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historygeek

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  1. Upvote
    historygeek reacted to MtrlHstryGrl in Should I apply to art history or history programs-- or both?   
    Wow, this is also a very helpful response! Looking at mentors specifically, especially in terms of methodology was what I was originally leaning towards, so I feel a bit validated in that! 
    To address your points, preliminarily: 
    1) As an undergraduate, I was able to take on-site courses in theology and art history that ignited an affinity for church architecture and religious art, as well as interests in patronage, continuity from the ancient to medieval worlds, and the anthropological use of art and architecture. Concurrently, I held an archeological internship that allowed me to handle artifacts and get a better sense of what objects were used in devotion and how, and went on a dig excavating architecture. In my original research piece for my writing sample, I do some art historical analysis of Florentine birth trays to illustrate a point about class stratification and how nobility represented themselves through art. I will also be taking two art history courses this summer and a Visual Culture course in the Fall, so I am hopeful that I can use all of that as a booster. The question about why art history would be the right lens is really helpful, and something I will think about and be sure to include in a SOP!
    2) My dream career is medieval curation at the British Museum. This is not very helpful, but I want to do both academia and museum work. I am very much in love with medieval historical research, but curation is very appealing to me. 
    3) I am mostly interested in relics and reliquaries, architecture, jewelry, and iconography. However, I do want to rely on archaeological records, hagiographies, and documents relating to charters, but I would prefer to use those as supplementary to art and artifacts. 
    This does help me asking questions of my methodology and materials specifically, which I admittedly struggled with. I think that thinking through answering number 3 in particular has led to a bit of an epiphany! Also, thank you for the language exam prep! Perhaps we could set up some sort of study/accountability group. 
  2. Upvote
    historygeek reacted to venusofwillendork in Should I apply to art history or history programs-- or both?   
    Hi @MtrlHstryGrl!  This is a great question.  I have a non-answer for you: look at both.  There are some excellent art history programs who use historical lenses, anthropological and sociological lenses to study cultural artifacts and ideas.  However, there are also a great many that emphasize visual analysis and theory over these lenses, which is probably not the right fit for you.  I would look at both History & Art History -- prioritizing the mentors whose fields and methods/approaches match what you're most interested in studying yourself.  Fit is probably the most important consideration for both of these fields (imo -- others may disagree).
    That said, three things.  1) As a History BA and a History MA, you may appear (in your applications) to lack some of the specific skills relevant to Art History, in doing visual analysis in particular.  You will need to make it clear why art history is the right lens for your research goals (as opposed to history).  You will also need to demonstrate your capacity to do visual and material analysis, and how you have developed that skill alongside (separate from/in addition to) your abilities to do textual and historical analysis.
    2) What is your ultimate career goal?  Museum work? Public history?  Academia?  If academia, what field do you want to teach in?  How will the programs you are considering best prepare you for the field you want to move into next?  It's important to be intentional now about what you want to do next.  If you plan to be a professor of history, an art history degree may not be your best next step.  If you want to work in museums, an art history degree might set you apart.  
    3) What is the material makeup of your research interests?  Are you looking at specific artifacts or architecture?  Archaeological records?  Diaries, texts, and personal entries?  Books of hours, madonnas, relics?  Religious ephemera?  Your thematic goals seem to fit either history or history, but if you have a clear research plan entailing a specific body of material, that might point you towards one or the other.  As in: madonnas, relics, and books of hours might make you lean more firmly towards Art History.  But archaeological records, texts, etc., might trend more so towards History.
    Maybe this makes more questions than it answers!  Ultimately, focusing on the fit -- specifying not only your thematic interests, but also your materials and methodological approach --- will help you narrow down which program is the best place to grow and expand your research.  Best of luck!!
    PS: I saw your other post about language exams, and asked the same thing here -- https://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/122983-prep-for-language-exams/ -- in case the answers there are helpful.  Feel free to PM to exchange ideas too :)
  3. Upvote
    historygeek got a reaction from Procopius in Thank you   
    I just wanted to take the time to thank this forum for all the advice, support, and tough love. Today, I submitted my application to get my teaching certification in the state of Pennsylvania through Drexel University. This isn’t the path that I had envisioned initially, but I think that my talents would work beautifully in a classroom setting. 
     
