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Swagato last won the day on July 9 2013

Swagato had the most liked content!

About Swagato

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    Film Studies/Art History/Visual Studies

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  1. Hopefully New Haven will be a little nicer--weather-wise--when you lot visit. Congratulations to all.
  2. Congratulations on finding yourself in a very good place, OP. My recommendation would be to visit both programs (of course), talk to current students both in and outside of your areas of interest. Talk to faculty in your areas and outside of it. Try to find out as much as you can about recent placement (if you are primarily interested in TT positions, or in museum curating, or both, etc.). Both obviously have strong alumni networks, so this is a major plus of which you shouldn't fail to make good use. P.S. Curious if you also applied to Yale.
  3. Honestly, go with the Air. People rave about its lightness, and it's something you don't notice until you're using it regularly. And the small footprint is another thing you don't notice until you're using it regularly. I'm in the humanities so it's text-heavy work for me, and I've never felt restricted by the 13" display. I have a 2010 Air, by the way, and am considering an upgrade some time toward the end of this year (to whatever the maxed out current model Air at the time would be). You can always just keep adding external storage, which is becoming increasingly cheap. I only needed an Ethernet port once in all the time I've had this, and that was a last-resort option.
  4. Given your future goals, I'd say you should make it a point of priority to pick the program that appears most strongly equipped to boost you into those places (Stanford, Princeton, etc.). Also, although Joselit recently moved on from Yale to CUNY, we'll likely not have that spot empty for too long. So there's probably another to add to your list! Carol Armstrong, of course, is already here. You might want to speak to graduates from the programs who are actually now at some of those PhD programs you have in mind.
  5. This isn't really true at all. Just about every place will allow for a resubmission of documents as long as it occurs fairly soon after the deadline. Also, it's entirely up to you whether you want to keep fine-tuning your SOP/writing sample through the application season or not. Speaking anecdotally, I received my best responses from my later applications. I had continued working on both, making significant revisions to my sample. YMMV of course.
  6. Of possible interest (probably old news by now). http://press.moma.org/2013/09/museum-research-consortium-announcement/
  7. Be sure to check where recent graduates are now.
  8. IMHO, these are rather bizarre questions to ask *now* given your professed stance against the program. Perhaps these might have been issues to have clarified *prior* to mounting blanket offensives against a particular program? Anyway... 1. What you seem not to comprehend is that there is little distinction between MAPH and the regular PhD. In fact, aside from the one Core seminar course, students are able to take any graduate courses, anywhere in the division of the humanities. Thus, I routinely found myself in PhD seminars, mixed graduate/undergraduate courses, or introductory graduate/undergraduate lecture courses. So, as in any department, the number of "repeat" faculty members will vary from year to year. In my year, I had two faculty members with whom I took two courses each. 2. How do you get to know any faculty member with whom you don't take classes? You talk to them. Just like in any graduate program. 3. What do you do with anyone who's on leave? You establish contact and build a relationship. If they're able to meet, you meet. 4. Yes, there are MAPH events of all stripes spread throughout the entire program duration. Career-advancement (academic/non-academic), panel talks, faculty talks, a weekly social hour allowing for mingling between students and faculty, etc. 5. You can obviously access the full resources of Chicago, since you are a graduate student. So, yes, you can access departmental resources. I don't know if you mean the kind of departmental meetings that set agenda or clarify matters for PhD students and the PhD program--if so, then no, since you are not a PhD student. 6. The initial advisor is assigned just like it is in most PhD programs. After that, you choose your own. 7. How on earth is it even remotely relevant to **the program** whether or not someone gets along with their preceptor? Isn't that wholly upon the individual to sort things out? 8. Yes, Preceptors are assigned based on research interests. It wouldn't really make sense not to do so. 9. Your faculty advisor directs your whole thesis from beginning to end. You can, obviously, approach anybody else--whether PhD student or faculty--for advice or whatever. Once again you insist on comparing MAPH to programs explicitly dedicated to a particular approach, even though MAPH is designed to be different--it is designed to appeal to those with more interdisciplinary approaches. I don't really know how to state this any more bluntly. Furthermore, you're perfectly welcome to audit any language courses you wish--nothing restricts you from NOT pursuing language learning. It is true that the program is designed so that PhD applications are best completed the year after graduation, which is actually an advantage to my mind. Again, personal preferences will differ. Again, if the program isn't FOR YOU, that is no demerit of the program itself. You may be perplexed as to why I am so stubborn in defending the program. It's because on the one hand, I experienced it (and you didn't), and so know first-hand what it does and what it doesn't. On the other hand, almost every one of your criticisms have to do with personal preferences rather than the program's merits or demerits. In fact, the only point you've made that counts as a demerit against the program itself is its unusual timeframe, which encourages PhD applications a year afterward. Everything else either stems from your lack of knowledge about the program (witness all these questions you ask *after* your criticisms), or from how you believe programs should work (necessarily funded, etc. etc.)
