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About VAZ

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
    Sociocultural history of pre-industrial East-central Europe. West Slavic literature and culture.
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Eastern European History

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  1. As you have heard, graduate school applications have been decreasing in number every year in all arts and humanities disciplines. I just looked at some history programs with open statistics and saw a significant drop of PhD applicants in the last three years (20%-40%) (Michigan seems to be an outlier). Is this happening in all schools, and will the number keep going down? what would you predict for the 2018 cycle?
  2. Is it normal and totally fine to reveal to your POI where/who else you are applying to? There is no taboo about it right?
  3. Build on OP's question, have you tried or thought about elaborating, developing or incorporating your past and recent seminar papers into your future research or publications, especially if they are irrelevant to your field or dissertation topic?
  4. @AP but aren't 90% of them Hispanists? I think East Asian history is a bit different since China, Korea and Japan are very distinct in terms of culture, history and language. And the relation is not reciprocal. Koreanists have a better chance understanding Chinese (and Japanese) historiographies and languages but not the other way around. Most Sinologists would choose Japanese over Korean as the second research language. Same in the field of Eastern European History. Russianists know less about the rest of Eastern Europe than Polonists, Bohemists, Slovakists, Ukranianists and Balticists know about Russia. That's why if an Eastern Europeanist does not say which specific cultural/ethic groups he specializes in, it probably means he only studies Russian history. And if he doesn't say he studies Seberia or South Caucasia, it probably means he only focuses on the Russian heartland.
  5. I believe you already have Charles Armstrong (Columbia), Kyu Hyun Kim (UC Davis), Todd Henry (UCSD), Charles Kim (Wisconsin), Yumi Moon (Stanford), Eugene Park (Penn) (He does supervise History PhDs) and Bruce Cumings (why not stay?) on your list. All of them have a pan-East Asian or global perspective/training. For those who reside in EALC, you can manage to find a way, by co-advising, i.e. a Modern East Asian Professor in History + a Korean History Specialist in EALC. For example, R. Bin Wong + Namhee Lee (UCLA), Scott O'Bryan + Michael Robinson (Indiana), and Sheldon Garon + Steven Chung (Princeton). Or, you can head north. Have you checked out Steven Hugh Lee (UBC) and Carl F. Young (UWO)? They are very Korean and also very international. Generally speaking, as you have said, you can always do East Asia in History, but you cannot do global history in EALC. And people nowadays would prefer a disciplined training background to a regional studies PhD. Unless you do literature and culture (and film), regional studies should not be your first consideration.
  6. I think I'm encountering another problem here. What if all of my professors, POIs and academic friends know me by my social/professional name, but I guess I have to write down my full legal (and unrelated and never used in my case) name in the application form. Would it lead to a naming mismatch in the admission committee discussion? Or can I note my preferred name somewhere or maybe clarify it in my SoP? Should I tell my letter writers to use my full legal name instead?
  7. Speaking not from personal experiences. As a non-modernist, my only interest in the modern era is on the history of historians. I have looked at the biographical history of hundred professors and I would say that if you could get tenured by 40 and full professorship by 50, you would be one of the most successful/youngest historians in the department. That leads to 33/34 for entering a TT job and minus a few years of post doc and visiting professorship, 31 would be a fairly young age for PhD conferrel and 25/26 for starting your PhD. Since you are only 19(?), you will be way ahead of your peers even if you take a few gap years. I have a feeling that youngness is not particularly welcomed in PhD admission as well as in academia. And many male professors intentionally keep their beards to appear older and perhaps more "trustable." LOL Unlike sciencists and mathematicians (and perhaps social scientists) who can be born genius, humanities scholars need a lot of time to mature and ferment. Yes, life experiences matter. That being said, however, the renowned 20th century medievalist Charles Homer Haskins got his PhD at 19 years old. East European historian Timothy Snyder got his at 26 and published the first book at 28. And Jewish historian Michael Brenner became a full professor at 33.
