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WildeThing last won the day on November 28

WildeThing had the most liked content!


About WildeThing

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  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    PhD in English (Literature)

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  1. Don't think it's gonna matter, but just the same, if you can put the title on the same page and remover the title page, is there any reason not to do it?
  2. I don't think teaching experience matters at this stage. Their focus is to get good scholars, the teaching you do is supplementary to that. Same goes for administrative experience. These are things that will matter at the other end of the PhD process.
  3. What the above poster said is true, you should definitely consider whether this will work out if you have an issue with finishing tasks you don’t connect with. To answer your question, no, bad grades will not necessarily preclude you from being accepted at a program. Ultimately your written materials are the most important factors. However, it is certainly harder. It raises questions and there will be many candidates who are just as good as you who will not have these uncertainties around them. You will need to either outshine them and compensate for these red flags, or be able to explain away these issues. The good news is that you have a way to do that: the SoP or the LoRs. The bad news is that now you are taking time/space to overcome negatives rather than asserting positives (and there is a finite amount of time/space, so this complicates your ability to shine). Also, the arguments you have made here will not convince an admissions committee, if anything they will do the opposite. So, all in all, first I’d ask myself if this is what I want and if it is worth it. Second I’d come up with a good way of recasting these issues in a positive light, third I’d strategize on how to make that case and, lastly and most importantly, I’d do my best to make my application the absolute best it can be. Note: you don’t have to address your grades in your application (and as I mentioned, it might be counterproductive to do so). You can always just do your best and hope they see past your grades. Is it possible that they will? Definitely. Is it probable? In all honesty, I don’t think so, competitiveness being what it is. Oh, also, some committees might give some leeway to bad grades in foreign systems if they’re not familiar with them (so bad grades might not be as bad as they look, like how a 74 in some British schools is amazing but only a C in most U.S. schools). Whether this will actually work for you depends on too many factors to be possible to predict.
  4. I sent a recap email with all the schools and their deadlines to help with tracking. It was to help but also an excuse to see where they were in the process. My letter writers were generally quite good about telling me when they would submit.
  5. I went to a talk by some former graduates from the department and one of them said this: if you can do your PhD and in 20 years not regret having done it even if you don’t get a job out of it (or the job you want at least). If not, maybe this isn’t for you. The point being that the job market is so rough that some of us will not derive any benefit from it other than the enjoyment of doing our research for a few years. So if you’re asking the question at all, maybe it’s not worth it (of course, not everyone can go into something like this for the sake of it and anyone who can is enjoying a fair share of privilege). There is no formula as to what institutions guarantee jobs. Generally the higher the rank (accepting that rank is not objective or definitive) the more opportunities you will have (though some argue that smaller schools sometimes prefer lower-ranked candidates).
  6. I don’t think so. I think adcoms are fairly small so in a big program your POIs might not even be on it, whether on sabbatical or not. In fact, since I came to my program the only person I have talked to (other than the DGS) who I got a sense had actually read my materials was someone who left before I arrived.
  7. Search for them in your university library databases and search engines, you can limit those searches to recent years, too.
  8. I have done some work on absurdism and there wasn’t too much being done, at least not within anglophone lit/lit-crit. Off the top of my head there’s a volume on absurd theatre and ecology, one on absurd and linguistics and Michael Y. Bennett has published some monographs on the subject. I just moved and don’t have the titles or authors available right now, sorry. If you’re applying now I should note that no one in any program that offers funding that I have encountered has anyone currently working on the absurd, though there are some graduate students here and there, mostly in comp lit. That said your intended intersection sounds fascinating and would love to hear more about and would be glad to offer more specific help/bibliography of you’re interested. Feel free to PM.
  9. That's tough because writing sample are very long and personal in that they are meant to reflect your abilities as a scholar and the type of research you do. Your sample should really look like an article or long-ish seminar paper (I guess something creative might work, too, but that's definitely a bigger risk). The best thing to do is select your best paper and ask the professor of that class for notes on improving it to be a WS, or asking a mentor. Writing a new paper from scratch is more laborious and risky because you really want that feedback to make it the best that it can be.
  10. I would be less specific in my search. Can you find departments that support Queer lit, Ethnic lit, and YA lit, through an assortment of scholars rather than one that covers all 3? Can you find places that cover at least two? As for the other question, I think people generally wind up placing themselves within the category their specific interests are in. So someone working on those 3 fields would probably find themselves in 20th/21st American (or Anglophone). In what generalist courses would your specialty be taught?
  11. PhDs generally have two functions: as a vehicle for learning about a field of interest and as a vehicle for employment. When hiring committees look at your application they will look at your thesis/published articles, but they will also look at your letters of recommendation. How effusive will a recommender be about someone they've maybe never met? How much contact will you have with your professors? What sort of connections will you form? Will anyone vouch for you? How likely is it that an online or long-distance PhD is even considered on the same level as traditional ones? Is it worth it to basically work on your own for 5 years, possibly unfunded, for this degree? In situations where you just need the degree I can see it, but it seems like a risky bet to me. That said, I'm not familiar with online PhDs and perhaps they work differently and/or are more well-regarded than I thought.
  12. What does low-res mean? Edit: Looked it up. I have never heard of a long distance PhD in the US (you might be able to make it work in Spain, where PhDs are a bit different). I’m not sure there would be much worth in such a PhD either, in all honesty.
  13. Personally I think prestige of previous institutions is very important, though not wholly determinant. I say this as someone who went through the process twice coming from unranked, unknown universities. I know most people disagree with this, but I think that coming from a great uni makes you a safer bet. Great candidates will get in no matter where they come from, but there are great candidates from many backgrounds. That said, there is nothing you can do to change this and it doesn't mean you won't get in to places, all you can (whether from Harvard or Unknown University) is to make your application the best it can be and maximize your chances by choosing the most appropriate schools to apply to. Sometimes this means applying to lesser ranked schools, others it means restricting where you apply based on fit (and really, it's a combination of these and other factors). Don't be discouraged if you come from an unknown university, but do be realistic about your chances.
  14. Santa Cruz has History of Consciousness, Berkeley has Rhetoric, San Diego has Literature, and I think Brown, Pittsburgh and Buffalo also have similar programs. If you do a search in this forum you will probably find them, as others have asked this in the past.
  15. None, I have chaired several and it’s quite straightforward. During the panel you’re just introducing people, controlling the time, and letting others ask questions. If no one does you should ask questions, or if one panelist isn’t getting any you ask them. Before the panel you just need to stay in touch with the panelists, making sure they know where to go and such. If you also need to manage the CFP that’s a bit more laborious but not that hard either. The only two requisites to chairing a panel is knowing how a panel works (easily fixed by going to the first panels, assuming yours isn’t the first) and having a good grasp of the field or topic at hand.
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