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natsteel last won the day on December 29 2011

natsteel had the most liked content!

About natsteel

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  • Location
    New Haven, CT
  • Interests
    Early American history.
  • Application Season
    Not Applicable
  • Program
    Post-Doc in History

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  1. I personally have four friends/colleagues in my field who did UK PhDs (3 at Oxbridge, one at Stirling in Scotland), one of the four being American. 2 of them got TT jobs in the US at state schools after having already done a postdoc or VAP in the US. The third had lesser luck initially on the job market trying to secure a job in the US but eventually did secure a TT job in England after maybe 2-3 years. The fourth, the non-Oxbridge grad, ended up getting a prestigious postdoc in NYC and when that ended, he secured a job as an Asst. Editor at one of the most prestigious documentary editing proj
  2. I second Blight's Race and Reunion. If you wanted to check out some theoretical works on history and memory, here are a few I used in preparing to begin a dissertation on historical memory: Assmann, Jan, and John Czaplicka. “Collective Memory and Cultural Identity.” New German Critique 65 (1995): 125–133. Burke, Peter. “History as Social Memory.” In Memory: History, Culture and the Mind, edited by Thomas Butler, 97–114. New York: Basil Blackwell, 1989. Cultural Memory Studies: An International and Interdisciplinary Handbook. De Gruyter, 2008. Halbwachs, Maurice. On Collective M
  3. I use Papers by Mekentosj for exactly what you're describing, something about which I've posted here a number of times.
  4. I'm a bit surprised as well. When I applied 4 years ago, I absolutely contacted POIs with an email very similar in length and content to the one(s) in the post above. You are contacting them ostensibly to find out if they're taking students. I didn't apply to 3 schools (so saved maybe $300) when my POI advised me that they'd be retiring in the near future. I sent emails to 12 POIs and 11 responded and all of them were kind. The POI at my first choice responded to my email by asking to meet with me and I have no doubt that that meeting played a big role in her decision to choose me as the one a
  5. One example of a workflow involving primary sources and dissertation-size projects: http://earlyamericanists.com/2013/06/18/digital-workflow-for-historians/
  6. I gave my own mid-semester evaluation sheets with the usual rate on a scale of 1 to 5 questions and then "What did you like?" and "What didn't you like?" questions. I got some really positive feedback which helped boost my confidence since it was my first semester and I got some very useful critiques. Before I gave it to them, I gave them a little speech about how evaluations help teachers improve and so they should not brush them off at the end of the semester but take a few minutes and, whether it's positive or negative, at least write something substantive. Anyway, my final evals were excel
  7. I never thought it was strange. I just accepted it for what it was, a conventionality, at least among all academics with whom I've corresponded. I've adopted a policy of "Best" in informal emails among my cohort and familiar colleagues and "Best regards" in my formal emails to unfamiliar academics or institutions.
  8. ChibaCity is spot on. The advantages of being at a top tier program have a lot to do with resources (personal, professional, material, etc...). And while what NewEnglandNat is saying might be unpopular, it can only be ignored at one's own peril. To say that it's okay to go to a 2nd tier school because you want to "focus on teaching" at a public university is hardcore rationalization. I started at a community college as a first-generation college student and graduated from a small public university and have been lucky enough to end up at a PhD program near the top of the list. As someone above
  9. Just for the record, I work on colonial America and got into Yale with the equivalent of a 161V and 146Q and 4.0AW. Exceptional writing sample, SOP, and LORs will outweigh mediocre GRE scores. I can also suggest programs if you want to PM me with more specifics.
  10. Eigen, I don't know if you're on Mac or PC but either way, just download the trial version and give it a shot. Obviously one's choice of a citation manager or applications in general is very subjective, but you really should try it out to see what it can do rather than me just listing features. Since it started out at a PDF manager, it far exceeds EndNote in that capacity, including in terms of internal search/import of databases, Google Scholar, and Amazon. Also, EndNote, for me, has serious GUI issues having not fundamentally changed much since pre-X PC versions. I haven't used the iPad app
  11. For years, I used EndNote, but 3 years ago I switched to Papers both to organize, read, and annotate my PDFs (currently over 3,000) and as a citation manager. However, I still have EndNote and I still create new, individual EndNote libraries for specific projects. But Papers really is a one-stop shop when it comes to both PDFs and citation management. It has Mac, PC, iPad, and iPhone apps that allow you to sync your library between devices. If you're in the market for a PDF organizer or citation manager, I would recommend at least taking a look at it.
  12. I didn't find that to be the case. I sent out 12 or 13 feeler emails to POIs inquiring about whether they were taking students and all but one responded and more than half led to further correspondence. I, too, was worried about wasting money on applications that had no chance. By sending out those emails, I found out that 3 of the POIs I was considering were planning to retire within the next 1-3 years and so weren't taking new students. I started sending out emails the first week of September and I've always thought of contacting POIs for this purpose as being the final step in the process o
  13. Thanks, vt and viggo for the kind words about the guide I put together last year. Ever since writing it, I've been asked to give seminars on the topic at CUNY, at which I give out the guide at the end. It's basically everything I learned about the process (a lot of it from my fellow members of GradCafe). It took a little bit of time to put together, but I'm glad someone is finding it and finding it useful. As for the application fees, don't forget that many school (though not CUNY and not, IIRC, Stanford) offer fee waivers. However, most don't publicize this fact for obvious reasons. It oft
  14. You should do all the things in it that you would in a standard review. Put the book in its historiographic context, break down the argument, methodology, source base, and cover its strengths and weaknesses. Don't make it personal. The committee should understand why that book has shaped your understanding of the kind of work you want to do after they've read your personal statement, so you don't need to make that explicit in your review.
  15. As to your first question about how not having attended a "top school" will affect your chances, I worried about the same thing. I started at a community college and finished my BA at a VERY large urban public university system. My advisors told me it definitely wouldn't hurt me when applying. I was skeptical, but they turned out to be right. Of our history department's graduating class that year, 3 accepted offers from top Ivies (including myself), another got into UMichigan, and another went to UKansas. Over a three-year period, that department had students accept offers from: 5 Ivies (3
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