The contents of this list is something you will want to aim to be able to do by the time you take your comprehensive exams. You may not have the best of grasps on everything included here, but you have committed yourself to deepening your understanding as you write your dissertation.
* You know at least one major journal, if not the flagship journal, in the field, and you know and understand the wider constellation of journals that make up the field — i.e., you know the major and minor journals or the different dimensions the journals pursue.
* You have read the last five years of a/the major journal in the field.
* You can name a dozen books off the top of your head that “everybody knows.”
* You can name, again off the top of your head, another dozen important or significant books that take the field in directions you would like to pursue.
* You can cast some sort of narrative about how the field arose and/or where it has been.
* You care where the field is going and/or you can narrate places you would like to take the field.