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Hi everyone. Thought I'd log back into the good ol' GradCafe to see how this year's application cycle is looking. If anyone wants, I'd be happy to share my SOP from last year's cycle. Just shoot me a

First post woohoo! Hi everyone, after going through one application cycle in a socially distanced bubble before those things were even popular and getting rejected all around, I've decided that I

Just wanted to give some info about how the covid crisis is affecting graduate schools and future admissions. In Yale's case, what we know now is that individual departments will have autonomy when gi

13 minutes ago, Bopie5 said:

Does anyone want to do an early-stage SoP draft swap (emphasis on early-stage draft...)?

Hey! Me in about a week! I've been in a bit of purgatory deciding whether or not I actually want to apply and well, I think I do, despite everything. It seems the best time in my life (for now) to apply and at the end of the day I'd rather apply and get rejected than not apply at all and be thinking "what if?" in April. I'm behind on my SoP because of the break I took to decide but I'd love to swap as soon as I get a good early draft myself. 

 

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7 hours ago, riverbender said:

Hey! Me in about a week! I've been in a bit of purgatory deciding whether or not I actually want to apply and well, I think I do, despite everything. It seems the best time in my life (for now) to apply and at the end of the day I'd rather apply and get rejected than not apply at all and be thinking "what if?" in April. I'm behind on my SoP because of the break I took to decide but I'd love to swap as soon as I get a good early draft myself. 

 

Yay, sounds good! Shoot me a PM whenever you have your early draft going 😊

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23 minutes ago, HipsterDoofus said:

Count me in as well! I have to make some minor revisions before sending mine, but am happy to look at others' SOPs in the meantime. 

I'll send you a PM!

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On 9/13/2020 at 4:48 AM, Indecisive Poet said:

Just a note to those who are factoring rankings into their decisions about where to apply: I found this and my own research on placement much more useful and accurate than US News rankings. I didn't discover this until after I had committed to a program, unfortunately, and I wish I had had this resource when I was thinking about where to apply.

US News rankings (in our discipline and others) seem to want to be exciting and diverse at the expense of accuracy. I don't know why Yale, for example, ranks at 8 when it is clearly the top dog in terms of placement and has always been (I'm almost hard-pressed to identify recently-hired Assistant Professors at programs who aren't coming from Yale). I think the placement numbers give a much better sense for how graduates are faring in the job market and how well-respected the program is than the US News rankings do. There is also something significant to be said for the name recognition that Ivies offer, especially if you are interested in working outside of the US.

It's helpful to do your own research, too, though. I know that Chicago actually ranks lower than even this resource suggests because most of the placements listed here are at ... Chicago ... lol, and it tends not to place elsewhere.

This is interesting; would be great if there was something like this that focused on recent hires (e.g. PhDs earned in the last 5 years) and expanded beyond the top 30.

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Hi everyone. Thought I'd log back into the good ol' GradCafe to see how this year's application cycle is looking. If anyone wants, I'd be happy to share my SOP from last year's cycle. Just shoot me a DM. :) 

In terms of advice, I would caution people against applying to more than 10-12 programs. I applied to 16 programs, and, tbh, I regret that decision. My rationale at the time was that I would send as many apps as possible and see what sticks, but I would have been less stressed during the application season if I had focused my efforts on a few programs that interested me the most. I also don't think that applying to a school solely because of the prestige is worthwhile. I applied to Stanford and Berkeley despite not seeing a strong fit with those schools, and, in retrospect, I should have just saved that energy for other activities.

Also, I know this has been repeated on this forum ad infinitum, but fit is important. Whereas with my Stanford app, I could see a fit only if I squinted just right, with WashU my research interests and interdisciplinary approach were clearly a good match for the department. Correspondingly, when admissions decisions rolled around, Stanford rejected me, while WashU welcomed me as their top candidate for admission. The DGS at WashU specifically mentioned my research interests as a major reason for my acceptance. Obviously, this is anecdotal and might not apply at all to your situation. But don't discount your own intuition as to what programs are best suited to your goals (keeping in mind, of course, that your goals will change over time).

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every program in northwestern's comm school is listed in the ph.d app except for the one i was going to apply to. unless it appears later this week, not sure if i'm applying anywhere this year now. 

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28 minutes ago, Herbert_and_Windhovers said:

Likewise, very much on an early draft of my SoP (Early Modern) but would love to swap with anyone :)

I'm in the midst of a pass of revisions but I'd be happy to look over yours, and then send you mine once I finish this rework!