    For everyone thinking of applying to a PhD: please take the time to examine why you want to get a PhD. I wanted one because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do, and I really enjoyed teaching and the thought of teaching at the university level. A PhD isn’t for everyone and I don’t think that, at least right now, it’s for me. 
  4. Upvote
    historygeek got a reaction from ltr317 in Thank you   
    I just wanted to take the time to thank this forum for all the advice, support, and tough love. Today, I submitted my application to get my teaching certification in the state of Pennsylvania through Drexel University. This isn’t the path that I had envisioned initially, but I think that my talents would work beautifully in a classroom setting. 
     
    For everyone thinking of applying to a PhD: please take the time to examine why you want to get a PhD. I wanted one because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do, and I really enjoyed teaching and the thought of teaching at the university level. A PhD isn’t for everyone and I don’t think that, at least right now, it’s for me. 
  5. Like
    historygeek got a reaction from KTJ in Thank you   
    I just wanted to take the time to thank this forum for all the advice, support, and tough love. Today, I submitted my application to get my teaching certification in the state of Pennsylvania through Drexel University. This isn’t the path that I had envisioned initially, but I think that my talents would work beautifully in a classroom setting. 
     
    For everyone thinking of applying to a PhD: please take the time to examine why you want to get a PhD. I wanted one because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do, and I really enjoyed teaching and the thought of teaching at the university level. A PhD isn’t for everyone and I don’t think that, at least right now, it’s for me. 
  6. Upvote
    historygeek got a reaction from villithorricochets in Post here to get your worries off your chest   
    Worries: Decisions will probably start coming in over the next two weeks. 
    Excitement: Decisions will probably start coming in over the next two weeks. 
  7. Upvote
    historygeek got a reaction from Balleu in Thank you   
    I just wanted to take the time to thank this forum for all the advice, support, and tough love. Today, I submitted my application to get my teaching certification in the state of Pennsylvania through Drexel University. This isn’t the path that I had envisioned initially, but I think that my talents would work beautifully in a classroom setting. 
     
    For everyone thinking of applying to a PhD: please take the time to examine why you want to get a PhD. I wanted one because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do, and I really enjoyed teaching and the thought of teaching at the university level. A PhD isn’t for everyone and I don’t think that, at least right now, it’s for me. 
  8. Like
    historygeek got a reaction from AP in Thank you   
    I just wanted to take the time to thank this forum for all the advice, support, and tough love. Today, I submitted my application to get my teaching certification in the state of Pennsylvania through Drexel University. This isn’t the path that I had envisioned initially, but I think that my talents would work beautifully in a classroom setting. 
     
    For everyone thinking of applying to a PhD: please take the time to examine why you want to get a PhD. I wanted one because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do, and I really enjoyed teaching and the thought of teaching at the university level. A PhD isn’t for everyone and I don’t think that, at least right now, it’s for me. 
  9. Upvote
    historygeek got a reaction from psstein in Thank you   
    I just wanted to take the time to thank this forum for all the advice, support, and tough love. Today, I submitted my application to get my teaching certification in the state of Pennsylvania through Drexel University. This isn’t the path that I had envisioned initially, but I think that my talents would work beautifully in a classroom setting. 
     
    For everyone thinking of applying to a PhD: please take the time to examine why you want to get a PhD. I wanted one because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do, and I really enjoyed teaching and the thought of teaching at the university level. A PhD isn’t for everyone and I don’t think that, at least right now, it’s for me. 
  10. Like
    historygeek got a reaction from senorbrightside in Thank you   
    I just wanted to take the time to thank this forum for all the advice, support, and tough love. Today, I submitted my application to get my teaching certification in the state of Pennsylvania through Drexel University. This isn’t the path that I had envisioned initially, but I think that my talents would work beautifully in a classroom setting. 
     
    For everyone thinking of applying to a PhD: please take the time to examine why you want to get a PhD. I wanted one because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do, and I really enjoyed teaching and the thought of teaching at the university level. A PhD isn’t for everyone and I don’t think that, at least right now, it’s for me. 
  11. Upvote
    historygeek got a reaction from Pierre de Olivi in Thank you   
    I just wanted to take the time to thank this forum for all the advice, support, and tough love. Today, I submitted my application to get my teaching certification in the state of Pennsylvania through Drexel University. This isn’t the path that I had envisioned initially, but I think that my talents would work beautifully in a classroom setting. 
     
    For everyone thinking of applying to a PhD: please take the time to examine why you want to get a PhD. I wanted one because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do, and I really enjoyed teaching and the thought of teaching at the university level. A PhD isn’t for everyone and I don’t think that, at least right now, it’s for me. 
  12. Like
    historygeek got a reaction from historyofsloths in Thank you   
    I just wanted to take the time to thank this forum for all the advice, support, and tough love. Today, I submitted my application to get my teaching certification in the state of Pennsylvania through Drexel University. This isn’t the path that I had envisioned initially, but I think that my talents would work beautifully in a classroom setting. 
     
