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cruel optimism

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About cruel optimism

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    Literature PhD

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  1. for those who are wondering, i have just heard from someone on the adcomm that they've finalised admissions, so i presume that notifications will go out shortly (or at least to admitted applicants) after the decisions get green lit by the graduate school.
  2. Seconding these sentiments as we head into the latter half of January. Best of luck to all of you, and just know that however your results turn out (hopefully for the better), you've already accomplished so much by making it through not only a tedious application process, but one made even more challenging by *gestures at everything* These Ridiculous Circumstances
  3. As far as I can remember, only places like Chicago, Columbia, Duke, Stanford, and Emory have historically conducted interviews (there might have been more, but you'll have to trawl through the respective applicants threads for the previous years to find out which ones they are). Also, do note that each program has their own rationale for selecting interviewees: Columbia and Stanford tend to interview only within select subfields, while Chicago and Duke Lit interview all their shortlisted candidates. Given the schools to which you're applying though, it seems like you don't have to worry about
  4. From someone on twitter: "Brown just cut all non-grant funded PhD admissions for the coming year"
  5. I don't know if you've heard but UChicago's English department "will only be admitting a handful of students, all of whom will be in Black studies" this cycle, so unless that's the central focus of your research, I'm not sure if it'll be wise to apply there.
  6. Most, if not all respectable English PhD programs in the US are "fully funded", but I must add that "full funding" does not always equate to sufficient funding. This is especially so if you have dependents to support, have additional/emergency needs, reside in a more expensive state, or are simply awarded a smaller-than-usual stipend, though most funding packages should just be enough for a grad student to live on. @Warelin has very helpfully collated in another thread the funding packages of different schools/programs, but here's a link to the spreadsheet anyway: https://docs.google.com/sprea
  7. This really depends on the programs to which you're applying, as well as the sort of work you're hoping to do: 1. Does your proposed research require any understanding of Spanish/English literature? (If so, some evidence of academic work — this doesn't have to be a language class, it could also be coursework completed in a particular language — in either/both literatures would be good.) 2. Are the comp lit programs in which you're interested more traditional ones, where you're expected to engage with/specialise in some national literatures, or are they more interdisciplinary and theoret
  8. For comp lit programs, it goes without saying that foreign language proficiency is by and large mandatory. But what differs between each program, and what you should note quite carefully, is how many languages they require upon admission (the information should be detailed on their admissions page, or else you could email the department to find out). Most would ask for at least two — though many applicants would have more, and they would probably also have completed some coursework in those languages — but some schools like Johns Hopkins would be willing to admit a student with only one.
  9. will be headed (hopefully this spring, if not next fall) to a state where the number of cases are rising exponentially and, ngl, i'm terrified. am currently waiting to see how school reopenings play out over the next few months and how my uni plans to adapt to these changes to decide when exactly i'll be moving to the us.
  10. I don't know if this applies to your school/state, since different schools would have different policies, but here's Duke's stance on a remote first semester/year: "An incoming international student who has not secured a valid visa or does not enter the U.S. is not subject to U.S. immigration law and thus may take a full set of online Duke classes while residing abroad."
  11. I don't suppose it'll be an issue if you simply extract your strongest analyses from your thesis for your writing sample, though you might have to include an additional paragraph (or a few lines) at the start of the document to contextualise your excerpt. (This is just for readers to situate/follow your argument.) However, seeing as you still have months till your first application deadlines, why not rework your thesis into a 15-20 page writing sample? Can you condense your arguments? And are there analyses that could be extraneous? If you're still in a BA/MA program at the moment, then
  12. Yikes. I haven't even asked about the additional fees, since I don't think I'd like to start my program remotely. I'll have to clarify if a semester-long deferral's still possible though, because I might've received conflicting messages from my program and my school. (There are so many updates and changes to policies that it's so hard to keep up!! 😭) Anyway, solidarity to all other international students currently facing the same dilemmas. We'll get through this... hopefully unscathed. ✊😩
  13. These are the options that my school's offering too — remote learning with no stipend, or a deferral until Spring/Fall '21 based on what my program sees fit. I'm gravitating towards the latter seeing as I'm not particularly keen on the online format (not to mention that the 12 hour time difference between my country and Durham entails that I'll have to take classes late into the night), but should I take up that option, I'd also be slightly dismayed about having to postpone my studies. I don't suppose there's a good way out of our current situation though, given the panoply of dilemmas that ev
  14. all interviews scheduled through july 19 are cancelled at my local embassy (sg), but i suspect that they'll soon also start to cancel other appointments through to the end of the month (or even next month).
  15. seconding all the suggestions that you might want to look into English programs instead (especially if you intend to work primarily with Anglophone texts), because not only do traditional comp lit programs require that you're fluent in a number of non-english languages, they might also presume a certain level of knowledge of national literatures. (but of course, if this is something in which you're interested, and if you already have/know you can acquire a sufficient background in it, then go ahead and apply wherever you see fit.) about this, you might want to consider writing a final
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