Science and Technology Governance
University of Oxford
Monday, March 5, 2012, 12:30 - 2:00 p.m.
NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies
285 Mercer Street, 7th floor seminar room

Lunch will be served.

To attend, RSVP by return e-mail (to by Friday, March 2.

Invitation to the 2012 Threesis Challenge, 3/31

Dean Malcolm Semple, on behalf of the Graduate School of Arts and Science,
cordially invites you to be a part of our audience for the second annual

GSAS Threesis Academic Challenge

hosted by the Graduate School of Arts and Science Master's College

Saturday, March 31st - Final Round begins at 4:00 PM.

Doors open at 3:30 PM.

NYU Kimmel Center for University Life,

60 Washington Square South, Fourth Floor, New York, NY

Please RSVP for this event through the link below

*A wine and cheese reception will follow. This event will have an audience choice award, so you being there will have a direct impact on the event's outcome. Please come out to support students from across the Graduate School.

The Threesis Academic Challenge is a tournament style competition through which master's students can showcase their scholarly achievements. Competitors present the research of their thesis or final project in three minutes or less to an audience and a panel of judges hoping to win prizes totaling $2,500.

Check out last year’s event’s highlights and winning presentations here:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

NYU Poetics and Theory Conference THIS SATURDAY

We are pleased to invite you to Flirtations: Rhetoric and Aesthetics This Side of Seduction, a Poetics and Theory/Comparative Literature Workshop sponsored by the Humanities Initiative. Time: Saturday, March 3rd, 10:30AM-5:00PM. Place: the Great Room, 19 University Place, New York University.

10:30 Opening Remarks
Lauren Shizuko Stone, Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz, Barbara Natalie Nagel

Paul Fleming (Cornell), Coquetry without End: Six Theses on Flirtation (Simmel)
Respondent: Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz (NYU)

John Hamilton (Harvard), The Luxury of Self-Destruction: Flirting with Mimesis with Roger Caillois
Respondent: Sage Anderson (NYU)

12:15-1:30 Lunch

Rüdiger Campe (Yale), Rhetoric's Flirtation with Literature, from Aristotle to Quintilian: the Epideictic Genre
Respondent: Arne Höcker (NYU)

Elisabeth Strowick (Johns Hopkins), Life is a Flirtation: Felix Krull (T. Mann)
Respondent: Lauren Shizuko Stone (NYU)

3:00-3:30 Coffee break

Jacques Lezra (NYU), Doing it as the Beasts Do (Jensen, Freud)
Respondent: Barbara Natalie Nagel (NYU)

Barbara Vinken (LMU/NYU), Frill and Flirtation. Femininity in the Public Space
Respondent: Erica Weitzman (NYU)

IMPORTANT: April 1 Deadline for Lapsed Incomplete Grades

Dear Students:

The GSAS Dean's Office has announced their intention to begin strictly enforcing policies regarding incomplete grades. After April 1, 2012, grade changes will not be permitted for any incomplete that has extended beyond one academic year without an approved extension and/or has lapsed to an F.

Until that date, the Dean's office is allowing students to rectify current Incompletes that should have expired or have already lapsed to an F. If you currently have an unresolved Incomplete or F on your transcript from a course that you took an incomplete in, please contact Draper as soon as possible to discuss how best to handle your situation. In some cases, extensions of incompletes may be possible. 

Going forward, please remember that GSAS policy states that students who take an incomplete in a course have one year from the *beginning* of the semester in which the course was taken to complete the work and receive a final grade. If the course work is not completed within this time, and the student has not been granted an extension, the 'I' will turn into an 'F.' 

Extensions for incomplete grades are often granted--please be sure to contact Draper if you think that you'll need even a short amount of extra time to complete outstanding coursework. 

GSAS' complete policy for incomplete grades can be found in section 3.6 the Policy and Procedures manual here.

