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merry night wanderer

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About merry night wanderer

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    Decaf

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  • Location
    New Orleans
  • Program
    English Lit: British Romanticism

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  1. Your icon! Hyperion is my favorite scifi novel. (Which, well... Romanticist! ButJohn Keats as an android isn't the only reason.)
  2. Hi everyone - having mulled this idea over for years, the time has finally arrived to join the applicants thread! Happy to meet you all (and to have finally decided to do this - my friends and family are relieved that I've finally decided to do the thing they've known I was going to do for years). I'm a British Romanticist a year out from a MFA in Fiction, in my thirties, currently freelancing and traveling as well as finishing a manuscript. I'm in the weeds of a huge critical review to try to see where my place is in the period's present state of scholarship and hone down my interests. My interests right now are allegory, the ethics of the sublime, and comparing philosophy of mind and consciousness studies with the Romantic project. They need some reigning in, to say the least. I've decided not to use any of my lit papers as samples since my best work was on Wilde, Pater, and Arnold and not my time period/focus, so I will probably try to submit that as some kind of paper somewhere, and, I don't know, try to write something new about Shelley or Hazlitt or something. I completed the Lit GRE and got an Acceptable Score (90%) and need to retackle that completely stupid general GRE monster, which, in the face of all of this scholarship to read, I'm zero percent motivated to do, but c'est la vie.
  3. Agreed - I went to the major conference in my field and it was very helpful. I didn't quite understand all of the conversations that people were engaged in, but as a broad overview it was certainly a good place to start.
  4. Right now, I'm entering a 3-month stint in which I'll try to read an article or a chapter of a book every day, along with GRE study. I'll be taking a three-pronged approach. 1- The first is taking the major journals - in Romanticism, European Romantic Review, The Wordsworth Circle, Keats-Shelley, Studies in Romanticism, etc - and just making my way through the past 3-5 years. This is to get me situated, and help me understand what the field is looking at as a whole. I will go broad here, even though I have slightly more specialized interests in the field right now (Later Romantics' use of allegory is my primary interest right now). I know the major journals because I've taken a couple of Romanticism seminars at this point. I would ask a prof contact for your own field. 2- I have an ongoing list of scholars, starting with the scholars at schools I want to apply to, and which I will add onto if I find anyone interesting in the above survey, to investigate. I'll take a look at their books or articles. 3- If it becomes clear to me in all of this that there is some seminal text I need to read, I will do that, and possibly look a bit further back. My issue here is that given the age of my teachers, I'm updated in the field through, say, 1980s, but I need to fill in the 1980-2010s gap. 4- I'm going to try emailing scholars, as was suggested! This will be so helpful if they bite. I hope that helps! Also, if someone has actually done this and has suggestions, I'd be grateful--
  5. WildeThing is right - it's good to be reminded of such statistics, of course, but plenty of us have contingency plans if the PhD doesn't result in a job. I know I do.
  6. Your V/Q scores are really good. Reports on this forum indicate that people with much worse scores have gotten in, though I suspect the GREs aren't negligible. I'd say, carefully assess how much time this will take for much more important elements of the app (WS, SoP) and decide that way.
  7. In the same boat here. You just have to do an MA, most likely - more coursework. Your lit classes may or may not transfer. Other than that, I think you're fine as long as your lit classes went well and your SoP/WS are up to par
  8. Any Romanticists out there want to talk about the State of the Field?
  9. Waiting for my GRE Lit scores, and hoping they'll be suitable. Prepping for the general GRE while I finish my collection of short stories. Then it's time to hit the big ones: the WS and the SoP. I have a plan for that which involves reading a critical article/chapter a day, using a list of scholars I've accumulated. I have my era picked out and a vague idea of my interests, but I need to hone it and crystallize my critical approach... no pressure!
  10. Can I ask what sort of questions you fielded them? And- you actually spoke to them over Skype/Facetime?? That's awesome. It would be so great to just have a conversation with an active scholar about what's going on! To the OP: hello! It's good to see another older applicant in the mix. I finished my MFA this year after a seven-year absence from school, so best case scenario I'll get my Ph.D at 39. I keep asking people if this is an issue and they keep telling me no one cares. I think the advice above is very sound, and I would add that I can access my university's library database with my alumni association card. I also frankly just hole up in the library of universities that I have no affiliation with sometimes, lol. It's a good place to get work done and to get access to other texts. I'm in the midst of doing my WS so I can't speak to successful strategies, but for what it's worth, I am taking my time to develop a thorough overview of the field and a general idea of my critical stance before I dive in. (Though, it helps that I am very firmly committed to Romanticism as my period.) If you are looking for conferences or publications, UPenn's Call for Papers (CFP) site is wonderful and lists the call as well as deadlines.
  11. Hey, USC folks, congrats! That program is ridiculous. I know someone in it who is unbelievably happy - it has so much rigor, but so much by way of resources! Can I ask about your publication histories? I'd heard that most USC admittees have book deals already. It sounds like heresay, but also came from a recent grad, so. I'm trying to decide whether to do CW at USC or lit.
  12. Were there SoPs any of you used as a model? I'm pondering this out, and I think what i'm lacking are some examples of what to go for.
  13. @natalielouise - that's excellent to hear, since Boulder's on my list! You have a splendid number of Romanticists over there
  14. (Apologies if this has been addressed before: I've scoured Old Bill's posting history, and while I found tons of gold, I didn't find this specific question addressed.) tl;dr: Should older applicants briefly address why they've been away? Long version: The situation is I'm going to be applying for my Ph.D in my thirties, and will receive it, best case scenario, when I'm 39. Long story short, I'm also a fiction/essay writer, and although I was deeply invested in academics as an undergrad, I (correctly) didn't think I could juggle creative and critical work. I knew I'd have to spend a number of years getting some solid life experiences and working out my artistic approach. Years later, I got an MFA, and am now taking a couple of gap years to pay off stray expenses from that, travel, and finish a novel draft before I have to hit the academics hard. (I will mention, my undergrad record is spotty, landing at about 3.6 cumulative and 3.7 in major, for this exact reason. It was a long time ago, though; my MFA GPA is 4.0, the lit classes suited me wonderfully, and my recommendations will be as good as they get. I'm not concerned about undergrad, but I would like to address it if there's an elegant way to do so, if that makes sense.) At this point, there's no doubt in my (or my recommenders') mind I can and should do this, and I'm thinking maybe the creative angle will even make me a more interesting applicant, but I'm not sure what the expectations are. Bear in mind I'm not at all suggesting to talk about this at the expense of discussing my research interests, but I'm wondering to what extent it can/should be weaved into the greater story of the SoP. Thanks in advance--
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