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psstein last won the day on September 15 2019

psstein had the most liked content!


About psstein

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  • Location
    East Coast USA
  • Application Season
    Not Applicable
  • Program
    MA, now in Private Sector

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  1. I know this isn't the advice you want to hear, but PLEASE consider using your accounting degree to its fullest extent. Your chances of secure, long-term employment with that degree are drastically better than those chances (especially in academia) after earning a history PhD. As @AfricanusCrowther hinted, the academic job market is in disarray from COVID-19, but has gotten progressively worse since 2008. Also, bluntly, I think you're too far behind the eight ball here. The only thing you really have going for you is your knowledge of Spanish. Outside of that, without a clear research
  2. It may be worth it, but in an age of belt-tightening and an even more uncertain future for the humanities, you may give the wrong impression to people who can and will make life difficult for you. You're incredibly fortunate to have funded offers, considering the cycle's competitiveness and the large number of quality programs who refused to admit new cohorts.
  3. A few statements here: 1) There are zero programs worth attending that do not offer funding. Given the nature of the academic job market, I'd consider an unfunded offer a soft rejection. 2) I don't have enough understanding of your particular field to give good answers regarding programs you should consider. What I would suggest is to look at the books you found compelling in your respective areas of interest. See where the authors work and where they received their PhDs. Then, look at the citations. Who's being cited most frequently? Where do these scholars work?
  4. I came straight out of undergrad, so I didn't really know what to ask. You should try to get a sense of your advisor's advising style (e.g. very engaged, laissez-faire, or somewhere in the middle?).
  5. If you don't hear back by the end of the week, it's probably not good news.
  6. It could be, depending on where you're waitlisted. Based on the situation you described, it seems like the university is concerned about its future ability to financially support graduate students. A graduate student who comes in with some external funding may very well help to allay those fears.
  7. Definitely. It is true that some programs have the resources/clout to help students get around mediocre or outright bad advising. One of the top programs in history of science is widely known to have indifferent supervision and average training for most students. This program happens to also do very well when it comes to placing its students in TT jobs. The resources, financial and otherwise, that it controls, happen to be beyond par.
  8. Agreed, with some qualification. There are some faculty members outside of Ivy/comparable schools who are notorious for pumping out TT faculty members. Even at top-tier universities, you have advisors who produce a disproportionate number of PhD students who go on to TT jobs. I would counsel potential graduate students to look not only at the program's placement record, but their advisor's as well. Some faculty members are magnificent scholars and writers, but terrible advisors. I ran into several during my time in academia; I'm sure most of us have.
  9. Please don't get me started on this...
  10. HSMT is part of history at this point. The two departments merged in July 2017, just before I started my first semester at Wisconsin. 30-40 is a bit on the high end of acceptance. It's usually somewhere between 25-30, depending on needs for the upcoming year. Regardless, I'm happy to discuss Madison with anyone who gets in.
  11. Yes, unfortunately. Having just gotten off an interview with a consulting firm, they're also getting hammered. Plus, I wouldn't overestimate the value of a PhD to them, at least based on people I've spoken to in them. FWIW, of course. @Sigaba makes an excellent point. The private sector is bad right now. The public sector is teetering on an apocalypse. Many states have had irresponsible or outright incompetent budget management for years. With COVID-19, the day of financial reckoning draws nigh.
  12. To your last point, yes. Part of the withdrawal of history into ever-increasingly narrow and specialized niches has had the effect of making historical scholarship arcane, inaccessible, and generally not too useful to people outside of academia. That's not a criticism of any specialized field, for the record. I actually find some of that work fascinating (e.g. Andrew Warwick's work on mathematical physics education at Cambridge). But, speaking from my history of science/medicine perch, my subdiscipline has actively disengaged from its original mission and attempted to become more integrated wi
  13. Yes and no. A lot of US graduates have the same thoughts. Plus, the overwhelming likelihood of non-US employment is not a nice position somewhere in Europe. The countries investing most heavily in higher education at this point are repressive petrostates like Saudi Arabia (there was an opening not too long ago at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals) and equally as repressive countries like China.
  14. Good post and one that really bears repeating. Leaving with the MA was one of the best decisions I've ever made. And for the record, I see the "alt-ac" thing as a crock. With a few exceptions, "alt-ac" jobs are jobs you can hold with a PhD, not jobs requiring a PhD. I'm sorry, but your dissertation on discourses on bodily fluids in the 18th century or the literary culture of immigrants in the early 20th century isn't a key element of becoming an insurance adjuster or a grants manager. These are jobs you can hold with the PhD. By the way, if I sound angry about this, it's because I am. Am
  15. These are some very interesting questions. I don't think Wisconsin's faculty would be the worst match for those interests, but one of them is likely to retire shortly and the options outside of her may not be the best for your interests. I also believe the program there has some structural problems that I'd caution thinking carefully about before applying. There's an excellent essay in Francisco Scarano (ed.) Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State discussing the US South's role as a "tropical other." Natalie Ring's The Problem South and Todd Savitt and James
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