One of the core elements of the University's graduate education program is the Workshop Program sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences. These Workshops, of which there are usually around fifty, are not departmentally based and are administered by a faculty council.
The Workshops provide a way for students, during the process of writing their dissertations, to maintain close and supportive ties with their faculty mentors and with their peers. Beginning graduate students work in a structured environment of class-work and research training within which they have ready access to other students and to faculty. More advanced students, however, who've started to work intensively on their dissertations are involved in projects that are of necessity based on individual initiatives. Workshops, because they're organized around contemporary scholarly themes, may provide these students with a group of peers and faculty, often drawn from several disciplines, who are well versed in related fields and eager to challenge the presenters to defend and further develop the ideas in their dissertation proposals or chapters. The Workshops thus offer those who participate in them an ongoing source of support and a connection to others working on dissertations, helping to sustain momentum.
The Workshops also prepare you for the professional challenge you'll face as a beginning assistant professor and thus help to bridge the gap between your status of student and that of scholar. Many of the Workshops hold sessions on professional issues ranging from the history of the discipline to teaching methods and placement strategies. Additionally, the Workshops regularly invite scholars from other universities to present their work in progress. Access in this small-scale setting to faculty from other universities not only broadens students' knowledge, but also enhances their professional development.
-Contemporary Art The Contemporary Art Workshop provides a context for the consideration of history as an indispensable component of work on contemporary art. In addition, the workshop seeks to create a meeting place for artists, art historians, curators, and critics, both from within the University and from without. It offers a setting in which the arts community can engage in sustained analysis and debate of current practices.
-Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia This workshop is focused on the study of material or visual objects from East Asia (defined broadly to include China, Central Asia, Tibet, Korea, and Japan, and other regions, depending on student interest). It explores the possible uses of recent theories of art, history, and material and visual culture in the study of East Asia. Presentations of studies of objects and visual materials from a variety of historical periods and geographic locations within East Asia serve as case studies for the exploration of such methodological concerns.
-Late Antiquity and Byzantium We study all aspects of the peoples, cultures, histories, and religions of the late antique and Byzantine world, including the Near Eastern and Slavic and endeavor to create a forum for communications about recent archaeological discoveries in the region.