    For everyone thinking of applying to a PhD: please take the time to examine why you want to get a PhD. I wanted one because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do, and I really enjoyed teaching and the thought of teaching at the university level. A PhD isn’t for everyone and I don’t think that, at least right now, it’s for me. 
  13. Upvote
    historygeek reacted to TMP in Where should I look?   
    What exactly is your end goal with the PhD, first of all? What kind of jobs do you want?
    Do look into European history more generally and find folks interested in material culture and culture of memory.  There are a LOT of them out there.  Then find programs that have a "minor" field in Public History. 
  14. Upvote
    historygeek reacted to MtrlHstryGrl in Where should I look?   
    Hello everyone! A cohort-mate of mine recommended this forum because of my interest in a History PhD program. I'm about to start my second semester of my master's degree, specializing in European and public history. I have a slightly below average master's GPA that I hope to raise this coming semester and about average GRE scores, but I have had language training in Latin, French, and Italian and I've been working on German independently. I conducted independent research as an undergrad and will be pursuing more original research this summer, hopefully through a research funding grant. 
    Broadly, my interests are in how people use and have used historical places and objects in order to connect with the past. Over the summer, I will be researching this in the context of Rome and Athens. I am also interested in material and popular culture and consumption, gender, everyday life, and wartime in Europe and America during the twentieth century and I am thinking of ways that I can synthesize my interests. I am hoping that my research over the summer and my courses this semester will help me get a more focused idea of what I want to work on. 
    Right now, these are the programs that I am interested in and the people that I am interested in working with:
    Temple (Lowe, Bruggeman)  Loyola of Chicago (Fraterrigo, Gorn)  University of Massachusetts - Amherst (Olsen, Glassberg)  University of New England (Zuelow, De Wolfe) It is not a very long list at the moment, but I would appreciate any suggestions that you would be willing to give! I hope to continue doing public history-related research as a career, but am also heavily interested in preservation and museum work. 
  15. Upvote
    historygeek reacted to TMP in History vs Area Studies   
    It is true... but the most important thing about "Area Studies" PhD programs is to look at the placement record of the program AND the adviser.
  16. Upvote
    historygeek reacted to ashiepoo72 in GPA woes   
    Hard to say, @historygeek, most programs claim 3.0 GPA is the minimum for acceptance but a 3.33 is rather low for an MA GPA. Will you be able to take enough classes to raise it above a 3.5? A B or B+ isn't a necessarily a death knell (anecdotal, but I received a B early in my MA program and did alright).  It's all about how you make up for it, like getting excellent grades from here on out, fantastic original research/writing, shoring up language skills, killing it on the GRE, securing top-notch recommenders, etc
  17. Upvote
    historygeek reacted to AP in Considering leaving the academic realm   
    I was going to add: something that nobody tells you but we all go through is that grad school is a learning experience. The whole point is to experiment with what you like or don’t like. This is the time to think about your future. Every step of the way, we should be asking: “Does this serve what I want to do the rest of my life?” 
     
