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  1. Hi everyone! My mother tongue is Persian and I'm a bachelor's student of French literature and I have a good level in French. I haven't decided yet but I will probably study for a Master of Comparative Literature or Linguistics. I have decided to start learning a language and I have chosen Turkish. Do you think this will help in comparative literature or linguistics? Or in other words is there a best language to learn for students of comparative literature or students of linguistics?
  2. Hey guys, I hope you are doing well this season! I am an international applicant and I have just submitted two application for comp. lit. Unfortunately, when I reviewed my application materials (I wish I didn't!!) I realized that I forgot to delete one subtitle of my first chapter(1.1 xxx), in which I was intended to make it a integrated chapter without any sub-sector; and of course, that extra sub-title doesn't appear in the content!! I am so frustrated right now, I can't believe I did this!😭 I have looked through many threads about mistakes or typos in application material, some suggests that since making mistakes is what everyone does, so there is no need to worry about that. But I am not sure if having an extra subtitle is way more serious than I imagined. Would you please give me some suggestions on whether should I contact the department and ask for the possibility of substituting a corrected version of my ws for the wrong one? Thank you so much!
  3. Has anybody heard back from any school for PhDs in Italian or Comparative Romance Studies? So far I have a Skype interview with UT Austin (Italian program), and Duke (Comparative Romance Studies) is funding me to go visit campus and meet with faculty (is this a good sign or should I chill out?). I still have not heard back from Brown, Notre Dame, and U Oregon. Any comments or tips are welcome! I have not seen much about Italian programs on the forum and it's not helping 😁
  4. Both seem great, though highly different, options. At times, I find myself considering the schools through a Head/Heart dichotomy, where: Heart = Berkeley; Head = Princeton. This may be foolishness, but there it is. *** Princeton Pros: Better stipend, less teaching, cheaper cost of living, proximate to New York and Philly, more funding for archival research, language study, and conference travel. Princeton Cons: (Allegedly) more traditional and hierarchical, not exactly a vibrant town, smaller [possibly a pro], more self-enclosed, less pleasant weather/environment overall. AND Berkeley Pros: Beautiful area, lovely weather, more diversity (of people, ideas, environment), larger [could also be a con], more vibrant grad. student life and community, more life outside of campus, (allegedly) less hierarchical. Berkeley Cons: Worse stipend, higher cost of living, more teaching, environmentally precarious area (earthquakes, droughts, wildfires, hyper-development), less funding for archival research, language study, travel. *** Any help, advice, anecdotes, are appreciated tremendously! Thank you.
  5. Hello everyone, Welcome to my pre-graduate educational crisis. I'm currently a Junior in a BFA Creative Writing program; however, I studied English at my previous college. I need help deciding where to focus my academic efforts over the next 9 months so that I'm not applying to programs which are beyond my skill-set. I've considered pursing an MFA, but after speaking with my advisors I feel that a PhD program better suits my current interests. I'm much less interested in publishing creative work in literary journals than I am in understanding the rhetoric of artistic forms and the culture/experiences they encapsulate. I've been primarily looking into Comparative Literature graduate programs (the interdisciplinary potential excites me,) but I only have an intermediate level of French; I can read fluently and speak fairly fluidly, but my writing skills are comparatively poor. I'm very interested in Showa Era Japan, particularly post-war, and the cultural exports of Japan to the United States and France, but my Japanese is very rudimentary. My McNair advisor suggested I pursue the UCSC History of Consciousness program or another program rooted in Critical Theory. I really took to the whole 'liberal arts' thing and waded into every pool of the humanities (visual art, philosophy, identity, etc). My small college doesn't have much to offer me in this area so I'm researching this field on my own. I'd also be happy to focus on methodologies (Narrative and Rhetorical Theory, Marxism and Critical Social Theory, Writing Studies/Pedagogy, Cognitive Studies) so I'm open to English programs that allow me to focus on this aspect. My areas of academic knowledge are broad but very shallow. I'm not sure what level of experience in these areas I'm expected to have as an undergrad. I've only just started looking into some academic journals this year. My classes have focused more on theory and I've only written a couple of serious research papers. None of them have been in any of my areas of interest so far. The closest I've come was when I was translating Baudelaire, discussed its poetics, and mentioned its depiction in a manga/anime, Aku no Hana (this wasn't even a traditionally academic paper, more of a poetry/creative essay/academic hybrid.) Is it a bad idea to pursue academic research when I've been more trained to pursue an MFA? Would an MFA allow me to explore these academic areas without jumping ship into what's essentially another discipline? Is a bad idea to pursue interest areas in which I have only limited undergrad academic experience? Thank you for any feedback you can give me. I hope I have enough time between now and November to course-correct my time and studies towards a viable area of discipline.
