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__________________________ last won the day on May 18 2016

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  1. yeah, not the most expected move. I think it may have been because of non-academic reasons but I don't know... I'm totally out of my realm here, but OP may also want to investigate Ramzi Fawaz, at UW-Madison...
  2. Hillary Chute is actually at Northeastern now, though Chicago remains a good place for visual culture and contemporary lit.
  3. Sorry, but nobody should be spending 2 grand on an application cycle. That's just insane to me. That's like twice of what my monthly income was when I was applying. Application fees can be waived if money is a real issue in some cases, and you shouldn't be applying to more than 8 or 9 programs anyway. Also not everyone requires the GRE Lit -- I couldn't afford it, so I didn't take it and didn't even consider programs that required it once I realized I couldn't take it. Also, most schools don't have triple digit application fees. The highest I paid was $75; the lowest was $25 (shoutout to Fordham). UChicago's was like 100 bucks, but I had no trouble getting that waived since I was broke as shit and could prove it; I would imagine that similarly "elite" schools with similarly high app fees would be equally amenable to that. But yeah, the GRE was definitely the most expensive single part of the process for me. Suffice to say that there are ways to cut corners; it also is worth keeping in mind that you aren't spending all this at one time (I was staggering applications according to when my paycheck would come in) but it is worth it to make a budget for yourself and to be thinking in those terms as you plan out your application process. I just figured I'd add that two cents, since if I saw those price tags to the application process when I was thinking about all this I probably wouldn't have even bothered applying to grad school, lol.
  4. Yes. Asking a current grad student in your field might also be helpful (and perhaps more candid).
  5. This is a becoming an issue too. I'm at a private university that has no rhet/comp and the lack of teaching experience in this program (compared to state schools anyway) combined with upcoming budget cuts is one of my biggest concerns looking forward to the job market. The program is notorious for its grueling academics but a result of that is that it also has a reputation for producing people who can't teach "regular" people. This is one of those problems that more traditionally "prestigious" programs haven't really figured out and actually why, I think, some schools with lower rankings than this one outperformed us on the job market this last year. This category of PhDs who can just waltz into R1 jobs out of their top-10 or top-15 programs is simply becoming a fantasy. My program is structured with that entitlement in mind and it kind of adds kinds of pressure that aren't accounted for in the way PhDs are trained here, which is, essentially, one that places writing a field-changing dissertation over and above practical concerns like developing a pedagogical philosophy and teaching writing that are developed from the very beginning in most state programs. So the points being made on here about being familiar with these discourses and with *teaching experience* is really well taken and important, I think. That might seem so obvious to a lot of y'all at state schools, but here that sort of thing kind of feels like an afterthought, or even an inconvenience, a lot of the time. And it's really hurting our job placements too.
  6. Hey y'all. Haven't been on here in a minute but good to see familiar names! I totally agree with Romanista on this question: in short, no, it doesn't seem to be at all worth it to try and predict what jobs, if any, will be around in 6 or 8 or 10 years from now in English. First of all, re: job market anxieties at large and the "humanities phd problem," this is the best article I've read recently on the subject (which I admit has become a rather stale one for me): https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/phd-students-irrational/#! . What it helps speak to is the fact that these problems are structural and need to be addressed through structural change. The recent NLRB ruling is helpful for that and the reconceptualization of academic labor and expansion of adjunct and grad student unionization are ways of working towards that change. I say all this because I think that's what's worth spending energy on in a grad program rather than trying to speculate on how to make your life's work more profitable in a fundamentally unstable and unpredictable market and economic reality. I don't think it's wise to do rhet/comp if it's because you think that -- in 6-8 years (or more) from now, mind you -- you'll have a 10% or whatever better chance of getting a TT-job. First of all, because... why? I feel like grad school is too grueling already to be doing something you're not 100% into and genuinely humbled/excited by the prospect dedicating your professional life to it. You're already going to feel inadequate all the time, it makes the most sense to have that be the kind of inadequacy that's motivating rather than shutting down. If you're not *really* into comp/rhet and are only doing it because of a contingent market condition, I can't imagine making it through a dissertation, to be honest, at which point the whole TT thing is sort of moot. I think rhet/comp is fascinating and has so much to offer, but I really, honestly feel like it's different enough from what I do as a literature scholar that I can't imagine doing a PhD in it. Really, given how things are right now, I think the best way to "gear oneself towards the market" is two things. (1) Find a field to be as badass at as you can, which is, realistically, going to be a field in which you love doing research. (2) Do what you can while you work as a graduate student to be aware of the shifting nature of academic labor and the academic economy and do what you can to organize with your colleagues to make those conditions as serviceable to you and to others around you as can be managed. Two cents.
