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Sumner224

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Posts posted by Sumner224


  1. Hey all, longtime lurker here intending to apply to grad programs. I've appreciated much of the advice on this forum, so I'm hoping someone can lend me some advice on emailing grad students. 

    I personally know one grad student at a university in which I'm interested and have already reached out to that person. While this seemed normal given that I am already acquainted with that person, I feel more hesitant to cold email grad students at other universities whose programs I would really love more info on/insight into. So, this is all to ask: are most grad students open to cold emails like this? If so, are there any specific questions that you'd recommend asking? 


  2. 47 minutes ago, deltablue said:

    It may make more sense to think about your potential research along the lines of subject instead of region. Are you interested in antebellum political culture? The Civil War and Reconstruction? Slavery and Emancipation? Populism and the New South? Gender and Jim Crow?

    Either way, the top programs for southern history are going to be Yale and UNC. Yale is the house C. Vann Woodward built and has Glenda Gilmore and David Blight. UNC is basically the epicenter of all things southern studies related and has top tier folks in every subfield.

    The next tier is going to be the University of Georgia and the University of South Carolina. UGA students do pretty well with regard to competing for the C. Vann Woodward Dissertation Prize. 

    UVA would be ok if you were more interested in the 20 century South. Since Ed Ayers left I wouldn't suggest choosing them for 19th century topics unless you are a Civil War person.

    Honestly, I would suggest choosing the University of Mississippi before Kentucky or UT. Even if you have a burning desire to work on a topic related to one of those two states, the best move would be to go to a grad program with more resources and higher profile scholars and then conduct your archival research in one of those states.

    Thanks for the info. Yale has always been my top choice anyway, but obviously it wouldn't be the best bet to only apply there. UNC and UGA were definitely on my radar too, but I hadn't thought of USC. 

    In terms of subject, I'm looking mainly for CW/R and slavery/emancipation, which is why UVA seemed appealing. I remember hearing from a few sources that UK was pretty solid in Southern history too and I do know they have Amy Murrell Taylor and Mark Summers, but I couldn't find much reference to Kentucky on this forum so I thought I'd ask for opinions.


  3. 37 minutes ago, VladL said:

    Thanks! Hope to work with Maria Todorova, whom I singled out as a potential supervisor in my SoP. Also mentioned Hitchins, Randolph, Steinberg, and Cuno; they were all cc'd in the e-mail I got from DGS. 

    Sounds like a good lineup. If you do come and get to work a bit with Randolph, I can tell you from personal experience that he's easily one of the most dedicated and down-to-Earth advisors that I know. 

    Good luck on your other applications too!


  4. 2 hours ago, VladL said:

    Hi, everyone. I've (compulsively) followed this thread for weeks now and wanted to thank you for invaluable advice and suggestions. Received my first acceptance yesterday afternoon - Illinois@Urbana-Champaign, Eastern European History, modern intellectual/19th-century Balkans. Shell-shocked. No prior experience with American academia whatsoever;  gonna celebrate for a while and then start digging... :D

    Still waiting to hear from five other programs in the US. The best of luck with your applications! 

    Congratulations! If you don't mind me asking, who were you looking to work with at UIUC?


  5. Hi all! I'm interested in the 19th century American South, particularly the Border South/Upper South (i.e. Kentucky, Missouri, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, etc.) and I'm wondering if anybody has any recommendations for the best graduate programs in that field? I'd be especially interested to hear opinions on UVA, University of Kentucky, and Tennessee-Knoxville, but am open to any and all recommendations.


  6. Hey, everyone! I'm new to the forum and am interested in PhD programs for Southern history. I already know of several of the best programs in the field, but I'm wondering what kind of reputation the University of Kentucky has? I've heard from a few people that it has one of the strongest programs in Southern history - specifically Upper/Border South - but I haven't found much info on it here and UK never seems to pop up as a recommendation when other people on the forum ask about the top departments for Southern history.

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