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TMP last won the day on July 4

TMP had the most liked content!

About TMP

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    Cup o' Joe

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    Transnational History

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  1. Nope. Spell out those lingos when you're communicating with people off GradCafe and other internet forums.
  2. @VAZ I'm not following you at all here. If you want to be specific with your research interests and thoughts on different programs, just PM me. But if you have 6-8 schools you can see yourself at, you're in good shape. Just contact the POIs and see how they respond. Even so, PhD admissions are very competitive no matter the rank of the history program. Always be prepared to not get in the first time around.
  3. 1) Search the Internet for improving your writing quality/better academic writing. If you're editing an undergraduate paper, it is likely to be full of passive voice and long sentences. Break down sentences, cut quotes to no more than 2-3 linkes, and try to make every sentence an active one. 2) No works-cited page needed. It's what footnotes are for. 3) Unless specified, choose a section that exemplifies your writing and research skills (heavy on primary sources and analysis). A 50-page paper should have several sections to it already. Choose 1-2 sections that end up being between 15-25 pages total and leave at that. Each section should have an argument. Try to leave about 200-250 word abstract at the beginning that outlines your overall argument. I never condensed my 80 page MA thesis; it was too much and one section was clearly stronger than the other 2. Most professors have other things they're doing.... especially teaching when they're reading grad school applications in January, at the beginning of the spring semester.
  4. Always frustrating to hear of Americans getting arrested in Iran and North Korea. My Turkish colleague who was in my PhD program was very fortunate to be a Turkish citizen to be able to do her research in Iran. She was also working with private collections, not state materials, I think. What that student did was a very risky move as an American citizen (and his race likely drew some attention). The adviser is partially blamed for this approval of his dissertation research in Iran and I'm sure s/he is kicking him/herself right about now. As for comparing to Eastern Europe, this is a bit different. For one, the archives were closed then Right now, the Russian historians are keeping a close eye on Russia in hopes of not messing with their ability to keep researching there (and working a bit faster while there if not already).
  5. @VAZ I would not stretch myself out so far like that. This is where you have to name other professors who you can feasibly work with. For example, the 16/17th century prof working in cross-cultural history will want to know, "which of our gender/women's history scholars would you like to work with?" You might want to identify another Western Europeanist working in 18/19th century to round out your potential committee. For, the Late Medieval/Early Modern intellectual historian, the person will similarly ask, do you have someone on our faculty working on gender whom you would like to work with? I don't do France but I do Britain. I might suggest co-advising with that French historian over there...." Professors also want to know who else you want to work with so that you know you're coming into a program with plenty of support. Another caveat to keep in mind: Exam reading lists. Your adviser will dictate most of the books. All of the books your adviser gives you (as well as other profs on your exam committee) are those they have read and think are important for you to be familiar with. They generally won't assign too many books they haven't read (but you want to read them). One of my colleagues refused to work with one French history professor because she had zero interest in colonialism and went with another who didn't care much for the French empire and she got away without having anything relating to the French empire on her reading list. I had an early modern intellectual historian (and I am a social/political historian) by default and I was stuck reading books he *thought* was important, which I didn't. So it was a real drag to get through those particular books. Looking back 2-3 years on, I would have definitely not bothered with a couple of those books but perhaps keep one or two.
  6. @VAZ Welcome to one of the most challenging aspects of writing the statement of purpose! In fact, your last choice "women of French Revolution" is narrow enough but still broad. Why? Because Within that subject itself, you can still ask multiple questions using a variety of methodologies and theories such as class, religion, race, upbringing, location, statistics, etc. By asking those kind of questions, you are showing yourself that you might be willing to take courses and read books on women's roles in other time periods (WWI) or in another continent (Chinese Revolution of 1927) in addition to learning most of early modern/modern French/European history. You should be able to drop a few historians' names/works who have influenced you to reach this decision. To say you want to do a dissertation specifically on women of La Havre during the French Revolution without reading broad historical questions will raise doubts among professors. They'll ask, "Will this person be willing to do a comparative study with women in Toulouse and Marseilles? Might this person be willing to look at a longer history of women in La Havre and how their lives change from Ancien Regime to the Third Republic? Has this person read Mary Louise Robert's What Soldiers Do and looked at her bibliography for women in La Havre?" Professors are seriously thinking creatures and want to be able to impart their knowledge to open minded graduate students who have a good focus but need support to refine their dissertation topics further.
