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    Sociocultural history of pre-industrial East-central Europe. West Slavic literature and culture.
  • Application Season
    2018 Fall
  • Program
    Eastern European History

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  1. @khigh James Tracy has retired. Who else do you have in mind as your potential supervisor?
  2. Canadian MA Programs

    U of T has a huge and renowned history program. You may want to work with Carol Chin or Ronald Pruessen depending on which exact period (before or after WWII) you are focusing on. Given the Asianization of Vancouver, UBC has a great number of Asian Studies scholars, and literally one-third of the History faculty members specialize in some aspect of Asia. Maybe Jessica Wang best suits your purpose. Though she is an Americanist by training, she has written and supervised theses on the topic of US-Chinese/Asian relations. If your interest is in the Cold War / Communist period, you cannot miss Lorenz Lüthi at McGill.
  3. Canadian MA Programs

    Welcome to Canada! In terms of the admission requirement, unlike the US schools, the GPA cut-off for MA and PhD is set and spelled out on the department website in Canada. Most schools ask for 3.3, and some for 3.5 (Alberta and UBC), for the last two or one year average (if you are currently in your Senior year, it could mean THIS YEAR). McGill needs a CGPA of 3.3 though. The actual people who get the offer may have higher (or lower, in some cases) GPAs, but the numbers at least give you a sense of where you are and help you decide if you should apply. Generally speaking, admission wise, MA is way easier than PhD, and Canadian schools is easier than the US top universities. How safe it will be to get in a MA? I don't know, but not quite hard. If you are qualified for any top 30 PhD program in the US, you will be far more qualified for any Canadian MA. In your situation, if you did well in you Junior and Senior years and your Major classes, you would be fine. In fact, Toronto allows students with a 3.7 CGPA in their undergrad to apply directly to the PhD program. You may try that. Reputation wise, from my personal experiences, professors in the US schools look very high on the top 3 Canadian universities (though the East Coast knows more about McGill, and the West Coast is more fond of UBC). They belong to the first-tier in the US standard, and they will not hurt but boost your chance later. North American academia to my mind is one whole, and many Canadian professors got their PhDs from the US, and some US got theirs from Canada (especially from Toronto on Medieval History). Besides the three top schools, you may also look at Alberta, Queens and York, which are also very prestigious and well known in the academia. McMaster, UWO and Dalhousie also have great people and you can give a look. Nevertheless, it also depends on your specific field/time period/approach within American History and who you want to work with in these schools. A star supervisor is more important than a big-name university. What's your research interests?
  4. Medieval Applicants (2018)

    Bedos-Rezak I bet? Honestly, NYU (and NYC) is not an ideal place for premodernists. The number of premodern faculty is like 4.75 out of 55 across the department, and even fewer for graduate students.....
  5. I had a similar experience back in August. I really like a professor tenured in a non-history department, but she is also an affiliated (rather than jointly appointed) professor in History. I asked the history DGS if she could serve as my supervisor or co-supervisor. The answer was an absolute NO: The affiliated professors could be field examiners or dissertation committee members, but the supervisor(s) must come from the core faculty in History. Then I went to a history core professor who shares topical and temporal interests with me but not geographical. I mentioned that the other professor could help with the languages and the geographical region, but he still declined to take me. I talked with that non-history professor later in person, and she said she could do nothing about it. And I don't feel like applying to the PhD program of her host department. Therefore, I've completely given up on that university. The policy may vary from school to school though.
  6. Career Plan in PS

    A quick question, pardon me if it has been raised before, do you mention your post-degree career options or future plans in the personal statement for PhD application?
  7. Fall 2018 Applicants

    @Sigaba Thank you for the informative and useful guide!It's getting real! Just one point confuses me. Why do you say "focusing less on the POIs?" I know it is probably the time to expand to a pan-departmental view, but maintaining a solid relationship with the POIs are not still essential? In my case, most of my POIs have interviewed me, agreed to take me, guided me through the application process, given invaluable suggestions on my SoPs and writing samples, and will probably argue for me in the admission committees. I got a feeling that each active senior professor has one or two applicants in his/her mind, and all professors in each general field will gather and discuss whose nominees will get the few final spots. So I have to rely on the POIs a lot in the admission as well as in the future because they will become my colleagues of the same field no matter which school I end up going. If I find they are disinterested in graduate students, don't like me or don't reply me, I will not even bother applying.
  8. Fall 2018 Applicants

