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About ripley9

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  • Location
    Boston, MA
  • Interests
    Poetry, translation
  • Program

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  1. Hi Ripley! On one of the forums, you posted about your experience taking Cambridge's M.Phil in Criticism and Culture. I'm planning on applying to the program myself and would love to hear your experience with it. Thanks!

  2. A friend sent this to me earlier today, and I thought it was interesting...don't know if there is a more appropriate place to share it: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/03/30/phd
  3. I actually completed that program last year, and would be happy to share my experiences in detail or in summary. I think that for particular theoretical interests like post-modernism, deconstruction or psychoanalysis the program is excellent. It's not nearly as interdisciplinary as it makes itself out to be, however, and as an American student there I found almost no support from the faculty, compared to what I was used to in U.S. schools. There were exceptions to that, and I had a good relationship with my supervisor which is the key thing, but overall I was disappointed with the program. For theory it is good, but if you want practical application or context you're more or less out of luck. The program itself is so unclear about its focus that about half of my class of 22 felt like their interests were not being supported, and our interests were so diverse that it was hard to form collaborative relationships. All in all, the program was intellectually demanding but rather isolating. There wasn't as much research freedom as I expected either - it's advertised as a part-taught, part-research course and I think that kind of hybridity which is intended to provide breadth and common ground is actually rather frustrating and limiting. If you do decide to go, research your college choice carefully (I'd be happy to give you advice on this as well, if you're not familiar with the colleges) because that will have a huge impact on your experience there. If you want to talk further about anything, or ask me specific questions feel free to send me an email.
  4. I, also, would love to hear more about Columbia. Unsurprisingly I was not accepted, but I was very interested in the kind of flexibility loft is describing. In any case, I wanted to put a more general question out there, to perhaps use this resource in a different way which I hope is ok. My interest is in literary translation, both the practice and the theory, with a strong focus on 20th century Latin American and Arabic poetry, and their relevant post-colonial fields. So I researched as best I could, came up with a list of (primarily long-shot) programs that had at least one person doing literary translation, and in some cases a fairly strong departmental focus on it. It seems as if I may have mis-matched myself significantly though, and am now second-guessing everything starting with whether I should be looking at "English" or "Comp. Lit." and spiraling from there. Does anyone have experience or ideas of programs that are suited for an interest in literary translation?
  5. As someone regretting deeply not getting into the Brown PhD this year, I wholeheartedly agree with the above posters. I opted for a masters last year thinking I would get another shot at the PhD, only to have everything change and not get in after completing the masters. Don't make my mistake - if you're sure you want a PhD go for it while you have the chance!
  6. ripley9

    MFA vs. PHD

    engguy - Thanks for the advice. Sorry, for some reason my signature didn't show up. The MFA is Iowa, the PhD is Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I think one of my concerns is just the potentially staggering amount of debt I could be getting into and with no word on funding I'll have to continue to wait and second guess myself all the time. I've thought the same thing about MFAs, but have now started to hear that there are no jobs for Comparative Literature PhDs... who knows. I'd be happy teaching in a creative writing program, or in an English/Literature program, or a Comparative Literature program - in my fantasy I would have the opportunity to teach something of craft, criticism and theory.
  7. ripley9

    Duke Graduate Program in Literature

    I just received the rejection email - no surprise, except for how long it took. I even called last week and was told my application was 'still being processed.' Anyway, my last name begins with an M so I don't know if they're doing it alphabetically, one letter per day, or something like that.
  8. ripley9

    Cambridge M.Phil

    Congrats on the acceptance! This was actually my plan - I did my BA at a state school with a mediocre reputation, so applied to do a MPhil at Cambridge before applying to top tier PhDs back in the states. Was accepted, spent a demanding year at Cambridge, came back, applied and still didn't get in to any of the top tier PhDs. I got a high 2.1 at Cambridge, had a 4.0 undergrad, publications, teaching experience, language, pretty strong recs (at least the two that I've seen). So I don't know if it's because of that elusive 'fit' (I do lit theory and translation studies) or because of the economy or because simply speaking I'm not good enough. But long story short, I don't think having the MPhil from Cambridge improved my application significantly.
  9. ripley9

    MFA vs. PHD

    So after applying and being accepted to both an MFA program in literary translation and a PhD program in Comparative Literature (no word on funding yet) I'm struggling to decide what would be a better place for me. My career goal is to teach at the university level, but not necessarily exclusively in the States, which leans me toward a PhD since I don't think the MFA carries much weight abroad. But the MFA program has a reputation for being one of the best, which will certainly make a difference (according to my undergrad professors) here in the States. Any thoughts on this? I've been looking for job placement rates with an MFA vs a PhD, but haven't found a good resource yet.
  10. ripley9

    NYU - waiting still?

    I'm still waiting to hear, applied to the Comparative Literature PhD. Saw two acceptances on the results forum from February, so my guess is that it's another rejection. I just wish they would send it already! I actually just broke down and emailed the Administrative Aide. My patience is wearing thin, and my anxiety is getting the better of me.

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