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Found 89 results

  1. Hello! I am currently in the process of sorting out what I would like to go to graduate school for. (I know, I know.) I would like to go back for some combination of literature, media, the environment, dystopia, and possibly internet subcultures but am not totally sure what cohesive form all of those would take (and, moreover, if all of them will make the final cut). One thing I *do* know is that I would like my ultimate focus to be on the written word. I was an English undergrad (and absolutely loved it!) but am wondering if my desire to stray beyond specific literature periods and into more digital materials means I should look into less formal programs.
  2. Hi, Could spare 15 minutes to help me with my survey? I’m a student on a teacher training programme in Germany, and for my degree thesis in English linguistics, I’m researching dark humour in the British TV comedy The League of Gentlemen. You’re not required to know anything about The League of Gentlemen, you’re going going to rate a couple video clips. If you don’t want to that’s fine, too. Thanks! Link: https://www.soscisurvey.de/humourdiscourse2017/ Password: laugh
  3. · A few weeks ago, I was asked to talk to first-year M.A. students about the Ph.D. application process. I prepared a list of what I figure to be key elements, and I figure it might be useful to many on GC who are preparing to go down this path as well. I'm quite certain that some of these points are purely subjective and open to discussion / debate, but having gone through the process a couple of times now, these items ring true based on my experiences and observations. ---------------- Others have surely told you about the state of the industry, so I’m just going to assume that you already know the “there are no jobs” spiel. · Others have also surely told you about how relatively difficult it is to get into a Ph.D. program—I have yet to hear of a program that admits over 10% of applicants. o Because of this, if you are committed to applying to Ph.D. programs, I strongly recommend considering applying to at least ten. Even though merit is a critical part of determining who gets in, there is a very real element of “luck of the draw” which pure numbers will help to mitigate. · With that in mind, NOW is a good time to get started on your program research · Your first consideration when entering the process should be to determine what era you would like to study, and ideally a general sense of methodologies you want to employ. These elements will be reflected in the two most important components of your application: the Statement of Purpose (or SoP), and your Writing Sample (WS). · Some basics: o The SoP and WS should ideally work together o When thinking about potential areas of study, avoid proposing transatlantic or transhistorical concepts: admissions committees are still very much set up by period, and your application should be easily sorted into a field group (i.e. you’re clearly a Romanticist, or you’re clearly a 20th century Americanist). o GRE scores, GPA, and other elements are important, but remember that the things you can control the most at this stage are the WS and SoP. o Given the importance of these two documents, you will want to get as many eyes on them as possible as soon as possible. § My SoP and WS were read and commented on by at least five professors and several fellow students, and ultimately went through at least six rounds of revision each—several of them top-to-bottom revisions. · There are multiple factors to consider when looking at programs. Some of the most important include: o Are there multiple professors actively working in your chosen field § I personally used a “rule of three”—if a program had three professors with significant research overlap with my interests, I would consider it. § By “active” I mean that you should be able to find publication credits from within the past five years—they need to be in touch with current scholarship. o What level of financial support do they offer—not just the annual funding, but whether they fund in summer, and how many years of funding are guaranteed o What courses have they offered in the past? What courses are they offering in the fall? o What is the teaching load like, and how do they prepare you for that load? o So-called rankings matter to a certain extent, but remember that those rankings are almost completely arbitrary. USNews rankings are helpful as a list of all programs offering Ph.D.s in English…and a very, very general sense of the strong programs vs. the less strong. But FIT with your interests trumps all. § (E.g. the Strode program at U of A is highly regarded, even though U of A itself is somewhat less so) o Location and cost of living. A 20k stipend will get you a lot further in Lincoln, Nebraska than in New York. And elements like small town vs. large city, cold vs. warm climate etc. are all perfectly valid factors when looking at programs. You’ll have to live in this place for 4-6 years, after all! · A few quick and random tips: o It can be helpful to contact professors ahead of time to determine research fit etc., but it can also be quite valuable to contact current grad students to get a sense of the program and the environment. o Remember that an important part of professionalization in a Ph.D. program is publication. More than anything, this means that before you go down the road toward application, give some serious thought to whether or not your writing and research inclinations have that kind of potential. And whether or not that’s something you really want to deal with at all. o Also remember that teaching is a huge part of your job, and always will be. If you don’t enjoy teaching (or the prospect of teaching), you’d better really love the other components of your position, because there’s not going to be any getting away from it for many, many years. o It might go without saying, but be very courteous in all of your communications with professors and other graduate students. And that courtesy should be sincere! o Consider the total cost of applications: application fees average about $75, sending GRE scores is $27 (more if you need the subject test), and if you have multiple transcripts, that can tack on another $10. In other words, each application will likely be upward of $100. Given that I recommend applying to at least ten programs, you’re looking at a commitment of over $1000. There ARE fee waivers you can find, however. o Forums like GradCafe are a good way to socialize with fellow applicants, and commiserate with people in the same situation. Just remember to take all advice you see on those forums with a grain of salt. o Finally, there are NO SAFETY SCHOOLS. Just to reiterate, rankings are arbitrary, and almost every program gets ten times as many applicants as they can admit (let alone fund). As a result, you want to look at the best overall fit for you.
