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Hailing all Medievalists


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OK,

Done with stupid Lit GRE now, and can focus on selecting schools for next year.

I have a pretty extensive list (see in signature). My top contenders are Harvard and UCLA (because of their Celtic programs - they teach Welsh!! Wahoo!!). I am, however, open and receptive to additional schools that I may have overlooked (since I'm out of touch with current research and names in the field) that have either a very strong medieval focus or at least 2 medieval profs that have touched on Arthurian lit in some way.

I am most interested in the Late medieval period (no Anglo-Saxon, please), am particularly interested in the Arthurian cycle, Chaucer, Gawain and the Green Knight (my all time favorite), and in Celtic stuff - The Mabinogi and the Taliesen stories. The importation of Celtic mythology into Anglo-Norman England is specifically a great love of mine, as well as the tension between the Celtic sensibilities and the Norman Courtly-Love and Chivalric codes in the literature of the time. Social and Historical reasons for the importation are relevant, as well as more myth-oriented analysis, narratology, and Jungian archetypes (how did Guinevere turn from a wise queen who got Arthur out of trouble in the Mabinogi stories into a harlot who destroys Camelot???) How is the Celtic goddess/wise woman transformed into an evil witch in the Anglo-Norman version? Why does this happen? What are the social and historical ideologies that create this tension? (yeah, I have loads of questions).

I should add that U Texas - Austin should be in the list below because of Geraldine Heng (I may use her work in my writing sample). However, she is only ONE - and only an assistant prof at that. *sigh*.

So - who did I miss? Where should I look? Ideas are welcome with open arms!!

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You've left off UC-Berkeley (Thomas Brady, Kathryn Klar, Daniel Melia, Annalee Rejhon, Jennifer Miller, Carol Clover) - Celtic, Welsh, Romances.

ALSO, WashU (David Lawton, Joe Loewenstein)

Fordham, especially for the Anglo-Norman aspect. Check out their website. Seriously great work going on there.

Mainly, though, I think you've got the "big" programs covered for what you want to do. :P

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If you're interested in late medieval, Duke's the place to go.

On 4/13/2010 at 9:17 AM, Medievalmaniac said:

You've left off UC-Berkeley (Thomas Brady, Kathryn Klar, Daniel Melia, Annalee Rejhon, Jennifer Miller, Carol Clover) - Celtic, Welsh, Romances.

ALSO, WashU (David Lawton, Joe Loewenstein)

Fordham, especially for the Anglo-Norman aspect. Check out their website. Seriously great work going on there.

Mainly, though, I think you've got the "big" programs covered for what you want to do. :P

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Ahh yes, the Berkeley.

I know they should be on there. I'm having internal issues with Berkeley (don't know why). But as far as their program goes, they are possibly a very very good match, and also extremely progressive - it's a place I KNOW won't raise eyebrows at the fact that I like mixing and matching stuff. Maybe I'm anti-California. God knows why. One thing for sure, the weather is much better there than on the east coast LOL. And Berkeley is MUCH nicer than LA... they do merit serious consideration. Also, my sister would love it if I were in Berkeley - she's going to be in Boulder in 2011 - and Berkeley is much closer than anywhere on the East Coast LOL :lol:.

I missed WashU (looks like an amazing program and hidden gem based on their placements and credentials), and Fordham's in the Bronx, right? (I only know of it from posts here). I'll check them both out and see if they warrant being added to the list B).

(and I JUST noticed that I HAD written UC Berkeley in the signature list)

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If you're interested in late medieval, Duke's the place to go.

Duke was one of my top choices this round, but I missed their deadline. When I looked at their site again, I couldn't find a lot of medieval classes - maybe I wasn't looking in the right place :D. But yes - I loved their program and their department in my initial reviews.

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Some of my Celtic medievalist friends were looking at Toronto and Cornell, though I don't know much about either in terms of English dept./literature faculty. Cornell, at least, has people in the linguistics department who work with and teach various Celtic languages occasionally, so that might be a nice bonus to a good English department.

Southern Illinois at Carbondale and Notre Dame have decent Irish studies programs, so it might be worth looking into what else their departments offered in terms of medieval literature.

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Some of my Celtic medievalist friends were looking at Toronto and Cornell, though I don't know much about either in terms of English dept./literature faculty. Cornell, at least, has people in the linguistics department who work with and teach various Celtic languages occasionally, so that might be a nice bonus to a good English department.

