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HumanCylinder

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • Interests
    Modern poetry
    Aesthetics and gender
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  • Program
    English Literature

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  1. The U of Utah has two PhD tracks, Literature and a Literature and Creative Writing combined degree. The combined degree has a creative dissertation, but the two programs are pretty integrated (e.g.: classes are a mix of students in each track), and the emphasis on creative writing in the department means that there is a really supportive culture for lit folks who also have creative interests. That being said, I'm not sure that the combined degree accepts students directly from the B.A., although the regular literature track does. Also, we have really great Victorianists! Two of the three have interests in the fin-de-siecle.
  2. Texas A&M has a pretty good reputation for children's lit., from what I understand. I don't attend but visited the campus 2 years ago after being admitted and there was a fellow visitor who was actually interested in both trauma and children's lit. as well. There are a couple of people at U of Utah interested in children's lit as well.
  3. This thread is actually helpful for me too, as I'm finishing up my first year in my PhD program. The utter and radical newness of my situation, environment, and position when I started the program kept a lot of these feelings at bay, but I'm feeling them more acutely now in my second semester. What I keep trying to tell myself, as cheesy as it sounds, is to just do what I do and not worry what others' work looks like too much (AKA: do you!). I was accepted to multiple programs and getting accepted anywhere is so difficult that, it must be that the the committee saw promise in the ideas that you put forth. Looking over your materials, people liked what you do and/or how you do it, so just keep on that path, working to improve on your unique literary goals and insights. I was out of school for four years between my MA and PhD, so I am aware that I am a little rusty at things, but not as bad as I thought and it didn't prevent me from doing good things in my first semester. One thing I wish I'd done differently was in how I prepared the summer before entering the program. I tried to cover gaps in my reading knowledge by reading random 18th c. novels, for example, but I wish I had just looked through and studied up on the modernist figures I stated interest in. One thing I find, having been out of school, is that my working knowledge is not so great, and I'm finding myself having to revisit or look stuff up that I already knew at some point, even in my own time period.
  4. It was about his appropriation of a Narcissus figure as a trope of women's self-development, using phenomenology and a little Lacan. I talked about Salome, one of his American lectures, and his editorship at The Woman's World.
  5. I just thought I'd chime in to say that my writing sample was focused on Oscar Wilde (from a major author seminar I took on him as an MA) and I was accepted to Texas A&M last cycle! (though, I'm really only a half-way Victorianist; interested in those late century movements, aestheticism/decadence/New Woman, and their bearing on modernist experimental texts). I didn't end up attending, but not because TAMU wasn't a good option for me. I just ended up picking a place that had a little better focus on modernism and poetry.
  6. I applied there last year. I saw acceptances go out fairly early, and I remember emailing them for info on my application after it had been a few weeks. I went back to check, and it looks like I emailed their program on March 1 and exchanged very nice emails with the DGS, who said I was rejected. Their official rejection ended up being sent around suuuuper late, so I was kind of glad I emailed. But also, it was already a likely rejection so I could have just waited. But I wanted to also make sure there was no shot at getting in to higher ranked programs before accepting any of my offers, so I think weighing what the information would mean in the context of your own application season and decision-making process would be helpful before emailing anyone.
  7. Yes, I also second this. There was one paragraph in SoP I kept re-writing, and I think by my third try I finally was able to articulate a much more innovative and specific theoretical undergirding for my topic/authors of interest. And in doing so encountered some really great critical and philosophical work that had not been addressed in courses I took (and probably would not ever have been). Also, by applying three times, I got a pretty good feel for a lot of different programs (through googling and talking to grad students) and that contributed to my ability to think really strategically about which programs I applied to, which is also key.
  8. Please keep in mind the reality that it is very difficult to get into English PhD programs. I have seen/heard of good people who applied to 15+ schools only to be rejected. The odds are long in many cases, and very smart people do get shut out. I myself got into programs on my third attempt. In my first two years, I only applied to 4-6 school on the west coast, all with similar rankings (so, I wasn't really casting a wide net). When I decided to apply more broadly and to a wider range of schools, I did have success. But I also did not apply to any top-20 programs based on my experience of being rejected from schools in the first two rounds. The application process is extremely grueling and really forces a lot of long hard looks, both inward and outward, and a lot of grit. I'm not sure why I started writing all this, but I suppose I'm just extremely empathetic to people who don't get admitted right away or in a first attempt at applications. It is so much a numbers game that doesn't necessarily reflect one's ability or capacity to do graduate level work. And I think I also say this because, in my experience, my results mainly lined up with what was being reported on the results page. That is, if I didn't hear within a few days of acceptances being posted here, I was not accepted. Now, this obviously is only one person's experience with a select number of programs, and I do think that waitlists are definitely possible. I remember the waiting period during my third and last attempt at applying being especially brutal (as in moment-to-moment existence felt hard), so I really do send out all my support and good vibes to those still waiting to hear. I recommend trying to keep busy in ways that prevent you from looking at your phone or computer, if possible.