  4. Yo, Two things: 1. I'm having trouble finding people doing what I want to do. My goal is to apply to Comp Lit programs (F 2018), but I'm not sure I'm competitive or whatever. I have a reading knowledge of Russian, German, Biblical Greek, and Biblical Hebrew (I feel like most programs want more than a reading knowledge, but I'm finding it hard to get further w/o spending much $$$). I went to a whatever Christian liberal arts college, got a B.A. in English, minor in Theology, 3.75 GPA, some good papers, good recommenders, albeit unknown. I want to look mostly at biblical, theological, and philosophical influences on 19thC Anglophone and Russian lit, mostly novels. Do any schools, scholars, or programs come to mind where that would even make sense? 2. Who's doing anything similar? Anything comparative between ancient and modern(ish) influences? Anyone doing bible stuff in a lit dept?
  5. Hi all! I'm hoping for some advice regarding the strengths of various graduate programs in English. I plan to apply to Ph.D. programs in the next cycle so as to begin in Fall 2018. I'm interested in studying the confluence of trauma and postcolonial discourses, particularly as they pertain to cultural memory studies, genocide studies, and American Indian studies. I have a list of programs that seem like a reasonably good fit, but I'm unsure if I would actually find appropriate coursework and mentorship there. Any advice would be much appreciated, particularly if you have insight into a particular department or program! Thanks in advance! Penn Johns Hopkins Princeton Rutgers Cornell Emory UW - Madison UC Santa Cruz Illinois UC San Diego UVA Michigan
  6. I thought there might be some benefit in creating a forum where (1) people can post if they are declining an offer, and (2) where people can post where they are wait-listed. Sure, there is no guarantee the wait-listed person will get the spot, but it's still nice to know, right? Or we can put anything related to wait-lists here.
  7. How do I make myself the most competitive English PhD candidate possible? I'm currently pursuing an MFA, but I'm considering getting my PhD in either Lit or Rhet/Comp in order to better my job prospects. Of course, all the writing I've been doing for the past two years has been creative, and I only have poetry publications to my name. I plan to take off a few years between the MFA and the (potential) PhD. What could I do in that time to improve my application? Publish scholarly papers? Audit a literature class?
  8. I have heard back from every English MA program except for the University of Washington: Seattle. Does anyone know when they generally make decisions?
  9. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/03/20/suit-alleges-ohio-u-sat-complaints-professors-sexual-misconduct-decade?utm_content=bufferba9dc&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=IHEbuffer (This is a link to more info from Inside Higher Ed about the charges being brought against the alleged harasser- Prof. Andrew Escobedo.) https://www.ohio.edu/cas/about/directories/profiles.cfm?profile=escobedo (This is a link to his profile on the OU site.) I would encourage grad students, particularly female grad students, to be wary of OU's English department in light of these allegations. It looks like he is in the process of being fired, as the Inside Higher Ed article states: "Ohio has already moved to fire the tenured full professor and says its processes ensure that all complaints are 'investigated thoroughly and handled appropriately.'" Nonetheless, a department that would allow this type of alleged conduct to go on for a decade is one to be leery of. (I highly doubt they would be in the process of firing him had the allegations been found to be untrue in the subsequent investigation.)
  10. Let's say everything else about the program is a good fit. Top tier program, lots of great professors, close to home, good funding, good city -- but the program has terrible job placement. Would a poor record of job placement be a deal breaker for you? What if your alternative is a program that's less ideal in terms of funding (although, still perfectly livable), location and fit (slightly less ideal), but much better with placement? Should we first and foremost consider job placement when choosing between programs that are a "good" fit?
  11. Anyone on here going to the Welcome Days? I booked my flight last week and will be bringing my partner.
  12. I got into my second choice and they gave me a great package. I think I am getting accepted into my first choice program, but waitlisted for funding and won't find out until April 15th. My second choice wants a decision on the TA-ship by March 15th (next week!!!) What do I do???? Any advice is welcome. Trying not to make myself sick over this.
  13. I know the Oxford website says decisions are made and sent out 8-10 weeks after the deadline. Since the Jan. 20th (2017) deadline, that would put decisions around March 17th-31st. I'm wondering if anyone has heard any additional information regarding Oxford results and, additionally, what departments/ strands your application was for. Thank you!
