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gnossienne n.3

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About gnossienne n.3

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    Espresso Shot

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  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Medieval History

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  1. From the original post: This is not a thread about completing a terminal MA in order to improve a later application to a PhD. OP was specifically asking about misleading their institution by accepting a position at a PhD program with the full knowledge that they plan to leave in a few years in order to maximize job prospects at a "better" school. The potential for this to backfire is immense. While there may be cases of someone successfully pulling this off, it's not exactly behavior to be emulated.
  2. This depends on when you're moving, but very frequently there's an office in charge of offloading the stuff left behind by students from the previous year. My undergrad college held a few garage-type sales in the summer, and that was mostly stuff left by undergrads living in dorms. You can reach out to the graduate school and find out if there's something similar, or if they can put you in touch with people looking to get rid of their belongings before they move away. It's a good way to pick up things like microwaves, desks, lamps, etc. for cheap.
  3. My advice would be to negotiate. It is expected and it will not reflect badly on you to ask whether they can match the other school's offer. You don't need to justify your request, if matching is all that you're after, especially since you're asking for a relatively small increase. If it helps, however, think of the $2k as the difference between attending conferences or not, traveling for research or not, having an emergency fund or not, maybe even saving for retirement or not. If this is a doctoral program, it's not just $2k, it's at least $10k over five years. Adjust for cost of living between the two institutions, if School B is cheaper. Does that difference come to as much as $4k for the same quality of life? These are all things to consider. Just because you can live on less doesn't mean you shouldn't ask for more if you have a better offer from a comparable program. You don't want to come short down the road due to unforeseen circumstances and find that the $2k would have made a difference, only you never asked.
  4. I would say (and this is quite a simplification) that you shouldn't worry about an HoS degree from Harvard bogging you down further down the line. The fact that it's Harvard will outweigh any reservations search committees might have about hiring a historian with a degree in HoS instead of a historian with a degree in plain ol' history. Most HoS doctorates find employment in history departments anyway, since history of science departments are so rare. The questions I would ask are whether you will be able to study your chosen period and region with enough specificity within the structure of the program and whether there are enough faculty with enough clout to supervise your dissertation and support you in the job search when the time comes. The other schools you have to choose between are excellent options. Visit each if you can, weigh your financial offers, negotiate for more funding if you feel you need to, and make decisions from there!
  5. Princeton's HoS is a standalone degree within the History department. It's not a standalone department, though it has a separate application process from the History PhD. The relationship between the departments is sort of moot, given they are in fact the same department. For what it's worth, Cambridge is significantly stronger than Oxford for HoS, in terms of both name recognition and topic coverage. You'll know your interests and presumably have weighed the programs against those yourself, but Cambridge is known for HoS in ways that Oxford is not.
  6. I'm personally trying not to dread moving there any more than I am already.
  7. Use this link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10XIYhIw4fCbUend2WkA3iujfftu9TrXwR-YKcgr3JKo/edit#gid=693576939 DO NOT detach or unlink from Drive, as this will result in altering the permissions for the document and revoking public access to the file.
  8. That is absolutely enough to live on. Cost of living in New York is high, but that stipend is scaled appropriately. You'll have to be careful with your finances, and you may want to sit down with an accountant to be sure you have a handle on what your taxes will be in your first year, but if you manage to keep your rent and utilities below $1000 a month you will be fine. If you're willing to live with at least one other person, it's easier to do that than you think, even if you choose to leave Columbia's subsidized apartments. If Columbia offers commuter benefits, then you can sign up for a monthly unlimited ride Metrocard for $117 which will be deducted from your stipend/salary on a monthly basis, pre-taxes. If they don't offer commuter benefits (which they might not, depending on how the stipend is disbursed), then a monthly unlimited Metrocard is $121. This kind of Metrocard can be used for public buses as well as the subway, but not the PATH, AirTrain, or express buses. I wouldn't count on commuter benefits from Columbia given how resistant they've been to treating their grad students as employees. In my opinion, however, the unlimited Metrocard is worth it just for the freedom of movement it grants you--if you plan on making on average at least two rides a day in a given 30 day period, that would amount to $165 if paying per ride, versus the unlimited Metrocard sticker price of $121. It's a great deal, and I highly recommend signing up for it even if Columbia doesn't offer commuter benefits. You can also check out the other Metrocard options here. I agree with @TMP about groceries. I try to keep my grocery bills as low as possible, and do the vast majority of my cooking myself, but my grocery budget is closer to $250/month. That said, I could eat much cheaper than that if I were willing to subsist without as many fresh veggies/fruit and gave up the very occasional meal out completely. But I don't recommend it! If you have specific questions about living in New York, feel free to ask here or PM me! It's a great city--and I say that as someone who never wanted to live here.
