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e_randolph

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    18
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About e_randolph

  • Rank
    Decaf

Profile Information

  • Location
    East Coast
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    PhD American History

Recent Profile Visitors

592 profile views
  1. e_randolph

    Next year

    The point is, it's actually not worthwhile in the current market to apply to programs that won't fund or that aren't top programs. Again, the goal is not simply to get into grad school, but to get a job after the fact. Furthermore, history is a highly specific discipline. I can absolutely find 20 universities that will allow me to study American history. I guarantee you that I can't find that many with robust resources and more than one scholar who focuses on the cross section and time period I'm interested in working on. As anyone who has applied to PhD programs in history knows, a major key is fit with the department. It's impossible to argue compellingly that your work would fit perfectly with 15-20 departments unless you're over-generalizing your work or altering it wildly to fit each department. In either case, rejection is almost assured. You might think that what I've said "seems highly unlikely," but even if I'm not a credible source, this is a solid reflection of the advice being given by past and present history applicants in the history forum.
  2. e_randolph

    Next year

    This might work if your goal is to attend graduate school no matter what, but it's not particularly good advice if your eventual goal is to get a job after graduate school. In history, there are probably not 15-20 universities that have the faculty and resources to support your unique interests and definitely not that many with reliable placement rates. I think a better strategy is to sharpen your research interests, continue building relationships with prospective advisers, and keep pursuing top-tier programs that will allow your work to flourish.
  3. My last two acceptances hit me right in a row. As I was about to leave work on Monday, I saw a message pop up in my email. I read it, silently freaked out, and ran down to call my mom from my car. As I was on the phone with my mother, I went back to the email to read it back to her, only to find another acceptance waiting in my inbox. I was so surprised that I swore loudly, not realizing my mom had me on speaker phone. Oops!
  4. e_randolph

    Lessons Learned: Application Season Debriefings

    I'm having a hard time determining what you're trying to say. But I think my advice stands. As I said, once you've submitted, STOP reading your submitted materials. If you haven't submitted, keep proofreading and sharpening your work. It's destructive to stew over materials you no longer have any control over, particularly during the month(s)-long waiting period.
  5. e_randolph

    Lessons Learned: Application Season Debriefings

    I'll parrot most of what has been said above. The keys to a strong application lie in the SOP and the writing sample. The SOP is your opportunity to elucidate not only what you want to study, but also how you want to study it. Absolutely tailor your SOP to each school (and probably more than tossing in an obligatory "I want to work with ..." sentence at the end). In the writing sample, clearly demonstrate your use of primary sources, but don't slough on analysis. Finally, don't leave anything on the table when you're applying -- proofread, write confidently and honestly, and secure strong rec letters. But, for the love of god, once you've submitted, STOP. Do NOT reread anything until you have a response in hand because you will inevitably find a typo and spend all your time obsessing over it. This process is capricious. There are things you can do to make yourself stand out, but it is not an exact science. Who knows which way the wind will blow from one year to the next? Be kind to yourself and remind yourself that your worth has nothing to do with any school's admissions decision.
  6. e_randolph

    Early Americanists!

    Madeira is an ICONIC choice. Unfortunately, when I was most recently at Mount Vernon, I was oppressively hungover and barely made it through his distillery and gristmill, to say nothing of drinking his whiskey.
  7. e_randolph

    Early Americanists!

    This is a judgment-free zone! Americanists supporting Americanists. So far we have a great array of interests! How’s everyone doing with the wait? I’m maintaining sanity solely by the grace of good American whisky, just like GW would have wanted.
  8. e_randolph

    Early Americanists!

    That's very kind! Yes, I suspect I'll have to to narrow my interests down quite a bit in advance of my dissertation. If you don't mind me asking, what're your primary interests? Affairs of Honor is WONDERFUL -- My first major project in undergraduate was roughly modeled after the way Freeman marries violence and politics in the book. She is such a skilled historian and I was lucky enough to meet her in the fall when she was giving book talks
  9. e_randolph

    Early Americanists!

    Your research sounds fascinating! Both spotlighting understudied experiences and focusing on understudied areas are such valuable tendencies. I'm trying to do something similar -- studying early American borderlands and urban centers through a political lens, especially focusing on the slaves, women, freedmen, farmers, and Indigenous people who bore the brunt of American expansion, both physically and ideologically. Right now, I'm reading Joanne Freeman's The Field of Blood, which I got my hands on this fall but am only tearing into now. As expected, it's amazing.
  10. e_randolph

    Applications 2019

    Not sure whether NYU is sending out all responses, but I did get a waitlist email from the program admin fairly early this morning. Best of luck to both of you, hopefully they don't keep you waiting long!
  11. e_randolph

    Early Americanists!

    While we wait to hear back from the schools we've applied, and per an earlier suggestion in the Fall 2019 applicants thread, I thought it would be nice to have a place for early Americanists to congregate. If you fall into this category, I'd like to know what your research is -- or will be! What are you reading right now? Whose work have you learned from the most?
  12. e_randolph

    Fields?

  13. e_randolph

    Applications 2019

    Also an early Americanist!
  14. e_randolph

    Applications 2019

    @Karou I’d say don’t worry about the GRE scores. I shot them an email about it way back and I got a response from the admin there. She basically said not to stress and that the committee will consider your self-reported scores if they’ve still failed to match the scores when they review the applications.
  15. e_randolph

    Applications 2019

    Hi all! This waiting period is an absolute nightmare so I had to share my good news. I got my first acceptance today from UVA through an email from their DGS with my prospective advisors CC’ed! Honestly, I’m relieved and thrilled.
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