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Everything posted by orphic_mel528

  1. Since no one else is answering, I will! Keep in mind, I'm about to start a PhD in lit, but here's what I surmised after a bit of Googling: If you want to study things like propaganda, advertising, and political rhetoric, you might be better off pursuing a PhD in Communications. Universities like USC, NYU, and University of Washington, to name just the first few that came up, all offer coursework in those areas, and have faculty who can support your studies. Going off of the description of the Rhet/Comp PhD at my university, that field seems much more focused on literacy in practice and pedagogy, which doesn't seem like what you're looking for.
  2. Any Lit Theory Nerds?

    Cognitive poetics is one of my subfields, or maybe it would be more accurate to say it's one of the lenses through which I analyze texts. I would think Purdue should be high on your list of possibilities: https://www.cla.purdue.edu/academic/slc/l/coglit// The only other program I know of off the top of my head that's in the US is UCLA. Chances are, other UC campuses offer that focus as well. Good luck with your search
  3. Feeling Unwelcome

    I can give you some advice as to the matter of your threatened eviction. I was a social worker for 10 years and worked at my (then) county's legal aid office. What housing is threatening you with is both illegal and prejudicial. Your daughter's diagnosed, documented psychiatric conditions may qualify her for APD benefits, if she does not receive those already. Even if she does not qualify for APD benefits, you cannot evict someone as a result of behaviors that stem from a psychiatric illness. That is a violation of the Fair Housing Act, which you can read here: https://www.justice.gov/crt/fair-housing-act-1. You can afford to lawyer up; here's how: contact your local legal aid office. Their whole existence is based on the fact that people without a lot of financial means need legal services, too. Call them, complete the intake process, attend your appointment, and they will be able to help you with this. I have to echo Eigen's remarks: end-of-year or mid-program reviews aren't designed to make you feel good. They don't have to say anything positive about you at all, although many professors or advisors do. The criticism isn't personal and isn't a sign of your being "unwelcome;" it's standard criticism given by mentors whose job it is to prepare you for a career in academia. You certainly don't have to answer this question publicly, but it sounds to me like you are under an enormous amount of stress between being a graduate student and a working mother of multiple children, including one with severe psychiatric illness. So my (rhetorical) question is, how are you? Are you receiving any treatment or support for anxiety? Perhaps it would be good to access some support in that aspect. Please send me a PM if you need any help or have any questions about accessing legal services. I'm happy to do what I can for you.
  4. Lesbian life in various places (recommendations? warnings?)

    Just noticed the date on OP; she's probably graduated by now! Nonetheless, here's a resource for anyone looking in the Davis area: https://localwiki.org/davis/Rainbow_Community I assume you're talking about Penn State? If so: http://news.psu.edu/story/410239/2016/05/11/rankings/penn-state-ranked-among-best-lgbt-friendly-colleges-and http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/lgbtqa/ https://www.meetup.com/cities/us/pa/state_college/lgbtq/ In other words, Penn State and University Park, or State College, PA, are great places for LGBTQI+ folks.
  5. I would not accept an offer of admission from this program based on the factors you've mentioned. As to your question about the MA: if you can, I would definitely do it in the US if you plan to pursue the PhD in the US. For your situation, I suggest finding an MA/PhD program, where one leads directly into the other.
  6. Beat Poetry/Lit?

    One of my dearest friends is currently a PhD student at University of Denver and is studying the Beat poets. http://www.du.edu/ahss/english/graduate/literary-studies-phd/index.html
  7. Submitting a multimedia essay

    Just being frank: no English admissions committee that I know of is going to accept a multimedia essay. Not even programs with strong interdisciplinary mindsets. The reasons for this are many, but not particularly pertinent to explain because you're not going to get around it. Admissions requirements are what they are because ad coms are comprised of very, very busy people, hence the word limits and strict formatting guidelines. Moreover, they have to standardize the process so that students are judged on as much of an equal footing as possible. If multimedia presentations were desired, they would require it of all students. English programs are primarily concerned with whether you have a strong and specific focus and whether you can appropriately articulate yourself in writing. If you are very strongly predisposed to a multimedia approach, I would take that as a sign that you should focus on media studies programs rather than English.
  8. Really good point. Your discussion of race could be reframed toward classism, i.e. white elite or white "trash"; plenty of discussion of that to be found in contemporary American lit. My writing sample for my MA discussed this, in fact.
  9. Lots of good ideas here, so I'll just add one thing: don't be afraid to step outside the box and carve your own niche. A good friend of mine is about to start her dissertation on the poetics of 1960s music. Her other interests include the Beats and Transcendentalists. So don't feel like you have to choose from a dropdown box of options in the sky, if you will. I think the most important thing is to choose a program that has the resources to support whatever it is you're trying to do, i.e. faculty with common interests. Your SOP should lay out a clear roadmap of what you plan to do in that program and how that program is prepared to support you. From what you're saying, I would try to find a program that has strong support for gender theory and Southern literature. I think I understand your stance on race; however, as you research further, you may find you do indeed have something valuable to add to the conversation. Good luck
  10. My bachelor's degree is in psychology, while my MA is in literature. I wouldn't say the learning curve is steep, but there is one, and some might consider it more or less steep, depending on who you are. Anyway, my first semester was spent catching up. I was in a room full of people who threw around theory like it was nothing, while I had no idea who Derrida was, much less how to apply him to literature. Fortunately, I caught on quickly, and I reached out to professors who were happy to suggest extra reading for me to help me catch up to my classmates' breadth of knowledge. I guess the point is that like most things, some people might find it harder than others, but it's certainly not impossible.
  11. Have to ask a silly question: I've seen the usage of 1/1 or 2/2 before. What does that refer to? Like one section of one subject, ex. you teach 1 section of Comp 1? Thanks in advance to whoever replies.
  12. Spouses and Jobs

