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Rhetoric and Composition vs Literature


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Hello all,

I am going to be applying to PhD programs at the end of this year, and have a list of schools that interest me.

In trying to think about which unique programs appeal to me, I've noticed a few schools offer specializations or different tracks in either Literature/Literary Studies or in Rhetoric and Composition. I understand that these are different routes, and have traditionally felt like I want to apply to Literature-based offerings first, but this is why my question comes from;

Are students in Rhetoric/Composition tracks of some of these programs funded in the same manner and extent as their Literature counterparts? Anyone here in a Rhetoric specialized program whose school also offers a Literature-track, be able to give personal accounts of this? I am unsure of how to view these different PhD offers exist in light of one another, as Literature seems to be the dominant course of study. I'm referring to schools in the T20 of rankings lists and some outside.

Thank you, and again, I'm looking to understand if the funding a school's website lists also applies to studies of Rhetoric or a non-Literature PhD focus.

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10 hours ago, Hasspurple said:

I'm referring to schools in the T20 of rankings lists and some outside.

Small note here: English program rankings as rated by USNews do not apply to Rhetoric and Composition Rankings. Additionally, some programs are more rhetoric-heavy while others are more composition-heavy. Some might even lean towards being more digital humanities focused, but such programs can also be found in Literature programs. There are also some Rhet-Comp programs that are more literature-focused.

 

10 hours ago, Hasspurple said:

Are students in Rhetoric/Composition tracks of some of these programs funded in the same manner and extent as their Literature counterparts?

In most cases, the funding would be the same for programs that offer both a Literature and a Rhetoric/Composition track.  Responsibilities for obtaining the funding might be different for the two tracks though.

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Posting a related question here: as a student who is really interested in literature but whose interests veer into grammar and linguistics (as they relate to my period of literature), would I be correct in assuming that literature is the better fit for me? Is it worth mentioning faculty/tracks in rhet/comp if I'm applying to literature? At a few of the programs I've looked at, there are faculty members who work in both departments with appealing interests.

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3 hours ago, Indecisive Poet said:

Posting a related question here: as a student who is really interested in literature but whose interests veer into grammar and linguistics (as they relate to my period of literature), would I be correct in assuming that literature is the better fit for me? Is it worth mentioning faculty/tracks in rhet/comp if I'm applying to literature? At a few of the programs I've looked at, there are faculty members who work in both departments with appealing interests

In my MA program, my thesis was moving dangerously close to linguistics and one of my professors made sure I knew that I needed to rein it back into Literature with a literary analysis, not a cultural linguistic one. Linguistics is more science-y, but sociolinguistics might get you as close to literature as possible. I think you're better off with Literature than Linguistics (take this with a grain of salt, considering I don't exactly know your interests). A few programs, I believe, do have a linguistics cluster/minor at the PhD level.  You might wanna look into that so you can have the best of both worlds.  

From my understanding, rhet/comp is very much about writing, teaching writing, making meaning and writing across disciplines (and other things too--sometimes technology).  But if you're talking about your period of literature, and using linguistics in there, it would appear that you fit into that periodic subfield, and not rhet/comp, maybe?

Edited by Cryss
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