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I'm applying to a few PhD programs with an MFA, but I'm also looking at MA programs that transition into the PhD like at IU and Ohio State. I'm mainly overcoming one very bad grade from a shitty prof affecting my master's GPA and also the weirdness of having an MFA and going into Lit.

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I'm another 2021 applicant! Just finished my MA at Columbia and am now nervously preparing to apply again.

I'm a 20th-century Americanist and I'm interested in feminist theory, particularly theories of the body. I applied the first round focusing on Southern lit and was rejected from every PhD program (accepted to two Masters), so I think that might be a bit too narrow of a field for me (if anyone knows any good Southern lit specialists, however, please let me know - it's a bit of a dying field and many notable academics only work at small Southern colleges that often don't even have grad programs).

Also happy to swap SoPs or have a look at anyone's!

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1 hour ago, kitties said:

I'm another 2021 applicant! Just finished my MA at Columbia and am now nervously preparing to apply again.

I'm a 20th-century Americanist and I'm interested in feminist theory, particularly theories of the body. I applied the first round focusing on Southern lit and was rejected from every PhD program (accepted to two Masters), so I think that might be a bit too narrow of a field for me (if anyone knows any good Southern lit specialists, however, please let me know - it's a bit of a dying field and many notable academics only work at small Southern colleges that often don't even have grad programs).

Also happy to swap SoPs or have a look at anyone's!

Hi there! 

I like to think of myself as a modernist but I also am specifically interested in Southern lit (though my subject interests are a bit different from yours). Honestly, I'd disagree that Southern lit is a dying field. When I was applying in the last cycle, I found that the programs at Boston U, Harvard, UMich, and UPenn were my favourites. While it's true that you won't necessarily find tons of scholars branding themselves 'Southern lit specialists' and working in large numbers at any one department, there's a fair number of them in quite a few departments (even at large universities) working with Southern lit as part of a larger project. For instance, much of the scholarship on African American lit also tends to intersect heavily with Southern lit taken more broadly.

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Just seeing if anyone would be interested in swapping writing samples within the next week or so! Mine is on Dracula/posthumanism/passing and Irish lit if that's up anyone's alley :) though I'd be more than willing to look over something dealing with a different field too! Hope everyone is hanging on in there this so far this cycle.

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On 9/26/2020 at 5:55 PM, onerepublic96 said:

Hi there! 

I like to think of myself as a modernist but I also am specifically interested in Southern lit (though my subject interests are a bit different from yours). Honestly, I'd disagree that Southern lit is a dying field. When I was applying in the last cycle, I found that the programs at Boston U, Harvard, UMich, and UPenn were my favourites. While it's true that you won't necessarily find tons of scholars branding themselves 'Southern lit specialists' and working in large numbers at any one department, there's a fair number of them in quite a few departments (even at large universities) working with Southern lit as part of a larger project. For instance, much of the scholarship on African American lit also tends to intersect heavily with Southern lit taken more broadly.

Thank you for this! I'm gonna send you a PM about the programs. You are 100% correct that African-American and Southern lit are super closely connected/overlap. Maybe this is the reason Southern lit as a specific field isn't always used - it seems to imply "white Southern lit" almost - or basically Faulkner haha.

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On 9/26/2020 at 4:55 PM, onerepublic96 said:

Hi there! 

I like to think of myself as a modernist but I also am specifically interested in Southern lit (though my subject interests are a bit different from yours). Honestly, I'd disagree that Southern lit is a dying field. When I was applying in the last cycle, I found that the programs at Boston U, Harvard, UMich, and UPenn were my favourites. While it's true that you won't necessarily find tons of scholars branding themselves 'Southern lit specialists' and working in large numbers at any one department, there's a fair number of them in quite a few departments (even at large universities) working with Southern lit as part of a larger project. For instance, much of the scholarship on African American lit also tends to intersect heavily with Southern lit taken more broadly.

It seems to me that Southern Lit is taken more seriously in the South! For example, Ole Miss has the Center for Study of Southern Culture. Big state schools such as UGA or LSU also have a lot of professors who focus in the literature of the region they're in. If there's a specific author you're interested in - say Chopin or Poe - look to the cities they called home and the schools in that area, such as New Orleans (Tulane, LSU, etc) or Charleston (USC, CofC, the Citadel) to find professors who focus on those authors. 

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On 9/15/2020 at 4:46 PM, nowherelit said:

Applying this year for Hispanic Studies. Happy to take a look at anyone's SOPs, especially in the Humanities, or do a swap! 

I'm also doing Hispanic Studies, so if you want to do a swap I'd be more than willing. You can't have too many eyes!

In general if it isn't too late to get in on the swapping I'd be willing to. 

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