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Everything posted by Sigaba

  1. Something is missing from the narrative. By my reading, the first time you were unwilling to make adjustments to your work based upon the recommendations of multiple professors. The second time, despite your previous experience with an "extremely specific" project area, a similar dynamic played out but in a shorter time span, and you got PNGed "by someone senior." Now, you're doubling down by consulting a lawyer using money you need to get back home. Something is missing from the narrative. Recommendations I suggest that you use your remaining time in the UK fi
  2. In order, yes, submit at least one more application, and focus your efforts on your SOP and limit work on your writing sample to making adjustments for clarity. The peril of your plan is that you are not merely competing against applicants who are dedicated to the study of history. You are also competing against applicants who are committed to the study of history. Committed applicants believe that COVID-19 does not materially impact their "chances" because they are competing against themselves; their potential, their hopes to contribute to the profession, and their doubts that they will
  3. And also... https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sanantonio/obituary.aspx?n=michael-william-rollin&pid=194224408&fhid=5701 https://scholarworks.umt.edu/etd/5202/ Keep in mind that you've got the nucleus of a strong statement of purpose. You've identified the needle you want to move (at least provisionally). Overstating the "newness" of the needle may not be as beneficial as you indicating that you have a sense of where that needle fits on a branch on a tree in a forest.
  4. Be careful. Unless your German is excellent and you know the historiography like the back of your hand, using a word like "never" can be a costly mistake, all the more since it is an avoidable one.
  5. BLUF: I would not recommend discussing this specific work as you propose unless you are confident enough to center your "chances" of acceptance around your understanding of the book's value to ongoing historiographical debates. Based upon a cursory glance, Export Empire seems like an enviable work of scholarship that moves the needle. However, what's fashionably called "soft power" has a concept often explored and hotly debated among historians studying diplomatic, military, and naval history for decades--particularly (but far from exclusively) Americanists. If you're going to mention
  6. @Dogukan93 Welcome to the Grad Cafe. Your question may generate bespoke guidance were you to ask it in the current season's application thread in the History forum. https://forum.thegradcafe.com/forum/38-history/
  7. Were I in your situation, I'd make an effort to write an efficient introduction that contextualizes the writing sample both within the relevant historiography as well as the larger thesis/article. For examples on how this task has been done in the past, I would grab one or two very influential works by historians and see how they went from doctoral dissertation to featured article in a journal to published work. (J.C.A. Stagg's Mr. Madison's War (1983), may be worth a look if you're an Americanist.)
  8. Unfortunately, uncommunicative professors is a recurring theme, season after season. You may find field/discipline specific guidance in the SLP forum but if you're willing to dig in this forum, you may find guidance that is useful, if not exactly comforting. FWIW, I recommend that you follow your instinct to "calm down and wait longer."
  9. Hi, @jujubean, welcome to the Grad Cafe. You may receive more timely feedback were you to ask your questions in the anthropology forum https://forum.thegradcafe.com/forum/45-anthropology/
  10. Your recommendation that I stay in my lane is both telling and ill considered. My recommendation that readers consider your other posts is not centered around Pitt, nor SW. At no time do I claim to have knowledge of either. For you to imply that I am writing from that perspective suggests that your attention to detail is lacking. My recommendation is simply that readers consider your "guidance" within the context of your conduct on this BB. Based upon your posts, readers can decide for themselves if you're attempting to urge aspiring graduate students to look before they leap or offering
  11. IMO, it's not great form to offer guidance without at least reading what the person asking for guidance has written.
  12. I am the person who gives the jar the final tap that allows it to open after the strong have been working at it for a while.