    It's totally okay!
  13. Spouses and Jobs

    I think we agree more than you think we might agree
  14. Spouses and Jobs

    I'm not one to ask for favors, so I likely wouldn't try to secure a job for a spouse by asking someone directly to pull strings. Nepotism happens everywhere, but rarely in a flagrant way, so I would be concerned over that. However, there's a section on every university application for every university job that asks whether someone you're related to works for the university. I'm not totally sure of all the reasons they ask this, but that's a good place for your partner to state your name and role at the university. Your partner could then casually stress in a cover letter the fact that you are relocating because of your doctoral work, which might incline them more toward doing you a favor. When I applied to Davis, I had similar concerns. My husband works remotely for a large software corporation, and the only stipulation is that he has to be within 40 minutes of one of their offices. It turned out that the closest office to Davis was, like your circumstances, in San Francisco. The midpoints we were looking at were the Fairfield and Napa areas, but those are very expensive areas. Oakland and Vallejo are more affordable options, but you have to be very careful about which streets/neighborhoods you check out, as there is legitimate gang violence and crime in certain sections that I don't imagine you'll want to deal with. And frankly, what I heard from friends in SF that commuting into SF is hell anyway you slice it. I definitely advocate for living in the same house--not just for the health of your relationship, but also for the sake of your finances. Paying rent in CA is tough enough, let alone paying two. Good luck; I'm sure you'll find a solution!
  15. 2017 Final Decisions

    @FeetInTheSky @tvethiopia See you both there, although not in R/C. Can't believe there's no one else here from the lit PhD cohort.
  16. I had a ton of Milton on mine, and a lot of contemporary poetry.
  17. For those of us who have accepted offers: Is anyone else wondering what happens now? I'm not afraid to look clueless. When do I sign up for classes? If I want to submit a proposal syllabi for independent study, when do I do that? How do I do that? Who do I give it to? I assume once the April 15 deadline passes, we're all going to be getting a lot of info, so maybe a better question to any of you lurking "already in the midst of my PhD" people is: what should we all expect in the first month?
  18. Uh...now what?

    My husband and I are buying a home. Having lived in a lot of apartments and having owned a home prior, if you have a stable income, I would recommend buying a home over a rental for a lot of reasons. For one, with the right choice of home, you will have a line of equity available to you that can help you in emergencies, help you make repairs to the home, or even be used for investments, if you know how to do that wisely. Rent doesn't really earn you anything, although it can help your credit; it's just money going into someone else's pocket. Depending on the area you're relocating to, it might be impossible for a young student, or two young students, or people just starting out to afford a home. Having assets is always a good thing, and while real estate value can vacillate wildly, property is pretty much always a stable investment. Important thing to note about condos: They are considered a more "high risk" property and are not as easy to sell when you want to unless you're in a high-demand market, like Seattle, San Francisco, etc. If you're in a smaller college town where the demand for rental/real estate is not as critically high, you should aim for a modest single-family home if you possibly can. Trulia is my favorite resource for finding homes to buy.
  19. Uh...now what?

    I'm an old married lady, so my considerations about living arrangements are a bit different. Thank you for the info on independent study and the rest, though! @Old Bill: I think Stephen King overlooked the inherent horror of my father, Prune Man, when he wrote "It." "Georgie looked down into the sewer drain, desperately hoping for a glimpse of his lost boat, and was surprised to find a man grinning up at him with a soulless but not unkind expression. "HIYA, Georgie! Do ya like prunes?!" "Do they taste good?!" "Of course they taste good, Georgie! There's a lot of flavor in that glass! There's a lot of flavor in ALL THE GLASSES DOWN HERE!"
  20. This might be a helpful way to think about it: if a person came to you and said, "My MA is in literary studies and critical theory. I've never taken a single creative writing class, or I took one as an undergraduate and maybe one as a graduate student, but I want to pursue a PhD in creative writing," what would you say to that person? The ability to deploy theory to support novel arguments/ideas is central to success in a literature-focused graduate program. I can't speak about Rhet/Comp; I just don't know enough about how they function. With respect to a lit PhD: I would strongly advise taking some literature classes at a local university--ones that deal with critical theory and approach literature from an analytical/expository perspective instead of creative writing. Basically, in order for you to be competitive, you're going to have to demonstrate that you've had some preparation in critical theory and that you can produce critical writing. In addition to the classes, I would participate in as many conferences as I possibly could and see if I could get published as well.
  21. 2017 Acceptances

    Every professor I have ever spoken to has advised never to go into debt for a PhD. However, your financial situation might be different enough that it wouldn't matter. If you already have student loan debt, I would not continue to accrue that. This is in part because of the uncertainty of the humanities job market post-grad; will you be able to afford to pay your loan payments every month?
  22. Decision-making difficulty

    I think if it were me, I would ask School X to what extent you would be able to collaborate across departments. This was a specific concern of mine as well, because my intended research is interdisciplinary. Frankly, it sounds like that's your main concern about School X and that it otherwise presents a near-ideal opportunity for you. If I'm understanding correctly: I suggest sending an email to a professor in the department and asking them about interdisciplinary or intersubfield (I just made up that word) collaboration and support. Specifically, I might ask whether it's permissible, given the nature of your intended research, that your future dissertation advisors be composed of faculty from different departments. The answer will likely help you a great deal.
  23. 2017 Acceptances

    I understand; it can be tough to decide, especially when all of them are offering you something appealing. Is this a situation like with dessert where you have three pieces of cake and they all look really good and you just can't decide between, or is it like...you're not sure what's in the cake or what factors you should use to decide between the cakes? If it's a matter of being unsure which factors you should consider, I have created this sub-standard flow chart for your perusal: