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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/13/2017 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    I'm leading a new topic of discussion. Do you (prefer to) work on event-based history (e.g. The 1848 Hungarian Revolution), theme-based history (Beer in the Middle Ages), theory-based history (Emotional Communities) or source-based history (Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scroll?)? I know it has always to be a combination of all, but what's your priority when initiating a research project?
  2. 1 point
    Actually, @nhhistorynut, @VAZ has it the right way round. But some things you just don't talk about in detail on the internet until they're a biiit closer to publication.
  3. 1 point
    My primary training is in the close reading of texts, paleography, and Latin philology, so my projects have tended to build upon trying to situate a source or set of sources. But my department is pretty theory-heavy, so more recently I've been working on writing from that perspective, particularly postcolonial and race theory.
  4. 1 point
    I'm a themes and theories person. I had a hard time picking just one lol. I specialize in race relations, so theme-based and theory-based research/scholarship are equally relevant and useful. I'd add, too, that I avoid "great man" histories because they don't really interest me very much.
  5. 1 point

    GRE "Splitters"

    @lordtiandao I basically went into the GRE with a goal quant score beforehand, and promised myself that if I fell lower than another predetermined point that I'd retake it (in my case, my reach goal was to break 155, but my minimum was to break 150 or retake. I got 152, so I didn't retake it). As long as you pick a range that you are comfortable with and that is realistic for you based on practice exam scores and manage to hit it, then I wouldn't retake. It's not about the size of the gap between Q and V, it's about knowing your abilities and being able to accurately assess whether retaking the exam could conceivably result in a significantly higher score within the time that remains before you have to submit your application. If not, and you're not wildly off the acceptable range for your school, I wouldn't worry about it.
  6. 1 point
    I'm more of a themes person - I look at a time period of two decades or so and examine how the way that that theme was addressed changed during the aforementioned period (in my case, reproductive policy and travel journal propaganda in 3rd wave colonialism). It's a bit source-based too (why are these journals representative, and what about them indicates certain flavors in the editing process for publication as thinly veiled propaganda?), but what really gets me going is themes and change over time.
  7. 1 point
    Theory. My ideas are always framed around the whys and hows of who, what, and where.
  8. 1 point
    I didn't mean to imply that it was trivial for anyone to figure out which schools fall in which category; rather, I was pointing out that it was possible to reliably rate an applicant's chances in this way using a relatively small amount of objective data that didn't include squishier things like "research interests" and "availability of a suitable advisor".
  9. 1 point

    GRE "Splitters"

    As others have mentioned (page 1 of this thread contains a lot of good info), quant is much less important for history programs than is verbal, especially at private schools. It comes down to whether you want to expend the time/money/effort to retake the exam given that your verbal score is within the range of acceptable for the schools you're considering. You might try perusing the gradcafe results page to see what scores applicants who were accepted to the programs that interest you earned. But srsly, the GRE is WWAAAYYYY down the list of priorities, as @hats recently pointed out. If not retaking it will give you a good chunk of time to work on your SOP or fine-tune your writing sample, don't retake it. Those bits are so much more important to admissions teams than is your quant score.
  10. 1 point

    Short Name vs Long Name

    I've used my first/last name most of the time. In some professional settings, I will use my middle initial. There is a historian in my field, although with a slightly different specialty, with the same last name and the male version of my name and the same middle initial. For instance, if I'm Alice E., he's Alistair E. So one thing I will not do is publish just with my initials as I've seen him do for a few articles. My name is fairly distinctive as it's not super common, but not enough to be memorable on its own.
  11. 1 point
    Actually, this sounds exactly like a SOP description to me...just in different words. When you really parse what they're asking for, it's the same as what pretty much every program is asking for: why are you interested in what you're interested in, what you plan to do in the future etc. I don't want to be too cavalier about it, since it's your top choice program, but my gut tells me that you'll be fine using your standard SOP format with a few minor tweaks as necessary. I suspect they make a distinction between what they're calling it and a "personal statement," because the latter can sometimes tend toward biographical life story etc. (such as in some programs that ask for both a "personal statement" and a "statement of purpose."). So they want an SOP, not a personal statement (ignoring for the moment the many programs that consider the two documents one and the same... )
  12. 1 point

