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About Glasperlenspieler

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  1. Overall Vs. Speciality?

    Questions to ask yourself: 1. What is the likelihood that your research interests will change over the course of your graduate career? (This is obviously highly variable depending on the person, but generally speaking someone entering with an MA is less likely to change focus than someone coming in with only a BA.) 2. Insofar as you want an academic job, where are the former advisees of the professor at University Y? Have they gotten tenure track positions at the sorts of universities you would like to work at? 3. How confident are you that you and the professor at University Y would have a good working relationship? I've heard more than a few stories of students (and current professors) who entered a program intending to work with a particular professor, but realized that for one reason or another that wasn't going to work. 4. How important is it that your advisor has exactly the same are of research as you do? I'd say the right choice depends a lot and your answers to these questions. University Y seems like the riskier choice, because if your interests change or you decide you don't work well with this professor, you're sort of up a creek without a paddle. But, those concerns could be mitigated if you have a good reason to think that won't be the case. I'm also skeptical about the idea that one's advisor needs to have exactly the same interests as you. Obviously, they need to know your subfield, but I think that having someone who approaches things from a slightly different perspective can be helpful as can have a committee whose overlapping expertise provides you the support you need, even if no single individual on the committee does exactly what you do. But that's just my 2 cents. YMMV
  2. 2018 Acceptance/Rejection Thread

    I think @ThePeon and @machineghost have pretty well covered the practical aspects of this decision. I will, however, add one comment about the psychological aspects. If you take Memphis's offer, to what degree will you be plagued by "what if" questions? This is, I think, no easy question to answer. I'm enough of a Nietzschean to think that most people (myself most definitely included) are masters of self deception. So, saying this will not be a problem now, doesn't guarantee you won't feel otherwise in a couple of years. I'm not sure this is a good enough reason to go with GSU, but it's something to keep in mind. Part of this depends on whether there are other "dream programs" that a terminal MA might open up for you. Of course, PhD admissions being as unpredictable as they are, there's no guarantee of anything.
  3. Warning about offers

    Yikes! This sounds like it at least goes against the spirit of the April 15th agreement if not the letter. If you or others have hard evidence, it might be something worth contacting Leiter and/or the Daily Nous about. I have mixed feelings about public shaming, but this seems like a situation where it could be helpful, if only to alert potential graduate students.
  4. Campus Visits

    This is certainly something to take into consideration when deciding where to attend. A program that can't afford to cover the expenses for prospective student visits probably also doesn't have much in the way of extra money for attending conferences, doing research, etc. That's not to say that it might not be a great department otherwise, but the overall financial state of the program and the university as a whole will have an impact on your graduate education as a whole (this is especially true for PhD, although perhaps not as important for MA).
  5. Campus visits? Worth it?

    If you're asking about a PhD program, then this is a decision that could affect the next 5+ years of your life and beyond. I think if you can, it's best not to make such decisions sight unseen.
  6. I'd be curious to see data on this. One way to get an idea for how the job market is responding to these developments would be to look at position descriptions on the jobs wiki ( . Even more informative (but also more work) would be to look at past years position descriptions and see who got those jobs (e.g. if a department is looking to someone working on Victorian literature, do they hire someone who is fairly traditional in approach or someone with more interdisciplinary research). My suspicion is that the more innovative/interdisciplinary approaches are more heavily represented at R1s, whereas non-R1s (where the majority of the jobs are) are somewhat more traditional in approach. Academia is slow moving after all, and I think there's something of a trickle-down when it comes to new ideas. However, certain approaches that are apt to fill classrooms, such as feminist/gender/sexuality studies as well as minority/multicultural literatures, are probably in relatively high demand, at least in so far as the humanities are in demand these days. I sort of doubt, on the other hand, that regional public universities or small liberal arts colleges are actively seeking out people working on object-oriented ontology. That's all just a combination of speculation and educated guessing though.
  7. Question on writing research on Chaucer

    This is something you should probably ask your professor about. Regarding (1), some scholars see this as a useful way to look at literary texts, others do not. Still others (probably the majority) well think it depends on how you intend to make this connection. So there's no way for us to know in the abstract, whether this is a good approach for your paper. Run your paper idea by your professor and see what he/she says. Same goes for (2). Some professors are open to any citation style, so long as it's transparent and consistent. Others are sticklers and will expect you to use a particular one. If it doesn't specify on the syllabus, then it's probably the former, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
  8. Post-Acceptance, Pre-Visit

    I've always preferred Frau Professor Doktor ______ / Herr Professor Doktor.
  9. Languages Comparative Literature

    Congrats on getting waitlisted! Hopefully that works out and you don't have to worry about reworking your application. If, however, you do end up needing to reapply, I can think of at least a couple things that might be helpful. One would be to deal with a non-English language text in your writing sample and cite from the original. If you can demonstrate that you can use foreign language texts in your academic work, that should assuage any fears about your preparedness to produce scholarship in comparative literature. Another idea would be to make sure that at least one of your letters of recommendations is from a professor who can speak to your language competencies (or at least your competency in your primary foreign language). I would think that these steps should mitigate concerns about your language skills. The one exception to this might be if it is a department that will expect you to teach language classes. If that's the case, the aforementioned steps might be insufficient. In this case, a detailed history of your language education and time spent abroad might be something you'd want to add to your CV.
  10. Self Care in Grad School

    This is really important! When you're visiting programs, try to get a sense for how life is beyond academics. Yes, you're choosing a program based on how it fits academically, but in choosing a PhD program, you're also choosing a place to live for 5+ years. Try to find out what sorts of lives the graduate students live, academically and beyond and think about how that fits with the sort of lifestyle you want. (Keeping in mind that a healthy lifestyle may very well go out the window during the last couple weeks of the semester, no matter how diligent you are and that's ok.)
  11. Post-Acceptance, Pre-Visit

    I think that if it's feasible to visit the programs before you make a decision, then it's a good idea to do so. One thing you might consider doing is waiting until you've gotten all your acceptances and then trying to visit the programs you're most interested in back-to-back. If you are open with the programs about this, they may even help coordinate it. I did this when I was applying and it made for a crazy week but I felt a lot more at ease making a decision than I think I would have if I'd had to choice without visiting.
  12. Do Adcoms 'assign' incoming students to faculty members?

