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allplaideverything

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allplaideverything last won the day on February 5 2015

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About allplaideverything

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    Davis, CA
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    PhD English

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  1. I'm doing psychoanalysis & literature at UC-Davis! This is indeed a pretty good place to do such work, and you're right that Buffalo and Duke are also great. I too am happy to chat more with you about specifics if you want.
  2. I agree with poliscar--I think the general attitude of a department with regards to what kind of work they tend to find valuable is perhaps most important. You needn't find a department with somebody who specializes in posthumanism in order to do posthumanism, but you'll at least want to end up in a place that supports emergent trends in critical theory, ecocriticism, science & technology studies, or something like that. I found it very helpful to look at the titles of recent PhD student dissertations. Considering your specific examples, though, there are probably over a dozen program
  3. I think poliscar is right. I'd add that you might find it more useful to focus on the theoretical / methodological leanings of departments more than how many 20th C Americanists they have. Basically every department will have at least one person who does 20th C Am, and you can read the literary texts you're interested in on your own. If you're really into psychoanalysis, though, or Marxism, or whatever, you'll need to be in a department that supports that kind of work.
  4. UC-Davis has a couple people working in visual culture, and one of them (Matthew Stratton) offered a grad seminar in comics last year. I wouldn't say it's a huge focus of our department, but we're friendly to it. UW-Madison has Ramzi Fawaz, who's super rad.
  5. Take a look at UC-Davis. We've got three great Victorianists--Liz Miller, Kathleen Frederickson, & Parama Roy. Parama also does colonial/postcolonial lit & theory, and is one of the most intimidatingly brilliant people I've ever met (http://english.ucdavis.edu/people/proy). We also just generally have lots of faculty with strengths in critical theory, Marxism, etc., and I think we're generally a good place to do intersectional 19th C work. I'd also add that, while of course you shouldn't apply to programs that don't have any 19th C British / colonialism scholars, it's probably mor
  6. I mean, take my comments with however much salt you want. But I think publishing before you're really doing *great* work is risky for lots of reasons--and if you think you're already doing *great* work before even starting a PhD, either you're a genius who probably doesn't need my advice, or you might have an inaccurate idea of the kind of work being done in literary crit / scholarship. Read the top journals in your sub-field, pay attention to the mastery, knowledge, and range of references the authors demonstrate, and look them up and see where they are in their careers. If you think your wor
  7. Hey WildeThing! Almost nobody entering a PhD program in English has published their scholarly work (and I'm guessing this is true across the humanities more generally). The expectation is that your thinking and your work will improve exponentially in the PhD program; the work you're doing beforehand isn't expected to be professional / publishable. It's conceivable that some admissions committees would be impressed with an applicant who has published a good paper in a good journal; but it's also a mild possibility that some admissions committees would interpret your having published as a sign t
  8. Hey GradCafe! I'm finishing up my first year of the PhD (ahh!!), and wanted to start a conversation with you brilliant folks about choosing our area(s) of specialization. The specialization I proposed in my SOP & writing sample, which was pretty specific in terms of periodization and methodology, is no longer especially thrilling to me. Coursework, and more generally hanging out with my awesome cohort and being around great faculty, has gotten me excited about stuff I had no idea I'd be into! (For example, I came in as a 19th Century Americanist, and have somehow fallen in love with a
  9. Finding Marxist faculty shouldn't really be a problem, and any 20th Century lit scholar is going to be familiar with the authors you noted, even if that's not who they primarily write on. You shouldn't worry about finding faculty members whose interests overlap completely with yours--rather, try to find programs that support Marxist / critical theory criticism, and make sure they have a Modernist or two on faculty. I feel like that list will probably include about half of the top 50 PhD programs in English. Your committee, for example, (assuming your interests don't shift radically, which they
  10. Of course everybody has to decide for themselves what their goals and priorities are, so, I'm glad this strategy has worked out for you, telkanuru! That said, the suggestion that you can really know enough about various graduate programs to be able to accurately predict where you'll be happiest, where you'll find mentors and colleagues who challenge and encourage you in the best ways, where you're able to do your best work, where your interests 3 years from now will be and therefore where those interests will make you a good fit, etc., is a pretty, um, ambitious claim. While the job market is
  11. We've got a pretty strong focus on critical theory at UC-Davis. You can get a Designated Emphasis in the field (like a major for PhDs, I guess), there's an interdisciplinary program/dept. (http://crittheory.ucdavis.edu/welcome) with some courses required for all English PhDs, and more generally, our English faculty members are quite committed to various movements within critical theory.
  12. I finally had my first seminar today! UC-Davis (and, I gather, many of the other west coast public universities) is on the Quarter system & starts super late. I don't get paid until November, which I wish they'd told us earlier. But seminar was so much fun! And yes, I echo all the OMG-SO-MUCH-READING. I guess I decided to do a PhD in Lit. mostly to get better at reading, and to read more widely and just more. So I'm definitely happy & excited about it. But it's a real change of pace from reading a stack of poems & a couple craft essays per week.
  13. Hey amiinside! Congrats on finishing the BA! Obviously whether you want to pursue graduate studies in a very competitive job market is a choice only you can make, but I feel like you definitely have as good a chance as anybody else, and your research interests won't keep you out. My application this past year, which I feel was overall pretty successful, was pretty heavily focused on the US Civil War--my writing sample was mostly a close-reading of one soldier's letters home, along with a lot of theoretical background, and I applied specifically in 19th Century American lit. Here are some r
  14. I'll be starting at UC Davis in the fall. They've got a pretty good program in ecocrit--Mike Ziser does all kinds of ecocrit stuff and is writing about oil & petro-culture right now, Hsuan Hsu is working on race & geography & environmental risk, Tobias Meneley does animal studies, and Margaret Ronda does ecocrit and 20th/21st C poetics. It also seems like there are a good amount of grad students there who incorporate ecocrit into their work. Oregon has a super strong ecocriticism program, too. I know Utah has an M.A. program in Environmental Humanities, in case you're looki
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