    2018 Applicants

    Thanks! @Keri - I appreciate it! I hope the group is feeling good, too! My SOP is not wildly out of control, though my WS is kind of like a shopping cart in desperate needs of 3 more wheels, so that's going to be the rest of July for me, lol.
  13. 1 point
    I’m coming from an undergraduate program outside sociology and an MA in communication. So my background isn’t in sociology, although my MA research was partly rooted in the Sociology of Communication. Like the original poster, I've been out of school for several years. Here’s what I’ve been doing to prepare for starting a PhD program next month: I listened to an audiobook (Audible is a great resource!) introduction to sociology, as well as a couple Great Courses on intellectual and political philosophy (Audible doesn’t offer a Great Course on social history, but the political philosophy one touches on Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and Habermas), and one on American religion (I’m interested in soc of religion and social movements). I also listened to books on movements like Black Lives Matter, a book on Christian fundamentalism, and Pankaj Mishra’s Age of Anger (a challenging look at critiques against liberalism, the enlightenment, etc.; it gives some good background to the classics, but applied toward contemporary populism). Regarding theory: I started with Coser’s Masters of Sociological Thought (any edition), which was recommended by my program’s Director of Graduate Studies. It gives a good intro to the lives and times of classical sociologists. Lately, I’ve been working through the classics, starting with Durkheim’s The Division of Labor in Society and The Rules of the Sociological Method. I’m hoping to read some of Weber and Marx in the next month. I don’t think I’ll have time, but I wanted to read Mind, Self, and Society, as my interests fall within the symbolic interactionist school of soc. I write a brief summary of each section I read, and then a summary of each chapter, right in the book. The classics are tough, so I expect to read a good deal again. But I think it’ll be easier the second time with my notes and the class discussion. I’ve read/listened to several books that are part of my program’s Prosiminar, including one I’d suggest anyone pursuing an academic career work through: Kelsky’s The Professor is in. I may be going overboard. But I found out a couple months ago that my wife and I are going to have a baby at the start of the second semester (which is great news, but kinda scary at the same time as I’m going back to school). So I’m trying to do everything I can to free up time to work extra (and make extra $) during the first semester so that I can avoid going crazy during the second.
  14. 1 point
    I agree completely with @rising_star. Having just completed the process of applying, and then having been admitted to my top programs, I can say for certain that your scores are just fine. Don't retake the test. I repeat, don't retake the test. Focus your attention of your writing sample, your personal statements and/or statement of purposes, and building relationships with faculty in the departments you are interested in. My GRE quant score was significantly lower than yours (verbal same, writing higher), and I did very well. I didn't get into top 5 schools, but I didn't want to go to those schools. I wanted to go to Yale, and that's where I am going. It's more important that you're a good writer and researcher than test taker, and the faculty on the admissions committees believe that, too. If Stanford is the best fit for you, connect with the faculty there, email them, ask them questions, try to get an invite to visit, and focus on your writing pieces, and you'll do just fine. I also completely understand the anxiety, though, that courses through this entire process. It's so easy to obsess about the numbers on the test because they're quantifiable, whereas your writing sample and PS/SOP will be read more subjectively/qualitatively. But fit is more important than anything, and fit is subjective. Hang in there! You'll do just fine.
  15. 1 point

    FRQSC (Quebec) 2018/2019

    Because you are already in grad school, your chances are much higher. I think when you already have a supervisor (i.e., you write the name of your supervisor IF APPLICABLE in the application), it looks much better. And you are competing with people who are still in their undergrad who don't know yet who their advisor will be (unless a prof agrees they write their name). Having a SSHRC CGS-M will also help. Good grades/research history always helps
  16. 1 point

    Space Psychology?