Poetics & Theory Dirk Quadflieg Seminar & Lecture Postponed

The Quadflieg seminar originally scheduled for this Monday, March 5, has been postponed until March 19. The Quadflieg lecture originally scheduled for March 8th has been postponed until March 20.

There are also a few other changes in our original P&T Feb-April event schedule. Please see changes in GREEN below.

Also: Don’t forget the Anachronic Shakespeare conference this Saturday!


February, March and April 2012

The following events are sponsored by the Poetics and Theory Program -- with financial and moral support from the Department of Comparative Literature.

· Tuesday, February 14 4-6:00pm Shira Wolosky

Hebrew University

Lecture: "Transcendence and Poetics: Levinas and Robert Frost"

19 University Place, Great Room (1st floor)

· Friday, February 24th - Saturday, February 25th

Conference: Anachronic Shakespeare

100 Washington Square East/Silver Center, Jurow Hall (1st floor)

See for program details.

· Saturday, March 3rd


“Flirtations: Rhetoric and Aesthetics This Side of Seduction”

19 University Place, Great Room (1st floor) All day

See for program details.

· Monday, March 19th 6:30-8:30pm SEMINAR with Dirk Quadflieg

Goethe University & Visiting Scholar, Dept. of Philosophy, Columbia University

“Reification: Lukacs and Honneth” (readings TBA)

19 University Place, room 223

NOTE: Seating is limited! Come early!

· Tuesday, March 20th 4-6:00pm LECTURE with Dirk Quadflieg "Reification"

19 University Place, Great Room

· Monday, March 26th 6-8:00pm Kiarina Kordela

Macalester College

Seminar: “Spinoza’s Resistence” (readings TBA)

19 University Place, Great Room (1st floor)

· Monday, April 2nd 6-8:00pm Katrin Trüstedt

University of Erfurt

Lecture: "Translation, Transference and Sublation in The Merchant of Venice: Shakespeare - Hegel - Derrida"

19 University Place, Great Room (1st floor)

The School of Making Thinking / Residency Program for Artists and Academics

Dear Students:

This announcement was sent directly to Draper as the organizers thought it would be of particular interest to our students. Please note, however, that the School of Making Thinking is not affiliated with Draper or NYU.


The School of Making Thinking / Residency Program for Artists and Academics

Application deadline: April 1, 2012

LOCATION: The Yellow House B&B (near Roscoe, NY)

Organizers: Aaron Finbloom, Abraham Nowitz, Claire Epstein

Program dates:

Session A June 1, 2012 – June 30, 2012

Session B July 2, 2012 – July 15, 2012

Session C July 16, 2012 – July 30, 2012

Email contact:

The School of Making Thinking (SMT) is a summer residency program where artists and academics think, create, and live together in a communal setting. SMT’s mission is to create a unique environment where participants are able to create original work that challenges disciplinary conventions of art-making and thinking.

Our program asks: How does art deepen thought and provoke questioning? And how is thinking enacted through creative mediums? By bringing artists and academics together in an interdisciplinary space, SMT seeks to blur the line between these two conventionally distinct practices and to challenge the limits of each.

The School of Making Thinking sets itself apart from traditional residency programs in three important respects.

First, SMT participants hail from a far more diverse range of disciplines. Our alumni are botanists, dancers, playwrights, painters, poets, philosophers, fiction writers, audio documentarians, filmmakers, performance artists, and PhD candidates from English and American Studies departments. Second, collaboration is an essential component of each participant’s project. Third, SMT is a school in which participants teach and learn from one another.

Applicants are asked to submit a project proposal. It may be a work-in-progress, a brand new idea, or a work in its final stages. Completion of one’s project during the residency is not the goal. Rather, the focus at SMT is placed on development, exploration and experimentation. Projects vary greatly, but generally include three essential components. First, each project asks a fundamental question about ourselves or our world. (How do the stories we tell shape our experience of the world? What is a good death? How do biological brain activity and emotional response interact as memories are recalled?) Second, each project seeks to answer its question through one or more creative / intellectual practices—research, writing, conversation, photography, building, painting, meditation, filmmaking, performance, etc. Third, each project includes a collaborative component through which the rest of the SMT community can participate, challenge and contribute to the work.

