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French - Fall 2011


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102 replies to this topic

Poll: Research interests & Programs (38 member(s) have cast votes)

If you had to choose *one* time period or area of interest in French studies, which would it be?

  1. Moyen âge (3 votes [7.89%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.89%

  2. Seizième siècle (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Dix-septième siècle (1 votes [2.63%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.63%

  4. Dix-huitième siècle (2 votes [5.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.26%

  5. Dix-neuvième siècle (7 votes [18.42%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.42%

  6. Vingtième siècle (9 votes [23.68%])

    Percentage of vote: 23.68%

  7. Littérature contemporaine (2 votes [5.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.26%

  8. Littérature postcoloniale (2 votes [5.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.26%

  9. Cinéma français / francophone (2 votes [5.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.26%

  10. Théorie critique (sociale ainsi que littéraire) (8 votes [21.05%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.05%

  11. Aucune de ces options / Autre champ (2 votes [5.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.26%

To which of the following Ph.D programs are you applying? (This is my list, but I've included an "other" option)

  1. Berkeley (9 votes [8.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.57%

  2. Columbia (16 votes [15.24%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.24%

  3. Cornell (7 votes [6.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

  4. Harvard (10 votes [9.52%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.52%

  5. NYU (15 votes [14.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  6. Princeton (11 votes [10.48%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.48%

  7. Yale (14 votes [13.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.33%

  8. Other (23 votes [21.90%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.90%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#101 hcohu

hcohu

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:44 AM

BROWN

COLUMBIA

HARVARD

JoeySsance, PhD

NYU
hcohu, MA in French Language and Civilization, NYU in Paris

PRINCETON


UPENN



I'm happy to answer questions about the application process for NYU's program, Columbia's (MA in French Cultural Studies in a Global Context), and Middlebury's (MA in French), as I was accepted into these three programs. All the best to everyone!
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#102 Angelus Novus

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 12:13 AM

Hey forsberg, your interests are really neat! I've noticed that a fair handful of professors deal with 19th and 20th century lit, so you can't go wrong at most of the schools you're considering.

I'm mostly interested in structuralist and post-structuralist thought, mainly of French theorists, but also the German thinkers who influenced them and their branches in American and international critical theory. I started out interested in Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida which lead to an exploration of Nietzsche, Marx and Freud. Right now I'm most strongly influenced by French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan. I'm mostly interested in reconsidering some of the most fundamental axioms of French psychoanalytic theory with regard to the constitution of the subject. I like literary theory but I'm also quite passionate about theory in terms of social critique. My work looks at the intersections between psychoanalytic theory, queer theory and gender studies, race studies, ideology studies and semiotics (to name my biggest influences; admittedly I have a lot of interests when it comes to theory, which has lead to exciting interdisciplinary work so far). I would go into more detail but I'm pretty sure I'd be pinpointing myself rather exactly (if I haven't already)... :P

As for contacting professors, I really don't think it could hurt to contact a specific professor once to let them know you're excited about applying and that you may have a question or two. That being said, the only way contacting professors might hurt you is if you did so too often and without anything important to say or ask. I think I'm going to contact at least one or two departments' DGS because I have a question about the writing sample (for which I can't seem to find the answers on their websites or the schools' at all). By the way, how are you dealing with the fact that the schools we're considering have such varying writing sample requirements? Also, what did your professors say when they advised you against contacting the faculty at the schools to which you're applying?




Salut JoeySsance,

I am new to GradCafe and just came across your discussion while looking up french theory. I am planning to apply at the end of the year for Fall 2012 PhD programs which are strong in French theory, but am honestly rather unsure of whether it would be best to apply to French departments, or other disciplines, such as Anthropology, Philosophy, History (with a focus in Intellectual History), or even Religion. I did my MA at Columbia in Anthropology, where I spent the first year reading philosophy, including a lot of Foucault, Derrida, Lacan, Barthes, Benjamin, Bataille and Agamben. Since my MA (graduated in 2004) I have been working with the United Nations and have been on countless missions, but have continued to read these authors, and have also developed a strong interest in the work of Maurice Blanchot. For my PhD research, I would be keen to trace the genealogies of concepts of Sacrifice, Loss, Mourning, Survival, Memory and Forgetting, from their religio-philosophical roots to their play in contemporary narratives (possibly in post-war contexts). Would like to engage in the question of philosophy of history and language as well.