    Hey! It's not one of my main interests, but it's something I think about a lot lol. I'm interested in interpersonal relationships, so I would like to study how things like skype and voice calls from loved ones on Earth could buffer an astronaut's stress and how often they should talk to their loved ones. I'm also interested in Mars colonization and how to optimize social conditions in a colony and what types of personalities would fare the best in that kind of environment.
  17. 1 point
    When I applied to MSc programs, my partner and I were not married and we had similar concerns as you. Later, when applying to PhD programs, my partner and I were married and we still had similar concerns. The second time, they were even bigger concerns because we were moving from Canada to the US, so work authorization for my spouse was also a tricky thing to get. In the end, it did all work out though. Here's what we did for both rounds of applications in terms of choosing a location that would work for both of us. My spouse has a generally flexible line of work (non-academic) and any small town (~100,000 people or so) would have options, but of course, the bigger the city, the larger the pool of applicants. The only job-related constraints would be language (some places in Canada require French) and immigration policies (for places outside of Canada). Instead of just job opportunities, we were also considering our personal preferences on where we would like to live too! We started by determining what our own goals are (career and otherwise), for ourselves and for each other. We discussed short term and long term wishes and how we wanted to balance them. And we talked about what our major concerns were about grad school and the academic career path. Ultimately, we came up with a plan that ensured that both of us were happy. Although I was the one going to grad school, we viewed this as something we were doing together for the good of our family. So, I only applied to schools in locations that were good for both of us. Logistically, the way we did it was for each of us to compile our own lists of places we would like to go to. Then, we looked at each other's lists and we each had veto power (e.g. I might veto places that didn't have research that fit me or I wouldn't enjoy the city and my spouse might veto places that didn't suit their interests). The places that were on both our lists went to the top. We kept an open mind at this stage---neither of us vetoed places that might not sound great initially, but we would at least visit and see what it's like. As for long term goals, both of our main desires were to set us both up so that we can both have careers in a specific geographical region (close to our families). We know that was where we would want our children to grow up. Our main concern was that the academic job market is brutal and most academics seem to have to move to wherever the jobs were. In addition, while some people we know got TT jobs right after graduation, and a few after 1 postdoc, the norm is 2 or 3 postdocs before a TT job. The nightmare scenario we wanted to avoid was that we would go on the TT job hunt, choose a less-than-ideal postdoc thinking that it would set us up for a good job later, but then go on another postdoc and another etc... In short, while we had long term big picture goals in mind, we also didn't want to spend our 20s and 30s only living for the future and not being able to enjoy the present. We came up with a strategy to avoid our worst fears. First, we both decided that while academia would be a great career path for me, we are not going to have the "TT job or bust" mindset. Next, we decided that every position I take from then on (at the PhD application stage) would have to be a top-tier type position, or something that really sets us up very well for moving back to our geographical area. So, this meant that when applying to PhD programs, I only applied to top schools with the plan that if I only got into second-tier schools, it would make the odds of a TT job in our geographical region of choice very slim and the two of us would be better off if we followed a different career path. When applying to postdocs, I followed the same idea. The second strategy was to choose a program that would allow me to develop useful non-academia job skills. Ultimately, we would both be happier in our geographical region and outside of academia than in academia but outside of our region of choice. In addition to programs that would allow me to develop useful skills, I generally favoured places that would have good brand name recognition for employers outside of academia. This second preference played a larger role in the "choosing which offer to accept" stage rather than the application stage, since nothing is sure when you're just applying. Finally, the last strategy to combat our fears/worries was to make a commitment to ourselves. We decided that 10 years from the start of my PhD program (we'd be in our mid-30s), we will be in our geographical region of choice, no matter what. This was to alleviate the worries of chasing postdocs/TT jobs indefinitely and that we would be not living in the present enough. Although it was always true, making this commitment was a reminder to ourselves that we can just quit academia any time. For most grad students, we are achievement-seeking personalities and "quitting" might be hard to do. This promise to ourselves was a reminder that we can leave if we want to. So with these ideas, we both agreed on 8 places to apply to. My spouse visited grad programs whenever possible. I made it clear to all the grad programs that this was a decision that both of us were making together. Many places directly reached out to my spouse to recruit her as well as me, which was very appreciated. After the applications decisions were made, my spouse and I ranked the offers. Our top three choices were the same, but most importantly, the top choice was the same for both of us. So that was how we decided. If you want an update on where we are on our plans, we are now 5 years past the start of my PhD (i.e. halfway through our 10 year plan). I just graduated from my PhD last month and I have just started a postdoc this week. I ended up with a fellowship postdoc position in our geographic region of choice! Our hopes are that we will never have to move away again. However, we're still open to it if there's a really good (but temporary) opportunity for a second postdoc, but only if the opportunity provides increased chances for a permanent academic job in our current area and that increase is worth the move away from our families. If not, and if there turns out to be no more academic opportunities in our area, we'll find non-academic jobs and stay where we are Good luck with your decision making process. If you want to discuss more personal issues, feel free to send me a PM. I can also provide more details via PM if that helps someone in a similar situation.
  18. 1 point
    Don't be afraid to aim high too. You'll kick yourself later if you don't, and are more likely to feel resentful. You're not a very good judge of your abilities or fit, or of what will appeal to the committee. Let them do the work of rejecting you, don't do their work for them!
  19. 1 point