  9. If you haven't heard anything by now, it's probably a good idea to reach out.
  10. Since I believe this exchange isn't exactly proving productive, I'll include a final comment on this purely for future readers. Obviously, I remain in complete disagreement with m-ttl. First, "special permission" = Ask the faculty member. It's that simple. Second, I don't believe it's a program's responsibility to secure internships for its students. Those half a dozen internships are funded by the program itself. You're obviously free to pursue your own options (as should be the case). Third, MAPH does come with a number of partial (and lately, apparently a few full) scholarships. I don't especially see anything objectionable in a non-funded MA. Clearly, it's aimed at those who believe the investment is worth it. Others are welcome to pursue other options. For me, despite the steep cost, it was a worthwhile investment because I realized I value a year spent at Chicago, working with Chicago's faculty in Film and Media Studies (and other faculty members of interest in other departments) was far more than the sticker price. I also realized, given the program's placement history to top-tier PhD programs, that it basically offered me the best possible platform for a future PhD application. And if, somehow, I discovered that a PhD was not up my alley, I'd still be left with an MA from Chicago--something that, as I mentioned earlier, did prove to unlock doors simply because of the name. It certainly helped tremendously when I remained in non-academic work for an intervening year. Coming from my BA, I saw quite clearly how far the right name goes. So yes, all of this combined outweighed MAPH's sticker price for me. YMMV, as may those of others. This is no reason for me to object to the program itself, nor does it seem logical to cite personal preferences as criteria for a program's merit or lack thereof. Fourth, I'm a bit perplexed by your condescension ("You've seen, what, three schools?"). Granted, you may have experience with 13. The fact remains that I now have experience with one institution on the far lower end of things, and two on the far upper end. Now, you may be convinced that it's possible to experience what Chicago offers at other places. But that, as you yourself point out in criticizing me, is your "personal gut feeling" and no more. I am not sure how it may be possible to benefit from the presence of Tom Gunning, Robert Pippin, WJT Mitchell, Jim Lastra, Bill Brown, and many others *outside* of Chicago. Ultimately, it's a question of what -you- value and how much it's worth to you to have an opportunity to interact with certain people. Obviously, the fit of your own interests plays a significant role. If not for my interactions with some of the people at Chicago, I strongly doubt my current interests would be what they are. That, in turn, influences the possibilities of success in A. Admissions to PhD programs; B. Future publications; C. A whole host of other things that come with academic development. In short, no, I absolutely do not believe that Chicago's peculiarly interdisciplinary approach is common, and while I certainly think Yale's approach is unimpeachable, I also recognize individual differences where one program just works better than another. Chicago's history of tenure-track placement in Cinema and Media Studies speaks for itself. Do you seriously think--financial issues notwithstanding--it makes sense to pass up a chance to work at literally the top department in the field? If you do, that's your own "personal gut feeling" and your own perspective. It doesn't mean everybody shares it. Fifth, why on earth would I want to take courses at a community college when I have an opportunity to do so at Chicago? Again, if it were financially unfeasible this would not be a concern. Such was not the case for me. It's quite inexplicable to me why you seem bent on translating personal financial circumstances into universal suggestions. Methods courses are not the same everywhere. Some simply are better than others. In your response to the other person, you again show a bizarrely condescending attitude when you presume they "probably didn't ask professors...." Nobody needs to be told that applying "only to the Ivies" is a bad idea, for the simple reason that it's well-known that the best department aren't always at the Ivies. There are unfunded graduate programs of many stripes. I sincerely doubt that many would question the worth of an MA from Chicago, whether it be for further academic pursuits or otherwise. You have no experience with the program, as was clear from your lack of actual knowledge about the program. Yet you take it upon yourself to criticize my apparent lack of experience with multiple programs. You might think the program "takes advantage of students." I don't think the many graduates who are presently at leading programs across most fields in the humanities, or those who are well-settled into non-academic careers exactly because MAPH opened doors would agree with that sentiment. Funded MAs certainly exist. They also are not at Chicago (at least for the present). So, again, we return to the question of ***whether the individual deems it a worthwhile investment.*** You miss the point, yet again, when you reduce MAPH to "every graduate program." It is precisely the fact that MAPH adopts a *different* approach utilizing resources *not available* everywhere that sets it apart. In closing, I will reiterate that I find it absurd that you impose your personal ideals and preferences upon everyone and then to criticize them when they point this out. Yes, I get it. You find MAPH morally objectionable, regardless of its remarkable success with regard to its explicitly stated goals. I get that you, personally, would not pay, even for an MA at Chicago in Art History. For me, it was Film Studies, as that is my primary area of interest and Chicago unquestionably has the most powerful department in the nation. None of this gives you any ground to criticize ***the program itself*** as though it were somehow failing in its mission or were deceptive. All you have, in the end, is your own (lack of) experience and "personal gut feeling." You may have been well-served by your choices. I have by mine. Many others, graduates of MAPH, have been by theirs.