  8. For those who are not proposing a source-based dissertation topic, when should you have some knowledge about the primary sources you are gonna work with, i.e. where are they located, what type and what kind, have you accessed before, if they exist at all, and giving a few examples ------ in other words, the feasibility of the project? When you contact your POI for the first time, when you write your SoPs, or don't have to worry about it until submitting the official dissertation prospectus after the second year in the program or even until the field research year? For example, "I just found an old record book from a deserted, dusted shelf in a local archive, and I'm sure no one has touched it for decades. This is what I'm using as my main primary source." LOL
  9. @AP thank you for pointing it out. I actually mean your potential comp examiners and/or dissertation committee member/reader, those "who you also want to study with."
  10. Would you also contact any CMOI (Committee Member of Interest) after receiving positive feedbacks from the POIs?
  11. I have a quick and interesting question (hope not a stupid one). Are these abbreviations, such as POI and SoP, only Gradcafe (or similar forum) lingos used among graduate applicants or common sense terms known in the entire academic world? I've never seen them on any department website or personal CV (PI is a well-known abbr. in science I believe). My history folks, what's the history of these abbreviations?? I mean If I use"POI" in the email sent to my POI, will he understand and not feel weird? (I'm not really doing it). My best bet: young faculty who received the PhD in the last ten years have a better chance of understanding them.
  12. @laleph Actually, my general research field is medieval and early modern East-Central Europe, which seems extremely broad time-wise and region-wise in the Western European/American history standard, but in fact it only has less than 20 active historians in North America, or roughly 40 in Anglophone academia. I'm not even talking about the specific century or country, not to mention approach and theme. And each of them has a distinctive era/approach and language/source coverage. That's why I may have to stretch myself, within this sparse field, or I can find two out-of-the-field supervisors and do the sandwich thing. A third alternative is to follow Norman Davies's education path, doing a PhD in Eastern Europe. But I prefer to stay in North America for a better-off general history training.
  13. By "thin field," I do not mean "small in scope" (Rhode Island or D.C.), but "low population density" (think about Alaska, Montana, or Northwest Territories in Canada), where only 2 to 30 historians scatteredly dwell in, depending on how large "territory" I want to include (how stretchable I am) (If counting the "must go to the Top 20 programs," it only leaves 6-8 options.) And thus I have to go to each professor's tribe and build a (long)house next to him, otherwise I would lose myself in the middle of nowhere. Maybe "thin" is not a good choice of word, but "barely deserted"? LOL, my long-term goal is really to revive and rebuild the entire sub-field in North American academia.
  14. Well, of course, no doubt. I would even call that 100% fit. But this isn't always the case. Not every school has a social/cultural historian of early modern France, not every school has a historian of early modern France, and for some fields, not every school has a historian of France (I'm just using France as an example, and "not every" here could mean "only a few'). I'm in a very thin field and some of my forerunners even do sandwiching --- working on the intersections of two professors (say, a modern French historian + an early modern British historian), but neither of them is really an expert on the exact time period + region. But I think that may work, if everyone is happy. Otherwise, compromise has to be made on my part. What if he says "I don't do France but I do Britain. I'm not interested or specialized in cultural history or women history but solely intellectual history. I don't think you should apply me." The end of game? I don't mind stretching myself. I have a few different projects in mind, which are similar in spirit. It's just a matter of which you would delve into first and use as a possible dissertation topic. Maybe having some flexibilities and offering the POIs a couple customized directions would lead to a better chance to win?
  15. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/16/world/middleeast/iran-rouhani-brother-arrest-united-states-nuclear.html https://www.princeton.edu/news/2017/07/16/princeton-supporting-graduate-student-sentenced-prison-iran Have you guys read about this news? What's your comment? I'm sort of glad that communism is not ruling Eastern Europe anymore ... Otherwise, my archival trip would somehow be ut supra. BTW, the poor guy got his wikipedia page because of this......