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ignoredfab

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  1. Quite a lot of history graduate students had their training in different fields, and many departments across the States explicitly state that they welcome non-history majors. Plus, you have many of the desired assets such as language training, master degrees, and international exposure, so I wouldn't worry too much about that! As you may know and others's statements here, you'll be getting a master and possibly an mphil (few schools) along the way. You need to convince your poi and selection committee why you believe studying history naturally befits your research plan, and how your previous academic training gives you a cutting edge over others. You generally want to find at least 2 or 3 faculty within the history department whose research applies to yours. So in your case, if I am not mistaken, choose schools that have people working on Soviet history, Modern Europe, nationalism, and Cold War. Plenty of those actually along the East Coast's universities. No need to worry about your minimum qualifications. Once you meet a certain threshold in terms of well-developed ideas, languages etc.., random chance and departmental politics may decide whether to accept you or not. Yeh, NYU is definitely a great place to pursue your ideas. Columbia is currently in the hiring of one Soviet historian. PM me if you have more questions. Good luck!
  2. When I was in undergrad (just a few years ago), the professor used this as his textbook: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Early-Modern-Europe/9780198207603 I liked it quite a lot, because of the wide coverage of themes pertaining to EME. So it can definitely be used as a jumping board for narrower searches.
  3. It's surely not an odd thing for many American PhD grads to find opportunities in Europe and Asia. From what I saw, universities in China,Korea (among others) have been doing much to "internationalize" their programs by recruiting foreign PhDs. (You'll find quite a bit of news about that on google). You can look at the placement records of other US universities, and you will definitely see similar things happen elsewhere. It's also common to hear that US phds are quite marketable, though a lot also depends on the concrete hiring process (say publications, research focus, professional connections, departmental politics etc.) (You'll find many such discussions in this forum) In Europe, it seems that there is a bit more mobility for graduates from "lower-ranked uni's." In general, you could also keep in mind that the job market for humanities phds is one where you cannot always have your first choice, and you may consequently be building your career in places and sectors you'd not expect. I second some parts of this answer for sure. I also feel that having rigorous coursework can help you not only as a scholar specifically, but as a social being in general. On whether US PhDs are "qualitatively" better than European ones, that's a whole other question. We're dealing with different academic cultures, so, for example, undergraduate students in Europe are (sometimes) much earlier trained in their discipline. Whereas in the States, it is not uncommon to see people switching between disciplines between undergrad and grad, for which the latter's coursework then becomes necessary to get some foundations. And much depends on the individual of course too: someone whose MA's work links neatly to a PhD project, wouldn't be necessarily worse off than her/his American counterpart.
  4. As a humanities major, I was wondering how it feels like to pursue a phd at a STEM-field oriented university. While big names such as MIT and CalTech in the States do have humanities departments, they are usually very small compared to the STEM departments (I read like 5 percent at MIT) and/or different disciplines are squeezed together. On the European side, Germany has also these Technical Universities that are somewhat similar. I'd be happy to hear if someone has any experience, ideas, or further reading suggestions about this. Is graduate study as a history major much tougher or isolating? What about post-phd job prospects? Can it be too much of a disadvantage if you don't come from a traditional history department, i.e. you had a very interdisciplinary training? I guess if you're pursuing an STS/urban-design direction, it can benefit you, though I'm not sure. BONUS question! Anyone that has something to say about the H.A.S.T.S. program at MIT? (Didn't find that many results so far)
  5. Hi fellow grads, I am sure you have seen this question over and over again on this forum, so I'll be brief. I need advice on whether or not I should make a third attempt at retaking GRE. I'll be applying during the next cycle fyi. Background check: I am from Europe and the top programs would be Berkeley, Duke and Columbia, among others. I am less concerned about the other application materials: I have two graduate degrees and some work experience in the region of interest, the necessary languages, great master's gpa, reliable/glowing recommendation letters. I assume to work a lot on my SOP coming year. My current GRE stats are: Q152, V162, A4.5-5. This was my second attempt btw, and I was somewhat sick as well this time. What would you advice to do? Personally speaking, I don't mind to retake it a third time (financially it is negligible in the greater scheme of things) but my goal was 320. I am also afraid that I will not reach the threshold, and will automatically be cut out during preselection or something like that. I'll be happy to listen to what you got to say. Thanks a lot in advance!!
