The Ph.D. program in English at Binghamton requires a candidate to pass three exams to establish expertise in fields of specialization, each requiring mastery of a list of 35 key texts. The examiner, a professor with credentials in that field, poses a question, and the candidate responds with a twenty-page essay, to be completed over the course of a weekend.
Here are the three lists and questions from the exams that I passed in the Spring semester of 1998, presented in chronological order.
English and German Romantic Theory -- January 1998
Dr. Frederick Garber, examiner
Postmodern Fiction -- March 1998
Dr. Susan Strehle, examiner
Political Literary Theory -- May 1998
Dr. David Bartine, examiner