  7. So I'm late to the boat on all this. I'm only just finishing my "first year" and about to start a summer language session... ugh... I would emphasize the "to some degree" in this statement, realizing that this can vary so much and can be easier/more felicitous with different periods of interest. As much as I was told on this forum and by members of my department when I was visiting that I would get to "explore" and be able to change my research interest, toying with other fields/theoretical approaches/time periods over this last year made me realize how much I had already anchored myself in my own period (late medieval Britain), which was much more so than I had realized. In the sense that it was terrifying when I had a moment or two of existential doubt about the field I had come here to study and the prospect of doing something else felt like it would be starting over. This has turned out alright for me: that doubt transforms into new confidence. But it can also be very nerve wracking to think you have a field and then get to a program that urges you to explore a bunch of things outside of that field while also, simultaneously, pressuring you to become an expert: did anyone else experience something like this this year? Unræd's point is excellent (as always), and, I think, quite related to this issue specialization. I think this sort of openness is something that is afforded by figuring out what sorts of methodologies and scholarly praxes that really click with you in your first year or so: "specialization" is very much a process of opening, not of enclosure and imposing blinders, I've found (contrary to all the common anxieties -- that I've had and know others have had -- that specializing is a narrowing, an enclosure that is terrifying and limiting). Interdisciplinary work is more fruitful when you have a set of founding principles, and I've found that my process of specifying a field for myself has actually been strengthened from trying things and figuring out what I definitely *don't* want to dedicate my energy towards as a scholar (as well as figuring out which other disciplines my work might talk to). This is related to the "money" issue, too. A decent amount of scholarship, maybe more explicitly in mine and unræd's fields (but I'm probably just looking through my pretentious medievalist goggles), is just finding new objects that people haven't written about or haven't written adequately about: there're a lot of "discoveries" to be made, which also means a lot of opportunities for publishing and getting travel/research grants and things of that nature. Figuring out your jam and the kind of language and research skills you work well with is how you get your little intellectual metal detector and find the shit to write about that turns into publications and grants and stuff that help form you as a scholar. I know that reeks of positivism, but it's also kind of basically what being a scholar is: finding shit to say new stuff about.
  8. IMHO UC Irvine would be well worth looking at too. Arlene Keizer does postmodern black feminist lit (haven't read her but she looks like she does interesting work). Also, Irvine has Frank B. Wilderson III in their drama department and Jared Sexton in their Film and Media Studies and African American Studies departments, both of whom are doing really interesting work in both Black Studies and Film.
  9. I don't think it's expected or even necessary. If you have a specific question and/or are unsure about how your research goals/interests would be accommodated, emailing a POI can be productive way of 'sending out feelers' for a program you're considering sinking money into applying to spend more than half a decade of your life in. I think, of the schools I actually ended up applying to, I only contacted POIs at two, which includes the one I ended up at. I was very unsure about whether this program would be at all accommodating for research in my field, and emailing POIs here helped convince me to apply. It can also be helpful if you're not entirely sure that you fit the requirements of a specific program or track within that program, like having enough language skills under your belt or something like that. Personally, I don't think it makes sense to waste a professor's time, though, if you can't really think of anything to say except to tell them that you exist. When I was applying, I had an advisor who was really pushing me to get in contact with *everyone*, and I really don't think that's necessary, especially if you don't really have any specific questions or concerns.
  10. You should probably check out Northwestern. They have some great C18 people, a couple of whom do international/transatlantic work (Rebecca Johnson, Kelly Wisecup). I also feel like UMN is a really good place to be doing poco-anything, though I can't think of anyone there specifically doing that with C17/18.
