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AfricanusCrowther last won the day on October 25 2016

AfricanusCrowther had the most liked content!

About AfricanusCrowther

  • Rank
    Espresso Shot

Profile Information

  • Application Season
    2016 Fall
  • Program
    History - PHD

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  1. AfricanusCrowther

    What is history?

    You've been given some suggestions for reading; I would urge you to start there. They address these very questions more thoughtfully than graduate students on a discussion forum can.
  2. AfricanusCrowther

    Advice for Fall 2020 Applicants

    That's definitely true. Sometimes POIs will let you know about these factors in advance (i.e., "we're not taking early modernists this year"), but unfortunately that's not always the case.
  3. AfricanusCrowther

    What is history?

    I recommend Sarah Maza's Thinking about History as an impressively sweeping introduction to the academic discipline. She also has a section on distinguishing academic history from popular history.
  4. AfricanusCrowther

    Noticing a change in my research interests-- what should I do?

    You should make a plan to acquire the necessary language skills sooner rather than later (not to presume you don't already have them).
  5. AfricanusCrowther

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    Agreed. One potential question to ask: is this program going to train me to be the historian I want to be? Does it offer the language classes, training, funding, and intellectual environment I think I need? And, on my visiting weekend, did I see evidence of these important aspects of the program? In my own field, HYP&S are generally not the programs that are going to produce strong historians (with important exceptions that admitted students have to keep in mind!).
  6. AfricanusCrowther

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    Seconded. I've lived in Durham and it's absolutely fantastic.
  7. AfricanusCrowther

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    True, but then you often run into issues of sample size. In such a tight market, perhaps the only truly safe choice is to go to HYP for their best sub fields.
  8. AfricanusCrowther

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    Indeed, and the inherent structural dynamics of academia make me wonder if even this is sustainable: https://www.its.caltech.edu/~dg/crunch_art.html
  9. AfricanusCrowther

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    Surely there's a better source for this argument than that book. The History Manifesto rests on a now-discredited assertion that the timelines covered by works of academic history have shortened in the past several decades, which they use as a measure for significance and public interest. Not only is this assertion false, but it's also silly: presumably the public is more interested in books about, say, the Civil War or the Holocaust than a 1000-year history of paper weights.
  10. AfricanusCrowther

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    My advisor told me she didn't think the ideas in my SoP would make for a good dissertation while I was choosing between programs. Sometimes they use the SoP solely as a measure of your historical abilities and understanding even without particularly liking the arguments or proposals.
  11. AfricanusCrowther

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    This is not a standard part of the admissions process at NU, as far as History goes.
  12. AfricanusCrowther

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    This varies enormously. Some will read the whole sample carefully, some will read part, some won't read it at all (and will still admit you!).
  13. AfricanusCrowther

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    Get ready to enjoy this feeling again with grant and job applications!
  14. AfricanusCrowther

    Fall 2019 Applicants

    I think it makes sense to list courses if you’re applying as an Africanist, unless you have some other kind of African Studies certificate. They’ll want to make sure that you know the lingo for this very exacting and particular field, given that many history department offer little Africanist coursework. I did this on my applications, in part because I felt insecure about not having experience on the continent.
  15. AfricanusCrowther

    Sources in Writing Sample

    They'll be looking to see if you know how to talk about historiography. One of the tricks of the trade is that you don't actually have to read all of the literature you're citing (although of course it's desirable) as long as you know generally where it fits on a grid of scholarship about the topic. Recent review articles on the subject should lay this out neatly (I wonder if Marjoleine Kars' 2016 AHR article lays out the lay of the land nicely?). If you can include a footnote that says "For scholarship that views slave rebellions through the prism of A, see: B, C, D, and E; X and Y, by contrast, have recently urged historians to consider Z," then you've done a lot to show that you understand how historical scholarship in general works.

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