    2018 Philosophy Applicants, Assemble!

    Non-traditional almost seems like the norm at UCR. (Possibly because non-traditionals stand out a bit, but at the same time it was the only place I visited where my odd background got a "Yeah, we all have odd backgrounds" response.) The general rule is have upper-level or grad-level coursework in philosophy. Even if it's just one class to 1. Get an A and show you can handle it. 2. Get a letter from a philosopher who can say you can handle it. I only published in one undergrad conference proceedings and presented at undergrad conferences. My B.S. came from a school without much of a reputation. (It's a decent program, but I doubt the name was pulling much weight.) Nonetheless, I did get accepted to a top 15 overall philosophy program. If you do a little bit of searching in the subforum, you'll see some threads with stories of even longer shots. A top 10/15/20 program is a long shot for pretty much anyone. I wouldn't say you need to be publishing or speaking to get in, but at the same time, if you can be presenting your work and getting feedback, why aren't you? Several studies I've seen (thanks to the philosophy blogosphere being concerned with causal connections between studying philosophy and test scores) say you can't do much to improve your GRE. If you have the time and money, though, it can't hurt, especially since you know where your gaps are. (I was able to remember the problem I missed on the Q section and solved it on my way home. Prompt smack to the forehead.) Look at the averages to the schools you're interested in. At some you're solid. I've seen a few where you'd be at a disadvantage. As @Glasperlenspieler said, though, fit will matter. Spamming the top ten with little regard for fit is a waste. It's a survey of what many prominent philosophers think regarding which schools have the best faculty. The alternative is just asking the philosophers you know which schools are best. You can still do that, though. PGR just gives you an aggregate of what more qualified people think. This is why finding placement data is important. Last I checked, U of Memphis had a 100% placement rate despite being (iirc) unranked. Reading the part on the website saying what the PGR is measuring is important in using it. Really in using any statistical data, reading what the data is measuring is a good idea. 1. I'd be concerned about anyone who hasn't grown substantially in five years. If you're not getting better each year, what are you doing? 2. Why are there mid-tier journals, then? Shouldn't everyone be polishing until they get into Nous? The general rule is a letter from a philosopher is better than from a non-philosopher. Though the more damning rule is when more than three can be sent, three good is good. Three good plus one lukewarm may sink you. I would speculate two good letters from philosophers plus a good from religious studies is better than two good philosopher letters and a lukewarm philosopher letter. (This is also usually regarding PhD programs. I will note I know much less about applying to MA programs.)
  20. 1 point

    Programs strong in Marxist study?

    I think it's really funny just how little you actually know about political theory subfield, scholarship, and the scholars you are talking about (which is very evident from your last post), yet you are "not in the business of giving prospectives bad advice." You are completely wrong on several points there, but I really don't want to drag this on forever. I guess you just insist on being the authority on all things on this forum related to political science - even though theory is obviously not your forte - so I'll be happy to indulge you and leave this be. Have a great day. P.S. careful, there might be a Marxist at your department too! (they might even have USSR flag in their office and their every publication has the word "Marx" in the title - to be more 'searchable' for non-theorists, of course)
  21. 1 point

