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Bopie5

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Bopie5 last won the day on June 30

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About Bopie5

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    Mocha

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    Philadelphia
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    Villanova University

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  1. I second this. Academia is shifting and in crisis as we all know. I’ve also received the same advice as WildeThing in various formulations. If you’re going to get your PhD to become a tenured/tenure track professor, you’re probably on the wrong track. If you’re going for its own sake, because you *want* to spend the next 5-10 years in a doctoral program, knowing there may be no job on the other side for you, that may be a better approach. This also leads to a few sub points: 1) This is a *huge* reason why you shouldn’t go if you’re not funded. Don’t go into debt for this. Don’t go if you’re not funded (unless you’re independently wealthy).There’s no guarantee that there will be a well paying, secure, tenure track job with benefits for you after you finish, no matter where you graduate from. 2) It may be helpful to open yourself up to Alt-Ac. Why do you want to be a professor? Identify what about the TT job would appeal to you, and see if you can find Alt-Ac jobs that include these elements. For example, library positions at academic institutions sometimes allow for teaching a class or two and/or the institution supporting your independent research.
  2. One of the things I failed to do on my first round of applications was be specific enough. Something that I should have done more carefully but didn't was look at conference areas/fields. Usually in conferences' CFPs, they'll list the sessions or sections (e.g. "Trauma in African American Studies," "Orientalism and Romanticizing the Homogenized," "Crypt and Death Studies," "The Irish Gothic," "Adolescent Narratives," "Fat Studies," etc). This can give a sense both of what more specific subfields are out there, and what they're currently being called. You might feel like you're really interested in British Romanticisms, which gives you a good temporal and geographic field to define yourself in. Looking at session titles can sometimes help to narrow that, especially if sessions get subtitled (e.g. "British Romanticism: Fathers and Mothers" or "British Romanticism: Food, Flesh, and the Monster" or whatever). I think if you feel like you have pretty defined interests at that point, you should say so! How did you get to those more narrowly defined interests? What thinkers or theorists are important to you or helped you know that these interests were what you wanted to pursue? Whose work do you hope to build on? I think it helps to have a clearer sense of where you're going, and to say so. To be able to speak to a specific sub-field or strain of thought or development in the field that you hope to investigate or work in would most likely work to your gain so long as you're not like, totally off base about what's happening in the field!
  3. If you got undergrad college credit for your high school dual enrollment, it may show up on your college transcripts! At least, that’s how my university handled it. My dual enrollment courses from high school all showed up at the bottom of my official transcript for my undergrad. Might be worth checking or looking in to!
  4. Sorry, I think that I maybe didn't articulate my argument exactly the way that I wanted to! I agree with you--I definitely don't think one should devote the bulk of their SoP to whole paragraphs explicitly arguing about fit at the expense of focusing on your project/research. What I was more trying to get at is that I think rather than copy/pasting most of the statement and only adjusting the portion about POIs/fit, one should be open to reframing project, experience, interests, etc in slightly different ways depending on the program. Different programs obviously have different strengths and each scholar has their own unique research concerns, so I was just trying to highlight that there are ways to subtextually/implicitly argue for fit even in sections beyond the portion of the statement explicitly engaging with fit.
  5. I think the answer to this is sort of a combination of both! I would suggest writing one specifically tailored to a certain school to start. Find a program, determine what you specifically find appealing about it, and several possible professors you want to work with. Then, I would write an SoP for that program, including your proposal of your research, your background/experiences in that field, how working with those specific POIs will assist you, and what you might offer/bring to the program and/or what your ultimate professional goals and interests are. Once you have a draft on paper, it's easier to determine how much of your material is school specific and how much of it can be reused. I would say, however, that you shouldn't only have one paragraph or portion that deals with program fit. Program fit should inform how you write your entire SoP, as it should affect how you frame your project/interests and which previous research is most relevant, besides just naming of POIs. It would be more likely for there to be a few sentences you could reuse than for there to be a full paragraph or section that you could just copy/paste over. Does that make sense?