Southern Illinois at Carbondale and Notre Dame have decent Irish studies programs, so it might be worth looking into what else their departments offered in terms of medieval literature.

Cornell has a great English department, and I'm considering them still (I applied this year to the MFA/PhD but was rejected). They also have the advantage of having at least one prof who researches children's lit (which I adore).

Notre Dame is on the list, and I'll look into Southern Illinois Carbondale and see if it's a decent fit.

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Toronto is an outstanding medieval studies program as well, as has been mentioned; you should really look into Fordham, I think you'd be surprised (pleasantly so). :)

Duke is NOT a strong program for what you are interested in. I know this because I looked into it for the same things and was flat-out told in no uncertain terms by several professors that "We don't do that (Celtic/Arthur/Romance) stuff here." (Nicely, of course! lol) But it was very clear that they don't have any research focus in these particular areas. :)

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Toronto is an outstanding medieval studies program as well, as has been mentioned; you should really look into Fordham, I think you'd be surprised (pleasantly so). :)

Duke is NOT a strong program for what you are interested in. I know this because I looked into it for the same things and was flat-out told in no uncertain terms by several professors that "We don't do that (Celtic/Arthur/Romance) stuff here." (Nicely, of course! lol) But it was very clear that they don't have any research focus in these particular areas. :)

I looked at Fordham today - no full profs are medievalists. (A whole lot of them are in early modern / renaissance, however). Fordham's MA might be an option if I don't get in to a PhD track - I liked their philosophy in the English dept., and Jesuit schools are RENOWNED for scholarship. However, they are in the BRONX (ugh). On the other hand, I can take classes at Columbia. But for a PhD I doubt if they're an option - I need full profs that are medieval minded, not assistant profs. *sigh*.

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I looked at Fordham today - no full profs are medievalists. (A whole lot of them are in early modern / renaissance, however). Fordham's MA might be an option if I don't get in to a PhD track - I liked their philosophy in the English dept., and Jesuit schools are RENOWNED for scholarship. However, they are in the BRONX (ugh). On the other hand, I can take classes at Columbia. But for a PhD I doubt if they're an option - I need full profs that are medieval minded, not assistant profs. *sigh*.

did you ever look into fordham's medieval studies? i have a prof who did her MA in english there and then switched to medieval studies for the phd. she was on a fellowship @ the honors college @ my school teaching a literature based course. if i remember correctly, her dissertation was on anglo-norman friendship.

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did you ever look into fordham's medieval studies? i have a prof who did her MA in english there and then switched to medieval studies for the phd. she was on a fellowship @ the honors college @ my school teaching a literature based course. if i remember correctly, her dissertation was on anglo-norman friendship.

oh and if you don't hold an MA, fordham won't accept you directly into their PhD.

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<br />oh and if you don't hold an MA, fordham won't accept you directly into their PhD. <br /><br /><br />
<br /><br /><br />

You guys should check out the Journal Postmedieval. It just came out with its first issue (published by routledge I believe...). One of my undergrad profs co-edits it, and she is the best medievalist I know. I doubled in the whole english thing...

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May I ask why it's terribly important to be working with a full professor? I understand they may have more connections, clout, etc., but assistant and associate profs can be perfectly good mentors. And they may well graduate to full professors in the time it takes you to finish a PhD!

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I looked at Fordham today - no full profs are medievalists. (A whole lot of them are in early modern / renaissance, however). Fordham's MA might be an option if I don't get in to a PhD track - I liked their philosophy in the English dept., and Jesuit schools are RENOWNED for scholarship. However, they are in the BRONX (ugh). On the other hand, I can take classes at Columbia. But for a PhD I doubt if they're an option - I need full profs that are medieval minded, not assistant profs. *sigh*.

Just as an FYI, departmental structures differ from university to university. At Fordham, for example, there are associate professors as well as assistant professors. The two are not the same -- the former have permanent positions and are tenured, while the latter are not tenured.

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Just as an FYI, departmental structures differ from university to university. At Fordham, for example, there are associate professors as well as assistant professors. The two are not the same -- the former have permanent positions and are tenured, while the latter are not tenured.

Agreed. In fact, every university I know of works this way. Associate profs are probably there to stay. (Of course, it never hurts to ask.)

