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About OHSP

  • Rank
    Double Shot

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    History PhD
  1. A) I'm super glad that you've come out of this with a place, and are able to ask these questions, B) I am spending way too much time wondering if I made the right decisions, C) I only just finished my MA thesis and sometime soon I'm sure I'll chill out but for now I am using the weird energy to create long, unrealistic fantasy reading lists. I love a good annotated bibliography
  2. I took it right down to the final day with NYU and UPenn, but I'm going to NYU.
  3. Ugh. I mean, they are actually somewhat correct to the extent that you will encounter people who think gender and sexuality has no place in "real" historical studies, but basically that's just something to get used to (and to get used to arguing against). Job market-wise it can help to have a foot outside of traditional history, just because it means that you might be able to apply for jobs in WGSS departments etc etc.
  4. If you can afford to do an MA (NYU's is unfunded), then I'd recommend it, and if you're certain that you're interested in gender and LGBT history then the women and gender history MA at NYU is likely to set you up really well (Linda Gordon's still around, Michele Mitchell is there, and the faculty is full of amazing women and feminists). But you don't need a specifically gender-focused MA to set yourself up for LGBT and gender history PhDs. I'm not entirely sure why you think women's history and gender/sexuality studies would be perceived as "area studies"... ? Women and LGBT people are historical actors; it's not beyond the realm of historical studies to focus on LGBT experiences...
  5. Congrats! I'm so happy for you! #dreamsdocometrue
  6. I've officially declined Wisconsin Madison and Duke - hope that frees up room for others. UW was particularly difficult to turn down.
  7. Sounds like Cornell
  8. Whereabouts is this second school? I'm about to turn down a few offers (after struggling to make a decision) and I'm sure there are other people in the same boat.
  9. This is so relatable. Good luck deciding!
  10. I got into NYU (didn't apply to Columbia) with a MA from a no name international school. Everyone's been much more focused on my writing sample/SOP/publications than on where I went to school, and I'm an Americanist (so it's not like being overseas has given me some kind of "lived experience" of being in the region--quite the opposite). I applied to 8 top 20 schools and got into 6 so while I'm sure that going to a big name school helps, it's not essential. I chose my MA program on the basis of my advisor, who was amazing and a leader in my field, but I was in a different situation because in Australia most humanities grad programs are fully-funded. I guess the question is who would you hope to work with at NYU and Columbia, and which MA programs are best-placed to set you up for the type of research that you might want to do in a PhD. Also I totally messed up the maths part of the GRE (but did very well in the verbal, like most people I met on visits)--I'm not sure how much weight I'd give the GRE in terms of where to place your focus. The more important things are going to be your writing sample and SOP.
  11. In terms of deciding what you're interested in, a really great way to get insight into this is to write a senior thesis - not because that thesis will reflect the exact type of work that you'll do later on, but because you'll learn about the process of working on a sustained question, and you'll find yourself drawn to certain texts, questions, debates etc -- writing that thesis made all the difference, for me. As a sophomore, you might just want to start thinking about what excites you, and what you'd be willing to spend a year or a semester (depending on your school) thinking/reading/writing about.
  12. My visits changed everything so I definitely think that's the right move. I am actually really (perhaps naievely) surprised by how difficult the decision is. When I visited I thought I had one clear choice and now I am conpletely torn between two. Anyway, congrats on your acceptances and I hope that your decision is straightforward post visit!!
  13. Yeah ditto this for first-gen, low-income, indigenous, lesbian -- especially given I might want to return to my home country post-PhD, in which case the rankings really do mean something to selection committees. At my current school (in Australia) the recent hires are graduates of Harvard, Columbia, NYU, USC and UNC Chapel Hill.
  14. It's good advice--thanks. I am not interested in being a curator, historical consultant etc, but at the moment I have a strong foot in oral history and oral history documentary, and I wouldn't want to lose that--but you're right in that there are opportunities to keep a hold of that anywhere. The regional thing is not such a big issue (A is Philadelphia, B is New York). The reputation of B in oral history and documentary is better than the reputation of A. Obviously this is something I need to think about a bit more - good luck with your decision though!
  15. I'm torn between two schools, both private with similar funding, and would appreciate any advice. School A is the more prestigious, better-ranked school, but it's currently in a "transition phase" in terms of hiring Americanists to replace a few big names who've left in the past few years. At this school I would have an advisor who is known for being extremely supportive and who I think is genuinely drawn towards my work--she is close to retirement and would take me on as an exception (she's otherwise not taking new students). That is a bit concerning to me because it means she's potentially not really going to be around (in academia, not in the world) when I'm trying to crawl my way into the job market. If she retires early then I'm not sure who else at this school would advise me, though the school is, of course, making some hires in the next few years. When I visited this school it didn't feel like a great fit. Other than my potential advisor and one Latin Americanist, the department is known for being more traditional and conservative--and this has been a problem for me at my current school, where I'm doing my MA. I would have to work outside of the history department a fair bit, and I would have an advisor from the English department who would fill my need for someone working in gender and sexuality. This school has amazing placement statistics and a great reputation but it isn't so open to the idea that public history is valuable, and that is very important to me as someone who could happily go either way. School B is less prestigious but is known as a "dynamic, innovative" program. The department offers more courses that I'd like to take and that reflects the fact that the faculty is full of historians who are doing the type of work I would like to do. My primary advisor at this school is very, very early into her career and she's not working in the exact same field as me, but the questions that she is asking are amazing and I got on really well with her when I met her at the visit. If I were listening to a gut feeling, I'd say she's the right advisor (even though she's a bit of an unknown quantity, just because she really hasn't worked with many students). Because she is quite junior, she would co-advise along with another professor who also seems like he would probably be good but it's difficult to know--I met 7th year students of his who were positive. This school does not have anyone working specifically in gender and sexuality and I am not sure where I would get that--I'd likely have to have an outside advisor on my committee. I visited this school immediately after I visited school A and a few hours in I was like "ok this is where I should be." I could imagine myself amongst the student body and there was an energy between the faculty that I did not feel at school A (where I have been told there is more tension etc). This school's placement statistics vary from year to year but it's very well-known and not unreputable. They also have a specific public history and archives program that I could take classes in, and I think I'd be very supported in my oral history work. I am completely unsure of how this decision will go. I am drawn to school B and I'm excited by the advisor there, but part of me thinks that it makes more sense to go to the nominally stronger, better-ranked program, where my advisor would also be great--if anyone has any thoughts I'm very open to hearing them.