  6. Hi! Don't have insights about Wake Forest in particular, but if it's not already on your list, Villanova's MA in English program is excellent! Similarly to Wake Forest's program, Villanova's program offers both tuition scholarships and Graduate Assistantships with stipends. If you've been lurking, I'm sure you've seen this advice before, but the general rule of thumb is "don't go to a place where you don't get funding (especially if it's an MA)." In my experience so far, Villanova's program is rigorous, supportive, well-structured, and supportive to students looking to pursue career paths other than going on to the PhD. There are a few faculty who focus on 20th/21st century poetics, and I'm actually in an excellent poetry class at the moment. Might be worth looking in to! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
  7. Yes exactly! I feel the same way. I think once I have a sense of the territory I’ll feel better. Same to you, truly!!! I hope some of us stick around and keep each other updated—I really am invested in your grad school journey.
  8. I moved into my house on Saturday and my first orientation is this Wednesday!! I’m so excited. Class on the 26th for me too. I’m more excited than nervous but that might change as I’m walking up to the building haha!
  9. Not to be too basic, but Judith Butler, Eve Sedgwick, and Jack Halberstam are some pretty standard seminal queer theorists. Lauren Berlant and Gayle Rubin are also big. And obviously a lot of their work engages with Foucault. But you might already be familiar with all those!
  10. @WildeThing Ah, thank you so much! I feel like I could definitely manage that. Thanks for the info!
  11. yes!!! it’s the biggest relief to feel like I finally have things sliding into place. I’m not super into sports but I feel like I have to go to at least one basketball game just to say I did haha
  12. This might sound really stupid, but what qualifications do you need to chair a panel at a conference? I’m going to be at MAPACA this November and I keep getting emails about them needing chairs for panels, and I would love to help, but I’m not sure I’m qualified since I’m only a grad student. Thoughts? What’s the protocol here?
  13. I FIGURED OUT MY HOUSING! so relieved and now I can move forward figuring out other less stressful stuff
  14. I think for me, one reason I decided to pursue an MA instead of waiting and applying for PhDs again was to give myself a stronger background in my desired field of study. I went to a pretty small school for undergrad, with only one prof working in Critical Race theory and one in Fem/Gen (in general, it wasn't a particularly theory-driven department), and both were 19th century. Therefore, my experience in my field was largely developed through independent study and/or asking profs if I could modify assignments to suit my interests. My profs were incredibly supportive and put in a lot of time and energy to help me find good resources (a pro of being at a small school), but I think my MA will give me a better sense of the state of the field, which will enable me to refine my research and make sure it's relevant and in conversation with what's happening for the field now. I can't speak to whether having my MA beforehand will increase my chances with PhD adcomms for my next app cycle, but I am 99% sure my application will be more competitive because I will have 2 years to refine my focus. Plus, those 2 years give me more chances for networking, more opportunities for publication, more opportunities for conference presentation, more research and teaching experience... When I wrote my apps last year, I had no academic publications and no conferences, and a really broad idea of what I wanted to specialize in. Now, even just 7 months after I applied, I have a published article and forthcoming conference presentations at IGA, SCMLA, and MAPACA, and I have a much more specific sense of what I want to pursue in my research. Getting an MA first is 100% the right move for me, even though I didn't realize that until I had already sent in PhD apps and received some decisions.
  15. From everything I've read/heard, not only is the GRE one of the less important parts (like @illcounsel said), but even within that, for English the AW is the least important part of the GRE. As I understand it (and as it's been explained to me), adcomms will understand that timed writing will not showcase your best work. Why would they hold a 3.5 AW against you if you demonstrate your writing skills in your WS and SoP? Why would they trust a standardized test's assessment of your timed writing over an actual piece of your writing that they can evaluate themselves? If you show you can craft good prose in an organized way that conveys thoughtful ideas in your other app materials, your AW shouldn't really affect you. But I totally get the anxiety!
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