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About BalkanItinerant

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  1. I'll be applying for probably around ten PhD programs this December. I'm curious about the place of language comprehension on the applications. English is the only language I have fluency in, but I have beginner to intermediate level comprehension of a few other languages, and used French-language scholarship to write a paper in undergrad once. I understand the basics of grammar and a lot of vocab in these languages, but I don't have speaking fluency in them and often need a translator or dictionary to look up certain terms. Can I put languages like French, Russian, Irish, and Bulgarian on an application as languages I have some knowledge with, as long as I clarify that it's more a reading comprehension ability rather than a native-level fluency? I know one accomplished historian of Eastern Europe at my undergrad had about eight languages besides English on his CV, but he only professed speaking fluency in one of them (Romanian). My field of study is America in the late-19th to early 20th century with a tentative focus on immigration, labor, and politics.
  2. Hi all. I'm recently graduated with a BA in History from an R1 school. My major GPA was solid at around a 3.7, while my overall GPA was lagging behind at around a 3.1 thanks to certain STEM courses I probably should have avoided. I did however show a solid upward trend the last two semesters of undergrad. I'm applying for around ten top-ranked PhD programs on the East Coast this winter (all top 20, hopefully not a reach) and am trying to pad my application a little bit with good letters of recommendation (not a worry at all for me), a competent GRE score, and a publication of one of my undergrad papers from Spring. When I submitted the paper in the course, the professor said that it was worthy of publication and gave me some tips on certain undergraduate/graduate history journals that would consider publishing it. He went so far as to call it a "for sure publication", which made me feel a bit better at my chances to get into a program at a place like Columbia/Brown/Yale/etc despite a sub-par cumulative GPA. Has anyone here applied for a PhD from BA level with a publication already secured? Does it make any profound difference in the admissions process or is it not something that is really considered?
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