Finally, at long last, classes have started at Queens University. Not that I’m complaining. I have enjoyed the time of relaxing and settling in to life in Belfast. Still, I felt incredibly excited to step back into the classroom, and even more excited as we reviewed the program for the coming year.
Here’s what my year should be like, more or less. Or at least my semester. I’m still figuring things out.
My first class will be Mondays from 4-6 pm. Research Methods. We’ll discuss gathering historical evidence, sources, and how to write history. We’ll travel to an archive and do other fun things like that. One section will be how to use cartoons as sources. Yup. Anyone who has ever had a class with Dr. Preston Jones at JBU will appreciate that. We will also start to work on our dissertation topic.
Class two is Historiography. We’ll cover various theories behind studying history, why study history, how to study history, and fun questions like that. That will be Fridays 2-4 pm for the first 6 weeks, and then at some other time to be determined for weeks 8-12. And yes, I did skip week 7 there. Week 7 is a ‘reading week’ and apparently the only week at Queens in which students read :P.
All students studying for a Queens master’s degree in history take these classes. However, we take the classes at different times based upon our specific ‘strand’ and so therefore, in theory, the content is geared towards our ‘strand’. We will also break into small groups from time to time, and work with our ‘concentrations’. So, for example, my ‘strand’ is Irish History and my ‘concentration’ is ‘Culture Politics and Identity’.
Next semester I’ll take either Historical Documents or do an internship at a museum/library/archive. My other class will be specific to my concentration, so ‘Culture Politics and Identity’.
Then, all between me and a degree is a simple 20,000 word dissertation/thesis. Easy, right?