  6. Hello, I recently earned an MA in English, with an emphasis in literature, and I plan to continue my educational journey by applying to a PhD program. The issue I have is that I do not know what type of PhD to pursue. I have been blessed, or perhaps cursed with an eclectic taste in academic areas. My MA was an examination of Harvey Pekar's The Quitter, focusing on the juxtaposition between Pekar's text and Dean Haspiel's illustrations. However, my current obsession is with the Ramacharitmanas. Regardless of whether I write on graphic literature in the contemporary, European/American model or in the classical, Indian model, my writing will still deal with text and graphic interpretation and how the level of collaboration between the two parties, if there is any, effects the final product. Would this topic fall under the purview of literature or comparative literature? If I focused on the Ramacharitmanas, would this topic fit in well with South Asian studies program? Is South Asian studies considered an interdisciplinary program? I eagerly await your input in this matter.
  7. Hi all, Here is my background. I have studied four years of translation (Chinese - English) for my undergraduate program and finally decided to focus on literature studies during my senior year. The only related literature courses I have taken are Literary Translation, Drama Translation, & Russian Literature. All three of them are introductory where I have learned some elementary stuffs about Halliday's linguistic models and literary theories & criticism. They are useful but I am not sure if they are that useful as well in Comparative Literature. As a matter of fact, I barely know about Comparative Literature. The reasons that I became interested in this subject are that I enjoy comparing literary works especially those from English culture, Russian Culture and Chinese culture, and that many scholars that I admire turn out to be from the Comparative Literature Department of different institutes. I am going to study Comparative Lit next year in Britain. I would love to know which aspect does Comparative Literature focus on- whether it focuses on linguistics, literary theories & criticism, history, politics or so on (or does it covers all?)- so that I can further prepare myself for my graduate program in this subject. Luckily I would like to stick to this program for my PhD Love to hear different voices.
  8. Hey! Was just wondering if anyone else is applying to comp lit programs and is waiting for results...I'm curious about where you've applied to and whether you've heard back yet. I got an interview invitation (Skype) from UC Santa Barbara last week, but didn't hear back from any other schools I applied to. I'm an international student with a BA in comp lit at an American school. My area is Chinese & German modernism, feminism, and psychoanalysis. Good luck everybody & would be nice to hear from someone! I'm getting more and more nervous haha Have a nice day!
  9. I was just wondering if anyone ever declined a fully-funded Ph.D. offer and chose to re-apply? I have a BA in Comparative Literature and decided to apply only to Ph.D. programs. In retrospect, I probably over-estimated myself and only got in a few programs that are on the lower end of my list. I know this sounds really bad and that a lot of people would be really happy to go to the programs I got accepted into, but a little part of me wonders if I should work on my apps and re-apply next year/get an MA first. Most of my professors are against it - no need to go into debt and do a masters that's not too hard to get in. I'm just not sure. I'm afraid I won't like the program, and am worried about placement...any suggestion/comment would be helpful!
  10. Hey everyone! I could really use your help: I'm trying to decide on an English or Comparative Literature program and am curious as to whether any of you think that placement records are an important factor in deciding? If so, how do you determine what a good placement record is? Thirdly, why are some schools better at placing students than others? I'm finding this very confusing because strong placement records sometimes don't correspond to the school's level of prestige. For example, I noticed that at Brown's English department, only 7% of graduates in the last 4 years got tenure-track jobs. And at Rutgers, 68% of graduates went on to secure tenure-track jobs.
