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Everything posted by TMP

  1. I almost spit out my wine just reading that the thesis is considered "dead" in your program. Do investigate the outcomes of students who did the thesis and those who did not, and whether those who went onto the PhD did do a thesis. Do know that teaching does take up a LOT of time. If you're thinking of teaching instead of the PhD, find out the licensing requirements of your prospective state. Do know that not everyone is passionate about research as you are. Those who take the teaching internship are in the MA just to teach in 6-12, not much interest in the PhD. If the PhD is what you want, then who cares what other students do? Just find a supportive thesis adviser who will help you see this project through. One of the toughest things one has to learn in a PhD program is to move away from the pack of group-thinkers and fly solo.
  2. You're only a month in already. It's normal to be so surprised by how many topics can be explored. That's the point of the coursework. But by the end of this semester or the beginning of next, you should identify several potential topics for your thesis. Read relevant literature for each and see what's most feasible for conducting original archival research.
  3. This is an EXTREMELY common issue!! Ask your peers who are ahead of you in the program. The most important chapters to read are the introduction and conclusion. Listen to your professors' guiding questions for patterns (i.e. "So, what is X arguing here? What sources is X looking at and how do those sources shape that argument?" etc.). The key is to think very broadly about how the books in your course connect to one another and why they're important enough to be assigned. Also, read at least 2 book reviews to get a sense of what the book's about and what to look out for when "reading" it. Truthfully, to take a graduate seminar, one simply needs to be very well versed in content covered in survey courses. Everything else is just details and historiographical debates. If you've never taken ,say, an undergraduate survey course on China and you're taking a graduate seminar, you'll want to really beef up your knowledge and take the time to learn from others. If you're a an ace in Modern European history (from Enlightenment onward), you should be able to grasp the content and focus on the argument and specific supporting examples. However, say, you're in a seminar focused on a theme/concept such as postwar, know it's just a concept and you do not need to be an "expert" on the aftermath of American Revolution if you're a 20th century US historian. My $.02 on for a Friday night...
  4. Not profoundly. You're just getting the experience. The most important thing is to focus on your writing sample and clarifying the questions you'd like to explore as a PhD student. I also would keep working on languages (or start on something related to your area of interest). Finally, understand that there is no "reach/match/safety" in PhD admissions. As with academia as a whole, much also depends on luck. I also encourage you to look beyond the East Coast as being part of academia does require one to be mobile as possible, particularly if one is interested in a tenure-track professor job at the end.
  5. As @Sigaba says in these situations, read articles and books in your areas of interest. Figure out the kind of historiographical questions you want to explore to write about in your statement of purpose. You don't need a MA for that. Also, professors understand that different programs have different requirements for thesis. I know a colleague who went to a middle-level state school and produced a 25-page honors thesis with primary sources found on the internet. She got into 2 PhD programs just fine because she had a strong statement of purpose among other things like grades and letters of support.
  6. @xenophon123 I'd suggest actually finishing the degree, not just to make your parents happy but to show to adcoms that you are capable of finishing a graduate school degree. PhD is a long-term commitment. The last line is really between you and your parents. Know that PhD stipends are generally lower than those in the STEM, simply because we're in the humanities and not able to garner the kind of funding that STEM PIs can get from NSF, NIH etc. There will be plenty of hidden costs beyond typical school fees such as conference travel, health insurance (if your program doesn't cover 100%), etc. I also advise that if you are already carrying loans, try to work for a few years to pay some back. It's very difficult to pay off student loans while living on PhD stipend. No degree is worth the additional interest when in deferment (meaning you're not paying the loans while you're a full-time student). What is your end goal with a history graduate degree?
  7. Why did you decide to go into computer science for graduate school? What does graduate school mean for you? What are your career goals? FWIW, there is a growing popularity in the history of science, technology, environment, and medicine so if you are interested in those areas, then finishing the MS may be your best bet. You'd at least demonstrate that you understand science and technology for what these fields did for the living world.
  8. Don't overwhelm yourself with languages. Stay focused on your Latin until you can read the primary sources more comfortably with some dictionary help. Unless you're really one of those super talented linguists, trying to learn multiple new languages and keeping them straight is difficult enough as it is for the brain. Once you have Latin down, French will come more easily so put away your French materials.
  9. I didn't really take notes during any of my classes since they were primarily discussions and working through problems at hand. If I liked someone's point, then I jotted down in notes from my readings. What I did wish I did do from get-go was to set up my notes for each reading in a standard format intended to prepare for my general exams. It took me 3 semesters to really figure out what I should have done (yeah, i was dense and too arrogant to think to ask other grad students what they did ). I figured out in my 4th semester mainly because I was taking a prospectus-writing class that revealed how one went about proposing a project and carrying it through. Below ended up being my template: Primary Research Question Primary Argument Secondary Arguments Historiographical Interventions Methods/Sources Table of Contents These points will eventually make their way into the seminar discussions. ALSO, make sure you do a quick bio for each scholar you read.
  10. Make sure those MA programs are funded. Given your interests, I'd contact Sara Butler at Ohio State whose interests overlap with yours in many ways (her geographic specialty is Britain). I'd reach out to her and see what kind of advice and direction she can give you.
  11. Sounds like #2.... the keys are: For SOP: Demonstrate your awareness of the historiography in your areas of interest in Italy and science/technology For Writing Sample: Demonstrate that you can skillfully engage both primary and secondary sources (the latter being historians' points and arguments).
  12. TMP

