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Course Goals and Outcomes

This proseminar introduces skills and knowledge to help graduate students advance through the doctoral program and toward a career in academia or related fields. It is intended for, and required of, PhD students in Asian Studies before their advancement to candidacy. It is also open (for audit) to PhD candidates and (for credit or audit) to graduate students in other fields in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

Each student will produce a draft dossier of material for academic and other employment and for grant applications: a curriculum vitae, a cover letter, sample syllabi and course proposals, and statements on teaching and research. They will also develop planning and record-keeping skills to define and meet professional goals and to keep their dossier up to date.

The course will also help students shape and contextualize their career plans by introducing the formal and informal structures of the academy: the doctoral program; the dissertation-writing process; writing and publishing; conferences and networking; grants and fellowships; and the job application and hiring process.

The seminar begins from the assumption that other classes and activities teach disciplinary skills and prepare students to function as independent teachers and researchers, but these may not prepare them for other tasks central to their careers. To this end, students will learn about the workings of academic and related institutions in order to navigate a successful career path. They will also develop the important skill of effectively communicating their expertise to a range of audiences, including peers in their specialty, colleagues in other fields, students, administrators, and broader publics, using appropriate language and formats.

The broad objective of the course is to introduce the trajectories through the doctoral program and into a scholarly or alternative career, with particular attention to strategies for long-term success and minimal time to completion.

Readings and Course Materials

All required and supplementary material will be posted on the Connect site, the class wiki, or distributed in class.

Seminar Structure and Activities

Each class meeting will have homework which must be completed and brought to class in the form of three hard copies. Instructions for completing each homework assignment will be found on the syllabus. (For some assignments example versions or templates will also be provided on the Connect site.) The class will generally begin with lecture and discussion about the topic for the day, and then the homework—for example, a draft CV—will be workshopped. One copy will go to the instructor, to be returned later with comments. The other two copies will go to other students, so that, working in small groups, they can read and provide feedback on each other’s materials.

Component Weight
Attendance & Participation 30%
Assignments 25%
Wiki 5%
Final Portfolio 40%


Students are expected to attend all classes, prepare all assignments, and participate in a productive manner by providing feedback to classmates on their work. After receiving feedback on each element of the portfolio from the instructor and classmates, students are expected to revise their work, to be submitted at the end of the term as a complete portfolio.

Regular *attendance* is expected. Be sure to notify the instructor if you will not be able to attend. *Participation* includes questions and comments during class sessions, feedback to peers, and contributions to the Connect discussion forum (questions, comments information and links you share). Your participation will be evaluated for attention, constructiveness, frequency, and engagement.

Most *assignments* are intended to be drafts and will be assessed as such, not as final documents, but they should be complete and must be handed in on time, for distribution to classmates and to the instructor. It is important to bring the assignments for discussion at each class meeting. In order to workshop the homework with classmates, bring three hard copies of each assignment, unless instructed otherwise.

Incomplete assignments will be penalized, and late assignments, which are to be submitted only to the instructor, will be penalized at least 10% per day without prior agreement.

Everyone will also contribute to the course *wiki* at ; be sure to check this page for resources related to each week’s themes, but also to add and/or comment on material listed there. NB: Be sure to log in with your UBC CWL before making any edits to the wiki, to ensure that your contributions are tracked. There will be time in class to introduce your findings and assessments.

The *final portfolio* s due on Monday, April 24. It will consist of polished versions of a set of weekly assignments, revised to reflect comments from peers and the instructor. It will be evaluated for completeness, quality (of the documents as documents, not for the information they record), and response to feedback.

Grading Basis

Grade Percent Level of Achievement
A+ 90–100 Exceptional
A 85–89 Exceptional
A– 80–84 Exceptional
B+ 76–79 Competent
B 72–75 Competent
B– 68–71 Competent
C+ 64–67 Adequate
C 60–63 Adequate
C– 55–59 Adequate
D 50–54 Adequate
F 00–49 Inadequate

Academic Integrity and Responsibility

As a member of this class, you are responsible for contributing to the course objectives through your participation in class activities and your written and other work and projects. In the process of coming into your own as an independent, responsible participant in the academic community, you are encouraged to seek advice, clarification, and guidance in your learning from your instructor and/or Teaching Assistant. If you decide to seek help beyond the resources of this course, you are responsible for ensuring that this help does not lead you to submit others’ work as your own. If an outside tutor or other person helps you, show this policy to your tutor or helper: make sure you both understand the limits of this person’s permissible contribution.

Academic communities depend on their members’ honesty and integrity in representing the sources of reasoning, claims, and wordings which appear in their work. Like any other member of the academic community, you will be held responsible for the accurate representation of your sources: the means by which you produced the work you are submitting. If you are found to have misrepresented your sources and to have submitted others’ work as your own, or to have submitted work for which you have already received credit in another course, penalties may follow. Your case may be forwarded to the Head of the department, who may decide that you should receive zero for the assignment. The Head will report your case to the Dean’s Office, where it will remain on file. The Head may decide, in consultation with your instructor, that a greater penalty is called for, and will forward your case to the Dean’s Office. After an interview in the Dean’s Office, your case may be forwarded to the President’s Advisory Committee on Academic Misconduct. Following a hearing in which you will be asked to account for your actions, the President may apply penalties including zero for the assignment; zero for the course; suspension from the university for a period ranging from 4 to 24 months; a notation on your permanent record. The penalty may be a combination of these.

Academic communities also depend on their members’ living up to the commitments they make. By enrolling in this course, you make commitments to an academic community: you are responsible for meeting deadlines; attending class and engaging in class activities; guaranteeing that the work you submit for this course has not already been submitted for credit in another course.

If you find that you cannot meet a deadline or cannot participate in a course activity, discuss your situation with your instructor or TA before the deadline or before your absence.

Illness and Absence

If you experience medical, emotional, or personal problems that affect your attendance or academic performance, please notify Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies or your home faculty’s advising office.  If you are registered with Access and Diversity, you should notify your instructor at least two weeks before examination dates. If you are planning to be absent for varsity athletics, family obligations, or other commitments, you should discuss your commitments with the instructor before the drop date.