    In philosophy (unlike in history or in many of the sciences and social sciences), you are generally admitted to the program and not to work with a particular faculty member. Often, you won't even have an official advisor (aside from the DGS) until the second year or later. That being said, in terms of admissions, they will certainly take into account the compatibility of your research interests and those of the professors in the departments. If you want to work on Hume and there's one Hume scholar in the department, they will probably expect that you will end up working with her, even if you don't mention her name in your application. If it turns out this professor already has 3 advisees and doesn't feel she can take on any more, they may decide not to admit anyone whose primary focus is Hume (that's not to say that every department would operate this way, but it's certainly a possibility). In other cases, especially if your interests are more broad, they might admit you (assuming they like your app) but with no expectation that you'll end up working with any particular professor. I don't think it's necessary to name drop. If your interests are clearly articulated, it should be pretty clear which professors are good fits. If it turns out that nobody matches with your research interests, you probably won't get admitted. Name dropping can be risky. If you mischaracterize someone's research, name someone who is leaving the department, or fail to name someone who would be a good match, that may look poorly. On the other hand, if you have a specific connection to someone's work and can speak intelligently about how it has influenced your philosophical trajectory, that's probably worth mentioning. I know for a fact that at one of the places I was admitted, there was a faculty member who was very interested in my application and pushed for me (and helpfully, that professor was on the admissions committee). Now, from talking with people, it sounds like my application was received pretty favorably by the committee as a whole at the program, so I may have been admitted even if this hadn't been the case. But if someone on the committee sees your app and decide they want to work with you and go to the trouble of convincing everyone else, that will definitely help your odds.
  13. Guidance for Kant and German Classical Philosophy

    Lol. It might be helpful to provide arguments for this position as opposed to just name-calling. Nobody is saying that the Philosophical Gourmet report is the word of God, but it's a useful starting point for researching grad programs, especially if you focus on the specialty rankings. The Kant ranking in 14-15, for instance, consisted of evaluations from Anne Margaret Baxley, Andrew Chignell, Maudemarie Clark, Paul Guyer, Stephen Houlgate, Pierre Keller, Michelle Kosch, Derk Pereboom, Peter Poellner, Michael Rosen, Helga Varden, Eric Watkins, Robert Wicks, and Allen Wood. Those are opinions I would probably want to consider if I were looking to write a dissertation on Kant The SPEP list you mention, on the other hand, lists no methodology whatsoever. However, the note on top stating: " If you wish to submit a departmental description, or to report a broken link, please click here to email us" suggests that this is merely a list of those graduate programs who have contacted SPEP and asked to be included. It's a strange list too. It includes, for instance, UT Austin and WUSTL. Now, Austin has a few people working in German philosophy but the department is by and large focused on rather technical areas in analytic philosophy, so I doubt I would suggest that some one interesting in "continental" philosophy attend there. WUSTL, while certainly a strong program, strikes me as having even less to interest someone focusing on German or French philosophy. UCSD, on the other hand, is no where to be seen, despite being one of the strongest places to study Kant right now, as @be. rightly notes. Neither is UChicago, which has a breadth in German philosophy that few departments can rival. Having someone who works on Kant/19th century philosophy is hardly a sufficient condition for a being a good place to study Kant. This is doubly true if one hopes to attain an academic job afterwards.
  14. Living On a Budget?

    If you're asking about Chapel Hill (which I'm guessing you are from your signature), then one certainly shouldn't need to pay $10,000 per year for rent and utilities assuming you're willing to share an apartment/house with one or more other people.
  15. Guidance for Kant and German Classical Philosophy

    A new edition of the Philosophical Gourmet rankings should be coming out soon (by the end of the month, I think), so keep a look out for that. Lots of people on these boards are highly critical of those rankings, and for some good reasons. I do think they're useful though, as long as you take them with a grain of salt. The specially rankings are compiled by an anonymous survey of (a selected group) of specialists in the field, in which they are asked to evaluate programs on a scale of 1 to 5. (Anonymous in the sense that we don't know how a given person ranked each department. There is, however, a list of evaluators). All of the programs you list are strong in German philosophy. However, with the information you've given us, it's hard to say which programs you should be looking at. People who work in Kant and 19th C German philosophy approach it from wildly different perspectives. The best thing to do is probably to try to read some papers from different people in the field and see which approaches align with your own. You could start with some of the professors at the universities you list (Paul Guyer, Beatrice Longuenesse, Allen Wood, R Lanier Anderson, Pierre Keller, Robert Pippin, Eckart Foerster, Clinton Tolley, etc.). Philosophy admissions are extremely competitive, so it may not be a bad idea to apply to many departments with the hope that you can get into at least a couple of them. There are certainly people working on Kant and German philosophy in German and religious studies departments, but they tend to gravitate towards different approaches than what you'll find in philosophy departments, so it definitely depends on what you're looking for. Keep in mind though, if you go to a German studies department, you will be expected to deal with German literature to some extent and in a Religious studies department, you would likely be expected to take into account other aspects of religious studies as a field.