    PhD funding

    I agree. First step, identify who you'd like to work with and look at different programs. Then determine what programs do offer funding (preferably 5-year packages). Eliminate the rest. Entering in my final year of the PhD, I can tell you it's not worth paying a dollar toward what should be a basic funding package (tuition waiver, some fees, living stipend, subsidized health insurance). There are enough hidden costs as they are and they add up (i.e. your university may give you only $500 for conference travel but flights, public transportation/rideshare, hotel, food, conference fees, etc. might add up to $600...).
  13. Smartphones have come a very, very long way with their cameras and apps for "scanning." I'm of the mind of wanting to have all images into one PDF file so I can mark up in my Adobe Acrobat. Otherwise, I can't help you
  14. TMP

    Applications 2019

    Then the question is, how badly do you really want to go to CEU that you're willing to stay in limbo? It's also worth taking into consideration the nature of Byzantine bureaucracy in Central Europe. Do you have a POI there who you can contact for information?
  15. TMP

    Applications 2019

    Just contact them! There is really no harm in asking!
  16. School A. Definitely look at the placement records of your adviser's previous students and the program as a whole. Where do people tend to end up? Are you okay with going wherever they went up?
  17. Really, have you considered taking the next year off to narrow your interests a bit and self-study a language? As you know from learning Italian, learning new languages takes dedication. And it is very challenging to do so when you're loaded with graduate-level coursework. There is a reason why most PhD students try to make sure that their main research languages are at intermediate/advanced stages when applying, or take intensive summer courses (which will then eat up time used for studying comprehensive exams and research). My $0.02.
  18. Seconded. I don't know what it is about medieval Russia that is interesting to you.. seems quite bit of left field. Again, what is it that you wish to do with a PhD?
  19. You start off by introducing yourself and your work and mention how you found out about this person (read his/her journal article? Saw their paper in a conference program?). Make direct connection between your research and theirs and you hope to discuss this more. If you know you will be in the person's area or you live a major city which people come through regularly (i.e. New York), suggest you meet for coffee. If neither is an option, ask about upcoming annual conferences where you might be able to get together. I would never ask someone to look over any of my work until they got to know me and express interest. Nobody is going to offer to read your materials unless they have time an genuine interest to do so. At this stage, the idea is to share and exchange ideas and knowledge of sources. If you know graduate students in the program of the faculty member you're interested in, ask them about this prof's style/personality/workload. If your long term goal is to have the person sit on your committee, make sure your adviser likes him/her first.
  20. I'd stay in the program. Once you are in the dissertation stage, you are much, much more free to explore your own interests and meet others who share the same questions. This can be done by going to conferences, reading conference programs and journal articles, and reaching out to scholars in your vicinity of your archival research. It is expect that you expand your knowledge and network beyond what you've been exposed to during your coursework years. There are plenty of professors supervising dissertations outside of their own inquiries because students change directions and that's perfectly normal. A good adviser will be honest with you and say, "I'm sorry, I can't supervise this kind of dissertation." It sounds like your adviser is still confident and wants to keep guiding you. Have faith. Even if you try to transfer at this late stage, you'd still be looking at 2 years of coursework elsewhere and then another year of comps studying. That's not a good way to do the PhD unless ALL of your advisers have left the program, which it sounds like everyone on your "committee" has stayed. They may not be interested but you can find mentors elsewhere, even within early modern Europe. Are there other historians sharing similar questions? To be competitive on the job market, you need to be able to interact across geographical and temporal fields. I know it's lonely to be the only one in your program in your own field (same!) but that's why you need to make an effort to get yourself out there and make connections with graduate students and professors in other schools. I've been doing that and am finding amazing support from them than I would have if I wasn't proactive.
  21. TMP

    Applications 2019

    CC @ashiepoo72
  22. Short answer: no. Long answer: If you did not apply to any other MA programs, I'd take the year off. I'd work on your languages and demonstrate them in your writing sample. I'd apply to MA programs that have more funding and (ideally) in a cheaper area than NYC and PhD programs again and go from there. With the economy being what it is, it's not worth taking out that much in loans. It's also NOT worth staying in "deferment" for loans while in a PhD program as the interest still accrues.
  23. My guess is that your top-choice program doesn't have the funds for "visiting weekends" as mentioned in these forums. You can politely inquire about a prospective student day to the DGS and see what s/he says.
  24. Won't be weird. It happens often. Just let them know that you're planning to use the other archives, which explains for the other 4 days. Just make sure that your receipts total to the amount you were awarded from this research fellowship does not include expenses associating with the second trip. I really don't think they'll give you a hard time, especially you're from from far and are in the US only for so long.
  25. TMP

    Applications 2019

    It is worth asking the DGS and contacting graduate students to learn of other possibilities. Does the fellowship allow you to work on campus as a TA or in another position? Does the fellowship cover the entire tuition?
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