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AfricanusCrowther

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AfricanusCrowther last won the day on October 25 2016

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About AfricanusCrowther

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    Double Shot

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  • Application Season
    2016 Fall
  • Program
    History - PHD

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  1. Writing a thesis also gives you “translatable” skills for the job market.
  2. My suggestions are to 1. Keep a journal of every historical question you find really interesting so you have back-ups in case a project isn’t working 2. let the availability of sources guide you to a feasible topic 3. Make time for reading primary sources unfiltered through secondary literature, so that you have the chance to find something really surprising and overlooked (although this last suggestion might not work for medieval/ancient European history).
  3. Read the introduction, conclusion, beginnings and ends of chapters, and, if time permits, one middle chapter in full to get a sense of narrative style. If you’re totally lost, try reading reviews. Graduate seminars exist to discuss ideas and train future historians, so make it’s more important to have an understanding of and opinion on a book’s general significance and usefulness than it is to be able to recite any particular detail. But you occasionally will get a nutcase who will cold call students about trivial details or demand in-depth knowledge of tertiary aspects of books, so ask around before you take any class. My general (though not universal) experience is that professors are so relieved that someone else is willing to state a reasonable opinion about a book that they will forgive you if you missed something, so long as you approach seminar with the spirit of honest inquiry.
  4. You can publish in a graduate or undergraduate journal if you like, but I don't think it counts for anything in the admissions process. Publications in peer-reviewed, scholarly journals -- that's impressive. Undergraduate journals, not so much. Additionally, you may be giving away scholarship that you could develop into an article for a major academic journal later while in graduate school (undergraduates also, on very rare occasions, publish important articles in "real" journals). I would concentrate on improving the writing sample.
  5. If by "looking at" you mean researching the strengths and weaknesses of various programs, why not start now?
  6. OP, I think it's important that if you're going to go down the history of science/computing history, you take a higher level seminar in STS sooner rather than later (assuming you haven't already). Or at least pick up an STS reader. You might find the mind-bending, theory-laden writing about historical epistemology bracing and fascinating. Or...
  7. First, I would make sure to ask yourself if this is really what you want to devote the next 7-9 years to. A history degree is hardly more marketable than computer science. I would also think hard about why you want to study history, what specific historical questions interest you, and whether contemporary academic scholarship matches your intellectual and artistic vision. There is a list of funded history master’s programs that frequently gets mentioned and linked to. I would start there; I think a PhD would be a tall order at this point. A history master’s would give you the opportunity to focus your interests, but I wouldn’t take out debt for it. Hope someone can answer the CS question.
  8. If you sustain this interest in disease, I hope you have the chance to take medical sociology/anthropology of medicine courses. These classes were much more helpful for my thinking about disease and medicine issues than my history of medicine courses. The contemporary focus may seem remote, but many sociologists and anthropologists are very interested in plural conceptions of disease and the body, so it might be more useful than you would assume.
  9. Not really an answer to the OP's question, but you'll definitely want to take notes on all your seminar readings for your exams.
  10. Private high schools, particularly the most "prestigious" and wealthiest ones, will hire PhDs without any teaching certificates or degrees.
  11. Another way to get discounts on computers is through open-box deals. I've bought my two most recent computers and my tablet through Best Buy or Amazon open box, and they all work great and were discounted by a couple hundred bucks.
  12. Unless either of these institutions is truly renowned in your field (e.g., MSU for African history or Georgetown for Mideast history, which are really rare examples), look at your prospective advisors' placement records. If neither have placed many students, compare funding and research resources.
  13. One way to do this is to think about what burning historical questions you want to answer. Then, think about which region and time period is best suited for answering those questions. This exercise will also help you move beyond “a love of history” as a motivation for a PhD, which is not really sufficient to sustain a dissertation’s worth of research.
  14. I agree with your advice. I wonder if someone could help this student find resources to work on languages while outside the academy. I worked through a grammar book of Swahili before I applied to programs, and that coupled with some courses from college gave me passable reading knowledge -- of a language I promptly forgot and have never used since coming to graduate school.
  15. I have referred to everyone in my own institution by their first name from the get-go and haven’t had issues.
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