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telkanuru

2021 Application Thread

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For all things related to applying to graduate school in history in the fall of 2020.

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For the upcoming application season I’m looking to apply to History MA programs. I’m not looking too much at joint or PhD programs as I do not have a definitive historical focus. My biggest issue at the moment is finding very universities that offer a terminal MA program. Most universities don't seem to offer them or if they do, there is no funding involved. I can't afford to take 50-100K in loans for an MA... Additionally, I don't even know where to apply (other than my undergrad institution) so I'm seeking recommendations for schools based on my stats or if one knows of historians in my areas of interest. TIA!

Some basic info/stats:

  • Attending a large state school in CA
  • 3.722 GPA overall, 4.0 in History degree
  • Scholarships/Department awards TBD
  • GRE: Not taken. With the current global health crisis, I don’t know what the likelihood of me taking it is OR if universities will even require it.

Research Experience

None. My university is teaching-based rather than research-based. 

Work/Teaching Experience

  • Spent 1 year working for a high school educational program centered around helping students with Native American heritage.
  • I’ve spent the last year working as a writing tutor at a local CC.

 Foreign Languages:

  • Spanish, written and oral proficiency 

Extracurriculars:

  • Board position at my uni’s history club 

Misc. Facts:

  • Finishing my History BA + English minor in 3 years ( thanks AP credits)!
  • I have 3-4 professors in mind who I believe could write me strong letters of rec

Potential Research Interests:

At my university, we choose two historical concentrations. The ones I’ve selected are American History and Modern European History. I have two different research ideas each corresponding to my fields.

  • American: The use of literature as a reflection of the American experience in the 1920s and 1930s. I’m thinking works by Langston Hughes, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and John Steinbeck to illustrate how Americans interpreted their lives and struggles through literature. 
  • Modern European History: This is less thought-out and something I’ve only thought of recently, but Anglo-German relationships and cultural/imperialistic competition during the late 19th century.

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12 hours ago, telkanuru said:

For all things related to applying to graduate school in history in the fall of 2020.

Shouldn't this be the Fall 2021 thread? Or am I misunderstanding.

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1 hour ago, historyofsloths said:

Shouldn't this be the Fall 2021 thread? Or am I misunderstanding.

Halfway. The body text was right but the title was wrong. Those applying in the fall of 2020 for the fall of 2021.

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15 hours ago, bibliophile0521 said:

I'm seeking recommendations for schools based on my stats or if one knows of historians in my areas of interest.

Potential Research Interests:

At my university, we choose two historical concentrations. The ones I’ve selected are American History and Modern European History. I have two different research ideas each corresponding to my fields.

  • American: The use of literature as a reflection of the American experience in the 1920s and 1930s. I’m thinking works by Langston Hughes, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and John Steinbeck to illustrate how Americans interpreted their lives and struggles through literature. 
  • Modern European History: This is less thought-out and something I’ve only thought of recently, but Anglo-German relationships and cultural/imperialistic competition during the late 19th century.

@bibliophile0521 welcome to the Grad Cafe.

IMO, you would be better served by first narrowing down and defining your areas and periods of interest, your preferred methodological approach, and a broad/provisional understanding of how your work will move the needle on existing historiographical debates.

Your focus on "stats" may be a mindset that has served you well to this point, but going forward you will likely find yourself at a competitive disadvantage if you're in a conversation in which you lead with your GPA while another aspiring gradate student talks about historiography.

I strongly recommend that you address immediately your research experience. If you've not done so already, try to obtain a physical copy or digital access to the "letters and papers" of a literary figure of the 1920s and 1930s and/or state papers related to Anglo-German relations. 

I would also recommend starting the very hard work of understanding the historiographical debates over the use of culture to understand national experiences and foreign relations. Why does reading a work of fiction matter more than diving into other kinds of resources, especially if the works depicting the struggles and experiences of women were written by men?Does looking at this or that kind of cultural interaction advance our understanding of imperialism than, say, the development of strategic thought in England and Germany? The challenge is not just understanding why one's approach to the past is appropriate, it's also about explaining why to skeptics that one's approach is necessary.

