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    North Carolina
  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
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    Modern European History

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Reaglejuice89's Achievements


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  1. Bump for @nhhistorynut's advice. That is almost word-for-word what i wrote to all my POIs. I contacted them around this time in the summer -- most got back to me right away, but the last got back to me by late August (i.e. the start of the semester when they finally got back to the office).
  2. Everyone else has given good advice so far. just to add to it, I'd say break up the Holocaust into categories which might interest you and i'll give you some questions to maybe help get your thinking. This is how i did it before i took comps last year: 1: The Evolution of the Holocaust: How have the terms and approaches that historians use to understand the Holocaust changed over time? How did the Holocaust evolve from discrimination to persecution to state-sponsored genocide? What was the relationship between Hitler to the governmental bureaucracy and its bearing on the evolution of the Holocaust? This category is still pretty big, but like everyone said, read, read, and read. I'd highly recommend Saul Friedlander Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, 1933–1939 and The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 which are both phenomenally detailed for being surveys. 2. Motivations/ Complicity for the Holocaust: Who were the executioners? What motivated them to undertake such radical actions and how were they able to carry out these atrocities? In this category you can take sides in the historiographical debates. The intentionalists like Gerlach and Goldhagen (who's pretty controversial, but essential to read in my opinion). The functionalists like Browning and Schleunes. Definitely read the Willing Executioners/ Ordinary Men debate which is available on the USHMM website. Ian Kershaw's "working towards the Führer" thesis is very convincing as well, he takes the best of both sides and i'd highly recommend reading Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution, it's a big book as well, but he broke it into 4 parts, if you just read the 1st part that would be very beneficial for you. As for complicity, Jan Gross, Patrick Debois, and Tim Snyder all have great arguments in their books. For example, one quote that really stuck out to me from Gross' Neighbors was something like: "One day in the summer of 1941 half of the population of the small Eastern European town of Jedwabne, Poland murdered the other half" 3. The Holocaust in the East: How do the experiences in the East change our understanding of the Holocaust? Which assumptions about the Holocaust are challenged by the experiences in the East? Jan Gross, Patrick Debois, and Tim Snyder are all great candidates for this section too. I know when i started out being interested in Germany and the Holocaust, i really didn't know anything about the Holocaust in the East, Father Patrick Debois called in The Holocaust by Bullets. Another fascinating quote to ponder in his book is something like "More than 1.5 million Jews had already been murdered before the gas chambers at Auschwitz were even conceived of". You can use this to think about the Einsatzgruppen death squads, local collaborators (think the Ukrainian police at Babi Yar -- in 2 days some 33,000 Jews were murdered mostly by local police groups, not by the SS). Gender and the Holocaust: How does a gendered perspective add to our understanding of the Holocaust? How did Nazi persecution (both for victims and perpetrators) differ between women and men? In this category you could think about Marion Kaplan's Between Dignity and Despair, Claudia Koonz Mothers in the Fatherland, and a great new one i just picked up in Wendy Lower Hitler's Furies. Some more questions to help get you thinking (these are really similar to the comps questions that i wrote about last April): 1) How do we understand the conditions that were present in Germany which allowed for the rise of Nazism in 1933? Which of these conditions were most significant? How did antisemitism in Germany evolve into persecution and eventually lead to genocide? Daniel Goldhagen suggests deep-rooted “eliminationist antisemitism” inculcated ordinary Germans with a primal hatred for the Jewish people — Is innate bloodlust a satisfactory answer to why the Holocaust occurred? Or is obedience to authority, conformity, and peer pressure the reason for the atrocities as Christopher Browning proposes? 2) How do the differing perspectives presented in the historiography help define the Holocaust? Was the Holocaust a predetermined master plan of Hitler’s as intentionalists argue or did the initiative come from below with German bureaucrats as funcionalists argue; Or is Ian Kershaw’s argument of “working towards the Führer” the best way to understand why the Holocaust occurred because it includes the best attributes and circumvents the weaknesses of both intentionalist and functionalist arguments? Was the German Sonderweg a prerequisite for the Holocaust? How does the involvement of Poles, Ukrainians, and other non-Germans in the East complicate the Sonderweg thesis? How does the study of gender change or alter our understanding of the Holocaust? 3) How do recent revelations about the implementation of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe change our understanding of the Holocaust? In particular, how does this new historiography change our assumptions about, for example, the relationship between World War II to the Holocaust, the motivations of killers, and the breadth of complicity? Is it possible to reconcile these findings with earlier ones about Nazi Germany? If i was just rambling, i apologize, but i love discussing the Holocaust and i really hope this helps you in some way. I know you need to narrow down your idea, and i think a good way to do that would be to break the Holocaust into categories like this. Good luck!
