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Everything posted by intextrovert

  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," "eng
  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
  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 div
  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 pe
  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
  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/
  16. Just reposting this document, which is seriously great and really illuminating. I wish I'd had this info in such a neat form when I was applying and deciding!
  17. Re: close-reading Taco Bell and Wendy's menus: http://www.theonion.com/articles/grad-student-deconstructs-takeout-menu,85/
  18. This argument sort of reminds me of how so many scholars of technology in the 1990s were talking about "the end of geography" because the internet was supposed to obliterate all borders and connect the world into "one world village." And now it's twenty years later and we're like, oh shit, actually geography still matters a lot, because it turns out space is a fundamental aspect of human experience. So are the modes in which we perceive things. Just because we have different types of media now, and are capable of combining media in new and interesting ways, doesn't mean we've rendered media ir
  19. Yes, of course! PM away. (I would say, though, that top 50-ish programs are not necessarily any more or less forgiving about scores than top 20-ish ones. Unless you're below 600 or so on the verbal, in which case I'd suggest taking it again, you're fine. "Top" programs regularly admit applicants well below their average. It really just depends on the program and your fit, etc. We can talk more about second rounds and such over PM.)
  20. I mostly agree with you here, but the flip side is that just because it's a top-20 doesn't mean it won't be a good fit for you, either! Don't limit the number of top-20 programs you apply to simply because they happen to be "top-20." I was admitted to several top-20s when I applied, but also rejected at several programs outside of the top 40. Purposely limiting yourself to just one program in that very arbitrary range, when there are several that would be good fits, is letting the rankings dictate too much, and you may miss out on some excellent programs that are good fits simply because you'r
  21. Well, the Hopwood Graduate Awards pretty much always go to MFA students - which makes sense, since they're the ones that have been selected for their creative writing abilities (and if you think PhD admissions are bad, our MFA program gets over 1,000 applications for ~10-15 spots in each genre of poetry and prose!) and devote all of their time to it. The only exception I can think of is a PhD student here who also has an MFA from elsewhere and published a book of poetry the year he won. Not that you can't enter as a PhD student, but your shot at winning in the grad division is much longer - ou
  22. Rob Nixon's work might be of interest to you. He works on human rights as it intersects with environmental justice, postcolonialism, and issues of representation - his most recent book, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, is excellent. He also writes about the position of the scholar-activist.
  23. Ha, yeah, I hadn't read any of them (except for maybe tiny bits of Lefebvre and Morton) before I got to grad school, either! I'm a modernist, but my interests within that are in spatial/environmental/ecocriticism and epistemology/science studies (STS). Latour is really STS's main guy and writes about political ecology (The Politics of Nature), Lefebvre is contemporary spatial theory's progenitor (The Production of Space), Silverman thinks about relationality in a way I'd call ecological (Flesh of My Flesh), Morton is an ecocritic (Ecology Without Nature). Cronon is an environmental historian,
  24. Any advice on where to start with Elizabeth Grosz? I've been meaning to read her forever but she's one of those people who's written zillions of books and articles so it feels overwhelming or impossible to figure out what's important. Have a recommendation for one that's a good intro to her? Oh, and to play this game: Contemporary: Bruno Latour Henri Lefebvre Kaja Silverman Timothy Morton (Honorable mentions: William Cronon, Donald Davidson, Donna Haraway, Steven Shapin) Historical: Bergson Whitehead Dewey Spinoza
  25. Because they already have your actual writing (in the form of your SoP and especially your writing sample), so they can judge it themselves. The GRE Writing section is scored by a mix of a computer and maybe a high school English teacher (not that I'm knocking those, I was one before being a grad student, but their judgment of writing can be based on very different metrics than academics), which ad comms know. I get the feeling the writing score is one of the ones they care about the least.
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