  14. Anyone on here applied with a postcolonial sub-field? Where did you apply? Here's my list: Columbia (anyone get an interview here? idk if they are doing interviews for PoCo) Princeton Cornell UW Madison Indiana Bloomington UCLA NYU
  15. Does anyone know if Penn or Temple are starting to notify of acceptances / rejections for their programs? I've seen smatterings of updates thus far, but nothing too substantial. Hope everyone is doing alright during the waiting process!
  16. I've been accepted into the PhD in English Language & Literature at Queen's U. My dilemma is... I'm unsure if academia is the path for me. I've become much more interested in journalism as of late. My questions, basically, are as follows: Would a PhD be of any use in a journalistic career? Would it be a good idea to accept the PhD offer, to try it for a semester/year? If I did end up leaving the program after one year, is that incredibly bad form? Would I be better served rejecting the offer and applying to journalism schools for next year? Do I even need any additional schooling (I'm in the midst of completing an MA in English), or am I better off attempting to get an internship/job in journalism immediately? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
  17. Hey all, Congrats to those who received acceptances this go around. I never thought I'd find myself among you, yet here I am faced with the challenge of picking one off the top shelf. My proposed research area is 20th/21st century postmodern lit -- lots of experience with magical realism, afrofuturism, historical fiction that seeks to rework the master narrative of 1492. Feminist, Poststructuralist and Postcolonial theory is pretty essential to my work. I'm looking for a program that's super interdisciplinary, allowing me to work in the realm of cultural studies, critical race studies, and media studies. I need coursework that's theory heavy and a department that's not afraid to ask those metaphysical questions that push the boundaries of the discipline. Now, it seems to me neither NYU nor Cornell are afraid to play in this territory, but who does it best? According to USNews' 2013 rankings, Cornell is top 10 while NYU is top 20. Does this matter? Cornell is Ivy and NYU is honorary Ivy. Thinking of the job market, do either of these positions and distinctions hold weight when pinned against one another? In terms of practical matters, NYU's funding is better. The McCracken Fellowship has to be one of the best fellowship offers out there. $26,000+ and an additional $22,000 for those who choose to teach. I live in NYC, and if I stay in NYC, I won't have to pay rent. I'll basically save up my fellowship funds, and in 5 years, buy a house. Cornell's Sage Fellowship offers $25,000+ a year with 4 years of added summer support, and Teaching Assistantships during years 2, 3 and 5. Of course, I'd have to live in Ithaca, which is 4+ hours away from NYC, pay rent, and be away from my support system. It seems to me that NYU is the more practical option, but Cornell romances me. Cornell English actively seeks to push the envelope. (Although, a website communicates only so much truth. Is there anyone out there who can speak to this point?) Being outside of the city is also a temptation. NYC STRESSES ME OUT, but because it is NYC the resources are infinite. I just have to be willing to get up every day and travel an hour and a half to get there. Though, I'm so jaded by it all that I'm afraid I won't even bother to hit NYPL to get that one book that can be found nowhere else. Ultimately, however, I'm not interested in making unnecessary sacrifices. If Cornell isn't worth it, then Cornell isn't worth it. I'll go to NYU, which is an awesome program, do my research, collect my funds, graduate, buy a house, and *maybe* get a job to pay for it. The wisdom of the experienced is MUCH appreciated. Upvotes for all.
  18. Hi all, I have posted here before on other issues (thank you so much for all of your comments, by the way!) so some may remember me–I'm an undergrad junior in the middle of a leap from medicine to English literature. One of my chief concerns is my GPA... I'm majoring in the sciences, as it had been drilled into me by my parents–since middle school, if not earlier–that I must become a doctor. Now, however, I'm realizing all too late that medicine is not at all where my passions lie, and I would rather pursue a graduate degree in English lit. Here's the thing, though: I performed decently well in my first year, but in my second year of undergrad I got involved in a lot of extracurriculars, my science classes suddenly became much more challenging, and I suffered from my time management issues quite terribly (GPA was 2.62 in the first semester and 3.08 in the second). This was due entirely to my poor performance in courses like Calculus or Orgo or Neuroscience. Since that year, I've gotten over my time management failures and improved drastically (3.84 GPA last semester, looking to be similar this semester as well). I've spoken to some of my advisors but keep getting different input – some say since the low GPA is due to my science courses and thus won't be weighed as heavily by admission committees, others say it looks too bad nevertheless, and my chances at a top PhD program are slim. I had some hope in the beginning, for I have always done well in my English courses and rationalized the low GPA as, to some degree, irrelevant to these subjects... and I planned to also pursue an MA first, to give me more experience (since I wasn't an English major) and dilute my poor undergrad performance with my grad experience... but now after following several threads here and seeing the admission statistics, I'm losing hope completely... Students are applying with GPAs in the 3.90s and being rejected... I guess I'm just looking for some input. Would the MA really not be enough to give me a little push upward? To help counter that one awful year of undergrad? Should I just give up hope for any shot at one of the top PhD programs? I can't even express how much I regret that one year... I know this sounds incredibly melodramatic, but it truly feels like it's beginning to ruin my life (apologies for the extra long post)
  19. Hey, new user here! I applied to MA programs in English, and I am starting to hear back. What I'm wondering now (to decide how much to factor it into my decision) is how much the name of my MA school will matter on eventual PhD applications. Obviously I haven't even heard back from many of my programs, but I have already received a tempting offer from Salem State University. It's not exactly a "prestigious" school, but I like the program and the area. I'm slightly ahead of myself, I know. But I just don't want to find out that good PhD programs are going to write me off if they don't know my MA institution. If I (hopefully) get a solid GPA and have a strong application otherwise, will it be a factor that PhD programs weigh heavily?