A last point. In my experience, professional academic historians rankle when centuries written as "19th" or "20th." I've never received comments or criticism for writing out "nineteenth century." YMMV

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@Sigaba 

I didn't mean to come off as though I was focusing so much on stats but I felt it was important to establish as a low GPA can lead to an application being disregarded. Also, I'm quite familiar with historiography as my undergrad institution mandates that we take a course in it. Fortunately, this has granted me the opportunity to learn about historiography and methodology early on. 

As for my research interests, I'm leaning more-so towards the American topic than the Modern European one, hence why I stated that it was only a new idea and not well thought-out. I think I'm going to look more into the nature of book history and historians within that specialty. 

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20 hours ago, bibliophile0521 said:

 

  • GRE: Not taken. With the current global health crisis, I don’t know what the likelihood of me taking it is OR if universities will even require it.

 

Several (doctoral) program have done away with this requirement, I seriously doubt many would require it given the testing limitations. 

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On 4/17/2020 at 2:05 AM, bibliophile0521 said:

For the upcoming application season I’m looking to apply to History MA programs. I’m not looking too much at joint or PhD programs as I do not have a definitive historical focus. My biggest issue at the moment is finding very universities that offer a terminal MA program. Most universities don't seem to offer them or if they do, there is no funding involved. I can't afford to take 50-100K in loans for an MA... Additionally, I don't even know where to apply (other than my undergrad institution) so I'm seeking recommendations for schools based on my stats or if one knows of historians in my areas of interest. TIA!

You should look in to the UChicago MAPSS program. You can choose to concentrate in History. They give out aid ranging from 25% to 100%. A word of caution: the program is accelerated (one year), which means 9 courses (3xquarter) on top of a thesis for an expected graduation in June, though most graduate in August. Therefore, it is recommended to know generally what topic you can write a thesis-length paper on before beginning the program. If everything is timed well, you may also have the opportunity to apply for financial aid in the summer after the program to do intensive language study at Chicago's SLI, which can help boost your app if you still want to go on to the PhD.

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On 4/17/2020 at 6:55 PM, bibliophile0521 said:

As for my research interests, I'm leaning more-so towards the American topic than the Modern European one, hence why I stated that it was only a new idea and not well thought-out. I think I'm going to look more into the nature of book history and historians within that specialty. 

You might be a bit late to the party to do anything related to German/Modern Europe. If you do a field in Modern Europe, you will need at least 2 European languages to pass to candidacy. Some advisers / committees recommend a third language on top of that in order to make your work more marketable in an increasingly tightening academic field. In your case, you would probably need to get German (ASAP) and French (Year 3 or 4). Instead of opening that can of worms, you can cast yourself as an Americanist who studies American-German cultural relations. This route would still require you to pick up German soon, but avoid the typical standards (if that is the right word) of a Modern European specialization.

If you want to pursue the American-German route, then look into a couple programs in Germany (listed below). I mainly picked American Studies based on where your interests lie. History in Germany is mainly German and European history so you would fit more into a "studies program." I know going abroad sounds scary, but doing an MA abroad gives you the chance to learn the language (German in your case) while also having the necessary rigor to do a PhD afterwards. If you do not want to do the American-German route, you could still go abroad to do an MA at any of these universities for American history so long as you are prepared to work a bit blind / on your own.

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@Tigla

The American-German route was never something I considered, so perhaps I did not make that clear in my initial post. My research interests in American history- the more thought-out plan- pertains to Americans using literature as a way to "cope", contemplate, and convey society as they see it. For instance, I brought up John Steinbeck. In his novel The Grapes of Wrath he depicts a rural American family's struggles through the Great Depression. It expresses their economic circumstances, makes references to Hoovervilles, and depicts California as the land of opportunity. My aim would be to take a novel like The Grapes of Wrath and analyze it from a historical perspective. Again, the details aren't fully flushed out, but that's where I'm at right now; to examine how Americans in the 1920s and 1930s conveyed their experiences through literature.

As for analyzing relationships between England and Germany, I kind of realized after I made my post that I'd be nearly impossible for me to pursue at a higher level as I do not speak German. I know Spanish, but that's clearly not relevant enough to my proposed research interest.

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@bibliophile0521, I am getting a mixed message from you. You're asking for support and your reception of the support you've received so far strikes me as dismissive.