  6. Hey everyone, I have my GRE exam in about two weeks and I did a mock test today with somewhat disappointing results (about 10 points each on quant and verbal below my target) On the verbal section, most of my mistakes were made in the Reading Comprehension section. So I am now scouting for advice. How did you learn to tackle dense RC texts? Do you have any "I-wish-I-knew-this-earlier" advice to get better at solving these questions? I have a background in humanities, so the verbal section is really important for me. Thanks!!
  7. You're right. They do have some Certificate Program called REEES (Russia, Eastern Europe, Eurasian Studies) at PIIRS.
  8. I'd say the same elite ones like you because of their brand name, funding and (library infrastructure). Indiana and Wisconsin also have strong traditions in Russian studies. But I would add and ask this: what about supervisors? How do you view the importance of your prospective supervisor in your decision-making? I think Princeton should definitely be included, simply because of Kotkin (for his epic studies on Magnitogorsk and his biography of Stalin) and others (Cohen and Rozman, though they retired already). Harvard has great people too like Kramer (not sure whether he takes on students?) and Martin (though he didn't publish his second monograph since 2002/3?) UChicago has been very strong but their two Russian historians (Fitzpatrick and Suni) left as well, though the infrastructure is still there. I'd coin Berkeley too for Slezkine. I'd love to hear feedback! On a separate note, how do you feel about the current state of Russian studies in the US? I've been reading that it has been weakening in the recent years?
  9. A question that applies perhaps to those that don't study the history of their country, i.e. studying American history as an American. As a European, I'm focusing on 20th century Russian/Soviet history. My contact with scholars from Russia recently made me realize how different their academic culture is from where I come (although I was prepared for it): professional careers, modes of research and writing, styles of publication and so. While language is totally not the issue, I sometimes have problems in sharing my ideas (say, how I'd like to contribute to theoretical debates on my topic). I don't want to generalize at all, but I do feel that not everybody seems to be receptive to my ideas. While it can be a case of different research focus, it seems rather that certain topics or ways of discussing them are totally not on their radar. Anybody who had similar experiences and advice on how to close gaps with academics from different parts of the world (e.g. Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia; vice versa as well of course). Which problems did you encounter?
  10. Dear all, I'm currently working in an archive to collect materials for my thesis, which deals with urban history. While I have access to maps and photos, I don't really know how to get them in a high-quality digital format (to use them in my thesis). I can take pictures (I have a nikon d3400) but I'm not able to scan or copy in the archive. Any tips on how to deal with this?
  11. I have been looking for some more insights regarding this question, but as I get different opinions, I wanted to ask this in this particular segment of the forum. Whether you're still applying or already are a phd student, how much does the publication record of your (prospective/current) supervisor matter? I'm asking this specifically, because someone I know recently encountered this scenario: The person found a possible supervisor at an ivy league university and history program, but the supervisor in question hasn't published much (perhaps even very little) in the last 10-15 years, despite his tenured position. The supervisor is most known for some works that were published around 2000, and it is also not clear if there were any other relevant collaborations or projects after that. Some people are advising to work with the supervisor anyways because other benefits such as a strong social/academic network, future employment possibilities, and funding. Some would even ask back whether your supervisor's publication track even matters at all for your own research. Others would advise to look for different supervisors with more publication - perhaps at less prestigious but nonetheless good universities - because those supervisors would be better known in the field and be "more up to date" (?). (I'm obviously leaving aside questions about whether or not you are ├╝berhaupt able to get into top programs etc) What are your thoughts, experiences or what kind of advice would you give, in the context of being/preparing a history phd student? Thanks!
  12. My apologies for not being so clear. I'm on the waiting list for the MA program, and I might only receive a definitive answer by the end of July. So yes, I'm pressed to accept the Chinese offer. However, I would like to get in to the MA program in 1 or 2 years, after some language training.
  13. Dear all, My situation: This June, I'm finishing my MA in History at my home university in Europe; in November 2015, I applied for a MA (research-oriented) degree in Asia; in February, I got to know that I was shortlisted; later, I got an offer to follow a one-year language program in China with funding. My issue: I look forward to study 1 year Chinese, but my potential advisor has told me already twice to have confidence and not to withdraw my application. My question: if I decide to withdraw my application anyways, will this significantly decrease my chances to get accepted into the same program in 1 or 2 years? Do I risk to be refused in the future due to, say behind-the-scene politics/ bad reputation or whatsoever? Good to know: - I want to learn Chinese to use it for further research - It's not possible to defer my enrolment for one year or so; I need to re-apply Thanks
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