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Found 26 results

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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!
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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?
  16. 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?
  17. 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?
  18. 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!!
  19. 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!
  20. 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..
  21. ask

    Low essay score

    Hello everyone, I took my GRE for the first time this February, and I received my scores recently. My verbal and math scores seem to be fine, but my essay percentile is quite low... perhaps I should've done a practice essay or something. :/ Verbal 167 - 98% Math 164 - 91% Essay 4.5 - 72% I'm planning to apply to some French and Comparative literature programs this upcoming fall. Should I retake the GRE to boost my essay score? Do universities care about these GRE essay scores? Thanks in advance,
  22. I was wondering if you guys could give me some information about Buffalo's various programs. It seems to be a very popular school on this board, and I am not overly familiar with it. What is the English Department's specialties? The Comparative Literature Department? How is it to be a student in either program? Are they reputable? If I were to attend either as a partially funded Comp Lit MA would my chances at a top tier PhD program increase? Would I be allowed to take English classes? How do PhD programs know to what extent the applicants with MA's are funded? Any information about the programs there would be most helpful. If any current students there would be willing to talk to me, that would be ideal.
  23. Hello guys, so here's my question about the notorious GRE: if a graduate program doesn't require it, do you think it's still a good idea to take it? Could it be helpful in order to be in a better position when the commission will evaluate you, especially when it comes to decide who gets a scholarship? I asked such a general question for the sake of common help, but of course I have my specific case in mind: I'm thinking about a Dartmouth MA in Comparative Literature, and sending the GRE is optional in this case. Anyway, I'll have to take it because I'll also send my application to other programs. Consider that I'm not an English native speaker, and I haven't done any math in years, so the GRE might not be a perk in my applications. Do you think I should send the scores also to this school? Will they appreciate the effort? And, most important of all, will it be an important factor in order to be considered for a scholarship?
  24. Dear all, I won't beat around the bush. I'm looking for advice, and browsers who have the time or inclination to respond will be received with great alacrity. I graduated in architecture (1st class hons, equivalent of magna cum laude, sorry for the Brit-speak!) from Cambridge in 2010. But since then decided that I want to pursue PhD studies in Comparative Literature (not as random as it looks, I've always been extremely literary). I am Chinese and therefore very interested in a comparative stance through the perspective of literature. My great anxiety, foreseeable no doubt, is my lack of formal training. Is there any chance on earth that I will be considered, let alone taken onto a PhD programme, with this, parlous state of affairs? I'm not being as presumptuous as it may perhaps appear so far...(please hear me out!) As I've actually always wanted to study literature, and thus have always sustained literary pursuits. My third year dissertation focusing on 'place' in the novel, was recommended by my supervisor for publication. The tentative proposals I have sent to North American Universities has been well received. One professor at a top university said that she read my proposal with 'interest and admiration for its richness and breadth of scope', and several other professors have said they are very interest and encouraged me to apply. I'm bilingual in Chinese and English. Reading ability in Classical Chinese. Also reading ability in French and Spanish to first year Undergraduate level. So enough boasting, here's the BUT. BUT as I'm sure you all know, it's not your supervisor who ultimately makes the decision. The one director of postgraduate studies that I have spoken to, has stressed my lack of formal training... So because I'm depressed and at my wit's end, I open my dilemma to the floor, presuming there's anyone remotely interested. What to do? Do I tantrum my way onto a comparative literature master for this year (and spend a heap of money)? Do I pursue my own studies at home and hope for the best come application cycle? Is there anyone willing to share relevant experience in this field (i.e. phd with only BA; changing subject areas) My gratitude for your forbearance. And the very best of luck for all your own pursuits.
  25. Dff

    Art vs.academia

    Hey!! I recently applied for a scholarship to get a Masters in Comparative Literature in the US. Now, I am also looking at Creative Writing programs (specially, the Masters in Professional Writing at USC) and I am really liking them. Does anyone know a program that combines literature academic classes with creative writing classes? Or a university that will allow me to take classes from both programs? I really appreciate the help!!
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