  11. Hi, I'm in my second semester as a Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature. I know some people might think that it's too early for me to start worrying about what to do to get hired, others might be thinking that it's never too early, others might be saying "you're a comparative lit. major, there are no jobs" lol, but please just stick with me a moment. I'm looking for advice on how I can become a more competitive applicant when applying for assistant professor jobs (and similar jobs) after I finish my Ph.D. I'm technically first-generation college student (my parents dropped out of college, and my much older sister went to college later through a continuing studies program and received a masters online. However, she doesn't work in academia) so I'm pretty lost here about how all of this works and what's attractive to universities. I'm trying to figure out what I can do to stand out. I've been told that I should go to conferences, so I applied to two and got accepted. Are conferences helpful or do you feel like it doesn't make much of a difference? Should I try publishing more? Researching (you know, outside of my future dissertation work)? If so, how do I start approaching professors or institutions, in general, to start doing that? After graduation, should I apply to a post-doc program? If so, do you know of any stand out ones that I should aim for or even what people look for when hiring post-docs or do you just feel like post-docs are unnecessary? My fellowship requires me to teach one semester gratis. Should I attempt at teaching more? Older students in my department have suggested getting a masters in another department (i.e. English, French, Anthropology, Theatre, etc.) to further diversify myself and make more valuable connections, but I'm not sure if tagging on another year or two to finish another degree for the sake of networking is that beneficial especially when comparative literature programs require you to take courses outside of your department anyway. Should I start building more experiences outside of academia (In undergrad, I was an EIC of a publication for a year, I've also worked in publishing, tutoring, mentoring, and led a social justice/community service non-profit organization for a year, and I minored and worked in social media for a bit-- should I keep doing more things like that in grad school or is it time to refocus and just build on one or two things?) If I sound really young, lost, and a little overwhelmed, it's because I am. I graduated from a private university with a degree in English (writing) in three years and was accepted straight-way into this Ph.D. program when I was 20 going on 21 years old. My program requires 48-course credits, after this semester (I entered in Fall 2017 right now I'm in Spring 2018 semester) I would have 24 credits so I'm approaching that halfway mark with my coursework (I probably need to slow down a bit, but I can't hold a job on this fellowship minus departmental related research/internships relevant to my career so I don't have anything really going on at the moment). I'm required to take a minimum 9 credits Fall/Spring each and a minimum 6 credits in the summer so I'll be at 30 credits when the Fall 2018 semester commences. I'm not at a prestigious ivy league school; I'm in a very small program at a pretty large public university. I don't feel like me being young with a good fellowship is enough to really stand out. So if anyone knows about ways I can further build my CV and experiences to become a better applicant for future jobs, that info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
  12. I am starting this thread for those interested in discussing the future of the field of comparative literature. Here are some possible topics: Is it a dying field? If so, will its members be absorbed into English, language departments, etc.? Is it growing? If so, where and how? How is the job market? E.g. I have heard the market is terrible for women, but men are finding positions in comp/lit, English, and language departments. Can anyone confirm/deny this rumor? Looking forward to hearing your perspectives.
  13. Hey all--I could use your advice. I was just waitlisted from a comparative literature program. The graduate director informed me that the committee loved my application but was a bit hesitant about the fact that i've never done any graduate work in non English languages (even though I am trilingual). I've already graduated so it's a little late for me to enroll in any non-English classes. In the event I do not get into any school and must reapply next year, does anyone have any suggestions for things I can do that might demonstrate my language abilities for my applications? Thanks in advance for your help!
  14. Hi! So I'm an applicant to Ph.D. programs in comparative literature and just got a short email from the DGS at UC Santa Barbara. It basically says that the admissions committee think I'm a good fit for the program and asked if I'd be able to talk in the next few days. Is that an interview request? I was told by my professors that most schools don't do interviews for my program, so I am very confused. She said I could do either a phone call or Skype. I'm assuming that means I'll only be talking with one person? Anyways, any advice would be really really helpful! THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!