  • It's highly unlikely  that a single undergraduate course at a school that doesn't prioritize research would see a student being "quite familiar with historiography."
  • Given the long slow decline of the Spanish empire in the nineteenth century and the intricacies of imperial competition among European states, it may be a bit early to conclude that the ability to read Spanish  is not relevant. 
  • Looking at America during the Depression through Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath and other works of literature sounds like a momentous undertaking. ICYMI. https://csub-dspace.calstate.edu/bitstream/handle/10211.3/48171/thegrapesofwrath.pdf?sequence=1

MOO, there are nuclei for several interesting projects (if not an entire career) in @Tigla's post.that combine both of your initially stated interests--if one is willing to look at Anglo German rivalry  as it played out in the Western Hemisphere and willing to expand the time frame to the twentieth century. 

 

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Posted (edited)

@Sigaba

I apologize that my remarks have come off as dismissive, and I think they have been that way because I'm looking mostly into an MA program that offers comps more than I am looking to complete a thesis or even dissertation. I simply listed those topics as they are interesting to me and in the unlikely scenario I decided to write a thesis at the Master's level. To make it clearer, I mostly wanted advice on what kind of schools offer terminal masters programs and what scope of universities would be available to me given my stats. Now I see that perhaps my focus on stats and "getting in" to a good graduate program might sound a bit juvenile, likely stemming from from the fact that when applying to college from high school I was forced to consider my stats almost exclusively.

I apologize for any misconceptions or lack of clarity on my behalf; I quite literally have no idea what I'm going in this graduate school process. I'm another first-gen student so this is all uncharted territory. 

Edit***: I read Tigla's comment again (I'll be upfront and admit I read it very quickly and didn't give it the consideration I should have) and I'll consider how I can approach a topic of American-German relations. Off of the top of my head, something that peaks my interest is dominance on the global stage. German attempted to exercise that through military force/dominance, whereas America's military power was exerted by "policing the world" so-to-speak. Kind of a direct vs. indirect thing. But that seems more comparative than an analysis or relationship between the two. Another thing that comes to mind is US- German relations from the Marshall Plan to today, but again, just an idea off of the top of my head.

Edited by bibliophile0521

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I'll throw my hat in the ring as well. I just finished my third year of history with a minor in biology at the University of Ottawa. I'm mainly interested in the history of science and of medicine, particularly disease, biomedical research, and health policy. While a lot of the literature I've read (and courses that I've taken) on the history of medicine have been based on the US, I'm interested in focusing on Canadian history. I'm interested in (but not wedded to) exploring the development of the current Canadian health care system and resistance to it.

I'm looking solely at Canadian masters programs (ideally those that offer funding) and am currently planning on applying to Queen's, McGill (History of Medicine), University of Toronto, and York University STS.

I just wrote my last exam of the winter term earlier today so I haven't yet started drafting SOPs or thinking about this in more detail yet.

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45 minutes ago, aurora borealis said:

While a lot of the literature I've read (and courses that I've taken) on the history of medicine have been based on the US, I'm interested in focusing on Canadian history. I'm interested in (but not wedded to) exploring the development of the current Canadian health care system and resistance to it.

The Anglosphere literature on history of medicine very heavily focuses on the US and UK, though there are some very welcome exceptions about medicine in Africa. I think your project is quite promising, especially if you contextualize it well.

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I'm looking to see if anyone has thoughts on how to apply to programs for a niche and still kind of new speciality. I'm planning on applying to History PhD programs in the fall, where I hope to study late 19th/early 20th US history of diet and nutrition-- I'm interested in how rhetoric surrounding food, cookery, and domestic economy interacts with medical knowledge and scientific discourses. My undergraduate thesis is (and I really did not expect how topical this would become!) on the construction of "ethic" food during outbreaks of infectious diseases, looking at the SF plague outbreak and NYC typhoid outbreaks in Irish-American communities.

I'm a history (and classics major, so I know Greek and Latin, not that that helps me in any way) at a well known SLAC and I know my stats are good enough to get my foot in the door. I'm confident I'll have a good writing sample-- it's based on research I did with the papers of an early 20th century food columnist (I also processed the collection while working as an assistant in my college's archives, so I am quite literally the first person to use it). My ongoing worry is over the specificity of my interest--  since it is a newer field, I'm having trouble finding professors at well-resected PhD programs who intersect with my area of interest in any meaningful way, and there aren't many 'superstars' in the field yet. There's definitely a lot of great scholarship being produced on US food history in this temporal period, but most of it is coming from professors at middling state schools without funded PhD programs or other liberal arts colleges, so following the scholarship has been something of a dead end.  