  13. The rule of thumb is that a double spaced page with one inch margins will contain about 250 words and take about two minutes to read aloud. Using this scale, 1,100 words would cover almost four and a half pages and take about ten minutes to read. Short reviews in academic journals run about 1,000 words. I recommend that you aim for a document closer to 500 words (two pages). I would not get too creative with the fonts or the margins. You could start with the current version by figuring out which sentences and paragraphs are absolutely essential and deleting everything else. You take anoth
  14. Before investing in the guidance offered by a graduate student dissatisfied with a program, consider the benefit of taking a look at previous posts to develop context. IME, first and second year graduate students who spend a lot of time praising or bashing their programs are not always the most reliable sources for information about the program they're attending. The purpose of this post is not to invalidate the OP's experiences or feelings. The purpose of this post is to suggest that those looking to make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives should do their due dilige
  15. FWIW, the SOPs I was most confident / least anxious about laid my progression from my work as an undergraduate to the work I thought/wanted to do as a graduate student and then as a professional academic historian. My idea for a dissertation was presented as a thumbnail -- detailed but still a thumbnail. From there, I moved on to the works I would write as my career progressed. The purpose of each section of my better SOPs was -- [a] to show that I my work as an undergraduate demonstrated that I had been developing the skills to do work in a graduate program. [b] to show how I f
  16. I recommend that you look very carefully before you leap. Will you have to start from square one? Will you be required to take qualifying exams that are more difficult? Can you delay taking quals at your current institution to study more? Is your desire to change schools more about pre quals anxiety? Will your professors at your new school be better teachers?
  17. I think a challenge many aspiring graduate students is that it can be difficult getting a handle on how important historiography is to the craft. While upper division courses on American foreign relations were centered around specific debates, the "big big picture" was not really a focus. IIRC two theses as an undergraduate had next to zero discussion of existing scholarly debates -- just a set up of the question, immediate issues, and a plunge into the primary source materials. I remember one upper division lecture class ending with a discussion of historiography. One student said to a bu
  18. I think that what's concerning to me is that so far it is hard to understand the tree you want to study and how that tree helps all historians understand a larger part of the forest. By studying X, Y, and Z, historians can understand better larger issues of A, B, and C. Insofar as a comparative approach, I urge you to determine a sustainable balance between your long term aspirations and your current abilities within the context of the task at hand -- writing a statement of purpose that will convince readers that you will fit into a department (not the other way around). FWIW, I'm no
  19. I must say that your revised statement is more confusing now than it was before. FWIW, the terms you are using "modernization" "modernity" "conservative" "right wing" "nationalist" make me wonder if you are putting your words into the mouths of those you study. (It might help were you to disclose the two countries that you seek to compare.) I also wonder if you're implicitly or inadvertently arguing that one country got it right and the other got it wrong based upon criteria you've established rather than goals that were determined at the time. Here's what I'm taking away from you
  20. @Strider_2931 Both @HardyBoy and @gsc are suggesting what may be turns away from your ideas. Yet, you may have an opportunity to position your research as exceptionally relevant to understanding the background of contemporaneous debates over public health (COVID-19), women's health (sexual violence against women), climate science, and medical sciences. My exposure to the works of social historians studying modern Germany have made me very skeptical of teleological approaches to the past. And I don't believe that history has "lessons." However, as the profession remains plagued by ques
  21. "Why should trees die?" a professor often asked.
  22. I think that among the challenges you face is that you'll be competing for an extraordinarily limited number of positions with applicants who have fine tuned their visions of their personal professional development since they were in high school. As things stand, it is very difficult for me understand how your research will move the needle in broader historiographical debates among Americanists who specialize in the time periods you identify. How will a study of the discourse over public health at the transnational, national and local levels help us to understand better how the midwest be
  23. How would you explain to faculty members at each school your range of interests as an Americanist?
  24. Based upon the work the company I work for has done abroad, impeding foreign nationals from developing expertise in urban planning is an insidious counterpunch. American firms can make money but without enough in house skills, some countries will continue to experience inefficiencies, hardship, fatalities, and catastrophes.
  25. After replying to the professor, take some time to absorb what the person wrote and how you can draw confidence from the appraisal. Rather than asking yourself "Am I good enough?" (a question kicked around the GradCafe often), can you ask yourself "How good can I be?"
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