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basicpolitics

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  1. In terms of the foreign language stuff--I have a reading knowledge of German, but don't have any classes on my college transcript indicating this. Do you think it would be wise to start a second language, take an upper level german class to get it on my transcript, or none of the above because adcoms don't care if it's on your transcript/there are other ways of indicating language proficiency on the app?
  2. So would you recommend just reading straight through the Norton Anthology instead of picking a few authors to focus on? Although I've taken survey philosophy classes that have basically covered Plato to Foucault, my approach to teaching myself theory outside of class has just been to pick authors that interest me and then read representative books. The field just seems overwhelming sometime, every professor seems to have their pet theorists they bring up all the time. Is it expected to have a very broad knowledge of 20th C. criticism and a solid background on pre-20th C. stuff, or is it expected to have a few authors you know really well in the 20th C. and a shallow knowledge of pre 20th C.? Would you recommend doing independent study junior year or just taking seminar classes, and then doing an independent study senior year? I've read the Eagleton book, it's really good. I just feel like the expectation is to have an encyclopedic knowledge of contemporary criticism--to be able to regurgitate Butler versus Austin, etc.--is this a complete misperception?
  3. I'm currently an undergraduate sophomore studying English. I'm definitely interested in pursuing a PhD in English—my interests right now are the realist novel and American lit 1918-1939. Although I've read a decent amount of theory, I'm looking for lit crit/theory texts that are must reads if I'm preparing for an advanced degree in English. Also, any suggestions as to productive summer activities? I'll be doing an internship around 15 hours a week, so I'll have time to spare. Thanks for the help.
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