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oh and if you don't hold an MA, fordham won't accept you directly into their PhD.

They have a direct to PhD program on their site (which I qualify for, score-wise). And re the Medieval Studies - I want a PhD in English, not Medieval studies, since I'm also interested in other periods and hope to continue researching other periods and genres later. Although the Medieval Studies program is tempting, I'm afraid that it would end up limiting my scholarship.

May I ask why it's terribly important to be working with a full professor? I understand they may have more connections, clout, etc., but assistant and associate profs can be perfectly good mentors. And they may well graduate to full professors in the time it takes you to finish a PhD!

As far as I know, your dissertation committee must have full professors. Although an Assistant Prof can be TT or tenured already, and can definitely help you while you're writing and taking classes, once it gets to committee, you need full profs on board. So at least one should be full prof in your field, no? (I may be mistaken about this, but this is how I understand that dissertation committees work).

And foppery - btw, I love your handle. I'm very enamored of Restoration Comedy myself B).

Just as an FYI, departmental structures differ from university to university. At Fordham, for example, there are associate professors as well as assistant professors. The two are not the same -- the former have permanent positions and are tenured, while the latter are not tenured.

It's not about the permanence - It's about dissertation committee issues.

Edited by Branwen daughter of Llyr
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I looked at Fordham today - no full profs are medievalists. (A whole lot of them are in early modern / renaissance, however). Fordham's MA might be an option if I don't get in to a PhD track - I liked their philosophy in the English dept., and Jesuit schools are RENOWNED for scholarship. However, they are in the BRONX (ugh). On the other hand, I can take classes at Columbia. But for a PhD I doubt if they're an option - I need full profs that are medieval minded, not assistant profs. *sigh*.

Although I don't want to beat a dead horse with this Fordham topic, I did want to let you know some of the research I've done. I am also a Medievalist and I live in NYC, so I have learned quite a bit about Fordham's program. Dr. Katherine Little and Dr. Martin Chase are both associate professors, which bears the same validity as a full professor as far as academic reputability is concerned. The only difference is that an associate professor is still awaiting the number of years to make the pay jump to full professor. These are not the only associate professors of Medieval Lit., but they are the ones with whom I have interacted. Both are very kind and supportive, and I don't even attend Fordham!

Trust me, very few people know more than I do how dreadful the Bronx can be (I taught public high school English there for two years). However, Rose Hill is in a beautiful section of the borough that is known for being actually quite wealthy. Also, they have a small satellite campus on the Upper West Side right next to the Lincoln Center, and many of the English classes happen there.

Just some thoughts.

Edited by bigdgp
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Although I don't want to beat a dead horse with this Fordham topic, I did want to let you know some of the research I've done. I am also a Medievalist and I live in NYC, so I have learned quite a bit about Fordham's program. Dr. Katherine Little and Dr. Martin Chase are both associate professors, which bears the same validity as a full professor as far as academic reputability is concerned. The only difference is that an associate professor is still awaiting the number of years to make the pay jump to full professor. These are not the only associate professors of Medieval Lit., but they are the ones with whom I have interacted. Both are very kind and supportive, and I don't even attend Fordham!

Trust me, very few people know more than I do how dreadful the Bronx can be (I taught public high school English there for two years). However, Rose Hill is in a beautiful section of the borough that is known for being actually quite wealthy. Also, they have a small satellite campus on the Upper West Side right next to the Lincoln Center, and many of the English classes happen there.

Just some thoughts.

Thanks :D (definitely not beating a dead horse). I liked what Fordham had to say on their site in general - so I don't want to discount it completely. I'll get in touch with them over the next few weeks and see if having an associate prof as mentor/adviser and in the dissertation committee is possible with them.

Obviously, NYC has many advantages (not the least that I know the city very well, having lived there for 3.5 years). Funny how things work out - I wasn't planning on applying to any big city universities this time around (i have a large dog, so I don't want to live in a small box), and here my top two contenders are in Boston and LA, and now adding Fordham to the mix is amusing.

The question about Rose Hill is this - can you afford to live there on a stipend? or do you have to live in a less desirable area of the Bronx? (the only good thing about the Bronx is the Bronx Zoo LOL - and I lived on Staten Island in '98!)

