I ran into Blackwood in the English Department office when I went to file my paperwork yesterday. We said our hellos and confirmed that the defense was on for the third. As I was about to leave, he said, "Did we talk about a reading list?" Not that I recall. What's that about? He said something about "twenty-five or thirty books," but suggested that I talk to the graduate coordinator to see if they've got specific guidelines written down somewhere - they may have changed when the department revised the thesis requirement.
So I talk to the graduate coordinator. He's in the middle of eating lunch in his office, but mumbles something about texts I read in my seminars. Twenty-five of them? Yes, and they should represent some sort of coherent ... something ... that will provide a basis for discussion at my defense. Huh. I kind of thought my thesis would provide a basis for discussion at my defense. But hey, whatever. On my way out, the coordinator mentions that my prospectus needs to be revised to reflect the new thesis guidelines. Again: whatever. That part at least should be easy, since the thesis is already written.
The reading list, though. I sat down to make a list of 25-30 texts I had read in my seminars, and realized that at this point I can't even remember what classes I took for my program of study, let alone what I read for those classes. I looked up my transcript, but all the classes are listed as course numbers with generic titles - they either say "seminar in the novel" or "seminar in British Literature 1660-1830." Yeah, that narrows it down. I ended up going through my past blog posts to remind myself what my seminars were about. That was helpful, but I still don't have a list of texts. I'll have to see if I still have old syllabi lying around somewhere.