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Everything posted by Tybalt

  1. Some tips for y'all--mostly made up of things I really wish that people had told me back when I was applying: 1 - Admissions committees often look to admit applicants who match up with their own interests or with the interests of faculty who have openings for new advisees. Don't just look at who you want to work with. Try and find out if they even take advisees. Are they half a semester away from retirement? Do they already have 15 advisees? Are they the dept oddball who gets hidden during visit weekend? Look at recent commencement info. Most schools will indicate recent gra
  2. You keep repeating this as if people are unaware of it. What you are missing is the fact that identity has always been used as a criteria in academic hiring decisions. The only difference is that--in a tiny minority of current postings--it is being used as a criteria for inclusion rather than exclusion. The obvious "tell"? -Departments that are 100% white faculty? Crickets. -Job postings that openly exclude LGBT applicants (and two cycles ago, there were SEVERAL such positions)? Crickets. When complaints about "diversity" and "identity" only arise when the "victi
  3. It seems like you have possibly already made a decision, but just to toss another couple of pennies into the pile: I've always had a dog, and I don't know how I would live without one. There are a lot of things that you need to adapt to in order to have one, but after a while, you don't even notice. Some things to consider: -Having a dog means asking potential landlords "Do you allow dogs" as your FIRST question. The answer will eliminate at least half of the potential rentals. -Dogs are expensive. In addition to regular vetting, there is food, toys, damage, grooming, emerg
  4. Apply. If you get in, you can worry about it then (and you will be better able to make an informed decision, by carefully asking the right folks--potential advisors, current students, etc-- at the visit weekend). If you DON'T get in, you won't have to worry about it at all. Step one before step two. That's a useful thing to keep in mind for grad school in general.
  5. Adding to Bill's excellent response: You need to specialize in the field you are most passionate about. It's not about improving your odds at a job five years from now. It's about doing your best work in a field where you would then be spending 30+ years of a career. I really like Chaucer. I'm incredibly fond of Victorian novels. I dig comics and graphic novels. But I can't imagine spending 30 years working on any of those topics. But Renaissance drama? I LIVE for that. When I teach it, I come alive and I never tire of seeing it, thinking about it, and writing about it. Whicheve
  6. The above is some great advice. There are some programs with defined specialties in the area. Beyond that, the key is to figure out which programs have profs who could make up your committee. Look at it not just as trying to find a "S.F." school, but a school that has people who can do S.F. AND the things that intersect with your work. What, for example, is your particular interest IN S.F.? Gender? Race? Technology? Utopia? Post-Apocalyptic? In what genre/mode? Television? Film? Novels? You want to find a school where you can form a committee. Case in point, my school (Rochester
  7. It could also be programs shifting to reflect the job market. There have been a LOT of jobs the last couple of years that want Med/Ren. Some were specific about wanting a Ren who could dip back, but most just wanted someone who could show that they could handle both fields. I wouldn't be surprised to see programs shifting to make sure their early fields folks get good coverage on both sides of the Med/Ren divide. For those of you starting grad school now, I would recommend focusing your work (not your Diss, per se, but coursework, conference presentations, and maybe a publication or two) o
  8. I did (a condo/townhome) for many of the reasons you mentioned above (I live in Rochester, NY). I don't regret it at all, but there are reasons to/not to do this. I'm on the way out the door at the moment (headed to Atlanta for SAA), but feel free to PM me with any questions.
  9. Hi all, I'm on the board for a regional branch of the College English Association (a great conference that has equal emphasis on both lit crit and pedagogy). This October, I'll be running the conference here at the U of Rochester. It's an interdisciplinary conference, so all subfields are welcome! The New York College English Association (NYCEA) has a great reputation for being welcoming to graduate student, and the last few years, they've reserved a round-table session for graduate student professionalization topics. Let me know if you have any questions. The CfP
  10. This is one of the better, infographic representations of perceived vs. actual "imposter syndrome." I found it useful when I first saw it, particularly in keeping things in perspective.
