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Program Glossary

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Glossary of Program Formats

Colloquium: Meets monthly in the afternoon or early evening over the course of an academic year. Focuses directly on participants’ pre-circulated works-in-progress. Director sets expansive topics and frames discussion with core readings.


Conference: Meets over two or three days. Invited speakers deliver papers followed by question-and-answer sessions. Open to all interested scholars by registration. Non-consortium scholars should look for announcements of external funding making travel and lodging grants available by application.


Occasional Lecture: Open to all; no registration necessary. Midday colloquia lectures feature papers presented by long-term Folger fellows on their current research. Shakespeare’s Annual Birthday Lectures feature a paper presented by invited scholar for general public.


Paleography Skills Course: Meets weekly for ten sessions over the course of a semester. Limited to eight participants. Participants learn how to decipher early modern handwriting. No prior experience is necessary for introductory course, but students should articulate relevant research interests in application’s research statement. Skills course is not available for graduate credit.


Seminar: Features regular, formal meetings, a syllabus, and discussions of assigned readings. Generally limited to twelve participants.


Semester-Length Seminar: Meets weekly for ten sessions over the course of a semester. Gathers participants with relevant research projects for sustained investigation of the designated topic. Participants may have the opportunity to present their own work.


Dissertation Seminar: Meets monthly over the course of an academic year. Designed for doctoral candidates actively writing their dissertations on early modern topics in literature or history. Director introduces candidates to scholarly resources, helps them to develop advanced research skills, and integrates them into the Folger scholarly community.


Late-Spring Seminar: Meets for two afternoons per week over five weeks in May and June. Otherwise much like semester-length seminars (see above), with a director guiding discussion of a particular topic and participants bringing individual research projects to bear on discussion.


M.A. Seminar: Meets weekly for ten sessions over the course of a semester. Gathers Master’s-degree candidates for a semester-length introduction to archival research skills under a director’s guidance.


Weekend Seminar: Often limited to faculty only. Convenes over a Friday and Saturday for participants to introduce and situate advanced projects and receive feedback from colleagues on a designated topic.


Symposium: Designated speakers start provocative conversations on designated topic rather than present papers. Several dozen participants may be admitted.


Weekend Workshop: Several dozen participants gather for a day-long conversation on a particular topic or historical event.



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