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AfricanusCrowther last won the day on October 25 2016

AfricanusCrowther had the most liked content!

About AfricanusCrowther

  • Rank
    Double Shot

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  • Application Season
    2016 Fall
  • Program
    History - PHD

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  1. Obviously you should get the advice of someone in your field, but it mine (African history) it’s typical to have an Africanist as your main adviser and to work closely with a topical specialist who focuses on another region. There often aren’t enough Africanists at top universities to find a perfect match. The whole point of a topic or theme like the history of science, after all, is that it is supposed to pose coherent questions and contain useful methods for scholars working across geographical regions.
  2. Jisoo Kim at GWU works on the intersection of the history of medicine and legal history in Korea, although I don’t think she was trained in STS.
  3. Clapperton Mavhunga at MIT and Nancy Jacobs at Brown spring to mind. I can think of many others who are unfortunately not at degree granting institutions.
  4. Belt: https://theprofessorisin.com/its-ok-to-quit/ Suspenders: https://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/tburke1/gradschool.html
  5. Applications to these programs are so competitive, and there are so many qualitative reasons to reject someone on the basis of their written materials, that I simply don't think we can know the relationship between GPA/GRE and acceptance. (Even if we could infer a correlation based on GradCafe results statistics between low GPA and rejection, it's possible that students who get bad grades in undergrad produce poorer written materials, perhaps because they've received poorer support from mentors.) Even insider knowledge into a particular department's application process wouldn't tell you about broader trends. Contrast with law school applications, where there is an extremely tight, observable relationship between LSAT/GPA and chance of acceptance and where there has been lots of insider reporting testifying to the importance of test scores and grades.
  6. I think "Foucault" is sort of a stand-in for a broader set of concepts and intellectual movements of which he formed the critical and most important part -- i.e., the cultural turn. The influence of a diverse range of thinkers before and after him, including Bourdieu, Althusser, Gramsci, E.P. Thompson, and Joan Scott, get sort of collapsed into Foucauldianism. I also think few scholars in the wake of Foucault really buy the theoretical implications of this work whole-sale. There's a great article that analyzes this sort of weak Foucauldianism in contemporary historiography but I can't find it. William Sewell has also written about it.
  7. Teaching experience, awards, and grants are great cv entries for an applicant straight out of undergrad. I was in a similar position, and I also included work experience, languages, and relevant coursework as cv categories. Ultimately, i don’t think the cv matters much, as they’ll determine your readiness for the program on the basis of your SoP/writing sample/LoRs.
  8. Ask more advanced students if they pre-wrote for their exam and, if so, whether it was effective for them. By pre-writing, I mean composing answers to potential questions in complete prose. Don't listen to people who advise against it by appealing to common sense; only heed their advice if they tried it and it failed (or if your department discourages it). Pre-writing was well worth the effort for me -- I passed with distinction and now have 60 pages of writing on various topics to draw on for lectures or other writing.
  9. Writing a thesis also gives you “translatable” skills for the job market.
  10. 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).
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. If by "looking at" you mean researching the strengths and weaknesses of various programs, why not start now?
  14. 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...
  15. 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.
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