  9. Great idea! Thanks for setting up this thread. I work on medieval medicine and technology, with an emphasis on material culture. I applied almost exclusively to History programs. This my second application cycle for PhD programs, but my third application cycle total. I applied and was accepted to some fantastic MA programs in the UK and Ireland year after year, and every time made the decision not to go into debt for a terminal degree in the humanities, even though MAs are increasingly viewed as a prerequisite for medievalists. Last year I only applied to four PhD programs, and was waitlisted at my first choice institution. This year I applied more widely, to eight PhD programs and to three MA programs in medieval history and medieval studies (two of which had accepted me in previous application cycles). Of these, only one was a History of Science program (at Princeton). That program is part of their History program, so technically the degree is in History and not History of Science, but the program has an independent application process. I also applied to two Medieval Studies PhD programs. I chose only to apply to top institutions within my field, broadly defined as medieval history rather than history of science, but I made sure to look for faculty coverage in both fields. Between last year's application cycle and this year I've learned a lot of indefinable things about how to define and articulate fit. My first choice from last year slipped in the rankings, and an institution I didn't even apply to last year became my first choice instead, based on some faculty changes and a little more digging on my part. When trying to identify whether institutions could provide supervision of my present research interests, I would scour department pages and faculty profiles looking for at least two but preferably three or more professors who matched at least three of the following: subfield (history of science/medicine/experimentation; medieval material culture; food studies) period (high and late medieval, but (very) early modern was acceptable if in HoS. If the HoS person did early modern then I looked for at least one medievalist who worked on the same region with a similar methodology) region (Complicated. I'm interested in the Arabic to Latin translation of medical texts and the dissemination of medical theory in Europe, so there were few people who couldn't conceivably work with me in terms of regional specialization. I gravitated towards medieval Mediterranean PoIs, although my work to date has been on English and French sources.) methodology/"type" of history (social and intellectual history, sort of) Most HoS programs just couldn't cut it in terms of faculty coverage. In 5-7 years, I intend to interview for faculty positions as a medievalist first, and historian of science second. It would make absolutely no sense to sacrifice very necessary, period-specific training in favor of a HoS degree. Hence applying to History and Medieval Studies programs instead, sometimes even at institutions that had standalone HoS programs (such as Harvard). For just about every institution I applied to, I had either email correspondence with multiple PoIs, or email in addition to Skype interviews. I did my best to make it clear during these exchanges why I was reaching out to these professors, explaining how I see their work relating to mine and referencing the above criteria. The conversations were always fruitful and often resulted in recommendations of other professors to reach out to within the institution, who resided in other departments but had affiliations with History and overlapping research interests with my own. This helped give me a better sense of the resources available at a given institution, the relationships between departments, and how many people I might be able to work with should disaster strike and my advisor depart partway through my program. I looked very closely at placement and attrition records where available, and asked if they were not to be found on a public page. "Best" is highly variable, but once you define your personal cutoff for acceptable programs in terms of placement and field specialization, fit becomes the biggest factor. I've just been accepted to my top PhD program with five years of guaranteed funding (not contingent on teaching!), and a sixth year postdoc with a higher stipend if I complete my dissertation within five years. Pretty damn thrilled!
  10. May I suggest that you elaborate in one of the other threads? Just so that this one remains easy to use for the intended purpose.
  11. I'm not sure if this is true for others, but I've made edits that aren't showing up when I follow that link. Is it possible to share as a Google Sheet so it opens in the editable format? According to some quick googling, if the privacy setting is "anyone with a link can edit" everyone should show up as an anonymous animal (rather than displaying one's gmail).
  12. Could you recreate the spreadsheet and make it public, perhaps with a temporary gmail account?
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