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Indecisive Poet

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Indecisive Poet last won the day on July 14 2018

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About Indecisive Poet

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    Double Shot

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  • Interests
    British Romantic poetry, poetics, grammar, literary theory
  • Application Season
    Not Applicable
  • Program
    PhD English (Autumn 2020)

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  1. Urg. Venting here. I am trying to narrow down my list and the more I research and re-research, the more it becomes clear that there is a group of programs all in the top ten that are all perfect fits for my interests. Outside of the top ten? Eh, there are a few that I could make work, but it's a stretch (i.e. there are people working in my period, which can be said of every university, but there is no overlap at all in interest or methodology). This is really frustrating because I do not want to apply to this many uber-competitive programs.
  2. Posting a related question here: as a student who is really interested in literature but whose interests veer into grammar and linguistics (as they relate to my period of literature), would I be correct in assuming that literature is the better fit for me? Is it worth mentioning faculty/tracks in rhet/comp if I'm applying to literature? At a few of the programs I've looked at, there are faculty members who work in both departments with appealing interests.
  3. I noticed this pattern as well and also found in mine that there were a disproportionate number of questions on Middle English literature, Greek literature and contemporary American and non-white literatures. It seems like there is a lot of everything except 19th and 20th century British/American.
  4. You can get a sense of this by looking through graduate student profiles online at the programs you're interested in. Granted, there's no way of knowing what the rest of these students' applications were like, but I've found that loads of students at every program I'm interested in (all top 50, with many in the top 20) are from undergraduate and MA institutions with very little name recognition or prestige. Some of these institutions I've never even heard of.
  5. I'm finishing a 1-year MA program in the UK and I'm happy with my decision to have done it, but for two me-specific reasons: (1) I was lucky enough to be able to do the program without going into debt, and (2) I was wildly underprepared for applying to PhD programs as an undergrad and absolutely needed to complete a terminal MA before applying to PhDs. As others have mentioned, a funded US PhD or a funded 2-year MA degree in the US will almost always be better options – because they're paying you to be there instead of the other way round, because they are generally more well respected by PhD adcoms in the US, and because you are spending more time with the faculty members who will be writing your letters of recommendation (I also understand that British letters don't read as well as American ones). It all worked out well for me in the end and I think my program is a very good one as far as UK programs go, but I would've done a US MA instead had I known that they existed when I was applying. I have to say, though, that this is because I think the US program would have looked better on paper and I would have gotten stronger letters, and because I wouldn't have had to work part time during the program. In terms of what I've personally gotten out of the program, I'm really, really pleased, feel completely prepared to apply to PhD programs now and I don't think I would have gotten anything more out of a US program than I did out of this one. Re choosing where to apply – I think you'd go about this the same way you would anywhere else. UK MA programs are almost always in a specific period of literature (which I really like) or in some cases in things like critical theory, so you would want to look for programs that are in your area of interest and then take a look at the faculty members working there. "Fit" is way less important to getting into these programs but it'll be important to you (so you have access to the expertise you need and so that you enjoy your classes) when you're in the program. In most cases you should be able to take a look at the classes that will be available to you as well. Your statement of purpose can be the same as it would for a US PhD program. The only real difference is that these are weighted way, way less heavily in UK MA applications. To be very frank: my understanding is that almost all qualified applicants will get into UK MA programs – especially international applicants because we pay more. If you have a solid GPA and can write competently, you will get in. The upside of this is that it becomes not very difficult to distinguish yourself amongst your peers in the eyes of the faculty members you're working with. The best piece of advice I can give you is to not stress too much about these applications if you already have good materials written for your PhD apps. The program I'm completing at Edinburgh is in 18th century, Romantic and Victorian literature – if you have any program-specific questions, I'm happy to answer via PM.
  6. Stanford and Ohio State have also dropped all GRE requirements 😊
  7. FWIW, I took it twice and the same thing happened to me both times, even though I thought I had budgeted my time really well the second time. I still scored in the 83rd percentile, which I'm happy with.
  8. UC Irvine is a program I'm strongly considering applying to – I'd love to PM you with a couple of questions, if you don't mind! 😀
