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History of Science PhD Programs for Fall 2020

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This is my first round of PhD applications. I applied mainly to History of Science programs (Penn, Yale, Harvard, Columbia) and a couple American Studies programs (Brown, NYU). Anyone else here in the same boat? 

 

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4 hours ago, histofsci said:

This is my first round of PhD applications. I applied mainly to History of Science programs (Penn, Yale, Harvard, Columbia) and a couple American Studies programs (Brown, NYU). Anyone else here in the same boat? 

 

What are your interests?

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2 hours ago, histofsci said:

Hi! Did you also apply for fall 2020? 

No, I applied in Fall 2016.

Edited by psstein

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3 hours ago, eloiwy said:

I applied! History of medicine and science 

What are your interests?

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18 hours ago, eloiwy said:

I applied! History of medicine and science 

Best of luck to you! Where did you reply? 

I wonder if Penn has sent out their interview invites yet and if anyone has received one? 

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7 hours ago, histofsci said:

I wonder if Penn has sent out their interview invites yet and if anyone has received one? 

They usually go out in late December.

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I'm doing a master's in Korean history in Korea and I'm looking to move to the US for my PhD. But I'm not sure if there are any Korean HoS advisor available, so I'm wondering if I could have apply as a HoS student but have Korean history committee members to supplement. I definitely don't like the idea of going for an EALC/Asian studies PhD, and I would prefer a history of science PhD over a Korean or Asian history one. I'm not exactly certain how much of these distinction matter, at least between history PhD vs history of science PhD on the job market in the future as I pretty much assume even with a HoS PhD I would never get interviewed for a pure HoS job.

My current advisor went to Princeton HoS and I've certainly talked about shifting myself towards a more history of science oridented direction (from my Korean history department). But even my advisor was an anomaly in his department, started in American psychiatry before shifting to Korea biomedicine under a Chinese history advisor(!). As such, I was wondering if anyone had any potential advisors in mind for someone interested in Korean HoS or could answer if one could go into HoS and find an advisor that doesn't share the exact area focus, even outside of Asia in general.

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56 minutes ago, westernpacific said:

As such, I was wondering if anyone had any potential advisors in mind for someone interested in Korean HoS or could answer if one could go into HoS and find an advisor that doesn't share the exact area focus, even outside of Asia in general.

I have to confess that I've never read anything or even heard about anyone who focuses on Korea. Most historians of science with a non-Western focus look at either the Middle East, Russia, or China. You should probably try to find someone who works in East Asia more generally, like Victor Seow at Harvard or Projit Bihari Mukhaji at Penn.

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1 hour ago, psstein said:

I have to confess that I've never read anything or even heard about anyone who focuses on Korea. Most historians of science with a non-Western focus look at either the Middle East, Russia, or China. You should probably try to find someone who works in East Asia more generally, like Victor Seow at Harvard or Projit Bihari Mukhaji at Penn.

I anticipated as much. I've not heard of either of these two scholars from within my bubble, so I will keep them in mind. But Victor Seow being an assistant professor means his position is much more tentative right? I heard that even being associate at Harvard doesn't necessarily mean a TT position.

26 minutes ago, AfricanusCrowther said:

Jisoo Kim at GWU works on the intersection of the history of medicine and legal history in Korea, although I don’t think she was trained in STS.

Though I've not read her works yet, I have heard of her (and of course Brazinsky). There are a few scholars working on late Joseon and colonial Korea that I know like Sonja Kim. At the very least literature on Korean medicine and public health is growing, and it's my advisor's territory too. But I'm more interested in post-1945 with the division system influencing Korean science. There's many scholars in Korea like Kim Geun-bae and Moon Manyong who do great work on North and South Korea respectively, but I don't really intend to stay in Korea unfortunately, not for my PhD anyway. 

I'm focused on oceanography in Korea and how it plays into the science-government-business nexus in the 1960's and forward. Would it be possible to study under someone who studies oceanography in the European tradition and still hang out with other Korean historians? Or would it just make more sense to find a Korean history advisor? Just curious.

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1 hour ago, westernpacific said:

I anticipated as much. I've not heard of either of these two scholars from within my bubble, so I will keep them in mind. But Victor Seow being an assistant professor means his position is much more tentative right? I heard that even being associate at Harvard doesn't necessarily mean a TT position.

