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Everything posted by natsteel

  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
  16. Don't be so quick to dismiss it. I'm a huge supporter of an English football club (as per my avatar). They often play mid-week afternoon matches, which I download later (especially when I have class during the match). Watching it that way doesn't take the fun out of it. I find it less joyful to just watch the highlights. However, if you're the kind of person who likes to go on Twitter during games, you will miss out on that. I also have to avoid all social media until after I watch the match so I don't see the score, but it's a small price to pay for getting to watch the match instead of just
  17. I'm entering my 2nd year and I have kept my awards, a paper published in a "national" UG journal, and my experience as a paid research assistant for two well-known historians. As I get one or two more awards during grad school, I will drop the UG ones. Similarly, as soon as I get a publication, I will drop the one in the UG journal. When I get some kind of research/dissertation fellowship, I will likely pull the RA jobs. I think the process of dropping significant UG stuff from your CV should be a gradual one and I wouldn't drop anything unless you have something more current with which to rep
  18. Well put. And, yes, Sigaba, my view, I would say, is the standard among faculty I've known well at both institutions I've been at (a regional public college and a large R1). All three of my UG mentors discussed the job prospects after getting a PhD in History. And, though, I knew about it already, I am glad they did. That said, they encouraged me to apply. I would not (and did not say I would) tell a student not to apply. I did say, however, that I would certainly do my best to make sure they have as much information as possible before they make a decision. And that includes information about
  19. That's on my summer reading list. Really looking forward to it.
  20. FB now has an option to limit access to past posts. Check your Privacy Settings for the option. Most of the discussion here has focused on the "social" part of "social networking." I, personally, am friends on FB with fellow grads, my UG mentors, and other historians in my field, as I am on Twitter. But I've also found great benefits in using social networking sites such as Twitter, Academia.edu, etc.... I would even include listservs and forums in there as well. I've made connections on all those types of sites that have already resulted in some professional opportunities. There's no go
  21. As a historian, I use Chicago note-bibliography style. For whatever reason, I find in-text citations aesthetically displeasing as they break up the rhythm and flow of the prose. Most of my professors don't specify endnotes or footnotes, but I always prefer the latter. I love when publishers use footnotes so I don't have to keep turning to the back to look at the citations. As to the question above, I always put the footnote number at the end of the sentence. Some professors and publishers prefer footnotes only come at the end of a paragraph, but they can tend to get a bit clunky if you'
  22. If I were to have bought all the books new for my courses this year it would've cost between $2500-3000, and that's with 90% or better in the >$30 range. So I tend to borrow most of the books from the library or ILL. When I take a course in my field, though, or the books are related to my research, I generally buy them used off Amazon, though I am like tmp and carefully read the descriptions looking for ones that say "like new" or "no markings." I came to grad school with a library of about 500 books, which was a pain in the ass to move. I can't imagine how much worse would it be 5-6 years
  23. As for programs opposed to graduates seeking non-academic careers, I'd often heard that as well. However, I've had open talks with other students about career alternatives, particularly about teaching in private secondary schools, which often pay much higher starting salaries than even tenure-track academic jobs. The market is so bad that it doesn't make sense not to consider alternatives. You, however, are saying that an alternative to a career as an academic teacher would be your primary goal rather than an alternative. I would say to not let that discourage you from applying. That said, I w
  24. The subject matter might be a bit morbid but Drew Gilpin Faust's This Republic of Suffering is an impressive, relatively recent work of cultural history that argues Americans' coping with the large-scale death of the Civil War had a profound impact on their relationship to the government and also spurred the emergence of American bureaucracy.
  25. I have submitted to two regional conferences which match the region of my focus and have been accepted to both. Now, I am helping prepare a panel proposal for a national conference. I think my experience is similar to Sigaba's in that both of my presentations were accepted because they fit in with the sub-field of the conferences and the conferences' themes. Like murkyama alluded, submitting to conferences is much like applying to graduate school in the sense that fit matters above else. If you have had multiple submissions rejected, ask your advisor (or even a few of your peers) to look at
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