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harpyemma last won the day on September 11 2011

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About harpyemma

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  1. I'm hoping for some help identifying (quite particular) potential doctoral programmes in the US and Canada. I'm from the UK, and "Medical Humanities" is a rapidly growing field of research over here and every year there's a jump in the number of departments offering Medical Humanities, History of Medicine, and Literature and Medicine Master's degrees. There's also a growing number of Med Hums departments attached to or stemming from English (and/or History) depts. Off the top of my head there's Leeds, Leicester, KCL, UCL, Birkbeck, QMUL, Manchester, Durham, Exeter. There's certainly more. If someone is looking to do a PhD in the Medical Humanities, there's ample opportunity to do so and to find a supervisor whose interests align with your own. What's the story for the US? I know that Med Hums are quite big at Columbia, especially as they're co-organising a conference with KCL in London this summer... but as far as i've been able to discover, they don't actually have many staff members in the English dept whose interests would suit someone hoping to conduct research in this field--at least, not in the same way i've been seeing in the UK. But, perhaps i'm not looking in the right places. The other possibly confounding thing is that the research I hope to do might appear a bit too anti-psychiatry for US academia (compared with the UK scene, anyway). I would like to research the DSM as a literary and cultural artefact and examine its influence on/interaction with popular culture... Am i shit outta luck when it comes to compatibility with doctoral programmes in the States/Canada? Thanks!
  2. Sorry, i know this doesn't really relate to applications but i figured that you folks would be my best bet for an answer--and i can't find it anywhere... and it seems such a trivial problem to contact my tutor over. I'm writing a paper and i want to cite two difference versions of a poem in translation--both of which are by the same translator. I can't find in the MLA guidelines how to do this in-text--can you help? Having not been able to find an official answer myself, i was thinking that the most intuitive way to do it, given how MLA treats in-text citations for two works by the same author (and this is a similar issue), would be to go "Poem Title" (trans. Trans Lator Where Translation Appears) when i first mention it and then for the citation 'after i quote a phrase' (Where Translation Appears line number); and then when i'm citing the alternative version do much the same thing--"Poem Title" (trans. Trans Lator Source of Other Version). 'Quote from poem' (Source of Other Version line number). Can anyone confirm/deny/improve on that?
  3. Whilst i agree with you that laptops are distracting--i think there's little worse than someone tap-tap-tapping away on their keyboard during a seminar--i am very aware of the fact that not all students are alike, and that "stringently enforcing" a no-laptop rule could well be harmful to learning and productivity, even if it may give you "the highest authority". Many students with learning difficulties (for example, dyslexia) find using a laptop extremely beneficial--even in a seminar, where discussion is the name of the game and taking notes isn't something that students will typically need to do (compared to, say, a lecture). In addition to spelling and writing difficulties (which for many are such that a computer is essential for taking legible notes), many students with dyslexia also have to battle memory problems. Whereas most students may be able to remember everything discussed in a three-hour session without taking any notes whatsoever, a dyslexic student may struggle. Similarly, if a student needs the readings in large print because of a visual impairment, this is a lot simpler to achieve on a computer screen--and is far more environmentally friendly, too (although that is really beside the point). I think having a no-laptop policy is, on the whole, a positive thing--but above all the classroom needs to remain accessible to those with disabilities.
  4. The second one. Get straight to the point. Unless an introduction would help the DGS answer your question, they don't need to read it--nobody likes to receive emails full of unnecessary information.
  5. Does this ring true for international applicants applying with an MA, do you know? I've just finished my (one-year) UK MA, and whilst i've attended conferences, i haven't presented at any (and nor has anyone else i know!) I'm also the only person i'm aware of in the department (at least in my subfield) who's in the process of preparing papers for potential publication. I don't believe it's commonplace here in the UK for early-career researchers, i.e., MA students, to present at conferences and such as a matter of course. I would hope that if that were the case we'd have been made aware of it... Maybe i'm deluded, i dunno. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that whereas a UK MA typically involves 7 months of study/coursework/classes and 3-4.5 (depending) months to write up the thesis, a US MA involves something like 8 or 9 months of study/coursework/classes, followed by a summer break (in which to prepare papers and present at conferences, maybe?), followed by 8 or 9 more months of coursework and then another summer of 3-4.5 months to write up the thesis. (is that right?) I dunno. But it's concerning that i may be expected to have done all this stuff that i hasn't even been on mine or anyone else's radar!
  6. So, what? How far would you take that "mission"? It is my duty now to lie in a LOR to enable a substandard, uncommitted student to get into grad school? Or to lie to a student, saying one thing ("i will write you a good letter") and doing another? I think it's perfectly reasonable and indeed ethical to refuse to write a letter if you know it won't be a good one. And if the work they produced for you indicates that they won't do well in grad school--and, come on, grad school is not for everyone and it's not a holy grail--then i really think it's kind to tell them so. If it's a blip and they're acing their other classes, they can always ask their instructors in those classes to write letters instead.
  7. I would echo WellSpring's comments. What usually makes "primarily analytical" papers good is that, even if the research isn't explicitly stated alongside the analysis, it shows through. For an analytical paper to really succeed, its thesis needs to be informed in some way by research. I presume, then, that you will have done the requisite research even if it doesn't directly feature in your content. If you're really nervous about it, make that implicit content explicit.
  8. Ideally, students will have the foresight not simply to ask if one can write a letter of recommendation but if one can write them a strong letter of recommendation. However, that's obviously not a commonplace occurrence. If i had a forgettable student ask for a letter, i think i would give them the benefit of the doubt and rather than flat-out refuse i would ask them to send me copies of their work and tell me more about why they want to pursue graduate study. I'm not arrogant enough to assume that if i can't remember a student that must be their error rather than mine--none of us is perfect. If, on the other hand, the student just wasn't up to scratch (or it turned out that the forgettable student was forgettable for a reason), I'd tell them that it would be a bad idea for me to write a letter as it would not be a positive one and would certainly hinder their attempts to pursue graduate study. I would probably discourage them from applying altogether. I think it would be pointlessly cruel not to make the student aware of the lay of the land in this respect, saying yes to all requests, however poor the student. The student's poor performance in your class is "punishment" enough for their lack of effort/ability; getting their hopes up and allowing them to spend hundreds of dollars on applications that will no doubt lead nowhere would be rather beyond the pale, i think.
  9. I can't. That's preposterous. I mean, god forbid one might have to deal with a "female-related" subject even once in a Literature department!
  10. On what exactly are you basing your assertion? I'm truly interested to know your evidence for the position that "most schools" (or even some, even one) "prefer female or asian students to pick feminist lit".
  11. i'm confused. What on earth are you talking about?
  12. I have nothing to add except that i accidentally pressed the red button when i meant to press the green on dimanche's post--oops!
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