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intextrovert

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intextrovert last won the day on April 12 2010

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    Modernism/20th century, ecocriticism, epistemology and science studies
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    Univ. of Michigan English Lit Ph.D.

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  1. Portia: just FYI, it's University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL), not Louisiana State. The only Louisiana State (LSU) is Baton Rouge. I lived in Lafayette for a few years and loved it! Is there a reason you're just limiting yourself to Louisiana? If you're willing to expand even just a little bit, you could also apply to Ole Miss or Alabama.
  2. Whoa, so many Ohio State people. Congrats to all! We are now enemies.
  3. We had the opposite problem with our cat - he kept throwing up dry food. He's a brat and only accepts Trader Joe's wet (or Fancy Feast, but TJ's was our cost-effective compromise). Dry food is generally cheaper and more convenient for you and may be good for their teeth (though actually there have been some studies disputing that it really makes a difference), but wet food is healthier overall for their bones and muscles, as well as for avoiding bladder and kidney problems, diabetes, and dehydration. They're also way more likely to become overweight on dry food.
  4. They don't even keep track of who has applied before. I re-applied to five schools I had been rejected from the first time around when I had no idea what I was doing, and was admitted to three of those five the second time when I did.
  5. Two Espressos and girl who wears glasses: so, so happy to hear your news - been rooting for you both! I was once a waitlister-turned-admit to my top choice program myself and know how you feel! Summed up thusly: Congratulations!!
  6. I just looked this up - so cool! Have you read Meg Sweeney's book, Reading is My Window: Books and the Art of Reading in Women's Prisons? I'll cop to not having gotten to it yet, though I've been meaning to, but my friends in my department rave about it (it's also won several prizes). Meg is also brilliant, lovely, and a truly fantastic teacher. Seems like it'd be a great resource for reference if you end up getting involved in that project at WVU (and maybe even if you don't - seriously, people describe this book in terms I'm not used to hearing too often about academic books - "moving," "engrossing," etc.)! As for the tenure discussion, I second dazedandbemused. Tenure has its problems, but it also has a crucial purpose: it protects intellectuals from the whims of the market and the political sphere. We've already lost so much ground; totally giving up on tenure seems like resigning ourselves completely to the business model of the university, and in that, relinquishing much of the value of our role. Maybe it will have to happen eventually- obviously something does - but we should not cede that ground willingly and in accordance with a market-driven vision of the university. This article, which calls for senior professors to protest more vocally about the abuse of adjuncts and grad students, seems to me a much better direction.
  7. I completely agree with other posters about placement being the most important thing, far more than ranking, but I'd urge you to look deeply into placement numbers. Ask the schools for all the records they keep - sometimes the university's graduate school compiles statistics, as well as the department itself. It's not always easy to find, but not keeping good records is a red flag in and of itself. Are there particular subfields (or advisors) doing notably better than others in a particular department? What sorts of jobs is each school placing people into? By that, I mean not just tenure-track vs. lecturer or adjunct, but also what sorts of schools and positions - ones that are heavy teaching, with 4-4 loads, or research universities that give you more time for your own projects? Many "lower-ranked" programs place quite well because their grads are looking for totally different types of jobs, in which case their raw numbers become incommensurable with schools more focused on training researchers. It may be that you'll want to think very seriously about what sort of job you envision yourself in, and make your decision accordingly. My (admittedly under-informed) impression is just that Buffalo is in a completely different league than West Virginia - they're definitely a "known" program in a way that WVU isn't. They're also known for having an untraditional, hip, theory-oriented program. That's not to say Buffalo is necessarily right for you, but I think it's important to keep in mind as you figure out where you want to be. Good luck!
  8. As much as I like Ann Arbor, you're not really wrong. Structural racism is a bitch. The affirmative action cases UM was at the center of, along with slashed state budgets for the university, have exacerbated the problem. It would be a mistake to totally blame that on Ann Arborites/UM itself, though, and it's not a problem unique Michigan. To your other point, yes, I'm from the South and it's a big pet peeve of mine when people from the North or West - who often have had little to no interaction with people unlike themselves - dismiss it out of hand as bigoted. It's a complex, but certainly diverse, region. To be fair, though, Harvard isn't terrible on diversity - it's at least less than 50% white.
  9. I think fit is most important in figuring out where to apply and also from their end, in who accepts you. But once you're past that point, things like placement (and with that, reputation) and funding should definitely take the place of fit in importance. Unless it's a really bad fit - but presumably you wouldn't have applied or gotten accepted if that were the case.
  10. I know you're unlikely to take the advice of anonymous strangers on the internet, so I would really urge you to talk to your academic advisors about this and listen to what they have to say. I would be very surprised if you can find anyone who thinks it's a good idea - it's not just the consensus of this forum that taking out that much in loans to finance a humanities degree is unwise (to put it mildly), it's the consensus of the field in general. In fact, it is widely considered unethical for programs to admit students with no funding at all, for this very reason: it is taking advantage of people who feel desperate to "pursue their dream" and treat the money they are taking out as abstract, when later it will feel very real, and crushing, and have a serious impact on your quality of life in the future. Loans have to be an investment, and this is a very bad one. No one is trying to be a jerk. Everything people are saying is said out of concern - and it is concerning. I've been there, and understand just wanting to do something towards your goals, but your time and money would be much better spent re-applying. Please to talk to people you know and trust in the field.
  11. Twenty offers is not a lot at all - almost all programs, including mine, admit about double the number they expect to enroll. That's reasonable when most people will have multiple offers. But yes, like I said, lower-ranked programs like UCSC that do well tend to do well in particular subfields, not overall - hence the need to do detailed research beyond just raw numbers. Yes, feel free to PM me with questions about Michigan!
  12. Full professors with named chairs are not just fair game, they are generally the best people to target and seek out as advisors - they are the most established and known in the field and thus the most able to help you. Yes, a possible trade-off is that if they are really superstars they might be quite busy, but that can be true of any academic. If they're in your field, it would be a mistake not to mention them in your SoP - you don't want to talk about only junior scholars.
  13. If you have the equivalent of a major, complete with thesis, but not technically a major, it shouldn't hurt you at all. Admissions committees will just want to see that you have demonstrated aptitude for and basic knowledge of the field. Not everyone in English grad school majored in English.
  14. My department just hired a recent UCSC Lit PhD into a TT position. Nothing to scoff at - it's a great program! Donna Haraway is emerita in their History of Consciousness department. Plus, Santa Cruz is gorgeous. I generally agree with Phil Sparrow, but it's also really important to do your research about not only placement numbers but also what sorts of jobs people are getting in particular departments - there are a few wild-card lower-ranked ones (~30-60) that do quite well in certain subfields and aren't just placing into heavy teaching colleges. smellybug, I'm a third-year at Michigan and had no idea that Rackham collected and published all that data! Seriously, all schools should do this. Here are the English stats for anyone interested. Looks like a 71% rate of grads in TT jobs within five years of graduation - really about as good as it gets. Thanks for posting!
  15. Aside from perhaps the "cognitive science applied to lit crit one," I don't see how any of those subfields are imitating the sciences (which, for the record, is a tendency I find incredibly annoying, since I think the value the humanities have is precisely because we are not a science. I say this as someone who does STS stuff and is interested in the value of various epistemologies). I tend to agree with Michael Berube: It's from a quote in this article, which is about alt-ac and how to translate that value to the wider culture: http://chronicle.com/article/Humanities-Unraveled/137291/ I don't think the solution is to go back in time to a politically neuter version of literary study, which I do find boring.
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