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maxhgns last won the day on July 24 2017

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  1. I basically agree with the others--as long as your CGPA remains high, it's not a big deal unless you're planning on working in philosophy of science. Do remember, however, that as a grad student you'll take lots of classes you hate or don't care about to fulfill distribution requirements. And there'll be a logic requirement, too. It's absolutely crucial that you do well in those, because they will affect your standing and ability to secure all kinds of funding (including postdoc funding). Plus, you often have to send all your transcripts as part of your job application package. Finally, FWIW, I don't think it's at all unfortunate that those classes were required. A liberal arts education is supposed to offer a basic foundation in science and mathematics. You don't have to have perfect grades, but it's really important that you have that foundation, and it will be especially important if you get a PhD. Especially in philosophy, since it touches on so many other disciplines, where far too many of us (and I include myself!) are arts students. I've spent quite a bit of time catching up over the last few years, as science and mathematics have become increasingly relevant to my research and teaching, and as my own interest in them grows. I should have spent more time on them as an UG.
  2. MA programs for applicants w/o phil background

    Of course it is. Just make sure that the programs you apply to will offer you full funding--there's no sense doing an MA in philosophy if you have to pay for any of it. There are lots of very good MA programs out there. Determining which would be best for you depends to some extent on what your interests are, but since you don't have a background in philosophy I'd avoid the 1-year programs, and concentrate on 2-year programs with a fair bit of coursework. Simon Fraser's is one of the very best in this respect, but you should also consider GSU, NIU, Milwaukee, Toronto, Calgary, and Victoria. There are lots more, but we'd need to hear a little more about where your interests lie.
  3. What matters is that it wasn't a total disaster, and that your evaluations couldn't be held against you. The precise decimal point is entirely irrelevant. Nobody is going to look at your job materials and say, "Well, Quant_Psych_2018's teaching scores are all in the 4.6 range, but Dr. Fancy over here has scores in the 4.7s, so fuck Quant_Psych_2018." You should aim to be above the department average, and well into what would be a passing grade, but the truth is that they don't matter all that much. Everyone has some bad comments, everyone has a class that went worse than others, and so on. What you're working for is a narrative that tells search committees that you're a competent teacher--maybe even a very good one, for teaching-focused schools. But as long as you're not raising red flags, you're fine and shouldn't sweat it.
  4. Letters of rec - how late is too late?

    It's probably fine, especially if we're just talking about one recommender (as opposed to all three). Academics are used to other academics being really flaky. And it's unlikely that they'll get started on the pile right away or, if they do, that they'll get through the whole thing and just chuck your application as incomplete. If they like your file but notice the missing letter, they'll set it aside for a bit and see if it trickles in (and perhaps even notify you or the writer in question). The worst case scenario, of course, is that your application is chucked out of hand for being incomplete. I don't think that's likely at most schools, however.
  5. I treated myself to a new and engrossing video game, and a few weeks work-free. When I got back to work, I prepped my defense talk in very small chunks at a time (e.g. read a dzen or so pages at a time, made just a couple slides, etc.) and then used the rest of my workday to start new projects.
  6. Yes, always. Even now that I've graduated. He asked me for special dispensation once to see another talk because he'd already seen mine three or four times by then, and the other talk sounded way more interesting (to me, I mean!) Yes, always. My supervisor was very, very generous with his network of contacts. The answers to both those questions is going to vary depending on the supervisor, of course, but I do think that the best supervisors are going to regularly attend your talks and introduce you to their contacts. The two things go hand in hand, actually: often, after I give a talk, academics I don't know talk to my supervisor about my talk first. And then he performs the introductions. I meet waaaaay more people when he's in attendance than when he's not.
  7. I Need Your Input

    BPhil admission is competitive, but not as competitive as people often think. The cohorts are actually quite large. There are two main catches: (1) funding is extremely competitive, and there's not much to go around, especially for applicants outside the EU, and (2) very, very few BPhils make the cut to the DPhil. Oxford winnows its cohort big-time. I don't think any of the things you listed are really (or, at least, necessarily) strikes against you. The real questions are: how many programs did you apply to, how close is your fit with those programs, and how many students do your prospective supervisors have/what's the current student AOS distribution in the department. FWIW, I know that being shut out seems like a horrific outcome. That's how I experienced the thought when I was applying. But with hindsight, I can see now that it really wouldn't have been a big deal. I'd have just tried again a time or two, and then moved on to something more lucrative, certain, and with significantly more control over where I live.
  8. GPA for non-US applicants?