Though I've not read her works yet, I have heard of her (and of course Brazinsky). There are a few scholars working on late Joseon and colonial Korea that I know like Sonja Kim. At the very least literature on Korean medicine and public health is growing, and it's my advisor's territory too. But I'm more interested in post-1945 with the division system influencing Korean science. There's many scholars in Korea like Kim Geun-bae and Moon Manyong who do great work on North and South Korea respectively, but I don't really intend to stay in Korea unfortunately, not for my PhD anyway. 

I'm focused on oceanography in Korea and how it plays into the science-government-business nexus in the 1960's and forward. Would it be possible to study under someone who studies oceanography in the European tradition and still hang out with other Korean historians? Or would it just make more sense to find a Korean history advisor? Just curious.

Obviously you should get the advice of someone in your field, but it mine (African history) it’s typical to have an Africanist as your main adviser and to work closely with a topical specialist who focuses on another region. There often aren’t enough Africanists at top universities to find a perfect match. The whole point of a topic or theme like the history of science, after all, is that it is supposed to pose coherent questions and contain useful methods for scholars working across geographical regions. 

Edited by AfricanusCrowther

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8 hours ago, westernpacific said:

I anticipated as much. I've not heard of either of these two scholars from within my bubble, so I will keep them in mind. But Victor Seow being an assistant professor means his position is much more tentative right? I heard that even being associate at Harvard doesn't necessarily mean a TT position.

I'm focused on oceanography in Korea and how it plays into the science-government-business nexus in the 1960's and forward. Would it be possible to study under someone who studies oceanography in the European tradition and still hang out with other Korean historians? Or would it just make more sense to find a Korean history advisor? Just curious.

What you said about Harvard is, unfortunately, true. Most of their assistant professors don't get tenured. Associate is tenured, so it's a bit different.

I think what you should do is approach this with an eye towards building a committee. Find someone who specializes in the history of oceangraphy (D. Graham Burnett at Princeton comes to mind, maybe Simon Schaffer or someone else at Cambridge) and try to find another  E. Asia specialist you can work with at the same time.

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On 1/11/2020 at 12:34 PM, histofsci said:

Best of luck to you! Where did you reply? 

I wonder if Penn has sent out their interview invites yet and if anyone has received one? 

I haven't heard yet from Penn :(

On 1/10/2020 at 9:02 PM, psstein said:

What are your interests?

I'm interested in the history of professionalization in science. My current research is more focused on Britain but I am hoping to look at more transnational trends in my PHD work. I'm particularly interested in the shift from 'learned' societies to actual scientific bodies. I applied to Penn, FSU, Michigan, Chicago, William and Mary, UB, UofR and Cornell. 

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1 hour ago, eloiwy said:

I'm interested in the history of professionalization in science. My current research is more focused on Britain but I am hoping to look at more transnational trends in my PHD work. I'm particularly interested in the shift from 'learned' societies to actual scientific bodies. I applied to Penn, FSU, Michigan, Chicago, William and Mary, UB, UofR and Cornell. 

That's really, really interesting, and there's a lot of really good scholarship, as well as some areas that desperately need attention, in that field. Have you read Robert V. Bruce, The Launching of Modern American Science: 1846-1876? If not, I'd strongly recommend it.

You could really do a lot with a transnational US-Britain approach.

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19 hours ago, eloiwy said:

I haven't heard yet from Penn :(

I'm interested in the history of professionalization in science. My current research is more focused on Britain but I am hoping to look at more transnational trends in my PHD work. I'm particularly interested in the shift from 'learned' societies to actual scientific bodies. I applied to Penn, FSU, Michigan, Chicago, William and Mary, UB, UofR and Cornell. 

Really interesting topic! Thanks for sharing! I assume the Penn invites went out already but I guess you never know. :( 

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FIngers crossed for everyone! I'm hoping that the amount of flexibility in the field will help with admissions but who knows...

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Hello! I am the Penn interview. I've only just discovered this website (and it's done pretty nightmarish things for my acceptance anxiety--yikes!), otherwise I would've contributed/let you know sooner! Although, I think I've seen one other Penn interview in the history of science floating around here, too. 

Hope you've all been receiving some good news, although it's certainly a bit early for a lot of programs. Regardless, glad to see some other history of science/medicine folks! I feel like there isn't much of an online presence for our field.

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10 minutes ago, eloiwy said:

I did not get in to Penn but haven't had a chance to update my results onto the page. I was accepted at two of my schools though so yay options? 

 Congrats congrats! Options are always so exciting! :)

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35 minutes ago, histosci said:

has anyone heard anything from harvard history of science? 

Not me! I like your username :) 

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