Please visit our website for more information-

Two Research Workshops for NYU Grad Students

1. Spring Research Breakfast

Come have breakfast, talk with our librarians about your project, and take care of those lingering research to-do list items. This informal event lasts for two hours, and you can come and go as you like during that time.

Thursday, March 8, 10:00am-12:00noon
Bobst Library
10th-floor Graduate Research Exchange (northwest corner)

2. Spring "Clean Up" Workshops for Grad Students
The NYU Libraries are holding a series of workshops and clinics especially for graduate students, led by expert librarians. These sessions focus on core research skills like:

* Identifying key resources in your discipline
* Organizing your research using an easy personal database called RefWorks
* Finding and ordering research materials from other institutions
* ...And much more

Workshops will be held March 14-21. Find all the details and sign up at

DSO Meeting Tonight, March 1st

Hi, Draperites!

The Draper Student Organization is having its first meeting of the semester this Thursday, March 1st at 8:30pm in the Map Room!

Join us if you're interested in helping plan DSO events and want to get involved with the inaugural Draper conference, "Arriving at Confluence."

Please RSVP if you're attending (we're bringing snacks, so we want to make sure to have enough) at

We are also looking to elect a Secretary onto the Executive Board, so if you're interested please email us and come prepared with any questions you might have about being on the E-Board.

Hope you can join us!
The DSO E-Board
Bridget, Valentine & Scott

"Acceptance in German Literary and Visual Culture" - deadline extension March 10, 2012

Call for Papers: University of Washington Germanics Graduate Student Conference 2012

Acceptance in German Literary and Visual Culture

May 11-12, 2012

Keynote: Volker Mergenthaler, Philipps-Universität Marburg

This conference will explore notions of acceptance in a broad sense, focusing on the mechanisms by which texts and images codify, accommodate, and instrumentalize difference. What does it mean to accept someone or something? Moreover, at what point can the act of acceptance become unacceptable? That is, when does acceptance serve more nefarious ends, eradicating and assimilating difference instead of preserving it?

As an act of inclusion and consent, acceptance always evokes the potential of rejection--be it on an individual or a collective level -- and by extension, certain power relations. We encourage papers that critically engage forms of acceptance not only as sites of social and cultural integration, but also as instantiations of redefinition and revision. Consider, for example, Angela Merkel’s often misappropriated statement that “Multikulti [...] ist absolut gescheitert”: how does this perceived failure of multiculturalism, an inability or unwillingness to accept and integrate cultural difference, translate into literary and visual forms? Theoretical treatments of acceptance may draw upon as diverse texts as Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer (1998) or Doris Lucke’s Akzeptanz: Legitimität in der Abstimmungsgesellschaft (1995). Literary investigations could approach the question of acceptance in Migrantenliteratur or in a post-colonial context, such as the one conjured in Ilija Trojanow’s Der Weltensammler (2006). Finally, filmic portrayals of acceptance might range from the pedagogical example of Richard Oswald’s Anders als die Anderen (1919), one of the first films in cinematic history to promote the acceptance of homosexuality, to issues of Transnationalism and identity in Thomas Arslan’s Dealer (1999) and Fatih Akin’s Auf der anderen Seite (2004).