    Do you get percentages? If so, I'd try putting those into the boxes. If not, then you can try putting in 'band x', or whatever. If it won't accept that input, and it won't accept something like n/a, then I wouldn't worry about it, and I'd just perform the conversion myself and put in '4.0'. They can sort it out themselves when they see copies of your transcripts. (This may have changed since my application days, but I think that the online GPA reporting is mostly for HR/general admissions purposes anyway, and the department just looks directly at your transcript.) If you can, and if there's time, you could also ask whoever the department's point person is, or ask your own advisor(s). Your advisor(s) might not know, but it might be easier for them to find out.
  9. Best Art History books/articles

    In addition to Baxandall's Painting and Experience and Patterns of Intention: Linda Nochlin's Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?, for obvious reasons. Sidney Littlefield Kasfir's African Art and Authenticity: A Text With a Shadow for pretty similar reasons (it's pointing out similar problems with the authenticity and cultural purity narratives as Nochlin is with the canon and the genius narrative). Also Bill Holm's Northwest Coast Indian Art, An Analysis of Form, because despite its flaws it's still a really good treatment of First Nations art, and there's really not very much of that out there. (If you'll forgive the intrusion of a philosopher rather than a fellow art historian!)
  10. How hard it writing?

    Yup. It's also hard to go back and fix up a paper that you submitted six months ago but which was rejected with some pretty negative referee comments. You have to psych yourself up for it, because so much of the intervening time was spent psyching you out. Writing comes naturally to me too, and I don't have much trouble getting it done once I know what I need to do. The trick is getting to that point, and there are lots of demoralizers out there which can interfere. Not having written anything in a while, for example, makes it hard to start again. Or getting overly negative reviews. One thing that may be affecting your peers' stress levels is impostor syndrome. It's pretty hard to get work done when you're convinced you're a fraud and everyone else is better at this than you are, and that everyone (/your supervisors) will know immediately as soon as you hand the thing in. Overcoming that feeling can be really difficult, too--many of us never really shake it off, actually, precisely because we get so much negative reinforcement and almost no positive reinforcement.
  11. Academic Blogs

    It increases your professional visibility. The more recognizable your name is, the better--provided it's not recognized for really bad reasons! Name recognition gets you speaking engagements, collaborations, publication invitations, and helps to prevent your job application getting tossed out of hand. Blogging's not the only way to get name recognition, obviously, but it is one way of doing so. The academics in my field who blog regularly enjoy pretty inflated reputations and professional status (and I don't mean that as a criticism!). I don't blog, but I do regularly read a few academic blogs. I tend to favour blogs that deal with professional gossip and news, and commentary on current events, though. I find the ones that offer mini-papers kind of boring. I read lots of papers anyway; I don't need to see a new paper taking shape before my eyes. From what I've seen, the former kinds of blogs attract a larger and broader audience; the latter attract mostly people already in the blogger's professional network (or their subfield). The latter seem to have readers who are far more dedicated to the blog, while the former draws a lot of irreverent and troll-y commentary. Most single-author blogs seem to peter out and die pretty quickly. The challenge is (1) to build an audience, and (2) to sustain it. And to do those things, you have to be pretty active (and patient!). The most important thing to do, I think, is to post regularly. It doesn't have to be frequent (although posts shouldn't be too distant in time, either!), but it should be at pretty predictable intervals. The blogs I visit most are those which have new content daily or weekly. Sporadic blogs get sporadic visits (from me), and sporadic visits make it much less likely that I'll participate in the comments. Are there any group blogs in your field that you could join as a contributor? I think I'd try that first, mostly to get a feel for things without the pressure of having to generate lots of regular content. Plus, it'll help to build your audience a little. Once you have your blog, I think the easiest way to build your audience is to be active on other blogs and social media platforms. Just make sure that your posts are connected (by hyperlink, I mean!) to your blog or the name under which you blog. Share your posts on FB and Twitter. Your goal is to get re-blogged, so that traffic is driven to your site.
  12. I'm not in English, so I can only offer general thoughts. But here they are: You can cultivate areas of competence and specialization in lots of different ways, but they basically all boil down to reading and writing in the relevant areas. The easiest way to do those things, of course, is by taking or auditing lots of grad-level courses in the area, in related areas, or in cognate areas in other fields (e.g. for gender and queerness, look at what's being taught in women's studies and philosophy; for religion, look at the religious studies department). When you take courses that aren't directly related to your interests, you can still make contact with them by trying to ensure that your written work makes contact with your interests. So, e.g., if you're taking a class on Edwardian literature, your research project could be about religion or gender or (female) mental illness in Wooster and Jeeves. It's really up to you to make your studies interesting and relevant to your interests. Another easy way to build up competence is through your teaching or TAing assignments. These will force you to do some reading, often with a syllabus designed by someone who's already an expert, and force you to regurgitate the material on-command, extemporaneously, and so that undergrads will understand it. If you have some ability to choose your assignments or rank your preferences, then use that to explore new areas and shore up competencies that you otherwise haven't had the chance to cultivate. It's easier to teach or TA material that you already know really well, but that does a lot less for you with respect to developing your competencies. You'll learn more from teaching than you will from just reading or taking a class, so bear that in mind when you select your teaching assignments. You also cultivate specializations by giving regular presentations about them, and by publishing on the subject. So if you really want to be an expert on American suburbia, then you need to write lots of papers on the subject and present them to lots of conference audiences. This has the added bonus of introducing you to the networks of scholars with whom you'll have the closest contacts later. (Note that presenting at conferences is a lot like teaching; it's another way to get comfortable with regurgitating stuff on-command, extemporaneously, and accessibly. Writing papers has a lot of the same effects.). Finally, you can just sit at home and read stuff, and write papers on topics that catch your interest. This works, but it works best when it's reinforced by interacting with other people--especially by explaining things to other people, and answering their questions. So whatever you do, remember to interact with your peers! You're going to learn a lot more from them than you will from your classes. Like I said, I'm not in English so I'm not much good on the recommendation front. But it looks to me like the interests you've listed above are pretty specific, and likely fall under broader subfields in English literature. So the trick is to identify what those subfields are, and then to search out the journals which are best in those subfields (while keeping sight of which journals are good generalist venues, too). Keep track of which journals publish the kinds of things you're reading; those are going to be your target journals. Keep track of where the articles you're assigned to read in class (or that you're assigned to teach) are published; those are going to be your target journals. Look at where people who have the kinds of career trajectory you want (grad students, postdocs, assistant, associate, and full professors) are publishing; those are going to be your target journals. Look at their CVs, and see what kinds of things they did to get where they are/to the place where you want to be next, and emulate their trajectory as closely as you can. As for access... that's almost entirely a matter of the journals to which your institutional library has access. I don't know what the academic world is like in the Philippines, but the odds are that if your institution has a graduate program, then its library will have access to some or most of the main journals in that field. If not, then Google around--lots of people post drafts of their papers on their websites, on, etc. If the article in question is a chapter in an edited volume, it will often be available through someone's course website--especially if it's a famous one. Similarly, academic books tend to be available online (although this is usually a violation of copyright), provided you know where to look for them.
  13. Some questions about publications

