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About nudeinbrook

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  • Location
    Northeast, USA
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Art History

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  1. You should email your POIs and ask where their former students are currently working. I know for a fact two of the schools you mentioned have student profiles on their websites, and these profiles were recently updated. All of the schools you mentioned are highly competitive, so it wouldn't hurt to be in touch with faculty before, during, and after the application process anyway.
  2. If your potential advisor asks why you are applying to PhD programs in art history, what will you say? I found the biggest part of PhD applications and interviews was being able to answer this question sincerely. Are there gaps in the field you feel compelled to address? What would your dream dissertation entail (if funds and research sources were unlimited)? This field is very oversaturated, to begin with—what can you contribute? Do you want to teach? Tenure-track positions are almost nonexistent. Do you want to curate? Your salary will be 30k/year (if you’re lucky). These are all questions I’ve been asked or things I’ve been told by professors/curators at some point or another. I think your law background could help you in writing a compelling statement of purpose, but you’d need to have a very clear idea of what you want and what you can bring to the table. Berkeley and Stanford are two of AH’s most competitive programs. Both departments have an emphasis on feminist/queer studies. Are these topics that interest you? I sympathize with your inquiry—it’s a big decision and not an easy path forward! I’d really do some homework and read a few books and articles by Stanford/Berkeley AH profs. I agree with the post above: taking a few courses might help clarify things.
  3. IMO, you don't need a museum studies degree to work in the museum field. These are skills you can learn (and probably already have). I don't recommend Christie’s for what you want to do—that degree is geared more toward those seeking a gallery position. It’s also very expensive. You seem well versed in your field. You have a PhD and extensive museum experience, which is more than a lot of art history grads can say. I think adding more degrees to your CV rather than experience will hurt you, at this point. From what you’ve said above, especially the bit about not wanting to study canonical works or the drive to become an expert in those fields, it sounds like traditional curatorial work is not for you. Have you considered a position as curator of public programs at a museum? Since you seem interested in advocacy and working with specific communities within contemporary art, this might be an alternative. As I’m sure you know being a curator isn’t always about your degree especially if you’re in the contemporary field. It’s more about the artists with which you’ve built connections. It’s also about being a good project manager and fundraiser. If you like working in a university museum, your PhD will help you especially if the art department is small. You might be able to teach and work in a public programs/outreach capacity.
  4. I'm headed to a UC school for my PhD—fully funded! I could not be happier with my acceptance. I was invited to two "open house" events (both at UC schools): school “A” was disorganized, not transparent, and couldn’t give me real information about financials. That being said, my POI there was really kind and his research was interesting. School “B” was a dream from the moment I set foot on campus. The students were open and honest with me, and my POI recently published a well-reviewed book and is doing meaningful and serious research. This is my second time applying. It has been a long, arduous, and very expensive road, I won’t lie. Sometimes I get really jaded thinking about how privileged this field is. My parents and partner have been financial fallbacks and I would not have been able to apply this year without support. The first time I applied, I wrote my SOP around my current research interests—but these interests were not exactly “marketable,” if that makes sense. I quickly realized this, and began charting another path that included research I did for a curator (on a completely unrelated topic, but one I felt deeply passionate about). My SOP this year was more broad, topical, and frankly, more exciting. I also presented at conferences, got a museum fellowship, and wrote a few exhibition reviews. Also, I made a point to connect with a few POI’s. I read conflicting advice about doing so, but in the long run, it worked out for me. As others have commented, please feel free to PM me if you would like additional details or want to chat.
  5. Excited? Regrets? Advice for next year's applicants?
  6. Did anyone apply to SUNY Stony Brook (PhD)? I STILL haven't heard back: I emailed their department last week and have yet to receive an answer. At this point I've made other plans, but I'd like to think my application fee would at least warrant a response...
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