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Sigaba

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Sigaba last won the day on October 1

Sigaba had the most liked content!

About Sigaba

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    Cup o' Joe

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    sigaba@live.com

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  • Location
    Southern California
  • Application Season
    Not Applicable
  • Program
    History, ABD. Working in private sector.

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  1. Once you disclose the injury, readers can ask "Will the TBI have long-term effects that will degrade @philipjames11's ability to finish the program as a contributing member of the department or will the injury lead to behavioral/emotional issues that will prove disruptive?"
  2. Sigaba

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    If the book offers the best available summary of the historiography you are probably okay. If there's a work that does it better, you could go with that option. The only sure way to avoid creating the perception that you're "sucking up" is to use a different work. FWIW, I disagree slightly with @psstein 's response. If you can convincingly demonstrate that the work on fifteenth-century Japanese history represents a method that has not been tried by Americanists studying the nineteenth century, and that there's a need for this new approach, I would recommend that you write on that work of Japanese history. Whichever work you select, do your due diligence to understand how members of the department might view it. Don't pander to the potential audience, but don't pick a book that's going to push buttons either. Start developing relationships with professors and graduate students who might write LoRs for you and/or give you sound guidance on picking programs. At the risk of sounding provincial, I'd recommend Steven Woodworth. Do what you can to earn a research assistantship for the coming summer. Do what you can to write a thesis that can be used as a writing sample. Develop a list of academics with whom you'd like to work. Start working on your languages so you can bang out that requirement in your first year. (This recommendation is for aspiring Americanists only.) Work on defining your fields of interest more clearly and succinctly. What part of the nineteenth century? What do you mean by "state formation?" What kind of power? Can you be more specific than outside the presidency? (Do you mean the executive branch of the federal government? Do you mean labor leaders? Do you mean intellectuals?
  3. I respectfully disagree with this recommendation. Yes, one should focus on the journey, one step at a time. But some legs of the journey are less complicated (if not easier) than others. The sooner one can decide definitively on one's fields, the sooner one can start mastering the historiography of that field. That work not only prepares one for qualifying exams but can also improve the quality of work in a master's program.
  4. Sigaba

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    I would suggest that your hang up is not thinking that you're qualified enough for the schools that your advisor is recommending. If you weren't, your advisor wouldn't recommend that you apply to any of them. ("Well, and you're an Aggie...." sneered the Longhorn.😜) Is anything keeping you from writing a master's thesis /report that could serve as the core of your writing sample?
  5. You say, but hours later... And again... How about that. My theory is that you're having a bad case of pre-qualifying exams jitters. Notwithstanding the disappointing experience that TGC is turning out to be, one could find threads in which graduate students share their experiences and studying tactics. No, this isn't a suggestion nor advice. You've demonstrated that you know yourself, you've got it all figured out, and that you don't need help. But the threads are there nonetheless. Or you can pick up the shovel back up and dig yourself deeper in the hole into which you've foxed yourself. I think you left off at I don't need the field of history to produce historically-informed scholarship... Or was it It's a waste of my time to talk about my vision of how history should be done with anyone who doesn't agree with me?
  6. Sigaba

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    Welcome to TGC. My recommendation is that invest as much time as you can studying how history is different than political science/IR (if not also the "dismal science"). From there, you may want to delve deeper into the backgrounds of the academics with whom you want to work to see if the boundaries between history and politics/IR are hard or soft. You want to avoid a situation in which a professor bleeds over an essay you worked hard to produce with a lead comment "This isn't history."
  7. Your position is that you're not concerned with what others think you should be concerned with because you don't need to be. How do you know? Do you have an executed job offer that guarantees you a position no matter what? Do you know what it is like when a department PNGs a graduate student? Are you so adept at what you intend to do that you can endure the consequences of the path you're set on walking? (FWIW, one of the most intellectually capable individuals I've ever met got himself PNG-ed. He got his dissertation approved in record time and he can't get his calls returned because he burned every bridge along the way.) Those who are offering support--and it's support that you're receiving--are urging you to be cautious and to be patient, and most of all, to be smart. Maybe not into one's third year 'increasingly confident" smart like you, but smart enough to talk to professors about the experiences you're disclosing. The point that you're disregarding is that one goes through a period where one's research interests and methodology seem ahead of the field not because petty academic historians are playing an endless game of cat and mouse to thwart the unappreciated genius of a graduate student but because they're teaching that student to tighten up the argument. As you've doubtlessly experienced in your classes, a established historian at the top of his game can run through page after page of bibliographies and reading lists, summarizing complex works into one sentence. A graduate student at the top of her game can summarize a complex and heated historiographical debate in a couple of paragraphs (and some long footnotes) in a peer -reviewed article. If you had demonstrated either level of expertise in your OP, it would have been up votes, golf claps, and bravo zulus for you. But the fact that you are refusing even to try suggests that you're not anywhere close to where you think you are. The support you're receiving in this thread are recommendations that you slow your roll, reassess where you are, where you're trying to go, and ask yourself if your current path is the best one. A word about the "patronizing" that's going on in this thread. It's coming from you. You're the one starting a thread in the history forum denigrating the craft and its practitioners as being unworthy of your best efforts. You're the one saying you ultimately need nothing from historians but only after you didn't get the approval you sought in your OP. You're the one talking smack about unnamed people in your department rather than going to their office and saying it to them in person. You're the one talking about how ahead of the curve you are but when invited to walk the talk you double down...by refusing. FYI, hoarding knowledge is not a best practice for graduate students. Graduate students need more from others than they have to give. You want to show historians how your approach is better despite what SMEs in your department tell you, that's great. Yet, a point that you're ignoring in this thread is that there are ways to make that argument in ways that historians will understand and respect--if not like. (A question. How is it that, after two years in a program you don't have at hand numerous examples on how to present an iconoclastic argument that has the potential to revolutionize a field? Have you been spending all your time figuring out how you want to do things at the expense of learning how BTDTs do their thing? ) Hey, if you want to forgo "diplomacy," I'll be your huckleberry.
  8. Sigaba