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Thanks biggrin.gif (definitely not beating a dead horse). I liked what Fordham had to say on their site in general - so I don't want to discount it completely. I'll get in touch with them over the next few weeks and see if having an associate prof as mentor/adviser and in the dissertation committee is possible with them.

Obviously, NYC has many advantages (not the least that I know the city very well, having lived there for 3.5 years). Funny how things work out - I wasn't planning on applying to any big city universities this time around (i have a large dog, so I don't want to live in a small box), and here my top two contenders are in Boston and LA, and now adding Fordham to the mix is amusing.

The question about Rose Hill is this - can you afford to live there on a stipend? or do you have to live in a less desirable area of the Bronx? (the only good thing about the Bronx is the Bronx Zoo LOL - and I lived on Staten Island in '98!)

Yeah, money when you are student in NYC will always be dodgy, but you know that if you've lived here. The nice thing about Rose Hill is that it is so far north in the Bronx that you could live outside the city in Whiteplain (sp?) or Yonkers and still be closer to the school than in parts of Manhattan. Also, it occurred to me that if you are really wanting to focus on the transformation of Guinevere from hero to harlot, you might look into the CUNY Graduate Center. That is another place where funding is iffy, but it has an excellent reputation for dealing with issues of gender in the Medieval period specifically. Plus, they are much higher than Fordham on the US News and World Report rankings, for what its worth.

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Yeah, money when you are student in NYC will always be dodgy, but you know that if you've lived here. The nice thing about Rose Hill is that it is so far north in the Bronx that you could live outside the city in Whiteplain (sp?) or Yonkers and still be closer to the school than in parts of Manhattan. Also, it occurred to me that if you are really wanting to focus on the transformation of Guinevere from hero to harlot, you might look into the CUNY Graduate Center. That is another place where funding is iffy, but it has an excellent reputation for dealing with issues of gender in the Medieval period specifically. Plus, they are much higher than Fordham on the US News and World Report rankings, for what its worth.

The Guinevere thing was an example, really. I'm not that terribly interested in gender-specific stuff - more in the Celtic influences and the dichotomy between the Celtic sensibilities (such as the goddess/wise-woman) and Anglo-Norman chivalric / courtly love sensibilities. The Guinevere example is an example of how different archetypes dominate the different core-values. In Gawain and the Green Knight for example, the tension between the Celtic story and Chivalric code is very very strong.

If Rose Hill is that far north and I can live out of NYC proper, it's doable - I can always take the train in to the city - I really really don't want to live in a box and in the middle of the city - I would like some green around me. My cats and my dog will like green too, LOL B) (especially after taking a long long plane ride all the way to the states hahahah). I'm kind of over city living in general - but I most want to go where the scholarship is, which is why Harvard and UCLA are so high up on my list - those are the only two programs in which I can actually study The Mabinogi in Welsh and compare it to the Arthurian cycle of the same period.

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Yeah, money when you are student in NYC will always be dodgy, but you know that if you've lived here. The nice thing about Rose Hill is that it is so far north in the Bronx that you could live outside the city in Whiteplain (sp?) or Yonkers and still be closer to the school than in parts of Manhattan. Also, it occurred to me that if you are really wanting to focus on the transformation of Guinevere from hero to harlot, you might look into the CUNY Graduate Center. That is another place where funding is iffy, but it has an excellent reputation for dealing with issues of gender in the Medieval period specifically. Plus, they are much higher than Fordham on the US News and World Report rankings, for what its worth.

I'm going to +1 on the CUNY Graduate Center because there are several really great people who work on just about everything you're interested in (based on your forum signature). I can think of at least three people off the top of my head who work on late medieval stuff and issues of gender and sexuality and many more who do children's literature from multiple periods. Unfortunately, Catherine McKenna who would have been perfect for your research has moved on to Harvard but I know there are several full professors in the CUNY system (outside of the Grad Center) who work on Celtic myth and Arthurian legend.

Edited by diehtc0ke
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As far as I know, your dissertation committee must have full professors. Although an Assistant Prof can be TT or tenured already, and can definitely help you while you're writing and taking classes, once it gets to committee, you need full profs on board. So at least one should be full prof in your field, no? (I may be mistaken about this, but this is how I understand that dissertation committees work).