  11. Sure you can take seminar courses. I was in two during my time there. The program is not at all unclear (and it's this easy misconception that actually necessitates the "defences" you mention). The program is explicitly designed to be so flexible as to accommodate a wide range of interests (bear in mind that it is something humanists of all stripes are considered for either via direct application or as a redirect from the PhD application), while also allowing for very focused development. This means, in other words, that someone with interdisciplinary interests is likely to benefit tremendously--more, probably, than at a 'conventional' MA--whether in Art History, Film Studies, Philosophy, etc. It's also an excellent sieve of sorts. I know several who, after experiencing the reality of graduate work and learning more about academic life (something the program specifically makes an effort to illuminate through events, etc.), chose not to proceed into a PhD. These people ended up with excellent preparation for an entry into industry, though. Of people in my graduating year, one is at the Field Museum, several are at major publishing houses (academic and non-academic), etc. I don't think they found the program unhelpful on the job market due to its unusual structure and design. Re: internships. The program actually funds about half a dozen paid internships after completion. It's a competitive process. In addition, two positions for program mentors are available for the subsequent year. There's a rather thorough grooming process toward the end of the year for transitioning to the next step whether academic or otherwise. I did not go to a "great" undergraduate college (and this is another type of individual that MAPH offers tremendous benefits to). I had never taken an Art History course before. The entire culture of academia, its expectations, its norms, everything was completely new to me. I'll let the fact that MAPH was able to help me become competitive enough for subsequent PhD applications success stand for itself--quite aside from the obvious (that it opened several doors). The program is explicitly designed for those unsure or unprepared to proceed to PhD work. That's kind of the whole point, so it's very surprising to read that given your history of skepticism about the program. I guess I had assumed you'd at least done some fact-finding about MAPH before building your critique of it. It is exactly the case that MAPH exists to help such individuals either develop the foundations necessary toward future PhD applications and an academic career, OR move into industry based on their interests. That's the flexibility which, at least as far as I know, few or no other MA programs offer. And yes, of course it rests on the foundation of Chicago's academic rigor. The only thing I can say about that is that I have yet to experience anything that trumps Chicago's intellectual climate. It's just something special.
  12. That the MA will be from Chicago. (This telegraphs a bunch of other things, obviously. You'd get to work with literally some of the top scholars in the field, at one of the most intensive and well-reputed departments in the field, be immersed in Chicago's almost-uniquely interdisciplinary yet cutting-edge humanities division, and just generally soak up things that are, frankly, unavailable at most of the other, cheaper, options.) This is also why I've advocated for MAPH so strongly. Obviously it depends on financial circumstances. But if financially feasible? I'd always recommend Chicago, Williams, and the like over other options. It's more or less a given that earning your MA at a top department *does* matter. It's no guarantee, but it never hurts.
  13. ^ Not really. Many choose not to publicize information.
  14. I'd still recommend actually talking to individuals. Most websites rarely will have current information, or they'll have it in rather a general fashion.
  15. What s/he said. I would try to find out which one has seen more graduates ending up in the kind of PhD programs you have in mind. I'd also talk to current/past students at both. And, of course, I'd be upfront with professors that you are in contact with about your future PhD ambitions. Often, there really aren't any hard rankings (and rankings between #2 and #6, for example, probably won't matter as much as #2 and #60).
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