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Everything posted by Glasperlenspieler

  1. Yes, it's a longshot, but not because of any particular facts about your background or CV, but because it's a longshot for everyone. Getting into a good PhD program is tough. Getting hired in a tenure track position after that is even tougher. Those jobs are evaporating. The odds will always be slim. There's some truth in this, but it's a little more complicated than that. A handful of programs account for the majority of tenure track hires. Attending a program outside of that realm puts you at a disadvantage in an already unlikely prospect. This is not always perfectly correlated to c
  2. It's worth noting that most professors have an are of expertise and knowledge that extends at least somewhat more widely than their publications/listed interests. One good way to get a feel for this would be to look at what dissertations they have advised/been on committees for. Another point is that rather than starting from faculty lists at various universities and then trying to find suitable professors from there, you might instead start with the research that you're already interested in. What books/articles have been important/interesting to you? Who wrote them and where are they te
  3. I'm inclined to agree with @EverBetter. If you have a strong writing sample and can clearly articulate a research agenda, PhD programs will be interested in that and not whether or not you wrote a thesis. The other thing to note is that Masters Theses are tricky to turn into writing samples. For one thing, they often end up in the awkward length of 50-100 pages which is much too long to be a writing sample but not yet a monograph. For that reason, you may be better off using your time to revise your strongest seminar paper that best shows your skills and interests and using that for your writ
  4. I'm not a Discord user, but I do know there are certainly Discord groups for this purpose. You would just have to gen an invite. Twitter has lots of problems and one would be justified in wanting to stay away from it, but there is actually a really good community of philosophy undergrads, grad students, and professors, who frequently get into quite enlightening discussions about various aspects of philosophy.
  5. I seriously doubt it will hurt you. I'm in a German Studies program in which several people have MAs from German institutions. Now, as you note, these are all German nationals, so that's a slightly different situation than yours. But at the end of the day, your application is going to be primarily evaluated on the quality of your writing sample and on how interesting the faculty finds your research interest. Your experience in France will mean that nobody will doubt your language competency, which is a good thing. What you will need to do is produce a strong writing sample and learn how to art
  6. Is this quarters or semesters? My undergrad philosophy major was 19 courses on a quarter system iirc.
  7. The full list of schools is here: https://cgsnet.org/ckfinder/userfiles/files/CGS_April15_Resolution_Oct2020Revision.pdf They really shouldn't be pressuring you to make a decision before April 15th.
  8. Economy goes down, applications to grad school go up. Also, since several grad programs are not accepting applications, the number of programs that you can apply to is lower. It's thus not too surprising that the programs accepting applications will see an increase in applications.
  9. Both @PolPhil and @Marcus_Aureliusmake some very good points here. I would add one thing though: I suspect the relative financial security of being a Ph.D. student is going to look a lot different for single people than it is for partnered people/people looking to start a family, as well as the relative long-term desirability of either of those two life trajectories. As a single person with a high stipend in a relatively low-cost area, who has access to extra funding in different forms (who also entered grad school without debt, but has been financially independent for a while), I'm
  10. I generally agree with what @Marcus_Aurelius says above, but I do wonder about this claim. Certainly there are such people, I'm just curious how large such a population really is. I like to think I wouldn't be devastated if I fail to get a tenure-track job when this is all done, but if I'm being honest, I'm not really sure that's true, despite my deep ambivalences about academia. The culture of Ph.D. programs is such that it often encourages one to think that a tenure-track job is the only metric of success, and this sort of thinking is, in my own experience at least, very hard to combat.
  11. Since I think it was me that used that phrase: the criterion I was referring to was funding. If a Ph.D. program does not provide tuition remission and a *livable* stiped, then it's not worth attending. This is both because a graduate degree in the humanities is a poor financial investment (a tenure-track job in philosophy is hard to come by and that's probably getting worse; a Ph.D. in philosophy doesn't adequately prepare you for other lines of work; and even if you do get a job as a philosophy professor, it probably won't pay enough to make paying off years worth of student loans an easy fea
  12. I think "there are no safety schools" should be understood as "there are no safety schools among the programs worth attending." With a funding structure like that (not to mention that I'm not sure I've ever heard of anyone talk about Dallas's PhD program in philosophy), I'd be inclined to say it falls in the category of programs not worth attending.