  9. I applied to Baylor last cycle (for English PhD). I was rejected, and don't remember ever receiving an email about a preview day. So, it could be that they've changed protocol from last year, or that it's a positive sign! I actually checked my inbox, and it looks like I emailed the DGS on March 10 asking if there was a timeline for notifications (I had already heard from most of my schools). He told me I wasn't accepted and then I got an official email 6 days later about the rejection. This is utter speculation so feel free to ignore, but I wonder if, because Baylor is a little further down on the US News and World rankings, they might use a preview day to gauge who is actually interested in the program, and who applied as a type of "safety" (which I personally don't believe exists for PhD apps, just fyi). P.S. I was at a conference there at the Armstrong Browning library, which is amazing and would be worth checking out
  10. I applied last cycle and both of these things resonate pretty exactly with how I felt during the process as well, that attachment to potential that becomes a little more real after a first acceptance especially. Such an unusual phenomenon that I now feel I can process bc others have had similar feelings I remember how difficult this waiting period was for me last year, and am now feeling strangely nostalgic about it since I was ultimately accepted and very happy in my current program so far (which is why I'm back here reading the boards haha). Wishing everyone here luck in the remaining months of the acceptance season!
  11. Just to add my data to this (I applied last season), which my be slightly different from this list in some cases. Utah called me about my acceptance on March 7. Texas A&M emailed me on Feb. 12, and U of Arizona called me on Feb. 25 and New Mexico emailed the same day. Waitlisted at Washington State on Feb. 26, and I was on an unofficial waitlist at WUStL (I wasn't notified of this status) and received official rejection April 14. U of Washington emailed me acceptance on March 4, but no real funding attached.
  12. Hello again! I saw this thread as I was checking back in after having started in my program -- thought I'd share my experience with LORs, because it was a little odd, too. I proposed my work as a "modernist" but really looking at it transitionally (I actually consider my area 1880-1930 and am pretty even handed with treatment of late-Victorian and Modernist work). Applying from my M.A., I asked the Victorianist who was something of a mentor to me and was strongly supportive. I know her letter was very strong because she said it was on the long side and couldn't manage to cut it, and she also was able to talk about my presentation at a conference we had both attended. My second letter writer has a lot of renown, mostly for theory. I can't say that I had a super close relationship with him but he agreed to write the letter. For my third letter writer, I chose a modernist because, well, I thought it would be important to have someone in my field. She agreed to write the letter for my first and second (failed) round of applications. When I approached her about re-applying, though, she told me she didn't think that the letter she wrote for me was very strong and I should ask someone else. I also found out that she is just not a very good letter writer even for students with whom she has a super good relationship (and I was not one of those). Since there were no other modernists in my dept., I asked a medievalist. I asked him because he seemed very confident in my ability as a student (even though he gave me A-s) and I had two classes with him, and he was the grad director who admitted me in the first place. He told me that he wouldn't be able to attest to my ability to contribute to my field, but could speak to things like my dedication, work ethic, and more general academic acumen. He knew me as a student so much better than the modernist (weirdly), so I think that he was ultimately able to write a more authentic and convincing letter. I also was successful with his letter in my third application season. What I took away from my experience is that the level of detail with which a person is able to describe you will be much more compelling, and will be better testimony for the committee who is deciding whether they should take a risk on you or someone else. Also, @Wyatt's Terps, I noticed that you mentioned history of the book. I know you probably have your list set, but thought I'd plug Texas A&M. I visited their program (though didn't choose to attend there), and I picked up that book history was a big emphasis there. They also seem to have strengths related to Shakespeare and early modern studies.
  13. Awesome info, and your discussion of these programs sounds fantastic. @MeNotMe, I also felt most comfortable interacting with faculty and current students at Utah, which is just great generally, and I believe it will help ease the transition. There are actually a lot of California transplants in the program, it seems (which is my home state). @BooksCoffeeBeards, It's cool that you already know about your advisor! I honestly have no clue about how any of that stuff progresses. At both A&M and Utah, I had individual professors reach out who were on the grad committee, and I thought that suggested I could start to think of them as potential advisors or committee member because of their interest in my work. I'm sure I will figure all of this out in the fall. My semester is just wrapping up, so hopefully I can get more organized in terms of my thinking once I submit final grades. @amlitbookworm Congrats on getting a funded offer! I love UW's program, probably because I am also a modernist interested in gender (like you), but they only offered me an unfunded spot (twice now). I plan to jet between Utah and LA quite often myself; luckily our flights won't be too long! In terms of brushing up on a foreign language, are you just doing some independent study, reviewing old textbooks, etc.? Or are there better methods for studying? My coursework in French is very old by this point, so I may just need to take the extra courses at this point. In general, I vacillate between excitement/joy at being a student again, and the anxiety that some of you all mentioned, for me primarily concerning my ability to perform up to expectations, and a bit about managing the workload. Hence, my urge to prep over the summer. Maybe I will feel better once I get started on that.
  14. I thought it might be helpful to start a fresh thread to cap off the admissions/notification season, and to look ahead. If anyone else feels comfortable, perhaps you could announce/share where you plan to attend in the fall and how you came to make that decisions. I'm also interested in hearing how others plan to prepare for the upcoming school year, or what your attention has now turned toward. For myself, I plan to attend the University of Utah in the fall. The decision wasn't too difficult for me to make because their offer came with a very enticing fellowship and the faculty members in my area of interest are fantastic. The comparable rankings among all my funded offers also made it a little easier to pick based on things that mattered to me rather than being forced to consider things like a general reputation/prestige. I've been out of school for a number of years now, and I'm very nervous about the process of shaking all this rust off. My current plan is to make some some reading lists of books I think I should have read and relevant criticism/theory. Is anyone else planning to do something like this? Or maybe brushing up on a foreign language would be helpful?
  15. Amazing! Congrats on the admission! (If I thought I had a chance at any top 10/20 programs, that is the one I would have gone for -- I love their faculty (just judging from the outside)).
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