  15. I have two M.As. One in Philosophy of Science and another one in Comparative. Both are from institutions outside the United States. I did well in both of them and I participated in two summer schools and two conferences. Now, I want to do a Ph.D. program in Comparative Literature in a North American University (I have several options). However, I was wandering if the fact that I already have two master's degrees could diminish my chances of admission to a Ph.D. program. Does anybody know about similar cases? Thank you.
  16. Ok so, I'm starting to very seriously consider applying to PhD programs in comparative literature. However, I'm terrified of the whole application process. I just finished an MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia and remember how intense and nerve-wracking that whole application process was. One of my most irrational fears is of the GRE. I took the GRE a few years ago and my scores were not all that. So, what score should I be aiming to get? Also, what--in your opinion--are the most important things that I should focus on in the app. Should I email professors at the schools I'll be applying to? If so, what's the etiquette of those emails? Basically, I just need to know what I'm doing because I'm very confused and irrationally nervous to even start the process.
  17. Yo, Two things: 1. I'm having trouble finding people doing what I want to do. My goal is to apply to Comp Lit programs (F 2018), but I'm not sure I'm competitive or whatever. I have a reading knowledge of Russian, German, Biblical Greek, and Biblical Hebrew (I feel like most programs want more than a reading knowledge, but I'm finding it hard to get further w/o spending much $$$). I went to a whatever Christian liberal arts college, got a B.A. in English, minor in Theology, 3.75 GPA, some good papers, good recommenders, albeit unknown. I want to look mostly at biblical, theological, and philosophical influences on 19thC Anglophone and Russian lit, mostly novels. Do any schools, scholars, or programs come to mind where that would even make sense? 2. Who's doing anything similar? Anything comparative between ancient and modern(ish) influences? Anyone doing bible stuff in a lit dept?
  18. So this is half questions and half venting tbh. The literature program I applied to invites a short lists of candidates to campus and admits people based off the interviews (and I'm assuming casual interactions) from that visit. So despite it being rather late, they haven't sent out any invitations. Any advice on how to make a specific literary topic applicable to many professors? I talked about learning a minority language (that maybe two professors could help me with) in my statement of purpose, but I'm worried other professors will find it too niche. This is a comparative literature program btw. Do you think it should suggest doing another language as well as the minority language I discussed or would that look too flaky? I also just got an email from the school inviting me to a Diversity day recruitment. It honestly made me so anxious, though, because it led with a "congratulations on your acceptance," but I haven't been accepted. It got me so riled up, and now I'm nervous about my interviews. No responses needed on that really, I'm just upset that the generic email got my hopes up.
  19. Hi!! I've applied to USC's PhD in comparative studies of literature and culture (the general track since my interests are in multiple languages). I see that one person got an interview notice last week. Has anyone else heard anything?? The person who got the interview, congrats! Would you mind sharing which track you selected? Thanks ❤️ Shira
  20. I know that most comp lit PhD programs require around four languages, but I have a feeling that they also expect us to have a very solid background in every one of its literature. If I have more languages than expected when applying, will they consider me as not specialized enough? (Although I have undergraduate majors in 2 of the languages) Will it an advantage or a disadvantage? Will they think that I spread myself too thin, especially because it is impossible to write a dissertation that includes all of the languages and its literature?
