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American Studies Cycle 2017/2018

2 posts in this topic

Hi all. I have tried to create an American Studies thread a couple times in the past as we approach the Fall semester and graduate applications become due. I may be doing it incorrectly (or people may not be interested!). 

I will be applying to a mix of American Studies and English PhD programs for Fall 2018 admission (and may or may not be applying to an MFA program in Nonfiction). I am currently interested in the Colonial through the antebellum period and would be cheerfully content in either a targeted English or an American Studies program. "Targeted" meaning that I am not applying simply to "top" schools because they may be "top". My school-list focuses on programs that have strengths in Colonial, Early Republic or nineteenth century American textual studies (or some combination thereof). I am still editing my list. It currently stands at 12, which feels like a lot. I'd like to get it down to 10. Maybe it doesn't matter. 

I am still working on my writing sample. I'm also slowly working through my Statements of Purpose. 

I would be open to finding an American Studies application pen-pal (either through this thread or via direct message). I have a small support network at my current school, but it would also be nice to find someone whose trajectory is closer to mine. And perhaps we will end up in the same cohort! I was fairly anxious at the beginning of the summer, but I'm not especially bothered right now.  (Caveat: If you are here to give me a "reality check" that I have a greater chance of being struck by lightning than getting into a program I would kindly ask you to redirect your helpful energy to a more worthy soul.) 

Good luck all! 



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I know that Rice University in Houston has a strong early American position in their English department. I applied there and while I do significant research in American writings up through the 19th C, I am a 20th C Americanist and my WS revealed that. My application was rejected, which did not surprise me. Rice is a small prestigious university in the central part of Houston near the medical center. Lovely neighborhoods surround it (pricey). Unless you want to live in the burbs and drive in traffic, you will pay the price of rent in central Houston, which runs from about $1,100-$1,500 for a 1-bedroom, but Rice does pay a reasonable stipend. I like American Studies also, but decided to go for the English PhD in American lit. UMass has an American Studies program within the English Department.  I spent a year of my undergrad there on an exchange. Nice town and the university is good. English department was varied and had good variety.

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