We have a program here that matches up really good first year students with a faculty member to do a research project. Last fall, one of these students just happened to want to do a Shakespeare project, and I was happy to work with hir. Zie started out with an interest in a specific play, but (as you'd expect) little idea where to go with that. We'd chat once a week or so, and zie would go off and do a ton of reading. Zie's read at least 30 other early modern plays, maybe more, and we've talked about them. I've given hir a fair bit of guidance in terms of suggestions early on, but less so as zie got more and more into the reading.
This past semester, zie has been working on her own, emailing occasionally, but mostly reading even more. Now, having read a ton, zie has found something that strikes hir as very interesting. And it's something I haven't noticed, nor have I seen other critics noticing it. So that's very cool! We met this morning and talked, and sort of set out the rest of the year so that zie can do the project and present it at the undergrad research day on campus.
So now zie is ready to read some criticism, and going to it.
What a delight!