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psstein last won the day on September 15

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About psstein

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    History of Science

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  1. Stanford, Brown, and Hopkins are all outstanding choices with great faculty. I'd recommend re-evaluating USC and UCSB with reference to their placement histories. HoS is a very small field, and as with all other historical sub-fields, Ivies and public equivalents are disproportionately represented.
  2. Good to see some other history of science folks! What programs do you think are a good fit?
  3. If you're going to apply to St. Andrews, you ought to know that, while getting in will be easier than most top programs, getting a funded position will be damn near impossible as a non-UK/EU citizen, and is about equivalent to an Ivy. I also can't imagine that the outcomes from St. Andrews are all that great. I'd normally recommend you apply to Cambridge instead, but my understanding is that Schaffer is ailing and preparing to retire.
  4. If possible, I would try to find out if there's a difference in outcomes between students going onto the PhD without the thesis and students who continue to the PhD after the thesis. It may be the case that students who write the thesis make their way to better programs. Or it may be the opposite. I don't know.
  5. Okay, now I'm curious. In your view, what's the thesis' purpose?
  6. If you want to continue to the PhD, it is in your best interest to do a MA thesis. The fact that the thesis is "dead" at Villanova is, in my view, very strange.
  7. I partly agree with you. I think the demise of the SLAC has been greatly exaggerated; the oft-quoted figure of "50% of colleges will close in the next 10 years," based on speaking with SLAC faculty and staff, just doesn't seem true. What will happen, IMO, is that colleges with fewer than 1000 students will encounter significant issues. It's tough enough for those colleges to keep the lights on/pay faculty/pensions/etc. as it currently stands. I don't see SLACs, writ large "ceasing to exist as a concept." As for the meat of your post, yes. One of the major reasons I left Wisconsin was the vanishing job market. I couldn't justify 7+ years for a degree with dubious value outside of academia. (Yes, yes, I know about alt-ac jobs, but I have a very strong, probably idiosyncratic belief about the whole "alt-ac" push). I do agree that the job market is bad, and I'd add that students at 90% of programs have no chance at TT academic jobs. Even in the top 10% of programs, you probably have a 50% chance at best. My solution is simple: 75% of all graduate programs should suspend admissions. The remaining 25% should cut intake in half. There's also a more targeted, less brutal way to do this, but it would require having the AHA serve as an accreditation agency.
  8. I can vouch for this. I applied originally as an early modernist, though without Latin. I did, however, have a good background in Greek and an excellent one in French (near fluency). The lack of Latin was still an obstacle, to the extent that somewhere I applied wondered why I wanted to work on early modern science without knowing Latin. Latin is basically a barrier to entry for medieval and early modern programs. I wouldn't advise going somewhere that didn't require it.
  9. To add onto this, just reading an article or two in any given area may completely destroy whatever interest you have. I ever so briefly had an interest in history of chemistry. Two articles cured me of that interest.
  10. All of the approaches put forward are useful, but as I've recommended to @historygeek, I'd strongly encourage a heuristic tool known as IPSO. It's great for teaching undergrads, but you also will see benefit to applying it to your own reading. Issue: What is the issue at hand? Why is the author writing? Position: What is the thesis statement? Who is the author in dialogue with? Support: How is the author using evidence, what sorts of evidence, how does s/he engage with objections, etc.? Outcome: So what? If this argument is correct, what are some possible avenues for further research.
  11. Reading proficiency is the major proficiency that matters, unless you're planning to do interviews. I would only list the languages that are relevant to your project, which you have the highest degree of proficiency in. For example, if Bulgarian is relevant, keep it on. If Russian isn't, then leave it on. It seems to me that French and Russian are probably the most relevant to your intended course of study. Which programs are you intending to apply to? Bluntly speaking, there aren't 10 programs worth attending in most given subfields.
  12. Hey, I try to discourage people! 😀 Wisconsin actually has a shortage of TAs, to the extent that students on fellowship were asked if they wanted to teach last year.
  13. A year of history PhD programs not accepting applicants would be a good thing for the job market and the profession as a whole. Wisconsin welcomed 20+ graduate students this Fall. In view of the job prospects, that's damn near malpractice.
  14. Kantorowicz is very much worth reading, even if you're not a medievalist. Karl Shoemaker has argued that The King's Two Bodies is, in part, a response to the Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt's work. On another note, a bit surprised: no application thread yet!?
  15. What subfield(s) are you interested in?
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