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rhetoricus aesalon

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rhetoricus aesalon last won the day on October 10 2015

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  1. I have no idea how this will go or how much time I'll be able to devote, but I have been on Grad Cafe a long time and have always believed in it as a place where graduate students support other graduate students, even when tensions and anxieties run high in discussion threads. It offered a lot of help to me as a first-generation PhD student and academic, and now that I am a faculty member with responsibilities for doctoral admissions, I want to practice giving frank but kindhearted advice to interested prospective students. I am not nearly as polished as Karen Kelsky in Ramus's recent post, bu
  2. I would not recommend applying to a program this year with the intention of deferring enrollment.
  3. Seek out advisors who will support articulation of your background as an asset to future study in English, both in their feedback on your application materials and in their letters of recommendation. You are right that not having a clear path into a specific field will be a hard sell. So make sure the materials you are writing now make that path as clear and seamless as possible. In some cases, your inexperience in English could be more of an issue for funding depending on institutional policy or state law.
  4. I am looking at the general rankings, not English graduate program rankings. Job search committees are routinely made up of faculty outside a candidate's area of specialization and, often, with at least one member outside the department. Departments will want to hire someone with specialization they do not have in order to round out program and university expertise. This means a graduate program's prestige can be less important to a university's overall prestige when on the academic job market.
  5. The irony here is that both schools you've listed are top programs. Yours, Washington University, is in fact listed as a top 20 by USNews. So I'm not really sure why you're trying to convince early career graduate students that you've somehow beat the odds with your modest graduate education when in fact you've benefitted from the prestige of your program as much as anyone.
  6. I can't speak to SMU specifically because I do not have a relationship to that school, but these events in general are meant to recruit admitted students into making the final push to enroll. In other words, this is now your opportunity to interview the school to make sure it is a good fit before you agree to whatever offer they have made to you by the universal April 15 deadline. It will also be a chance to meet other students who will be in your cohort and get a better sense of what your life would be like while at the institution and living in that area. You will most likely meet profe
  7. Do you mean that you would be naming an affiliated faculty member? As in, faculty that have a formal relationship (such as a joint appointment) to French and comparative literature? If so, then there is no risk with naming this person because they are faculty in comp lit as much as they are in French.
  8. Remember that you are not drafting a contract when you write your SOP. Naming a POI in no way means that you will actually work with that person. Listing faculty that you want to work with in a SOP is one way to convey your fit within a department and not much else. Trying to read into who might be moving, or not getting tenure, or retiring is usually information that you will not be privy to. Just list the faculty who work in similar circles as you want to; otherwise, they might be curious as to why you didn’t list them and if you really know much about the academic community you want to enga
  9. As the first person who has responded to your post who has actually been on the market, let me say: No, it is not that bad. It is worse. Far worse. If you don’t want to believe your professors, then do your research and read the many, many people who were not as lucky as them and are suffering now because of their choice “to take a chance and see.” There is literally so much of it that it forms a genre: quit lit.
  10. Great advice in this thread, and I'll just add that if you haven't already done so, talk to your professors at your current institution about this and ask them about how to fund it. Ask the chair in the department you are majoring in if the department has money to support your trip. Ask your college dean if they have money for undergraduate research travel, even if the deadline for their grants has passed. Your acceptance to this conference also makes them look good, and they might be able to help you out. Also want to echo what has already been hinted at. This conference will look good
  11. I wouldn’t actively go seeking letters from former profs of the school you’re applying to, but if it just so happens that they were that doesn’t seem like cause for concern. I’m assuming this person worked with graduate students and left on good terms? If not, I still don’t think anyone would hold this LOR against you, but it really wouldn’t be all that helpful to you either.
  12. Most adcomms LOATHE the GRE. If the program hasn't already abolished it as a requirement, then they would likely be delighted to have a well-qualified candidate with low to mediocre scores (not saying yours are) to use as proof that the college should get rid of it in application considerations. GREs continue to be less important, and more of an embarrassment, to schools that still use them in admission decisions. See: this recent study demonstrating STEM students who score in the lowest quartile either (for men) outperform or (for women) show no difference from their counterparts in the
  13. What if I told you this is exactly what happens, again and again and again, on the market? I’m not here to fight or agree or disagree, because I genuinely value the mission of Gradcafe in grad students supporting grad students. But I have to say I see very little of my and my cohort’s market experience represented in what you’ve written here.
  14. Thank you so much for saying this. I completely agree. But going back to OP's question, going to a higher-ranked school will still offer the best change of getting this job than not. What I meant by my post is that top-ranked program graduates are the most likely to be in a position to make this choice.
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