  11. If the better ranked school is Harvard/Yale/Princeton/Etc? Then the better ranked school will lead to more job opportunities. If it's a choice between schools with comparable reputations overall, then the one with the specialty reputation will generally be better. Ultimately, the best way to figure it out is to talk to the grad secretaries at the schools you are considering. Get detailed stats (ie: don't settle for "x% of graduates get jobs at blah blah blah." Ask specific questions. Where have graduates landed tenure track positions over the last 5 years? Who were the last few students
  12. The poster who mentioned the HYP hype is spot on. I think all of the programs you mentioned are "top tier" All I'm saying is that the perceived top of that top tier, based on hiring trends, seems to open the most doors on the job market. Particularly with Harvard and Yale, the sense is more "when they get a job" instead of "WILL they get a job." I think all of the schools you mentioned have the cache to open doors for R1 jobs, but with lesser odds than Harvard and Yale. Letterhead from a program like mine (and to be clear, I've had an amazing experience and don't particularly want to land
  13. Yes and no. There are tiers of programs with no clearly defined borders. You mention Penn, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc, you know you are talking about tier 1 schools. Where tier one ends and tier two begins is a different story, however. Pick a school that is very highly regarded (say a UVA or a CUNY), and ask a dozen people which tier it's in, you'll likely get a slew of different answers. At that point, sub-field comes into play, too. Some schools are known for a particular field (like Notre Dame, Fordham, or Rochester for Medieval for example). So a school that might be viewed as t
  14. It ultimately comes down to the kinds of jobs you want and the number of opportunities you will have. If you in any way want to land a job at a research oriented school, you need to be in a top 10 to 15 program. And even then, if you are closer to 10 than you are to 1 your odds are going to get exponentially more difficult. If you want to land a job at a teaching oriented school, top 40-50 programs can still get you there. It will be more about what kind of package you can present (CV, professional activity, demonstration of service, ability to wear multiple hats, a variety of teaching exp
  15. This. When it's as close a call as it is for you, you pick the school 40 rank higher. If school A was a lousy fit and an unhealthy atmosphere, that would be one thing (because toxic leads to added stress, added stress leads to not finishing, and if you don't finish then placement history means nothing). But from the sounds of it, you just seem to have a bit of a wistful urge to go to the second school. If it really is as close as you say, go with the first, higher ranked school. You'll thank yourself five years from now. And @lyonessrampant, how crazy is it that we are job mark
  16. I worked with a semi-recent UPenn grad (medievalist) here at Rochester (she got a job here as the Robbins Library Director, but just had to leave because her partner got an amazing job in England). From my conversations with her, I'm not surprised at all that Penn's placement rate is so high. To hear her talk, Penn puts a HUGE emphasis on professionalization. That, plus Penn letterhead will lead to job offers. It's second-hand info, but I figured I'd toss it out there.
  17. I started my program at 31, so there's always hope! A good friend was in his 40s when he was accepted to Indiana, too, so while it really is different program to program, age IS just a number! Out of curiosity--when I saw your sig line (the bit about Shakespeare and education, which are also interests of mine), I scrolled back to see how you defined your research interests. Have you thought of looking at PhD programs in education? Your proposed project in previous posts seemed to be more on the education side of things.
  18. Hi folks, Bumping this old post of mine, as the abstract deadline for NYCEA 2016 is coming up soon (though it might be extended). This year's conference theme is "The Value of the Humanities and Writing in the 21st Century," and the conference will be held at Suffolk County CC-Ammerman in Selden, NY (Long Island). The brief version--great small conference. Particularly useful for grad students (grad professionalization panel, good odds of winning the grad paper prize/cv line, great networking opportunities, etc). All the stuff from the original post still applies, so I won'
  19. My suggestion would be to just divide the publications by type. Add a sub-heading to your publications section for "Literary publications" and list them there. Programs that don't care will likely skip right over it, but some programs (and by programs, I mean "random professor on the search committee") could view that favorably. In other words, I can't see many situations where it would hurt you, and there might be a case or three where it will help you stand out.
  20. I don't know all of the funded MA programs, but I do know that U of Delaware has been pretty well-funded. Beyond that, based on your interest in theory, it might be a good idea to look at UBuffalo's PhD program. Theory is pretty much their calling card. Alternatively, you could look at Cornell (they host a very well-regarded summer theory program every year).
  21. And no one does. That was precisely my point. With all of one year of MA work under my belt, I had no idea what I was doing at my first conference. Conference drafts tend to be around 8 or 9 pages and are re-written to be more discursive (ie- points for a stop and expound moment, signposting language, removal of lengthy quotations, etc). That said, the majority of the presentations at most conferences in our field do involve people reading from a prepared draft. There are exceptions (I quite liked the SAA's seminar approach, for example), but at this point in my graduate career (ABD, pres
  22. It's not a bad idea, but I wouldn't spend too much money on it. My first conference, I thought I was so ready. I asked all the questions (or so I thought). Made sure to know how long my paper should be (20 minutes). Ready to roll. Until I got to the conference. I thought all of the presenters had had recent strokes or something. I was amazed that everyone was speaking SO SLOWLY! It had never occurred to me that one must read a paper in such a way to make it easy to follow by ear (I know I know, common sense, but everyone has one of those common sense lapses, haha). My paper
  23. My undergrad was an English/Secondary Ed BS. I then taught high school for four years and left on a long-term leave to do a 2-year MA in English lit. I resigned my HS teaching position at that point to pursue the PhD in English lit. My advice would be to do your MA in secondary ed (that's the one you are starting in the fall, yes?)--if possible, do a track that gives you an administration credential. At the end of that MA, do an MA in English lit. You can either go right through, or try to teach secondary for a few years (in some areas, school districts will reimburse you fo
  24. In my undergrad nerd-herd, I was the Chaucerian. That was my thing. I was the one our friends went to for questions on the Tales. Then I graduated and taught high school for a few years, and I realized something. While I still loved Chaucer, I wasn't particularly driven by it. But I lived for the Shakespeare unit. I couldn't get enough of it--teaching it, talking about it, thinking about it, etc. So when I eventually went to grad school, I specialized in Renaissance drama. So as far as advice, I would suggest you think about what you might be interested in for a span of 30+
  25. My cousin is finishing up her first year in the program there (Anglo-Saxonist), and she has had a wonderful experience thus far! Congrats!
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