  21. I was an applicant last application cycle, and I ended up being more successful than I expected. I found the advice on this forum really helpful, although I didn't contribute much; I thought I would ask for some advice for my situation now. I apologize that I need to be vague; I'd be mortified if someone figured out who I was. I narrowed my choice down to two options last year — in fact, the two options that I had been most excited about throughout the application process. Both PhD programs, with nearly identical funding packages, geographic regions, etc. One was in Comp. Lit., and the other was in a national literature department at another school. I chose the latter. After weeks of wracking my brains/writing out more pro-con lists than I could count, neither program seemed a clear winner. So I picked what seemed like the "safe" option of focusing on one literature. Now, I won't say I'm miserable, because I'm not. Things are going reasonably well. But I am unhappy, and a few things worry me: There's a chance that my advisor might retire earlier than I was led to believe. (Knowing retirement was a possibility for this professor, I asked about it (politely) when applying. The answer has changed a little since I arrived.) I find that I'm frequently methodologically at odds with the department. I'm all about learning new things, but I have a little bit of training in the kind of reading/scholarship that I'm good at; reading in a vastly different way feels like fighting with one arm tied behind my back at this point. My research interests have remained squarely within the domain of comp. lit., but I'm be trained to be a very specific kind of scholar who doesn't generally use comparative methods. (There are two comparatist faculty members in the department, but the department is structured such that they don't interact much with graduate students doing coursework.) I understand that some degree of unhappiness is normal in the first year, I really do. I've been filled with regret since sending in my decisions, though, and it's only gotten worse — and I now have a few good reasons to consider starting over. My question, then, boils down to whether it would be weird/impossibly awkward to apply again to the department that I turned down. I know that there'd be no guarantees — I might not get in this time around. But I'm really starting to think that I'd grow into a better scholar in a comparative literature program, and I don't want to get to the end of these long five or six years and still be filled with this kind of regret. Thanks for reading this far. Does anyone have any experience with this? Any advice?
  22. Hello everyone! I am currently investigating programs in Comparative Literature. I'm interested in English, French, and maybe ancient Greek. Does anyone have any suggestions or experiences that they could share?
  23. Hi guys, anyone here who knows if it is more important to ask for professors who supervised you for a thesis on narrative theory, or a professor who is specialized in comparative literature but never supervised you doing any research (though you have taken the courses by that prof.) if I am to ask for the last of the three LOR for my application to a comparative literature PhD program with intended specialization in narrative theory? Thanks!!
  24. Hi, I've received three admits so far for comparative literature: UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, and UC Santa Cruz. I'm still waiting on decisions from Yale, Columbia, U of Chicago, CUNY Grad Center, and a few others (UCLA, though I think that's a no based on the results I've seen posted here; UCI; and UCM's interdisciplinary humanities program). All three have offered full funding for at least five years, and two (SB and Davis) will likely be giving me a fellowship. My research areas are Spanish (Golden Age, mysticism, modern Latin and Central American poetics) and Russian (early Soviet poetics, Bakhtin studies, Dostoevsky, mid- to late 20th century Russian novel). What do fellow literature folks think about these three departments? Any thoughts about how to choose, apart from the obvious (best fit, funding, etc.)? I'm just checking in to see if anyone has had any particularly positive or negative experiences with these schools, has any useful information, or could offer some sage advice. I'd welcome thoughts from current applicants also accepted to these departments. Thanks comparatistas!
  25. I am currently plagued by the precarious status of the European Continental Philosophical Tradition in contemporary academia. As most of you are probably well aware, continental philosophy has largely been relegated to departments as far and wide as comparative literature, german and french studies, sociology, etc. I want a strong training in history of philosophy, but the thinkers i'd like to study most intently in addition to gaining a strong foundation in the history of philosophy, such as Lacan, Bataille, Derrida, Baudrillard, merleau-ponty, Levinas, Heidegger, are hard to find in most "Tier One" University's philo departments. It seems peculiar to me to apply to comparative literature departments when my primary interests have nothing to ultimately do with literature; if anything, for my purposes literature is only used instrumentally for questions of a more philosophical nature. I realize that there are a lot of philosophy programs in okay schools with strong continental orientations (Stony brook, new school, U chicago, loyola, etc), but I am an extremely competitive student and, grotesquely and to my own utter embarrassment, I must admit that I don't want to sacrifice applying to more prestigious programs in order to accommodate my interests. i say this only pragmatically, because I know I can get into very competitive schools and desire to do so, if only because then my odds of getting a good tenured position after graduation are better. anyone familiar with programs that might prove helpful to me, general insight, or 'Ivy' schools with weird highly interdisciplinary departments ? feel free to bully me into accepting my comp. lit. fate, however strange the title may seem to me now..
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