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    If you can, arrange one-on-one meetings with ABDs. Without getting into specifics, ask about preparing for qualifying exams, the process of writing the dissertation proposal, and questions about the dissertation itself. Try to get a sense of how they feel about the level of support they've received from faculty members. Ideally, the face to face conversations will take place away from the department.
  9. It's increasingly apparent to me that you may be feeling overwhelmed by the process of preparing for your qualifying exams and that you're using this thread to blow off some steam. While blowing off steam in front of strangers is a convenient tactic, I don't know if it's a sustainable practice. I recommend that you "downshift" for a day or two, maybe treat yourself to a beverage at your favorite coffee house, maybe do some recreational reading, and then get back to it. When you get back at it, take another look at the posts by @telkanuru and @telkanuru If you need support figuring out how to square the circle of finding ways of framing your approach to the past within existing trajectories of historiography, rephrase your OP so you can get the support that you need. (FWIW, I've in mind at least two ways that you can do what you want to do and anchor it to at least one trajectory of established historiography.) Please keep in mind that regardless of what you think and what you say, you do need the support of your current program to get to where you want to go. A reputation of not playing well with others, considering yourself too smart for the room, and being inconsiderate of others' time will follow you in your professional career even if it's outside the Ivory Tower.
  10. The received wisdom about such LORs is that members of admissions committees will be able to tell how well the writer of a LOR really knows the person about whom she is writing. Please look through threads on this forum https://forum.thegradcafe.com/forum/75-letters-of-recommendation/ for tips on how to proceed.
  11. Sigaba

    Language Examination in History PhD Program

    They can ... if you're an Americanist.😁
  12. The first two quoted passages IMO do not reflect a sustainable approach to the craft. If you can't explain in a way that resonates to established historians how what you're doing is history, then you're doing it wrong. You can do what you want but if you want your committee to do what you want (sign off on your dissertation), you're going to have to find it within yourself to do what they want. Is the passage above is an indication of a novel approach to history or an example of writing that is unclear? ^ 😉 Sometimes, when one thinks one knows "I know exactly what I'm doing" is the best time to hear again and again "Exactly what is it you think you're doing?" I suspect that what you're trying to do has been done many, many times and that you would greatly benefit from finding examples. These examples will put you on more solid footing IRT the historiography, the method, and the tone of your work.
  13. I am not sure that the comparison of backgrounds is helpful. I think that it's bad form to say "I'm X, Y, and Z, so I can tell you that your perception as an A, B, and C is wrong." I am not sure how one can separate the OP's life history the OP's educational path. Maybe it's a regional matter, but if one is from California, one knows that the OP is a member of one of the most reviled and exploited populations in the western hemisphere.The current president capitalized on Americans' misplaced fear of El Salvadorians arguably more than any other group of foreigners. That hate has been decades in the making. So when @angled_az says that the academic system wasn't built for similar students and presents an academic history that indicates an absence of solid teaching and mentoring, it seems to me that the OP's scholarly achievements came in spite of the educational system rather than because of. My $0.02.
  14. Sigaba

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    In my experience, the expectations of German historians are extraordinarily high. I recommend that you submit a SOP that demonstrates a keen understanding of the historiographical debates among historians of early modern Germany that will inform your research. If German historians are debating something different than other Europeanists, you will profit from showing that you understand the different debates and why you're picking Germany over other areas. That is, make it clear that you're area of emphasis is early modern German history, even though you can "speak" early modern European history as well.
  15. Sigaba

    Inviting toxic advisors to my graduation

    Based upon the following, I don't agree that you have. By your telling, you're right, they are driven by emotions and naive thought. Only in "their minds" do they have a take on how you're managing your career. The answer to your question is this. Think like a professional. Behave professionally. Be civil, and courteous. Don't be "fake." As an advisor told me "No one has to know that you don't like them." As a highly accomplished musician has said, "What others think of you is none of your business."
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