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About AdornosDoorknob

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  • Location
    United States
  • Application Season
    2017 Fall
  • Program
    English Literature

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  1. Hello friends. I am considering which of these two schools to apply to for a PhD in Rhetoric/Composition, and I'm hoping someone can give some input on which might be the better option. I live in the area, and my wife has a really good job in Research Triangle, so we do not want to move too far outside of the Raleigh/Durham area. This limits my choices to either NC State's CRDM (Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media) program or UNC-Greensboro's PhD in Rhetoric and Composition. My career goal is to land a TT job at either a Community College or a SLAC/PUI in the southeast, preferably somewhere in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, or North Carolina (I have an MA and fully understand how lousy the job market is, so please understand that comments telling me how lousy the job market is will not really be helpful in this thread; I am strictly looking for input comparing the two programs). Here are some things I already know about the two programs: 1). UNC-G's stipend is $15,000 in the first year and $20,000 in years 2-4 while State's is only $15,000 through the entire 4 years. However, CRDM only requires PhD students to teach one class of ENG 101 per semester while UNC-G requires 3 sections throughout the year. For CRDM, this perhaps leaves room to adjunct a class per semester at a Community College and thus get a wider range of teaching experience for my CV while making up for the reduced income over UNC-G (or is that a bad idea?). 2). UNC-G currently only has one faculty member specializing in composition. State is short on Composition faculty members as well, but they have considerably more than UNC-G, and Chris Anson is among those at NC State. 3). CRDM at State allows PhD students to design and teach one section of their own upper division course under the supervision of a faculty mentor while in the program. UNC-G only allows PhD students to "Shadow" or "intern" in an upper division class already taught by a faculty mentor. 4). CRDM is interdisciplinary by nature and therefore has Compositionists working alongside Communications scholars, rhetoricians, and even some literature people working in Digital Humanities. Considering this, there is less competition for individual interests, but also a larger pool of interests applying to the program and competing for funded spots. 5). CRDM has had considerably greater luck placing PhD students into TT positions than UNC-G in the last 5 years, though before that they seemed basically in line. In fact, CRDM has a much higher placement rate than a lot of PhD programs, though I assume this is due in part to the fact that it is placing students into Communications and English departments rather than just English. Any further input would be greatly appreciated. Some general questions I have are: 1). is the funding difference alone a good reason to choose UNC-G over State?, 2). should I worry about the interdisciplinary nature (and communication-lean) of CRDM impacting my ability to find a job in an English department?, 3). Is the fact that UNC-G only has one compositionist on faculty at the moment a concern?. 4). What, generally, are the impressions of the two programs in the field? i.e. is one considered to be more selective or more "elite" than the other?
  2. I am currently searching for M.A. and PhD programs, but I am worried that my partner (unmarried) will have a hard time finding a job wherever I end up. If I go to a school in a small college town (think Penn State, UConn, UNC-Chapel Hill, etc.), there will likely not be anywhere for my partner to work outside of the university and the municipal government. Even then, she is not guaranteed to find a job which makes use of her bachelors degree (chemistry, btw). Finding programs which are a good fit is a hard enough task. Finding programs which are a good fit for me and which additionally are in towns which can provide reasonable quality of living for my partner is greatly narrowing my options and causing a lot of extra stress. What have any of you done in this situation? How do you keep yourself and the partner happy? How can I make sure that she finds gainful and fulfilling employment which uses her degree and her skills?
  3. @Bumblebea Yes I am contradicting myself. Thanks for helping me see that. I clearly need to work more on my explanation and approach to that particular project. How do I go about defining my interests in an MA level SoP? Is that as simple as selecting a period, selecting certain authors, or selecting a critical approach? Should I be naming particular theorists and critics who influence my approach? Should I be detailing certain topics in certain periods? For example, would it be adequate to say something like "interested in constructions of southern masculinity and identity as seen in the works of Cormac McCarthy and Faulkner." Or would I need to throw in buzzwords to specify that I will be taking an approach informed by New Historicist and post colonial theorists like Stephen Greenblatt, Jane Tompkins, Spivak, bell hooks, etc.? Anyway, thanks for taking time to engage with me here.
  4. @Bumblebea Thanks for your input on which terms to use to define myself. Those were helpful. How does something like this sound: "post-1945 Americanist studying Southern modernist aesthetics, Southern identity, and male sexuality/masculinity in Southern literature." Your response to my question about studying issues of race, however, was not helpful, and I could use further input there. I'm not planning to "ignore" race. I did not say that in this thread. I said I am not interested in focusing as exclusively on the issues listed as many contemporary established scholars do. In no way do I intend to (nor do I think my post states that I intend to) act as though race has no scholarly bearing or impact on American culture. I'm simply not interested in writing on it exstinsively because I do not believe I have anything useful to add to the conversation in that area. My main question should have read something more like what other lines of inquiry are of interest in american lit studies?
  5. @fmd thanks for the insight. I know, of course, that these areas are unavoidable. Throughout undergrad, my interests have mostly centered on race and male sexuality. I have written on issues of race and male sexuality in southern literature, particularly in Faulkner's fiction. I have also written broadly about race and male sexuality more broadly, primarily in the art of Hemingway and James Baldwin and in modern advertising. In rhet/comp, I have done a been of work on male identity and learning styles in writing center tutorials. So, now that I think about it more explicitly, I would say that most of undergrad has been shaped by those two interests. I enjoy these lines of inquiry, however I am also interested in the larger, more abstract project of defining post-postmodernism. A quick explanation of why I think Southern lit and Southern culture are relevant: if you read John Crowe Ransom and the other agrarians, Faulkner, and people earlier, you see opposition to industrialism, modernism, and capitalist excess. I think those same sentiments are taking hols today. Many counterculture movements today (organic produce, craft beer, focus on local arts, the New Sincerity in television and Fiction, the tinyhouse movement, etc.) seem philosophically identical to the anti-capitalist sentiments of the older South. However, there's also been a rise in overt racism and a reewed push from the black community to engage refor. I think looking back to the post-romantic, pre-modern South can help us understand many cultural shifts occurring in our new metamodern era, good and bad.
  6. Hello folks. How did you pick your area of interest? What areas of interest are getting attention? Which areas are being neglected? I'm wondering what areas of interest exist in English literature studies. I know of some; for instance, I know most people choose to focus on an author, a period, or a location. For those, I am interested in American Southern literature, especially Southern modernist. However, I don't think I am particularly interested in focusing on the more popular contemporary topics of race, class, and gender. If I focus on something outside of those areas, am I less likely to be published or find tenure track positions? Furthermore, in addition to southern literature, I am also interested in studying contemporary literature in order to identify how modern art and culture are moving beyond the postmodern era and to work toward defining how we might view the new era. Are these areas of interest comparable? Not that I think postcolonial, race, class, gender, sexuality, etc. studies are unworthy of study, but I personally am not interested in making them the focus of my academic career. However, when I read faculty research interests, these seem to be ubiquitous. Is it possible to carve out a space for myself in lit studies without dealing exclusively with these issues?
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