    Not necessarily, and not sufficiently. What questions to ask and what perspectives to focus on are more crucial than what kinds of source to use. The prehistoric era could be, should be and will be as important as the historical era, for (future) historians, I think.
  9. As you have heard, graduate school applications have been decreasing in number every year in all arts and humanities disciplines. I just looked at some history programs with open statistics and saw a significant drop of PhD applicants in the last three years (20%-40%) (Michigan seems to be an outlier). Is this happening in all schools, and will the number keep going down? what would you predict for the 2018 cycle?
  10. Is it normal and totally fine to reveal to your POI where/who else you are applying to? There is no taboo about it right?
  11. Do you save old papers?

    Build on OP's question, have you tried or thought about elaborating, developing or incorporating your past and recent seminar papers into your future research or publications, especially if they are irrelevant to your field or dissertation topic?
  12. Fall 2018 Applicants

    @AP but aren't 90% of them Hispanists? I think East Asian history is a bit different since China, Korea and Japan are very distinct in terms of culture, history and language. And the relation is not reciprocal. Koreanists have a better chance understanding Chinese (and Japanese) historiographies and languages but not the other way around. Most Sinologists would choose Japanese over Korean as the second research language. Same in the field of Eastern European History. Russianists know less about the rest of Eastern Europe than Polonists, Bohemists, Slovakists, Ukranianists and Balticists know about Russia. That's why if an Eastern Europeanist does not say which specific cultural/ethic groups he specializes in, it probably means he only studies Russian history. And if he doesn't say he studies Seberia or South Caucasia, it probably means he only focuses on the Russian heartland.
  13. Fall 2018 Applicants

    I believe you already have Charles Armstrong (Columbia), Kyu Hyun Kim (UC Davis), Todd Henry (UCSD), Charles Kim (Wisconsin), Yumi Moon (Stanford), Eugene Park (Penn) (He does supervise History PhDs) and Bruce Cumings (why not stay?) on your list. All of them have a pan-East Asian or global perspective/training. For those who reside in EALC, you can manage to find a way, by co-advising, i.e. a Modern East Asian Professor in History + a Korean History Specialist in EALC. For example, R. Bin Wong + Namhee Lee (UCLA), Scott O'Bryan + Michael Robinson (Indiana), and Sheldon Garon + Steven Chung (Princeton). Or, you can head north. Have you checked out Steven Hugh Lee (UBC) and Carl F. Young (UWO)? They are very Korean and also very international. Generally speaking, as you have said, you can always do East Asia in History, but you cannot do global history in EALC. And people nowadays would prefer a disciplined training background to a regional studies PhD. Unless you do literature and culture (and film), regional studies should not be your first consideration.
  14. Short Name vs Long Name

    I think I'm encountering another problem here. What if all of my professors, POIs and academic friends know me by my social/professional name, but I guess I have to write down my full legal (and unrelated and never used in my case) name in the application form. Would it lead to a naming mismatch in the admission committee discussion? Or can I note my preferred name somewhere or maybe clarify it in my SoP? Should I tell my letter writers to use my full legal name instead?
  15. Being (possibly) younger than peers

    Speaking not from personal experiences. As a non-modernist, my only interest in the modern era is on the history of historians. I have looked at the biographical history of hundred professors and I would say that if you could get tenured by 40 and full professorship by 50, you would be one of the most successful/youngest historians in the department. That leads to 33/34 for entering a TT job and minus a few years of post doc and visiting professorship, 31 would be a fairly young age for PhD conferrel and 25/26 for starting your PhD. Since you are only 19(?), you will be way ahead of your peers even if you take a few gap years. I have a feeling that youngness is not particularly welcomed in PhD admission as well as in academia. And many male professors intentionally keep their beards to appear older and perhaps more "trustable." LOL Unlike sciencists and mathematicians (and perhaps social scientists) who can be born genius, humanities scholars need a lot of time to mature and ferment. Yes, life experiences matter. That being said, however, the renowned 20th century medievalist Charles Homer Haskins got his PhD at 19 years old. East European historian Timothy Snyder got his at 26 and published the first book at 28. And Jewish historian Michael Brenner became a full professor at 33.