    It certainly won't hurt your chances, but it's not expected that applicants will have done so. Frankly, your chances of getting a paper accepted in a good journal are pretty slim, and your chances of doing so in time for PhD applications are even slimmer (the process takes months and years, even if it's accepted at the first journal to which it's submitted). Learning this is part of professionalization in your discipline. That you don't know yet is a pretty good indication that you shouldn't be trying to publish your work, since you aren't yet able to identify appropriate and good journals. Generally speaking, one doesn't usually search for journals. Rather, one submits work to journals with which one is already familiar. You get familiar with journals by reading the work that's published in them. You want to be publishing in the same journals that you read the most. Your field probably has a mix of generalist and specialist journals. Your first task is to start figuring out which are which, which are the most prestigious in each category, which are slightly less prestigious but very good, etc. Googling around can help, but you're going to learn a lot more from (1) reading work yourself, (2) seeing which papers from which journals get assigned in graduate and undergraduate classes, and (3) seeing where established scholars who work on the same kinds of things as you do are publishing their work. For that last one, you should be skimming the CVs of people whose trajectory you hope to emulate (current PhD students, postdocs, assistant professors, associate and full professors, etc.). In theory, anyone can publish an article in a double-masked peer-reviewed journal, yes (although perhaps not any random person). In practice, the odds are stacked pretty high against that happening. Remember that once you get a PhD, you're a world-level expert on your subject. The kind of work that gets published (especially in good peer-reviewed journals; predatory and vanity presses are another thing) is world-class research by people with years--decades, even--of experience in the field. Rejection rates are field-dependent, but they usually range from 90-98%. That means that the quality is very high. You need more than just good ideas or good writing skills: you need to have a thorough mastery of your subject matter. And that's not something that you can pick up on the fly. It takes years of work: years of reading, writing, refining, presenting, getting feedback, etc. Think of math. In theory, yes--any old McDonald's worker could develop a good and interesting proof of a theorem (for example), and get it published. But the level of math required to do that kind of thing is much higher than most people ever get to. High school calculus isn't going to cut it. So that McDonald's worker would have had to spend quite a bit of time learning about, e.g., number theory, category theory, functional analysis, etc. It's entirely possible to do that on your own, but it's hard and most people aren't likely to succeed. The same holds for other disciplines. Things get a lot harder if your field of study requires data or lab equipment. If you're an advanced undergraduate, then you've already got much more background than the average McDonald's worker. But it's still not usually enough. And if the journal doesn't implement double-masked review, then your odds are a lot slimmer (precisely because credentials matter for those journals). No, no, and yes. Although the same kinds of structural obstacles that I outlined above will apply here, too. At this stage, your default assumption should probably be that you're not ready to publish, unless someone with a PhD in the subject has read your work and suggested that you try to do so.
  14. 2018 Philosophy Applicants, Assemble!

    Yes. Your grades are fine. Your chances of getting into an MA program are small, into a PhD program are slimmer, and getting a job are close to nonexistent. But that's got nothing to do with your grades; the competition is just really, really fierce. Don't take yourself out of the running, let the admissions committee do that. At the MA level, you're competing against dozens of people. At the PhD level, a couple hundred. For jobs, between six and twelve hundred.
  15. 2018 Philosophy Applicants, Assemble!

    Have you considered Toronto (Toronto has one of the strongest phil. of law and metaethics concentrations in the world) or Queen's (by far the strongest ethics and applied ethics contingent in the country, and very strong in phil. of law too)?