Well, now that you bring this up I'm not sure about assistant professors, but I've never heard of associate professors not being able to sit on dissertation committees or (officially) supervise dissertations. It certainly was not the case at my undergrad nor will it be the case at the program I'll be attending next year...nor in fact at any of the options I was weighing. Plenty of associate professors at all of those places are advising and sitting on committees. As has been pointed out, associate professors are generally tenured and just waiting to jump up the pay scale, and they're often very well established in the field. If you're unsure, though, it certainly wouldn't hurt to check.

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I'm going to +1 on the CUNY Graduate Center because there are several really great people who work on just about everything you're interested in (based on your forum signature). I can think of at least three people off the top of my head who work on late medieval stuff and issues of gender and sexuality and many more who do children's literature from multiple periods. Unfortunately, Catherine McKenna who would have been perfect for your research has moved on to Harvard but I know there are several full professors in the CUNY system (outside of the Grad Center) who work on Celtic myth and Arthurian legend.

Thanks B)

Gender and sexuality tho - not really my cup of tea (the Guinevere example was more of a shift in archetype example - I could also look at the Knight-errant archetype vs. the Celtic Knight as an example B)). Myth and legend, Archetypes, Psychoanalytic, Historicist, more my cup of tea :P. My main issue is to find strong medieval programs with Arthurian profs who do Celtic work as well (Harvard is top of the list because of their Celtic Studies secondary subject option, and UCLA for their strong concentration in Welsh and Irish medieval literature). Children's lit is a secondary interest (as is the sci-fi / fantasy) which I'll probably get to post-doc, although taking a children's / fantasy lit class will definitely be a bonus (and can cover any "modern" requirements LOL). And yes, Catherine McKenna - I saw her profile on the Harvard site and basically fell in lust B) (academically, of course!!).

I seriously thought about CUNY Graduate Center - I'm just not very eager to move back to NYC. But it's probably a good idea to take a deeper look into the program - I may find several profs I can work with and like the classes that they offer. I enjoyed the year I studied at Hunter, so I'm also familiar with school, in general. hrm.

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Well, now that you bring this up I'm not sure about assistant professors, but I've never heard of associate professors not being able to sit on dissertation committees or (officially) supervise dissertations. It certainly was not the case at my undergrad nor will it be the case at the program I'll be attending next year...nor in fact at any of the options I was weighing. Plenty of associate professors at all of those places are advising and sitting on committees. As has been pointed out, associate professors are generally tenured and just waiting to jump up the pay scale, and they're often very well established in the field. If you're unsure, though, it certainly wouldn't hurt to check.

Thanks for the info - I shall make sure that my profs are at least associate profs B)

I learn something new every day LOL :)

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Thanks B)

Gender and sexuality tho - not really my cup of tea (the Guinevere example was more of a shift in archetype example - I could also look at the Knight-errant archetype vs. the Celtic Knight as an example B)). Myth and legend, Archetypes, Psychoanalytic, Historicist, more my cup of tea :P. My main issue is to find strong medieval programs with Arthurian profs who do Celtic work as well (Harvard is top of the list because of their Celtic Studies secondary subject option, and UCLA for their strong concentration in Welsh and Irish medieval literature). Children's lit is a secondary interest (as is the sci-fi / fantasy) which I'll probably get to post-doc, although taking a children's / fantasy lit class will definitely be a bonus (and can cover any "modern" requirements LOL). And yes, Catherine McKenna - I saw her profile on the Harvard site and basically fell in lust B) (academically, of course!!).

I seriously thought about CUNY Graduate Center - I'm just not very eager to move back to NYC. But it's probably a good idea to take a deeper look into the program - I may find several profs I can work with and like the classes that they offer. I enjoyed the year I studied at Hunter, so I'm also familiar with school, in general. hrm.

You'd be very wise to go to Harvard, then. Seems like a wonderful fit for you. I only said gender (and unconsciously allowed sexuality to slip in there) because the questions you presented begged for a feminist theoretical lens (though with my limited medieval background, what do I know? I'm a 20th c. Americanist through and through) and the Grad Center is A+ for that kind of work. I may be biased because I went to Queens College, which is also a part of the CUNY system and have worked with a few really great professors whose interests were Medieval lit, children's lit, contemporary sci-fi/fantasy and Celtic myth so I think that EVERYthing associated with CUNY would be a good fit for that kind of research. Admittedly, this may or may not be the case.

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