We invite graduate students from all disciplines to submit papers broadening the notion of
acceptance, welcoming contributions that investigate its practice and thematization throughout different historical periods in a variety of contexts -- cultural, political, psychological. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

- Accepting the Unacceptable: Personal and Collective Traumas
- Places of Acceptance and Parallelgesellschaften
- Literary Canon: Acceptance of Works and Authors
- “Self-Acceptance:” Psychology and Psychoanalysis
- Queer(ing) Acceptance
- Social Structures of Acceptance: Community, Class, Family
- Accepting Altered Corporeal Conditions: Disease and Disability
- Language of Acceptance: Naming and Re-Naming
- Exiles, Outcasts and Outsiders
- Religion and Ethnicity
- National and Transnational Identities

Please send all abstracts (250-300 words) along with a short biography (100 words) to by March 10, 2012. Papers may be presented in German or English. Let us know if you require assistance with accommodation.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NYU Libraries Research Breakfast & Spring Classes for Grad Students

Hello from the NYU Libraries:

We have 2 spring programs to announce to help you "clean up" your research and organizational skills! Join us for a "Research Breakfast" or one of our annual "Spring Clean-up Workshops." See more details below or
register now.

1. Spring Research Breakfast

Come have breakfast, talk with our librarians about your project, and take care of those lingering research to-do list items. This informal event lasts for two hours, and you can come and go as you like during that time.

Thursday, March 8, 10:00am-12:00noon

Bobst Library
10th-floor Graduate Research Exchange (northwest corner)

2. Spring "Clean Up" Workshops for Grad Students

The NYU Libraries are holding a series of workshops and clinics especially for graduate students, led by expert librarians. These sessions focus on core research skills like:

* Identifying key resources in your discipline

* Organizing your research using an easy personal database called RefWorks
* Finding and ordering research materials from other institutions
* ...And much more

Workshops will be held March 14-21. Find all the details and sign up at

March 7 Colloquium: Bernard Gendron, "Foucault's 1968"

March 7 Colloquium: Bernard Gendron, "Foucault's 1968"

2012 Colloquium Series New Research in Foucault Studies

NEW DATE: Bernard Gendron
"Foucault's 1968"
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
7:30-9:30pm CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue, Room 5409

New York, NY Gendron argues that Foucault's turn to political militancy within a post-1968 horizon was the chief catalyst for redirecting his theoretical work between 1969 and 1974, leading to the publication of Discipline and Punish. Working with Foucault's interviews--which he reads as political-theoretical, not biographical documents--Gendron traces Foucault's political trajectory, looking closely at his attempts to wrest from Marxism an adequate interpretation of the May 1968 events.

We are delighted to invite you to join the discussion.
We will have wine and snacks. All are welcome.
Open to the public. Suggested donation: $8.

RSVPs are appreciated. Copies of the paper are available upon request. Email: For abstract and speaker bio, see below or go to our website:

ABOUT THE TALK: Abstract: Foucault’s relation to May 1968 is crucial for understanding the transformation in his theory and practice in the years 1969-1974, leading to the publication of Discipline and Punish. This transformation is frequently interpreted as a transition from “archaeology” to “genealogy” resulting from Foucault’s discovery of basic flaws in his archaeological method. A closer analysis shows, however, that his turn to political militancy within a post-1968 horizon was the chief catalyst for halting and then redirecting his theoretical work. These reflections appear not in Foucault's books and well-known articles, but in the many interviews he conducted in the early 1970s. In these texts, Foucault repeatedly shifts positions while trying both to make theoretical sense of his militant practices and to wrest from Marxism the proper interpretation of May 1968, until finally he arrives at the formulations that lead to Discipline and Punish. The formula, “from archaeology to genealogy,” taken as wholly methodological, explains little and indeed gives an oversimplified picture of that transformation.

Speaker Bio:
Bernard Gendron is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he taught courses on Nietzsche, Foucault, Miles Davis, and the aesthetics of popular music, among others. He is the author of Technology and the Human Condition (St. Martins, 1976) and Between Montmartre and the Mudd Club: Popular Music and the Avant-Garde (University of Chicago, 2002). He now lives in New York and is working on a book, Downtown Sounds: The Experimental Music Scene in New York (1970-1990). The essay, "Foucault's 1968," is forthcoming in The Long 1968: Revisions and New Perspectives, eds., Jasmine Alinder, A. Aneesh, Daniel J. Sherman, and Ruud van Dijk (Indiana University Press, Spring 2013).

