The main focus of the colloquium is a discussion of the works on the student's book list. This list consists of 20-25 texts, representing several academic disciplines and historical periods, related to the theme or themes described in the rationale - a short paper that describes the main theme or themes you plan to talk about in the colloquium.
As you put together your list, you should think about the texts that have had a significant impact on your thinking, and the texts that were important to your course work. Most important, you should talk both to your adviser and other faculty members about texts that may be relevant to the topics you plan to discuss in your colloquium.
The texts should be of high quality - the kind of books or other works you encountered in your courses - but they do not have to be part of a recognized canon of "great books." Avoid pop fiction, how-to manuals, self-help books, and textbooks unless you plan to engage critically with these genres.
The book list should consist of 20-25 texts, arranged according to the following four sections:
Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance Classics
At least seven works produced before the mid-1600s;
At least four works, produced after the mid-1600s, in Humanities disciplines such as Literature, Philosophy, History, the Arts, Critical Theory, and Religion;
Modernity-The Social and Natural Sciences
At least four non-fiction works, produced after the mid-1600s, in the Natural Sciences and Social Science disciplines such as Political Science, Economics, Psychology, Anthropology, and Sociology.
Area of Concentration
At least five additional works representing the student's area or areas of concentration; students whose area of concentration already appears among the above categories may simply choose five additional works from these categories.
In addition to the book list, students are required to submit a rationale (3-5 typed and double-spaced pages) about a topic or topics they plan to discuss in the colloquium. The rationale should establish the central theme of the discussion, and then go on to identify and explore the major related questions that the student wants to address in the colloquium discussion. In describing the main colloquium questions and topics, the rationale should refer to several (on average, 4 - 6) of the texts on the list. Questions raised in the rationale should be formulated in relation to the texts on the book list. In order to contextualize the rationale content, the rationale can also include a student’s area of concentration, internships, independent studies, courses, and extracurricular projects. Note however that the rationale should place primary focus on explaining the central questions through textual evidence.
Students may have the title of their colloquium topic printed on their official NYU transcript. The title should accurately reflect the theme of the colloquium and should be no more than 40 characters (including spaces). The adviser must approve the student's choice of title. Students may also choose not to have the title printed on the transcript, but they will not be able to change their minds later.