  11. I'm having difficulty telling whether you're teaching now or not, so please forgive me if I'm just stating the obvious here. poliscar is right re: teaching university, but getting an MA in lit (assuming one can do this without incurring an excessive amount of debt) is not a bad thing to have under your belt if you want to teach high school, and would allow you to apply for some lower level college teaching jobs as well. Having an MA and a MAT (I think) would actually make you pretty desirable for teaching high school English, and just the MA would give you an edge for private/charter schools if that's an area you're willing to look for work in. It also allows you to teach a CC course here and there on the side if you wanted to. So for teaching HS? I think an MA is a great asset and makes you a more desirable candidate than just the MAT (or BA if you're working in a school that doesn't require the MAT to teach). For a PhD, there are people with Ph.D.s in literature who teach high school, but it isn't their first choice and it definitely isn't the route you are trained for while in the program. If you want a Ph.D. as a teacher, I feel like most go get their Ph.D.s after 'paying their dues' as teachers and then go back to get a degree in education administration or curriculum (like you're considering) or something. These sorts of degree programs are far more accommodating for people already working in education (in terms of summer offerings, being a part time student, etc.).
  12. Rydra Wong is a dope username. And I think Wyatt's right. My inclination is that it won't be the focus of your application, though it can't hurt to mention it on your CV and brush up so you can take a reading exam to fulfill a language requirement once you're in. My program just emphasizes reading knowledge, and many C20 people don't enter with a foreign language here (tbh they're often the loudest complainers about the requirement, though :p). You could consider picking up Karl Sandberg's French For Reading (ISBN: 978-0133316032) if you want to brush up on reading academic French.
  13. Yes. Apply to schools with the cash to fund you well as an international student (i.e., contact current international students at places you're interested in). Yes. Computational-anything is valuable, and growing. Many schools are investing in this kind of work. Look into places that are good for Digital Humanities, like Stanford and UChicago. Don't limit yourself because you're international, apply to places where people are doing the kind of work you want to do and apply to places with the money to invest in you (you're international, so you cost more to fund equally, but you do humanities computing, which is a growing field that people are willing to pour money into).
  14. This is something that's been touched on in a lot of threads, though they don't tend to go anywhere as their own dedicated ones. 2. Yes. It's really not uncommon to go straight to a Ph.D. from a B.A. in literature, or most humanities fields for that matter. My cohort is about 50/50 people who came in with MAs and those who didn't. I'd say it doesn't greatly disadvantage you, but it's probably wise to apply to at least one or two MA programs and inspect the MA programs at the schools you apply to (in the case you are offered admission into an MA program at a school where you applied for the Ph.D.). 1. $$$. For timing, this is largely a question of employment, stamina (do you want to dive straight into another 6-10 years of school after your BA?), and financial concerns. I had a year between finishing my BA and starting my Ph.D. and had to do a little juggling to stave off loan payments and save money for moving and the gap between my job ending and my first stipend arriving... etc. etc. On the other hand, paying for the GRE and application fees and shit might be hard while you're still in college and probably broke af. But, I mean, plenty of people don't go straight through to grad school too. So when to apply is largely just a question of when you want to start and what you have going on until then. 3. I wouldn't let things like publications or conferences be the things that keep you waiting another whole year to apply. There are plenty of good reasons to take time, but those things aren't really expected of undergraduates. Schools care more about your academic performance, writing samples, and assessing what kind of work you can do in their program and who you might work with. The other stuff is garnish that can emphasize those central concerns, but aren't the main focus.
  15. Here's useful list of stuff for accessing books/articles/resources even if you don't have access to university research resources: https://thelitcritguy.com/2016/05/02/smash-the-paywalls/ Dude's twitter account is worth following too. The list leaves off Library Genesis, a great resource for getting your hands on pricy academic texts. Academia.edu might also be helpful, as scholars will often upload their own papers on there; though some are definitely more active than others on the site. For your subject area, you should definitely be buffing up on theory (lib gen is great for this). There's a thread or two floating around for brushing up on stuff like that, but the list of journals mentioned by screamingacrossthesky are the leading journals if you can get your hands on them. I feel like Critical Inquiry and post45 are particularly worth checking out for broadly theoretical issues in modern/contemporary lit. I could be biased there though.
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