NYUAD Lecture Series: Tahrir Square, 2012: The Voices of Women & Religious Minorities (3/1)

Tahrir Square, 2012: The Voices of Women and Religious Minorities

March 1, 2012 | 6:00-7:30 PM

Location: 19 Washington Square North

Viola Shafik Freelance Lecturer and Filmmaker
Yasmin Moll Department of Anthropology, NYUNY
Dina Ramadan Assistant Professor of Arabic, Bard College

In the year following Egyptian revolution, peaceful demonstrations have given way to increasingly violent and sectarian strife. Digital films and social media have documented and brought to the wider public's attention the experiences of women and minority populations in Egypt's ever-changing social and political climate. This panel brings together filmmakers, journalists, and analysts to discuss the recent past and potential future of the country and how social and digital media continues to impact and frame the course of events.

In collaboration with The Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near East Studies supported by the Social Science Research Council and the NYU Center for Religion and Media with generous support from the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs.

Part of the series on Digital Religion: Knowledge, Politics, and Practice

Monday, February 27, 2012

Draper Travel Grant Applications Due Thursday, March 1st

A friendly reminder that applications for Draper Travel Grants are due this Thursday, March 1st. Currently matriculated Draper students who will be delivering papers or posters at scholarly conferences should fill out and deliver the necessary forms to the Draper office or via email to by 5:00 pm, 3/1.

The application is available through our website at Please complete and submit it along with confirmation that a conference has accepted your paper or project for presentation.

Keep in mind that five Draper Travel Grants are awarded per academic year and that applications are accepted during five different periods. The next submission deadline after March 1st will be May 1st.

Networked NY Conference: Material/Literary/Digital Connections in the City @ NYU - Friday, March 9

The Project on New York Writing,

The Colloquium in American Literature and Culture, and

the Workshop in Archival Practice at New York University


Networked New York

A conference on material, literary, and digital connections in the city

With a keynote address by

Marvin Taylor

Director, Fales Library & Special Collections

“Playing the Field, Thoughts about Social Networks and the New York Downtown Arts Scene”

Friday, March 9, 2012

10:00 am – 5:30 pm

19 University Place, Great Room

New York University

Panels include:

Institution and Enterprise

Community, Production, and Place

Authors and Neighborhoods

Blogscapes and Digital Interaction

This event is free and open to the public.

Architecture and Deconstruction: A Conversation between Peter Engelmann & Peter Eisenman (2/28)

You are cordially invited to a conversation between Peter Engelmann and Peter Eisenman at Deutsches Haus at NYU, February 28th, 6:30 pm

Deutsches Haus at NYU, 42 Washington Mews, New York, NY, 10003

Peter Eisenman is an internationally recognized architect and educator whose award-winning large scale housing and urban design projects, innovative facilities for educational institutions, and series of inventive private houses attest to a career of excellence in design.

Since 1987 Peter Engelmann has been the publisher and editor of Passagen Verlag Publishers in Vienna, whose specialization in French philosophy was groundbreaking for the entire German-speaking world.

Internships available at Haiti Cultural Exchange

The Haiti Cultural Exchange, a non-profit, is looking for three interns in the roles of Program, Communications, and Fundraising. You can read the full internship postings on Idealist, and read more about the Exchange at their site.

In brief, "Haiti Cultural Exchange was founded to develop, present and promote the cultural expressions of the Haitian people. We seek to raise awareness of social issues and foster cultural understanding and appreciation through programs in the arts, education and public affairs."

Draper student Jennifer Celestin alerted us to these opportunities. Jennifer often performs at the organization's events and has been a storyteller and teaching artist for them at a bilingual elementary school.