I would be most interested to hear your advice as well as your opinion of the Harvard program, as I looked at both the French and the History departments at Harvard. Am also considering returning to Columbia, either back to the Anthropology department, to the French department, or possibly even to the department of Religion. Have wondered about Yale as well, as well as Berkeley. Any advice would be very much appreciated, as I would like to narrow down my choices by the end of the summer!

Merci a l'avance.
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#103 JoeySsance

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 04:46 PM

Salut JoeySsance,

I am new to GradCafe and just came across your discussion while looking up french theory. I am planning to apply at the end of the year for Fall 2012 PhD programs which are strong in French theory, but am honestly rather unsure of whether it would be best to apply to French departments, or other disciplines, such as Anthropology, Philosophy, History (with a focus in Intellectual History), or even Religion. I did my MA at Columbia in Anthropology, where I spent the first year reading philosophy, including a lot of Foucault, Derrida, Lacan, Barthes, Benjamin, Bataille and Agamben. Since my MA (graduated in 2004) I have been working with the United Nations and have been on countless missions, but have continued to read these authors, and have also developed a strong interest in the work of Maurice Blanchot. For my PhD research, I would be keen to trace the genealogies of concepts of Sacrifice, Loss, Mourning, Survival, Memory and Forgetting, from their religio-philosophical roots to their play in contemporary narratives (possibly in post-war contexts). Would like to engage in the question of philosophy of history and language as well.

I would be most interested to hear your advice as well as your opinion of the Harvard program, as I looked at both the French and the History departments at Harvard. Am also considering returning to Columbia, either back to the Anthropology department, to the French department, or possibly even to the department of Religion. Have wondered about Yale as well, as well as Berkeley. Any advice would be very much appreciated, as I would like to narrow down my choices by the end of the summer!

Merci a l'avance.


Hey there! Please forgive me for the delay in responding. I've been getting settled in Cambridge, MA, my new hometown for the next six or so years. We certainly have a neat overlap of interests! Harvard's French department is probably the most theoretical of the departments to which I applied, so I highly recommend it. It seems like you could do a lot of your potential PhD work with Susan Suleiman here and/or with Verena Conley. Berkeley has a wonderful Critical Theory "designated emphasis" (a minor field, if you will) which could greatly enrich your research. Columbia's department is not really as theoretical as Harvard's or Berkeley's, but there is somewhat of a philosophical leaning which you might find helpful. Yale's department is pretty openly non-theoretical so your interests might not be as well-served there. As for applying to other departments, it's really up to you. French departments could be great in terms of your interests, especially ones that encourage interdisciplinary approaches. Like Berkeley, Harvard also has exciting secondary field opportunities (film, comp lit, gender and sexuality studies, etc.). You might like to consider some less traditional departments, like Rhetoric at Berkeley or Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford, to name a few examples that come readily to mind. I would only apply to other departments (e.g. Anthro, Religion, Philosophy, History etc.) if you can tell that they're interdisciplinary-friendly, otherwise, given your intersectional interests, you really might not be as happy in one rigid department. I can definitely give you a more first-hand account of Harvard's program once I start in the fall. Definitely feel free to ask me any further questions you might have. Good luck narrowing down your list! Applying to grad school is, on the whole, an arduous yet very rewarding process (as you're very well aware having done your MA). One last thought (sorry for this desultory response!): your experiences outside of academia have the potential to help your application really stand out! I bet you'll find a fantastic way to tie your work with the UN into your academic interests. Best of luck!
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Final decision: Harvard, PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures




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