  9. Nope. I've read a lot of posts on here from successful applicants who didn't contact any POIs and I've talked to enough equally successful people in person that I've decided not to do it. I think it makes sense and works for some, but it's not something I feel comfortable doing as I don't see any real need to contact them in my case and I think it would feel (and come across as) forced. The only exception is that there's a POI at a program I'm planning to apply to who I emailed a couple months ago to ask for an article that my university library didn't have access to. Since looking into the program more, I've become confused about whether faculty members on different campuses of that university (of which he is one) can work with the English grad students. I plan to respond to our previous email thread to ask him how this works. I seem to recall that Stanford's website says something about suggesting applicants contact potential supervisors in advance. And, of course, most British programs suggest this as well. But barring explicit instruction to do this on department websites, I think it's unnecessary and makes no difference in whether or not you're accepted.
  10. Greetings! I'm excited to have a thread for this and to see it grow over the coming half a year. Thanks for posting! I think it's never too early to start thinking about PhD applications and if you're already working on your SoP and WS, you're in great shape. I'm finishing up my MA thesis, which is due mid-August, and while I've certainly had applications on my mind (pretty much all of the time, making it difficult to focus on my thesis...), I'm not planning on hitting my SoP seriously or revising my WS until August 15th, when I'm finished with my MA. I don't even have a definite list of programs yet, although I've thoroughly researched all the ones I'm interested in and hope to have things completely narrowed down and decided by the end of August. I'm a Romanticist (British) with interests in poetry/poetics, grammar/linguistics and lit theory. My thesis is on the theory of the lyric and the forms/functions of repetition in Keats's odes, with some deconstructive stuff thrown in there. I'm nervous about how all this will translate to statements but I'm already really looking forward to working on materials.
  11. This is really helpful! Since reading this and looking some more through the curriculum, I've been thinking that maybe the Poetics program isn't a great fit for me right now but the general PhD might be. I could see myself writing a similar sort of statement for this program. Do you know if you're able to take any of the classes on offer in the poetics program? Or, for example, I see that there's a class in Poetics listed in the general graduate courses document for Fall 2019. Would you be able to take something like that as a general English student? I'm not sure if this is something you can speak to, but my only (but major) concern with applying to this program is that Buffalo seems to have only one Romanticist on its faculty (Susan Eilenberg) and she hasn't published anything since 2004 (!!!) which is a huge red flag. I do want to branch out to 20th/21st century poetry/poetics, but if I'm applying as an established Romanticist who does want to continue that interest in some way, I'm not sure the program makes sense for me. Do you know anything I don't here!? 🤔
  12. Would love information on this program if anyone knows anything about it/is attending. My central interest is poetics and I'm looking for programs that are strong in this area, but I'm also a Romanticist. It seems like Buffalo's program is geared toward modern/contemporary avant-garde poetics. This is still of great interest to me – I hope to move away from Romanticism a little bit in the future and work on more modern/contemporary stuff – but I do plan to apply as a Romanticist, and I'm wondering if it wouldn't make sense for me to apply to this program. If not the poetics program, I would still be interested in Buffalo's general PhD because the department in general is so strong in poetics (if not in Romanticism), but would they find it strange for someone interested in poetics to not apply to to the poetics program?
  13. Hi everyone! Didn't want to post a separate thread just for this – did anyone apply to Ohio State this round? I'm looking to apply there for 2020 entry and I'm unclear on which faculty members I'd be able to work with and thus mention in my SoP. I'm really interested in a faculty member who works on the Newark campus. Is this someone I wouldn't have access to as an English lit grad student at OSU? I'm not sure if it's a Rutgers situation where New Brunswick (in this case, Columbus) is its own university, or if there is overlap in the department between the different campuses. I figure I can always email the DGS or professor and ask, but wanted to save myself looking silly if anyone here knows.
  14. @Metaellipses This is such a genuinely helpful way of thinking about it – thank you! I suppose it's a bit solipsistic of me to think that a group of "exciting Romanticists" in a department would be personally disappointed about me no longer wanting to work with them, lol. I'm not sure why I was thinking it would need to be a big announcement rather than something I can work on on my own and then make plain before orals.
  15. I'm not hoping to start a PhD until Fall 2020 but would love to chat over a PM any time 😊 I've discovered recently I'm relatively uninterested in the state of the field and am strongly considering switching periods because of this, so maybe you can talk me out of it...(!) Edit: just looked through your history and found we've chatted a little in the past about resurgence of formalisms in Romanticism – would love even more now to ask about your interests!
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