  20. Hi! I'm a student of English Studies from Poland and this year I'm writing my BA dissertation on "The Influence of the Norman Invasion on English Language". In the 1st chapter I wanted to present how Old English and Norman French looked like before the invasion but I lack any information on the latter. If you could direct me to some websites, books, or articles on the topic, I would appreciate it very much. These may include linguistic records of the language of Normans and the language before the Vikings had settled in Normandy. Thanks in advance! PS. Perhaps some of you are able to translate the above into French. If you could, I would post this on some French speaking blogs and maybe receive some feedback there as well.
  21. I received a letter stating that I was placed on the wait list for the University of Tennessee's English Ph.D. prgram (Fall 2017). When I emailed to check to see where I am on the list, they said that they didn't have the list finished yet so they couldn't tell me. But they did say "But if we do get a no from the first round then you are the second person in your division. So it is very likely you would get admission and funding." What does the division part mean, and do you think its likely that I'll get an acceptance offer? This is my first choice in schools, no other acceptances right now, but I still have a few I haven't heard from yet. Thanks!!!
  22. Application season was horrible for me, so I'm not really expecting an acceptance. While waiting for results, I'm contemplating what to do if rejection is my future. Would a gap year be good? Or should I consider a Masters programs? Are there any funded English Masters programs? Post-Baccs? Any programs/jobs/internships that would be good to consider while waiting for the next round of applications for the English phD? I'm feeling discouraged, but hoping that other opportunities might actually allow for a better application next go round.
  23. Hello there! I'm currently a second-semester junior majoring in neuroscience, minoring in English. It's a tale as old as time: a student pushed toward one field by her family, realizing all-too-late that she has more interest in another. Long story short, I'm beginning to consider pursuing a graduate degree in English lit, but am growing more and more worried about whether it would really be possible to accomplish that, given that my undergraduate degree will be in an unrelated subject. I'm not sure how much the minor in English will really matter, but I suspect it won't be significant. I'm considering pursuing an MA in English before even attempting to apply for PhD, as that will give me much more experience and allow me to more fully expand the skills I already have, improving my chances for the PhD. My question is, though, most (if not all) PhD application deadlines here in the US close in the winter, and I will have only begun my MA by then. If I apply at that point, how will my undergrad transcript be weighed against the fact that I'm in the middle of my MA? Will I have any grades ready by then to show for my grad work? Would it be best to wait, finish the MA, and apply then? Additionally, my undergrad GPA suffered significantly during my sophomore year (particularly the fall semester), largely due to a heavy load of difficult science classes & my time management failures (it was quite bad; there was an F, a D, and a C). I really can't say I have any decent excuse; I was very young and very foolish, and it was entirely my fault. I've improved drastically since then, but I can't help but kick myself over those mistakes and how they will probably come back to bite me in my grad apps. How much do you think these one-time poor science grades affect my prospects? My English/lit grades have always been quite high... I apologize for the length of this post! Hopefully someone can answer some of these questions... Any additional advice is very much welcome
  24. Hi everyone – I have a quick question, one which may or may not require some degree of vague speculation: that is, does anyone know if it might hurt my chances at receiving an offer from a school's PhD program if I apply to their M.A. program a year prior, receive an offer, and turn it down? Does this depend on a particular admissions committee? Any and all perspectives are welcome, thanks!
  25. Hoping I'm not duplicating another post, but are there any other Columbia applicants to English here? I saw a couple of interview requests posted on the results board, but I was under the impression that Columbia didn't do interviews. It also seems really early. Can anyone shed any light on this?