  3. I've been in contact with the grad director at South Carolina the last few months after i was waitlisted. I think they were scrambling to find enough funding for everybody. But i finally got my official rejection today. I've been expecting this and i'm not too bummed out because i've been admitted elsewhere -- but this was the last school i was waiting to hear official word from. Now i have official answers for all 5 of my schools that i applied to. I'm still excited and can't wait to get down to Georgia State and begin working. Congrats to all of us admitted this year. To those that weren't my heart truly goes out to you and i wish you nothing but the best for the 2018 app cycle. Thanks guys, gradcafe has been my home basically since December when all this started. I've been through every emotion with every other one of you throughout this process and i think it helped me a lot in january and february when we were all waiting and decisions were imminent. Good luck, scholars!
  4. As others have suggested -- learn a [useful] language now and don't overlook the fact that you've got the Spanish and the Mandarin. Even if you end up doing something totally unrelated, how can you know those two language won't help in some way? My research area is Germany so I told my POIs what i was thinking. I emphasized to them that i could read German and French and i kind of offhandedly mentioned i was also fluent in Spanish. One professor told me something that's kind of stuck out to ever since: you might not be thinking about it like this, but how do you know when the time comes to write your dissertation or your next book that you won't find some South American-German connection where you'll need your Spanish too? How can you be so sure you won't need your Spanish AND your Mandarin (and maybe another one along the way)? Also, the sooner you figure out your field the better. You don't need to write your dissertation prospectus this summer or anything, but it would be beneficial to narrow it down at least to a continent at this point like another poster suggested. You're going to find your field holistically though -- don't pick something arbitrarily though. You'll take some random class in the next year or two then fall in love with the topic and the professor. If it happens to be modern China or early modern Latin America, so be it! You've already gotten a good deal of language training. If it happens to be something else, that's fine too! Don't forget you can change your topic as your interests evolve too. I know a PhD student who is ABD but has changed his dissertation topic twice in the last year (this is an extreme case and it's obviously within the same field, but i'm just throwing out an example). I think the most important thing that will help you out is that you're thinking about graduate school as a sophmore. Now you've got two years to figure out how to do it and you're starting to ask the right questions. Keep asking questions about grad school on forums and definitely keep talking to your current professors about it -- at the end of the day, they're going to write your letters and it would be a nice touch if they said "UtahHistoryBuff started talking to me about this over two years ago. Here's why I think they're ready for grad school..."
  5. A lot of places I looked at this past cycle told me not to stress one weak area (my weak area was the GRE) as long as your other app areas are strong. One POI i e-mailed straight up told me the most important parts are your SoP and your Writing Sample: "While the application is regarded overall holistically, a strong Statement of research goals and a strong writing sample can balance out weak GRE scores or a weak GPA." They also inferred it probably wouldn't work the other way around though -- strong GRE and GPA would look good, but without a strong Statement of Purpose it might be all for nothing. Also, I went to a community college for my associates and ended up with a 3.3 GPA there, at my 4 year I got a 3.9 so maybe they saw me figuring things out but they had to have seen my weak cc GPA too, but because i had a strong SoP I think that negated the early bad grades.
  6. I officially accepted at one of my top choices this past week. They offered me a great package for 5 years and actively courted me the last few weeks to the point where i couldn't say no. I'm really excited for next year and am glad to hear most of us are in the decision making process (i think a good problem to have is having to decide between places). For those still in limbo or on a wait list - I hope you guys get good news sooner rather than later!
  7. I understand all the arguments about funding and Duke is certainly one of the best in North America when it comes to history. I was rejected from there. Obviously if I was accepted, I would probably be going to Duke in the fall. I was lucky, however, and offered a very generous stipend as well as tuition at another university. So it's hard for me to complain. I think I would've been equally as happy at either place. What i was getting at was that original poster was talking about 1st vs 2nd choices — in my mind, more than just money goes into that personal ranking — funding, fit, location, opportunities for research travel, etc. I was trying to emphasize that happiness should go near the top of their internal list when deciding. To your second point - I was not trying to "one up" anyone. I was offering my advice to the original poster my opinion that I think they should choose where they would be happiest. I understand completely your meaning though. However, I've been creeping on this website for years and only recently started to post. The main thing I've noticed is their are elitist assholes on here like telkanru and i'm sick of them talking down to people from their ivory tower. I believe that they believe in their heart of hearts that they're doing the right thing by giving honest/ no bs advice, but I'm sick of people like them. I know someone is going to say I need to get over it because academia has a lot of elitist members, my response to that is: someone has to call them on their shitty attitudes - if it has to be me, so be it. Normally, I'm intensely friendly and get along with almost everyone. I've cultivated great relationships with most everyone I've met in grad school so far (professors and grad students alike). I'm just sick and tired of ivory tower elitists preaching from the pulpit to paupers like me, assuming they know everything there is to know about me. As you say, everyone has different financial goals, so too does everyone have different personal experiences. Homedawg acted like I came from money and tried to preach that I don't know what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck, etc. And no, it's not going down like that. I'm calling his bullshit on my own life. To your other point in the second paragraph, I completely get that too. What someone does with their money is none of my business whatsoever unless they specifically ask me. telkan was making assumptions about me (if you go back and reread what he said to me) and that is what i took exception too. I'm sick of people like him. Each person has financial goals different from each other, you say I should accept it (even though i totally understand your meaning), I would amend that, however, to i have to acknowledge that everyone has other financial goals. To your last point, I understand what everyone is trying to get at from the financial stand point. Yes, in a perfect world a livable stipend, full tuition, and summer funding for research is ideal. But that's not the reality. I was driving the point that not everyone got those package offers from Harvard, Yale, Brown, Princeton, etc. Not everyone has their pick between the Ivies. But as I said in my other post. I'd rather be in debt and happy than rich and miserable. All I was saying was happiness should count a lot when making decisions... then telkan laid into my "shit advice" and the rest of my life as if he knows what's best for everyone. I bet he votes republican up and own the ticket, too.
