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Bronte1985

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Bronte1985 last won the day on September 11 2018

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  1. No question that academia has been exclusionary for a long time and that it needs to change and, importantly, that it is changing, albeit slowly. Still, while some may be speaking from a place of disappointment and bitterness about their experiences, I don't think anyone here is "gatekeeping." They're asking prospective students to be realistic. Idealism is nice, but reality is reality, and conditions are what they are. You can decide to fight and struggle to make change--and bravo to you if you do!--but before you do decide that, you better be damn sure you know what you're getting yourself i
  2. I'm glad that was helpful! Another thing I'll say is that one of the most pernicious things about academia is the way it encourages you to identify your self-worth with academic success and how your peers judge you. That's not a good way to lead your life whether or not you're a "success", but keep in mind that being a successful art historian or any kind of academic is a very specific skill. Failing at it does not mean you're not a smart person with a lot to contribute to the world. You are not your work.
  3. So your former advisor gave you advice you didn't want to hear? That's hard, I know, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider seriously what she is saying. She wasn't trying to hurt you. She was giving you her informed opinion based on what she knows about your work and PhD admissions, and she would be doing you a disservice if she gave you false hope. But that doesn't mean she's right. You have her opinion, and now you need to be clear-eyed about your chances of getting in to a prestigious program. No one here can do that for you, and getting there may involve painful, honest introspectio
  4. I think any scholar working on contemporary art and social critique (so pretty much any scholar working on contemporary art!) would be able to advice a dissertation on this topic. Look widely and identify scholars whose methodological orientations mostly neatly align with yours.
  5. I agree with this, with a few caveats. It is a good idea to contact faculty before you apply, because it does make you stand out (though conversely, it can also backfire if you make a bad impression). That said, a good number of faculty, especially at the top schools (think Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, etc), do not typically respond to these inquiries or if they do, will tell you they cannot meet with you. For some this is as a matter of fairness; others because they're too busy. Whatever the reason, don't read too much into it if you don't get a response or get the response you were hoping f
  6. Start with: The Art Bulletin, Art History, Oxford Art Journal; Representations and Word & Image are not art history journals, strictly speaking, but have published many important articles in the discipline
  7. Have you taken any art history classes? You don't have to have majored in art history, but you will likely not be admitted to an MA/PhD program directly without at least art history few classes and a major research project, ie a senior thesis, in a related discipline, preferably on a topic that involves visual material. But that's just the minimum: you need to demonstrate to an admissions committee that you have 1) a sufficient background (broad knowledge of the material and issues in the field; that's why classes in AH are important), 2) research skills (relevant languages, work in primary so
  8. This is heartening to hear! Obviously you know better than I do, and I'm very glad to learn that the faculty are so involved and interested. I was basing what I said on reputation, but I don't have hands on experience. I did not attend Columbia for my MA or PhD, but from what I've heard from PhD students there is that most professors take a decidedly "hands off" approach, which is not unusual at the "top" programs. Perhaps the culture is changing. In any case, you are totally right: you get what you put in, whatever the programs (though with some places you do get a better return on your inves
  9. Maybe things have changed then! I'm glad if they have. I'm curious, though: how was your experience in the program?
  10. Columbia does have one of the very top art history programs, but its MA program is, in fact, not well respected. Essentially, it is a cash cow for the department; your tuition is helping to fund all of those PhD students. If money is no object, and you won't go into debt paying tuition and living in NYC, then maybe it's something to consider. BUT: know you will receive very little to no attention from the tenured and tenure-track faculty. (Hell, the PhD students can barely get attention from the faculty! But that's another story...) The resources are, of course, unparalleled, in terms of libra
  11. Penn's reputation is excellent. It's a smaller program than Harvard/Yale/Princeton, which can be good and bad, and it's reputation is, I would say, just below those schools'--in the same league as Chicago, Hopkins, Northwestern, Stanford. If you get in to HYP and there are people there you could like to work with, you may have a (very) slight advantage on the fellowship/job market than if you went to Penn, but Penn would still be an excellent choice; once you're at that level, what will really separate you from the pack is the quality of your work, your perceived promise, and one or two public
  12. If you want to apply to an art history PhD program, your writing sample really has to be about art. It's hard to imagine you'll get in otherwise. You say you want to work in museum education, so why are you also applying to philosophy programs? I don't really see how that will make you qualified. In general, it takes a lot of energy to apply to PhDs in two different disciplines--they require totally different statements and writings samples, not to mention letters of recommendation. By all means, if you want to pursue art history, you can, and should talk about how your experience in Ph
  13. What broader concerns/questions in your field does your project intersect with? What are the main scholarly landmarks around those concerns and in what ways in your project in dialogue with them? How does your project contribute to the scholarly conversation by shedding light on an area not addressed by other scholars? And finally how are you going to go about carrying out your project--what theoretical models will you draw on, what evidence will you use, how will you use it?
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