    Struggling between MPA & Macro MSW

    Ended up accepting my admission to HKS, as I had a national scholarship
  22. 1 point
    Could you clarify what you mean by 'specifications'? If you're talking about people's background, I'll speak on my observations and experience. Students: I didn't come in with a coding background, but I'm walking out of my first year with knowledge on major database, machine learning/data mining, operations research, econometrics, and modeling concepts--stuff ranging from the traveling salesman's problem to predictive decision trees. I'm not going to be an operations research whiz with extensive knowledge of the most complicated methods like ARMA/ARIMA, but I am coming out with a broad foundation in the field. Some students (esp. in the data analytics and MISM-BIDA programs) came in with some knowledge on these subjects, but you definitely don't need an extensive coding background to perform well or learn a lot in the classes. I'd never done serious coding or math modeling before coming into the program. What's much more important is your capacity to learn and solve problems, and apply your technical knowledge to messy issues in social science. Professors: Focus on methodology vs. subject-matter-expertise: There's a good mix of quantitative and non-quantitative professors. I'm not focused on urban policy, so I don't have extensive experience with professors in the field. Most of my friends in the field seem to find the coursework sufficient and complementary to their data analytics education. CMU-Heinz, and the university as a whole, certainly has an extensive network of economists and data scientists working on a variety of issues including racism in housing policy and police bias. Perspectives on data science: As I noted before, there's a variety of quantitative topics covered well here, so that's pretty great. But there's something else that's almost as important: a variety in how data science concepts are taught. I've found that professors teach machine learning here in a variety of different contexts, ranging from the conceptual to the programming/application-focused. Sometimes, the former is helpful to take a step back and familiarize ourselves with the breadth of the field. You'll find both here. Difficulty: I don't think there's anything unique about this school's difficulty, so in brief, it depends. Like at any institution, you'll find that a few professors have a reputation for making students' lives hard, while a few others are relatively easy, and still others (the great majority of professors here) challenge us to grow.
  23. 1 point

    Spring admission anyone? (MFA)

    what schools allow for spring applications? Most of the them? Any idea of the general deadlines?
  24. 1 point
    Okay, I'll voice the possibly less popular opinion. Your responsibility is to yourself. You don't have to stay with him and you are not responsible for getting him better or for educating him. You need to take care of yourself. If you do decide you want to try and stay, I think it's of utmost importance to get support from others. Can you involve his family? friends? do you have a support system around you to take care of you, if you need it? If he wasn't always like this, something must have triggered this, and maybe you can help him through it. Whatever it is, though, you shouldn't do it alone, and you shouldn't let him take it out on you. This sounds like a situation that requires professional help. I know that posting here was probably already hard enough, so maybe the next step is for you to find counseling on your own, maybe through your school, before you think about talking to him. Figure out your resources and support network, then come up with a plan to confront him. I hope that there is no fear of physical violence, but if there is, let me repeat again: your responsibility is to yourself first. Make sure that you are safe, and take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. If that means you need to leave him, I think that's totally understandable and no one from the outside can judge. And if you choose to stay and try and fix it, again I hope that no one will judge and that you can find the help you need.
  25. 1 point
    I think a big difference is that there are a lot of jobs which are not advertised publicly. So the talent group at least gives you the advantage of being put forward for a bigger pool of jobs. Still waiting on my end. I'm preparing for it to take a long time.
  26. 1 point
    WUSTL has fewer faculty than UMass, which gives you fewer options for advisors, committees, seminars, etc... Two professors there basically determine the success or failure of any graduate student, so if you don't, for some reason, find you fit with them (or they with you) you can be in trouble. Some students like that it is really a residential program with lots of structure, you are expected to be working in your carrell in the building and available for all departmental events. Some students can find this paternalistic and cloying. If you prefer to work independently, you may not find the departmental culture conducive to you. From what I understand, WUSTL has had trouble attracting any graduate students recently, with a couple of years where all the admitted students went elsewhere. Take that as you will. In terms of placement, MA students generally go into the WUSTL PhD program so I'm really not aware of how they do elsewhere. You should look into where recent grads ended up. UMass Amherst is public, so the resources may not be as great as WUSTL. I believe that students TA for much of their funding, which does add workload that can detract from your research. The faculty is a multigenerational, whereas it skews a bit older at WUSTL. I have not heard anything negative about the culture in Amherst. Students also have the resources of the five colleges, three of which have great faculty and top-tier college museums. A big difference in the programs is UMass's "Comprehensive Exam" instead of a thesis. If you want to write a full thesis, UMass may not be for you. At WUSTL students who don't want to advance can take comps, but those with PhD aspirations do a thesis. For what it is worth, I do not think that the lack of a thesis at UMass harms the chances of students moving into PhD programs. You should have a seminar paper you can turn into a writing sample. Williams students, after all, also don't write a thesis. In terms of placement, you find graduates of the program in PhD programs, museums, and as faculty in lots of different places. It's an old program so networking opportunities are fairly rich, and its being in the shadow of Williamstown, and a little defined as such, I think makes graduates perhaps more willing to go the extra mile to help out other grads. I tend to think of it as the second best option for a terminal MA program in New England. There's also a regional difference to consider. As a rule, people who do their graduate work in the midwest/south stay there (with exceptions of course from UChicago, Michigan, Northwestern, UT Austin). Students who do their work on the coasts are more mobile. I'm not trying to be biased here, just expressing my experienced based opinion. It is undoubtedly true that students on the east coast also have more access to cultural resources. Amherst is a couple of hours from Boston and New Haven, and 3 to New York, making it, if not convenient, at least possible to do day trips to Harvard or Yale for talks, symposia, and research, or to New York for CAA, for example.
  27. 1 point


