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punctilious last won the day on February 26 2018

punctilious had the most liked content!


About punctilious

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  • Location
    Cambridge, MA
  • Interests
    Postmodern/Contemporary U.S. Literature | Material Culture | Thing Theory | Pynchon, Wallace, Franzen, Barth, DeLillo, Nabokov, Egan
  • Application Season
    Already Attending
  • Program
    English PhD, Harvard University

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  1. The spreadsheet I created has already been linked above, but I've been doing a lot of projects in Airtable lately. I highly recommend it, and will probably rebuild my spreadsheet and other resources in there. It's a lot prettier and more flexible than Google Sheets or Excel.
  2. Yup. And we are hoping to end up with Europe, so thank you @Warelin for that follow up question. So yes, we are hoping the name carries us!
  3. Thank you so much for your advice. Unfortunately, we are hitting a bit of a spot where the professors most invested have been denied tenure or are still tenure-track, which is not ideal. And the others are inaccessible/flighty despite their similar research interests but tenured, or big names and somewhat helpful/accessible with similar interests but less invested. It's not easy!
  4. What has the timeline looked like for you for conference presentations? And publishing articles? Also, when and how did you choose your dissertation committee? These are the questions are are coming up against now that husband is in his second year and looking to publish an article and present at a conference.
  5. Nothing can predict whether you will get into a school. It is possible that some schools have a GRE cutoff, but there are none I can think of that do. I believe some schools are also moving away from using the GRE. Your application is a full package, and the GRE is only a small part of it. You should spend your energy on really perfecting your writing sample(s) and SOPs. But, if you have the expendable income and want to retake them, go for it.
  6. I think it is a good idea to ideally mention 2+ professors, and ideally they would be a mix of assistant/associate or tenured professors. I say this because it seems to me that assistant/associate professors may often be serving on an admissions committee and get to look at applications. I'm theorizing, but pretty sure that the likes of Bill Brown at UChicago or Henry Louis Gates Jr. at Harvard are not reading through applications. If you're lucky enough to have one of your POIs on the admissions committee and they see that you want to work with them, then they would probably vouch for your application if they like it, especially if they're trying to get tenure. This could be wrong, but I'm 82% sure it worked that way for husband's Harvard admission. That being said, do not put all your eggs in one basket. If you can only see yourself working with one professor, that will probably not go well for you for numerous reasons. 1) That professor may not receive tenure. 2) That professor may retire. 3) That professor may move to a different institution. 4) That professor may have a working style or method that conflicts with yours. 5) Your interests may change. Not to mention they may not be on the admissions committee in the first place or the school may be looking for students in a particular period/field, etc. So, my advice is to identify at least two, ideally three professors who are not all assistant/associate and also not all heavy-hitters and who you could see yourself working with, then directly reference them in your SOP.
  7. Your professors are being honest, which is good. The job market is that bad. So you have to acknowledge and confront that fact head-on. If you understand that and still want to spend the next 5+ years in an English PhD program, despite the low wages and minimal job opportunities, you are ultimately the only person who can decide what you want to do with your life. I don't recommend going into it if you aren't totally sure it is what you want. It's not a decision to be taken lightly. It's a massive undertaking for very possibly little gain in terms of career. If you would be happy outside of academia, I recommend exploring those options.
  8. I think you should include it. Husband included his publication in our university's undergrad history journal and I'm sure that's not peer reviewed.
  9. My husband (and I, but that's not really relevant) went to a public school. Don't let that affect your application process or limit you!
  10. Interesting info regarding the incoming Harvard cohort: 1/3 have a BA only, whereas 2/3 have an MA BAs from Tufts, McGill, Princeton, Cornell, Barnard, Kenyon, Cambridge, Columbia, Bristol MAs are from McGill, Oxford, Georgetown, NYU, and Yale I find this intriguing as I feel it has often been said that you're less likely to get into an Ivy if you have an MA, but clearly that is not the case. And though many of these schools are Ivy equivalents, not all (or even most) are Ivies.
  11. Harvard has the same, and it basically seems like an excuse to allow a ton of undergrads to show up for a week to classes they probably shouldn't be in lol.
  12. I wouldn't consider this trolling. I think it is extremely important for us to continuously confront and recognize the state of the job market and demand that institutions are honest, upfront, detailed, and transparent about their TT placement rates.
  13. All the more reason not to spend tens of thousands on a master's degree that has no guarantee of getting you into a PhD program. You may be happy with your choice, and that's totally valid, but others here should not feel that they need to go into debt for the MAPH (or any other unfunded MA) and that a gap year (or more) isn't valuable. It absolutely can be and I truly don't think any adcomm would look down upon taking time between your degrees to do other things.
  14. I think this is a bit unfair. Husband took two years between undergrad and his PhD to work a non-academic job and, yes, read and write. He chose not to attend any of the MA programs he got into during that time (Trinity College Dublin, Edinburgh, and Cambridge) because they didn't provide funding. I think it is absolutely helpful that he took the time to read, refine his research interests, and write (getting some book review & short story publications). I do not think whatsoever that it "didn't look good" on his CV, and instead of spending a ton of money on an MA, we saved money and he's now at Harvard for his PhD...
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