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  1. Creative writing at those schools is going to be much harder to get into.
  2. Do Classics PhD programs care where one goes to undergrad?

    Augustinian, people won't like this answer because it's unfair--but yeah. Unless it's Holy Cross, which has a strong reputation for Classics, it's going to be tougher. Certainly not impossible--especially if you have professors who know you well and write great recs (an advantage of the small school) and you have good GRE scores--but a professor once explained to me that the undergrad students who tend to have the most success are the ones graduating from schools with top grad programs, because there's a certain amount of wheeling and dealing with departmental grad school admissions. Basically, professor X from Berkeley can call professor Y from Harvard and tell her that if she takes the Berkeley student, he'll take the Harvard student. Same with UNC, UCLA, Penn, Texas, Michigan, Brown, etc. If you graduate, even from a highly respected liberal arts school like Middlebury, your professors writing your recs and going to bat for you don't have any comparable currency. (The advantage, though, is that they will know you well and could write better recs, and possibly teach you Latin and Greek better--since you will always have profs instead of grad students your first year or two.)
  3. Crediting Translators?

    In English, translators' names rarely appear on the front cover--unless the translator is as famous as an author, like Lattimore or Fagles. Your name should appear inside, with the copywright. If it's on the title page, you're very lucky. It's unfair, but in English translators are hidden away. It's changing a bit now, but still readers shy away from translations, so unless it's The Iliad that you've translated, publishers are hoping nobody will ever notice a translator was involved. (I've translated a bunch of stuff, and had good experiences and bad.)
  4. But if you're studying literature (as in written texts), the written form of ASL is English. (I know ASL is a different language, closer to French sign language than English, etc.; My sister speaks it.) So, how would it help research? If you are doing fieldwork in linguistics or sociology it could be crucial, but I have a hard time figuring out how ASL would help you access literature related to disability studies--unless maybe you're focusing on film. With written texts, I'd think being able to read braille would be more helpful.
  5. Spouses and Jobs

    Dear god, do not do anything that has your spouse commuting 3-4 hours a day. Imagine the tension that could cause in a marriage: "You read Chaucer today? I spent 4 hours (or about 1/2 the amount of time a professional trucker is allowed to drive per day) on the freeway to get to a job I don't like as much as the one I left." (I know that studying literature isn't just fun and reading, but when your spouse is in a bad mood, it might seem that way.)
  6. I find ASL and sign languages absolutely fascinating, but since I assume foreign languages are required because of research in English PhDs, and the written languages for the deaf are the same as the national languages, I find it strange that any English graduate advisor would allow ASL to count. If you were in a linguistics program it would perfect sense, though.
  7. Language for a Victorianist?

    Polish since it was the native language of a major Victorian/Modernist writer. If Conrad wasn't influenced by Polish literature, it would at least be interesting to see how the Poles viewed him.
  8. You wouldn't get into a Classics post-bac without some Latin and Greek. They're really for people who have 3 years of Latin and 1 of Greek, or maybe 2 and 2. Check out Berkeley and CUNY's intensive summer Latin programs.
  9. Columbia's Curriculum

    To be fair, with the amount of tuition Columbia charges most of their MFA students you should be able to take any class you damn well like.
  10. Columbia's Curriculum

    I believe Arkansas has a program that fits that bill.
  11. Private art school or public in-state (MFA poetry)?

    SFSU. CCA may be prestigious (I don't really know) for visual arts, but it's not a top creative writing program. That is fine, and if it were a perfect place for you and your writing, I'd say go for it. But SFSU is better known to writers (esp. for poetry). Also, the teaching certification is key. You will come out of the program with a possible career-qualification. Most people getting MFAs do not and are in a panic when it's time to pay back student loans. If you feel you need to do an MFA, SFSU is, in my opinion, a much smarter choice.
  12. New Rankings

    Tulane did fairly well for a school whose English PhD has been suspended for the last 12 years. I mean, it's no Bryn Mawr, but it's nothing to sniff at.

    << Students are not able to take incompletes, and if exams are failed more than once, you are "terminated from the program". This seems a bit severe.>> It will also probably get you out of there with a PhD in 5-6 years. In a weird way, these sound like good things to me. And they obviously believe you can do it if they're throwing that much money at you. I have absolutely no dog in this fight, but look at it this way--NYU is willing to give you the same amount of money as many assistant professors are offered. For me--unless I hated New York and it would be prohibitively expensive--that would put NYU far ahead of Cornell.

    My experience may be different than others', but it always seemed to me that professors--because they don't make huge amounts of money--are borderline obsessed with well-paid positions and fellowships. Whenever a program's reputation begins to skyrocket, it's often because they've secured a way to pay professors or grad students better. So when calculating a program's prestige, I would consider a lucrative fellowship to raise the ranking significantly. NYU is a very well-respected institution (just by virtue of being in NYC they are always going to be able to attract top talent for faculty; the fact that they have deep pockets helps too). Cornell is too, but while it is probably significantly stronger in Medieval Lit than NYU, is it really that much better in Theory at this point? I can't imagine it is--especially if you start taking NYU's Philosophy program into account. Basically, if in 2013 Cornell was ranked at 8 and NYU was 20, in 2017 I bet they're closer and an additional $22,000 on offer would probably tip the scales in NYU's favor reputation-wise.
  15. MFA at UNLV

    Because there aren't too many creative writing PhDs, UNLV's PhD program seems to get more attention, but its MFA should be good as well. Same professors, everyone gets funding, and--if you like--you probably have a better shot at getting into their PhD once you've done well in their MFA. Sounds good to me.