  7. First, has the person contacted the POI to get a sense of his/her current research projects? If the POI has nothing heading for publications right now, I'd beware. I would give more leniency to Associate Professors as they are doing far more than they did as Assistant Professors. They now are being asked to serve on more committees within the university and the field and sought after for tenure reviews and reviewing articles for journals. Within all that, the professor him/herself has to make choices how s/he wants to build up the portfolio for full promotion. Some want to focus on building outstanding, creative syllabi and teach those courses and gun for awards (unfortunately dependent on students and peers to make the nominations!). Others want to get more of the research for the next project done. It also depends on what is needed for the portfolio for full professorship for that particular department/university. If a Full Professor is doing none the above and sitting pretty, move on. However, if s/he has been supervising graduate students who are producing excellent work and receiving solid dissertation fellowships and getting academic jobs (if going into academia is what you want), then I would not be as concerned. The person has clearly developed a reputation for being a solid dissertation adviser. Part of being a strong dissertation adviser is keeping the exam reading lists up-to-date and that means being forced to read new books in the field (and thus learning new information, theories, and methodologies). If the students' reading lists don't include books from the last 5 years in addition to classics, I'd steer away. Having written all that, your friend should be asking about the POI's on-going research projects and doctoral students. A good POI should be able to brag about his/her doctoral students' accomplishments and research (hopefully breaking some ground...).
  8. Tough one. My dissertation is all of above. When I entered in the PhD program, I definitely intended to be theme-based, followed by events. Things have changed a lot in the last 5 years.
  9. Focusing in your intellectual questions here, @Banzailizard, have you considered looking into environmental history programs? It seems to be you're interested in the economics of how humans managed the environment around them (may it be urban or rural). While environmental historians tend to lean towards the sciences, they also engage with social scientific methodologies to make sense of how human beings interact with their surroundings. As for getting some sense of a reading list for Early Modern Europe, you might want to consult this guide from University of Chicago's Constantin Fasol. (now retired) http://home.uchicago.edu/~icon/teach/ She has multiple links to her PDFs. I used her guide to get a basic sense of early modern European history for my own exams (as well as her tips for oral exams!). Very helpful! You'll want to be sure to browse through American Historial Review, Environmental History, and other journals if you can get access to them, to get a sense of what topics people are working on.
  10. There have been posts relating to this question. Look back in Fall 201(X) Applicants threads. You'll find a wealth of information, if not daunting, shared by applicants and old-timers (like myself). This is the kind of question that comes up every year.
  11. From my understanding, @VAZ, it all depends on the POI. Sometimes they talk, sometimes they keep to themselves and hope for the best. Everyone knows that you're going to apply to multiple places. The reason behind "are you SURE you're gonna come?!" anxiety from the professors is the Graduate School. The Graduate School doles out only so many fellowships and it wants to see its money being used every year to its maximum. If the Graduate School notices a significant drop or consistently declining yield rates, it'll rethink its commitment to PhD education. When the Graduate School sees a department losing students to other programs, it's going to say, "You want 18 fellowships next year? I don't think so. Only 10 of the fellowship nominees came to your program. We're going to give you 12 for this year. Show us that you can fill that 12 and we'll reconsider." In any case, the Graduate School has to report to its higher up: the University and its Budget Office who makes the big decisions about where the money is going to go (football program? Counseling center? Undergraduate writing center? Dorms?). University bureaucracy is very nasty that way when it comes to graduate education. How to game this? Be honest but phrase carefully. Demonstrate how the program is very appealing to you in ways you can't imagine being anywhere else. Do whatever you can