    All prospective grad students should keep in mind that many of these private programs are businesses, and thus, you are one of their clients. As a client, I would ask myself if I'm making a good investment, which depends on personal financial circumstances: 1. Do I already have debt? 2. Do I already have decent savings? 3. Will the school help get my work and/or teaching practice to a level that will allow me to pay back the debt in a short amount of time (e.g. material resources, good studio, career guidance, alumni network)? 4. How much money would I have to earn right out of school to make my minimum payments? 5. How many years will it take me to pay back my debt if I'm earning an avg salary for my profession? 6. How much am I saving annually right now? $60K tuition cost + living expenses for NY is serious money. With cheap rent and roomies, you can scrounge by in parts of Brooklyn or Ridgewood for $24-35K/yr depending on your lifestyle. That's over $108K (low-end) in two years including tuition. Once you leave school, the last thing you want to do is have to get a full-time office job to pay that down! My advice is to set a budget for what is your realistic cost of going to grad school, and maybe disregard that figure if and only if the school is your #1 pick––a special dream opportunity. A school won't make or break your art career; it's your ability to keep making good art!
  28. 1 point

    Anyone applying to Yale?

    Yale, Columbia and UCLA, etc tend to reject applicants that get into other top program. Often times the only rejections a person will receive will be from one of those 3 programs. Honestly reviewing these schools students work compared to other 'seemly' less selective top programs, there no major difference in the quality of work. It's not that school admission process is "tougher" but the pool of applicants is just way larger. So when someone says, "their not sure..." it usually means their not sure if there work can compete with an additional 400 or 300 applications.
  29. -1 points
    Hi, I set up this account especially for you. First of all, I am so sorry for the plight that you are in. Please don't leave your husband at this moment; if you do, I'm worried that he will turn into something more radical. However, if you have tried everything to talk sense into him but fail or if he becomes physically aggressive, that's another story. Have you considered taking your husband to a psychologist? Or do you know some of his close friends/relatives who are not racist? Try to get your husband talk to them. Or try to (discreetly) make him read real stories of the Holocaust - to let him understand what Nazism really means. As a last resort, anti-depressants such as Prozac, Celexa, may drastically reduce his aggression/hatred towards "other races" or women. You must stand your ground firmly and must never be swayed by your husband's attitudes/behaviours. If there's anyone who can change him, it's you. I understand how frustrating it is to battle against someone who holds drastically different (and wrong) values, especially if it's someone close to you. But please, please, please, don't give up on them without trying. I guess you don't need my reminder, but never forget that what you are standing for is 100% correct: women = men; white = Asian = black = Hispanics, etc. Kudos. It will get better, and I hope to hear any updates from you later on.
  30. -1 points

    Stanford's Listed Average GRE Scores

    Hi, sociology_hopeful It is very nice to meet you! I am from Vietnam and i gonna take my GRE General test by the end of October, 2017 which means that i have around two more months before reaching the test date. So, Could you please give me some advice to this test (tips and document). Thanks you so much! Tuan

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