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About misternovember

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  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    PhD in Middle East History

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  1. Hello!! I'll be attending NYU in the Fall, in the Joint PhD in History and Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies
  2. I was in a similar place as you are now, when I finished my undergrad two years ago. I had studied abroad at SOAS, University of London, and really enjoyed my time in the history department there (I focus on modern Iraqi history). However, I knew I wanted to ultimately do my PhD in the US. I decided to do my Master's at SOAS, focusing on honing in my project and working on language skills. I'll be starting a History PhD in the US this Fall (still deciding on where), but ultimately I've been really happy with my decision. It's been a great experience for me. My program, however, was a two-year one; most UK Master's are one year. This means that you won't have a ton of time after starting your degree to really flesh out your project/PhD proposal, and you'd be starting the application process only shortly after beginning the MA. Just so you're aware! Happy to chat more if you have more questions/specific concerns.
  3. I received an offer from NYU for their Joint PhD between History and MEIS, but I haven't heard anything about the Admitted Students' Day. May I ask what date you were told?
  4. Congrats! I had an interview with Penn, but haven't heard anything from them since then.
  5. Oh very good to know! I was told mid February after my interview but my POI might’ve been mistaken.
  6. Anyone else anxiously waiting for Georgetown and UPenn? I was told “mid-february” by my respective POIs...
  7. I also applied to UCLA, and haven’t heard anything
  8. Oh no, my apologies! The quotation marks are just a quirk of my writing/explaining things; I genuinely meant no offense, I just like to block out certain phrases/words in quotes for emphasis. My apologies Historical thinking and doing history can broadly be defined as how we think of the past. Crudely divided (and albeit stereotypical, I know popular history has much more nuance than this but its not my expertise by any means), popular history understands the past as an unproblematic sequence of events, with particular moments immortalized due to their later-understood significance (think in terms of how history textbooks present them: the signing of the Magna Carta, the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, etc framed as singular moments which irrevocably changed the course of human history, leading to the modern day). That thinking isn't necessarily wrong, but it is problematic: often it manifests in thinking of history as simply the decisions of a few great men (and, indeed, it often framed as male: for this mode of thinking, see the work of Thomas Carlyle). Academic history is of course not immune to this impulse, but it tries to distinguish itself in adopting historical research methods (namely, critically reading, evaluating, and comparing primary sources to explain the past). For some historians, this is seen as a better alternative to popular history, as it (ostensibly) adopts an objective view of the past through a rigorous method. White's Metahistory criticizes this view in particular, leading him to argue that history writing is not a mere analysis and ordering of the past, but instead akin to a literary genre. For White, historians infuse narrative into their work, creating histories that describe the past as essentially stories but with a veneer of objectivity. This argument is controversial among some historians, but I think its an essential one to be familiar with. Apologies for my reductionist approaches above, I can only elaborate so much in a forum post (and, admittedly, I'm hardly a historical expert).
  9. Both deal with “historical thinking,” though both also address the institutionalization of history (in the academy). So they simultaneously address what it means to think about and “do” history in general (not as a discipline of study) while also examining history as an academic field.
  10. For a more controversial (but really interesting) take on the discipline, Hayden White’s Metahistory is quite good
  11. E.H. Carr’s What is History? Is a good overview of the discipline; essential reading (imo) for those of us interested in academic history
  12. It's devastating! Another person just submitted a rejection too...
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