to avoid naming other programs/professors and generalization (really, what's the difference between Princeton's and UCLA's library holdings?). Remember, when a POI asks you or makes a conversation about "is this your first choice?", it's a signal that there's something much bigger going on than the POI herself/himself, especially if it's a public university. It's not you, it's the university that's looking out for itself during times when state budgets are cutting education. I suspect that my POI initially rejected me because she didn't get the sense that I really wanted to go to OSU (and she picked someone who had roots in the local community who did come). When I finished the cycle with only two waitlists, I contacted her again for help. After more research, I realized that my POI and OSU were absolutely right for me and I told her that. Then I got in the next cycle. Even though I wavered for weeks between OSU and another program, I accepted the offer.
  12. Unfortunately it's not just "some" schools. Many don't bother to update. We've had some fabulous placements (Michigan State, SUNY Binghamton, University of Utah, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, etc. in the last few years). Your best bet, really, is to be in touch with the graduate coordinator or graduate studies chair who will have the most up-to-date information. Also, it doesn't hurt to ask your POI where his/her students have gone after finishing. But bear in mind, not everyone wants to go into academia and you cannot judge the adviser for their choices. I think half the people I've been in graduate school with who have finished whether at OSU or elsewhere (including Michigan, Yale, , NYU, Stanford) were fortunate to land a tenure-track job while others realized that academia wasn't really for them or got too frustrated with the job market and changed careers. Regardless, all found happiness.
  13. Academic placement rate isn't any better than Brown's. Also, consider the fact that Brown has had smaller cohorts than OSU. We have just begun to admit less than 15 students each year. As for teaching load, what's it like at Brown? Also, consider the fact that we are talking about public vs. private universities with different class sizes in lower-level courses.
  14. Most people will understand basic English. Have your own research information written down in English and the host language and finding aid numbers ready. It'll take a few trial and errors but you'll get the handle of the basics of the procedures. Most archivists are used to researchers like yourself and find a way to make your visit worthwhile. I don't speak French but I managed to survive Archives Nationales in Paris. Also, have a dictionary on hand if needed for the archivist to look up a particular word.
  15. Actually, I am at Ohio State and I should correct some of your information, @telkanuru and give @VAZ an opportunity to consider. Our teaching load is actually lower than most of our peer programs. Teaching one's own course is optional but one gets paid the same as a TA in the same stage of the program. Students who claimed that they "had"/"were required" to teach their own courses are making victims of themselves. They tend to be those who just want to teach after finishing (not go to a research institution but to teach 4 courses/semester). They also prefer not to be working for a professor as a TA (i.e. they don't really want to be told how to teach but just try for themselves). In any event, the department chair recently instituted maximum of 2 semesters of Instructor of Record to help students focus on their dissertations and finish (students can get more if there's a real need for a particular course but that's not even guaranteed). That stipulation has worked to move people along in the past year. It is true that you do not need to teach so much in graduate school. Your job is to prove yourself as a scholar first and that means researching and publishing (and applying for monies). Also, undergrad demand has fallen (due to external economic pressures, it's not news) so a TA can be grading anywhere between 35 and 70 students. So if one gets luck with a small grading load, it's not all that bad. Most of our professors are very reasonable "bosses" and are mindful of students' need to complete coursework and dissertation. Finally, about the placement record. Our program does better with teaching institutions because of our strength in teaching. Also certain fields perform much better than others (European, African American, Asian, and Ottoman do the best) because of variable opportunities existing in those fields (top-notch professors, multiple funding opportunities). It is possible to get a job at a research institution if you can package your PhD program around research like peers at Michigan if you focus on being a TA and applying for tons of research grants/fellowships. Because of the department's longstanding connections to DC, we also place our graduates in the that area with comfortably salaries. Our placement rate is excellent because of the diverse paths that our graduates have taken. For academic jobs, it's honestly no better than most programs (roughly 50% overall). I should also point out that we have very generous summer funding which one applies for each year. Without a car, our living stipend is quite reasonable for Columbus. I'm happy to discuss details via PM.