  8. I said: "I recommend." That is an opinion. You looked down your nose at me. No one is immune to criticism, but there's a way to do it. Do not tell me how i've lived my life. You're experience with me is a couple of posts, but you're somehow psychic because of that? Can I get the lottery numbers for next week while you're dissecting everything about someone you don't know? I judge your character based on the evidence that I've seen enough of your posts to make an educated guess. You smack of arrogance, talk down to people not as well off as you, and sniff your own farts out of a wine glass. Yes, i have experienced it. I've lived paycheck to paycheck eating ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I've done my time (many years) at a grocery store stocking shelves. I'm putting off starting a family because of my financial situation. Holy shit man. Get the hell over yourself.
  9. What background research? Dude is arrogant in a lot of his posts. Yes I can.
  10. This is, quite frankly, elitist bs, given by someone who has obviously let the ivory tower influence their mind-frame. If you ever get down off your high horse and want to tell me what's so consequential about my 5 years of full funding at the school i chose let me know. Not all of us got into an Ivy with a $3k pot of money that we can simply ask for every year. Yeah, it would be great. I know full well the consequences of my decisions even though my situation is so "obvious" to you. No shit life would be easier with more money and opportunities for limitless research/ writing time. I'm sure you worked very hard for where you're at right now, but not everybody is as well off as you. The people you look down your nose at who didn't get the same opportunity or whatever else you want to throw in my face still have to make decisions. Yeah, i'd probably be happier and better off at Brown with that funding than the situation that i'm in, but that's not this reality i'm faced with. Also, it's not your choice. I offered advice — you called it shit, so be it, but that's all it was was my opinion. I think it's important to be happy for the next 5 or 6 years. You really don't have to talk down to me and tell me what to do. You made clear that you know everything about me (you called it "obvious"), which is so smug I almost got cancer. I've seen a lot of your posts recently and you always smack of arrogance. You really remind me of that South Park episode where they fart it wine glasses and sniff it. Let me and anyone else make our own mistakes and be happy or miserable on our own account. If you think i'm wrong, cool, tell me in a professional and friendly manner, don't talk down to me like you're the second coming. God damn bro, get over yourself.
  11. I'd recommend to go where you think you would be happy. I know everyone argues that you should never take on debt through graduate school and i completely understand that rationale — there is funding out there at schools that will help you out. But if your top choice only offers a stipend and not tuition, i'd still say go for it. My personal anecdote is that i would rather be happy and in debt than miserable and rich. I had to take and loans for my undergrad and one year of my MA and i will undoubtedly be in debt for the rest of my life because of it, but I am happy with where i'm at right now and as i continue on my career path i'm happy knowing that i'm doing what i love to do regardless of the cost.
  12. I didn't mean to make you nervous! Let me qualify my post. It was a personalized e-mail from the DGS - not a copy/paste kind of e-mail, so they're probably taking their time going through each candidate. DO NOT give up just yet!
  13. I remember a couple of people in this thread asked about South Carolina. Decisions are finally out. I got an e-mail from the DGS this morning. I'm waitlisted, but hopeful.
  14. I was accepted to Georgia State University a few weeks ago and was waitlisted for funding. Today, I got an e-mail from a POI that I'm off the waitlist. They offered me 5 years as a TA with full tuition and a very generous stipend. I've gotten my share of rejections from reach schools and I'm still waiting to hear back from one more, but I may just accept right away because GSU was one of my top choices based on their faculty. They have three professors in my field (modern Germany). My POI that i have been in contact with seems like a great person to work with for the next 5 years in addition to the awesome funding package that just made my day (and week, and month, and year). I'm beyond excited right now that all my hard work is paying off and I wanted to share this with you guys. Also, don't give up hope. Apparently waitlist dreams do come true.
  15. Thanks for the update. I e-mailed a few weeks ago and a POI told me by the end of February, but with this explanation, the delay makes more sense.
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