  13. This metric would seem to be a better representation of ones odd of getting admitted to any given program (which I take to be the general question here) and is the way the term acceptances rates is used by most institutions I'm aware of. If an undergraduate college says they have a 20% acceptance rate that means 20% of the people who apply are offered admission regardless of whether they matriculate.
  14. You're certainly right that it is extremely competitive to get into a Ph.D. program in philosophy, but for the sake of accuracy, I do want to ask how you got these statistics. It sort of looks like you divided the incoming cohort by the number of applicants, but that assumes a 100% matriculation rate among those accepted, which I suspect for most programs (even the very top programs) is probably not quite accurate. Yale, for instance, has its statistics online. In 2019 they admitted 12 out of 333 applicants, but only 5 matriculated. That's a 3.6% acceptance rate. Still very low, but somew
  15. Unfortunately, I suspect this is our future: https://theithacan.org/news/ic-to-cut-130-faculty-positions-due-to-low-enrollment/
  16. Not to be a contrarian, but many universities that have both a law school and a graduate school do have some sort of an option for a Ph.D./J.D. dual degree program. That being said, the degree to which this is ad hoc and the fields one is allowed to pursue for the Ph.D. vary. Schools seem generally more open to a J.D. in conjunction with a Ph.D. in philosophy, political science, or economics (see NYU: https://www.law.nyu.edu/jdadmissions/dualdegreeprograms/jdma). I don't see many schools that really have a pathway for doing an English Ph.D. in tandem with a law degree.
  17. Find books and articles on the topic. Keep a list of the authors, and figure out where they're at, who their advisors were, and who their advisees are, and where they're all at. Then read the bibliographies and acknowledgements pages, trace down those works and authors and repeat the process. Once you get to the point when the relevant books and articles being cited are by people you've already looked into, you're starting to come full circle and should have a decent idea of who's who in the field.
  18. I don't know if it matters that much, but I would agree with this, especially since endnotes are evil and should be avoided, so footnotes would naturally contribute to the length of the paper.
  19. The writing sample is by far the single most important part of your application. Everything else is secondary. Whether the CV, or the personal statement, or your transcript, or your letters of rec are going to matter more is going to vary widely depending on who's reading your application. That being said, admissions committees will often decide how closely they're going to read your writing sample based on the quality of your other materials.....
  20. How's your German? You might find more Germanists interested in this sort of a project than people in English departments. Alternatively, you might look at grad programs in English departments in Germany (typically taught in English) where the profs are more likely to have a solid background in German philosophy/literary history.
  21. I'm not in a comparative literature department, and I didn't get into any when I applied, so I'm probably not the best person to answer this question. Furthermore I think the culture between comparative literature departments differs dramatically from institution to institution. This is true of all disciplines, but is perhaps particularly pertinent in this case. With those caveats, my perception is that comparative literature departments have become the home for scholars working primarily in national/linguistic traditions that don't otherwise have their own department on campus or whose w
  22. If you have access to the MLA bibliography, I'd recommend doing a search for publications in your area. Follow the bibliographies to expand your purview. Note the authors and figure out if any of them are teaching at Ph.D. programs or, if they got their Ph.D. relatively recently, where they studied and who their advisor was. This can be somewhat tedious but is a good way to get a sense of who's who in your field and, by extension, where you would want to study to pursue that topic. @xypathos is perhaps right that you won't find too many hits, but that doesn't mean there isn't someone who
  23. @WildeThing knows more about this field than I do, so they can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd also encourage you to take a close look at job placements. I can't speak for African-American Studies departments, but I do know that if, for example, you work in American Studies, there are far fewer jobs in American Studies departments than in English departments, and people with Ph.D.s from English departments will often out-compete people with Ph.D.s from American Studies departments for jobs in English Departments. It's worth checking to see if there's a similar phenomenon in your field.
  24. You're better off with one 15-25 page writing sample. Programs want to see that you can produce a strong, extended argument, and they want to know that you can enter the program and hit the ground running, which means writing several 15-25 pages seminar papers at the end of your first semester while managing other responsibilities.
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