    Congratulations on asking these questions early on and carving your own path!
  18. Upvote
    historygeek got a reaction from AP in Considering leaving the academic realm   
    Thanks, everyone! I appreciate all the advice and guidance.
    I decided to switch into a Public History Practicum course next semester, which I'm excited about, and may be adding a second concentration in public history. I will also be helping to organize a Public History Community Forum at Temple this coming spring! I've added a couple of programs to my potential list to kind of veer towards other paths (MLIS, namely, but a couple of education as well). 
  19. Like
    historygeek reacted to ashiepoo72 in Considering leaving the academic realm   
    I was just talking to a prospective graduate student about a similar dilemma. My advice was to consider the sacrifices you'd have to make to get the PhD versus the benefits. If you're already drawn to a different career, then it seems to me like the sacrifices would be too much to justify it. Getting the PhD can be brutal at times, you'd have to do coursework regardless of having an MA so that's another 5-7 years before you finish, then getting a job is even more brutal. One of my committee members always reminds me that the workload only increases once you're on the tenure track (IF you ever get on TT). Many of my colleagues put kids, marriage, even dating on hold (if this sounds like something you'd do, is it worth it to get the PhD? Now that I'm 31, I've started stressing about it myself, and I'm in love with teaching and research!), and those that didn't are working hard to factor their families into their job searches (limiting themselves geographically and not having much luck because of it, giving up the dream of TT and going private sector/adjuncting, etc).
    The good thing is a history MA goes nicely with your current interests. You could look into MAs in museum studies and/or library sciences (I have a friend who went the museum studies route and received funding, I can contact her if you'd like), more interning or working at a library or museum, take a few years and reassess. You may find you miss history and really want to go back to grad school, at which point you can apply to PhD programs, or you'll realize you made the right choice and be well on your way to having a different career that you love.
    I want to echo that you're not a failure at all. This is your life and career, and it's fantastic that you take it seriously enough to be honest with yourself about how your interests have changed. Some of the smartest, most competent people I've met left the program after comps because they had enough self-awareness to know it wasn't for them. Good luck ❤️
  20. Upvote
    historygeek reacted to psstein in Considering leaving the academic realm   
    No, you are not a failure for leaving academia or questioning your future in academia. The "non-academic = failure" thought process and belief system needs to be burned to the ground and the earth underneath salted. In today's academic job market, many people with excellent pedigrees and award-winning books have trouble finding non-contingent academic employment. Many of them leave academia. They are not failures. 
    I did the exact same thing in full knowledge that a) I didn't want to spend more time in my program, b) the "alt-ac" thing is a total fucking farce, and c) I had grown to hate my particular field, plus the one I had the most interest in is practically dead. I don't consider myself a failure. I think leaving my program after the MA was one of the best things I've ever done.
    If you really love teaching, perhaps you should see what your state's (e.g. PA) educational license requirements look like.
     
  21. Upvote
    historygeek got a reaction from psstein in Considering leaving the academic realm   
    Hey, everyone! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and an early, joyous Kwanzaa! 
    I've just completed my first semester of grad school, and have been taking some time to reflect on what I want and where I want to go after graduation. While I originally thought that I want to be an academic, I'm starting to feel like my career interests are more oriented towards public history or librarianship. I have a job in my school's distinctive collections, which I absolutely love, and am looking to build on my previous museum experience through internships. I also have realized how much I love teaching. While I love historical research, I'm not certain that academia is the path for me right now (not to mention the current state of the job market). 
    I guess I'm kind of looking for validation, but mostly advice. What should my next steps be? Am I a complete failure for giving up on academia?
  22. Upvote
    historygeek reacted to TMP in Considering leaving the academic realm   
    First of all, as some in the circles have said, including The Professor Is In (look her up), there is no failure, only success whether you stay or leave academia.
    Second, congratulations on surviving your first semester of grad school!  I remember-- both in MA and PhD- finishing felt like pulling teeth. I was so exhausted and wondered if i would make through the next one or, even wonder if I wanted to finish the degree!  Questioning oneself and choices is extremely common among graduate students (and new professors!) after finishing a semester, particularly a challenging one. Deciding what you ultimately want to do takes time. You'll want to have the MA for any history position anyway.
    If you aren't sure if the PhD is for you, take the thesis option and see how it goes. Do some research on what public historians and librarians have done to get their jobs though I suspect a good part is having both a graduate history degree and network connections. You have plenty of time-- consider taking time off after the MA . to see if you miss the intellectual energy of a research program.
    Meantime, give yourself a real break from all of this if you haven't
  23. Upvote
    historygeek reacted to AfricanusCrowther in Considering leaving the academic realm   
    Belt: https://theprofessorisin.com/its-ok-to-quit/
    Suspenders: https://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/tburke1/gradschool.html
  24. Upvote
    historygeek reacted to wluhist16 in 2020 application thread   
    Hi - Current ABD student here. I've seen a lot of posts about women/gender history. Just want to shamelessly plug that there are programs that offer joint-degrees or minor certificates in WGSS. I'm currently in the dual-PhD program in WGSS and History.  I came for the history program, which hovers around #25 in rank, but found that the WGSS program is much higher-ranked and regarded, leading to more open doors. From personal experience, working in multiple departments offers more funding/teaching opportunities (I'm at instructor of record in the WGSS dep) and works to your advantage on the job market. 
    Plus, theory and methods classes are often weak in history departments and interdisciplinary work at any level of formality can help to strengthen your work. 
    alright, soapbox done! PM me if you have any questions, your work sounds like it would relate to people in my department!
  25. Upvote
    historygeek reacted to ashiepoo72 in 2020 application thread   
    Hello all, just dropping in to send you good vibes as deadlines approach! If anyone has questions about UC Davis, feel free to PM me  
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