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bpilgrim89

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bpilgrim89 last won the day on April 15

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About bpilgrim89

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    English Literature

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  1. My cohort has 11 students (including myself), but my other admit cohort, CUNY, had 18!
  2. bpilgrim89

    Emeritus Involvement

    I wouldn't mention emeritus faculty members. While it is conceivable that they could want to work with a promising graduate student, it is more likely they will not be open to taking on a new student. Re: mentioning faculty members at all in your SOPs, I have heard both sides of this debate, and I think both have compelling arguments. That being said, I mentioned faculty members in each of my SOPs and my application cycle turned out great. It's risky to mention faculty members, but if you truly know their work, i.e. you've read it and have read reviews of it, then go ahead. I think the danger is to simply list potential professors because they are in the same large field as you, like gender studies or 19th-century American literature. Instead, you need to tailor such statements to demonstrate how faculty's research speaks to your own intervention. Answering a question like "How/why is their perspective on gender in 19th-century America unique and necessary to your own work?" would be a compelling faculty mention, not just a superficial name-drop.
  3. Agree with Kilos, especially about the "uninhabitated space in the void of academia." As you dig deeper and deeper into the fields that you enjoy, you'll inevitably start to see gaps where you wish there were more scholarship, but there isn't. That's where you as a burgeoning doctoral student come in: your job is to fill those gaps. If I tried to study every single thing that I find interesting, I would go insane because I'm interested in just about everything! Instead, I focus on what hasn't been said or what is still underdeveloped. For your SoP and WS, you're trying to name that gap and how you would attempt to fill it. Have two areas not been in dialogue with another? Has an area neglected certain authors or approaches to their texts? As jrockford27 noted, your dissertation is not going to completely upend a field or subfield, but you need to find a way to contribute to it. And don't forget – if you're planning to go into academia, you have a whole lifetime for your research interests to shift and modify. Just because you're focusing on one research interest now doesn't mean you can't explore adjacent ones later. For the purposes of getting into graduate school, you choose one niche where you feel like something is missing from the discourse and that you wouldn't mind exploring for at least five or six years.
  4. I would second Georgetown. While they don't offer funding to everyone, the full-funding packages they do offer come in lots of shapes and sizes. Depending on what kind of work you'd like to do, their packages center your experience around TAing, editing for a journal, doing digital humanities work, or poetics and activism. Plus, if you're interested in going onto PhDs, we also have a great track record of admissions. This year, we have folks going to Berkeley, Penn, Princeton, Harvard, Michigan, Rutgers, and CUNY, and we got offers from Yale, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, and Duke. It's been an extraordinary year, so I have no idea if that will keep up. However, we do tend to have someone go to one or two of these schools every year!
  5. bpilgrim89

    Basics of conferences

    Yes to all of this. You should also ask people in your field what would be good conferences to target. Most field groups have a large conference that they hold every year where the acceptance rate for papers is lower, but these groups will also list their regional branches that may have more relaxed conferences where it is easier to present. For example, if you were studying the eighteenth century, I would recommend looking at ASECS, CSECS, or BSECS (American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Canadian..., British..., etc.) Presenting a paper at mega-conferences, e.g. MLA, is perhaps not as useful when you're trying to strengthen your work, so focus on conferences that are more geared towards your field.
  6. bpilgrim89

    How Important are Conferences?

    I want to second that if you're getting your MA, conference participation is more important than if you were applying with just a BA. Presenting at conferences is a pretty low-stakes but high-return investment in showing a doctoral program that you are serious about your work and that you have enough intellectual clarity to be able to share it with others. Scholarship is not meant to be written in isolation; you have to present your ideas and have them vetted. Plus, it only makes your work stronger!
  7. bpilgrim89

    Should I retake the GRE(s)?

    Agree with everyone else here! Put the work into your SOP and writing sample! If your scores are this good, you could land a spot at an Ivy if you write compelling documents.
  8. I’m an 18th centuryist, so I have no idea if they will try to pick another one or select someone from a different field.
  9. bpilgrim89

    2018 Acceptances

    UPenn admit checking in here! I am so, so happy as I got in last night at midnight! Phew!!! Waitlist dreams do come true!
  10. I got in off the waitlist to my program!!! I contacted CUNY first thing this morning to decline my offer, so I hope someone gets some good news today if not tomorrow!
  11. For something like this, it's hard to say. I think it should be the person you've had the most contact with. When I did it, it wasn't the DGS I had the most contact with, but a professor in my field who was on the adcom. Because it sounds like you've had the most contact with the DGS, you might want to try them; however, they might feel like they can't give you feedback because of their role as DGS. It might be better to ask whoever seems like your biggest POI at the university. No harm in sending two emails to two separate people, so long as you're always polite, concise, and deferential.
  12. Out of your options, your best two options seem to be to accept the UA full-funding offer or to take a year off, with a slight preference towards the latter. Getting an MA doesn't preclude you from applying to a PhD, and it might even make you a stronger applicant. Plus, like Kilos, I am of the very strong opinion that graduate study in the humanities at any level must be fully funded for it to be worth it, so UA's funding sounds great. That being said, you don't sound excited by UA, and I agree a 2/2 teaching load for MA students is intense. If you're financially stable now and can solicit feedback from an adcomm member or recommender about how to better your application, then taking the year off to fix your shortcomings might be the perfect solution. Rochester sounds promising for such critique since they've already been so forthcoming about your space in the admissions process. You might want to ask them what the committee's hesitations were, so that you can address them for future admission cycles. As long as you strike the right tone of "this is to better my application," it shouldn't hurt to ask and the worst they do is say no! (If anecdotes are worth anything, I've done this and received a pleasant and constructive response that I think helped me this season.)
  13. Hi, I am a CUNY admit who is unfortunately still languishing on a waitlist for a different program. (Sorry!!) I still don't know what's happening with my own life/CUNY acceptance, but I can tell you that someone from my cohort was just admitted from their waitlist this week. FWIW When I was at CUNY's open house, I was one of only two admitted students who were actually in attendance, and the majority were waitlisted folk. So, in short, I'm inclined to believe that there is likely more waitlist movement to come for CUNY.
  14. I have now gotten two "you're still in the running!" emails, and I am certain you can feel my anxiety from a 30-mile radius.
  15. I think the "checking for continued interest" emails are because the schools are expecting to get final decisions from the first round of applicants this week. They want to make sure that they can move as quickly as possible, so they can try to let people know by April 15th in case other people have offers. That doesn't mean it will go as planned, but again, this is all the professorial gossip I've got!
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