I am very committed to the study of food history-- food is the lens with which I approach everything I study, and all of my undergraduate work that's any good has been about food. I think I have some viable options for places to apply (Harvard, Yale, UToronto, Penn, Wisconsin, for starters) but even at the places with the best fit there's often a pretty significant gap between what I want to do and what any potential advisor studies, because very few of them study or teach anything related to food. Only Toronto has a dedicated food history track. I've seen a lot of people say admissions comes down to having people willing to work with you, and I'm worried my scholarly interests will make it difficult to find an advisor (especially one at a top tier school like Harvard) who would work with me over someone who did something more relevant to their work. How should I sell myself while still emphasizing my interest in food history? Any advice on applying to study a less common subfield, or even anyone else interested in studying food history out there? 

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Hello all! I am in a strange position, and am looking to reapply (with support from my current program) to history of science PhD programs this coming fall. I work on the history of 20th century European psychiatry and neurology, and my project deals with the functional neurological symptom in relationship to the history of the body/self-hood. I am sorting through sources from interwar psychoanalytic psychiatrists working through questions of "reductionism" in medicine and the relationship of language to (especially political) subjectivity during this period of crises in democratization.

Anyway, my plan was pretty straightforward and I had everything laid out in terms of reapplying, but the current global health crisis is worrying me (as I am sure it is worrying everybody else). Do people anticipate doctoral programs will cut admissions in the upcoming application season? I know there's really nothing I can do but wait at this point, but any insight people have would be helpful. 

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2 hours ago, bakeseal said:

I'm looking to see if anyone has thoughts on how to apply to programs for a niche and still kind of new speciality. I'm planning on applying to History PhD programs in the fall, where I hope to study late 19th/early 20th US history of diet and nutrition-- I'm interested in how rhetoric surrounding food, cookery, and domestic economy interacts with medical knowledge and scientific discourses. My undergraduate thesis is (and I really did not expect how topical this would become!) on the construction of "ethic" food during outbreaks of infectious diseases, looking at the SF plague outbreak and NYC typhoid outbreaks in Irish-American communities.

I'm a history (and classics major, so I know Greek and Latin, not that that helps me in any way) at a well known SLAC and I know my stats are good enough to get my foot in the door. I'm confident I'll have a good writing sample-- it's based on research I did with the papers of an early 20th century food columnist (I also processed the collection while working as an assistant in my college's archives, so I am quite literally the first person to use it). My ongoing worry is over the specificity of my interest--  since it is a newer field, I'm having trouble finding professors at well-resected PhD programs who intersect with my area of interest in any meaningful way, and there aren't many 'superstars' in the field yet. There's definitely a lot of great scholarship being produced on US food history in this temporal period, but most of it is coming from professors at middling state schools without funded PhD programs or other liberal arts colleges, so following the scholarship has been something of a dead end.  

I am very committed to the study of food history-- food is the lens with which I approach everything I study, and all of my undergraduate work that's any good has been about food. I think I have some viable options for places to apply (Harvard, Yale, UToronto, Penn, Wisconsin, for starters) but even at the places with the best fit there's often a pretty significant gap between what I want to do and what any potential advisor studies, because very few of them study or teach anything related to food. Only Toronto has a dedicated food history track. I've seen a lot of people say admissions comes down to having people willing to work with you, and I'm worried my scholarly interests will make it difficult to find an advisor (especially one at a top tier school like Harvard) who would work with me over someone who did something more relevant to their work. How should I sell myself while still emphasizing my interest in food history? Any advice on applying to study a less common subfield, or even anyone else interested in studying food history out there? 

Scholars working on food are more than likely to be found in anthropology departments. You should be looking for potential advisors who work in your field (US) and century (nineteenth or twentieth) or era (Gilded/Progressive), and specialize in social & cultural history. Even if they don't work on food, they know its importance to the historiography and they'll be familiar with the methodology of doing food history.

Another thing is to look at the anthro departments at your chosen universities to see who's working on food. You are allowed--and hopefully encouraged--to take courses outside of your history department while in a PhD program! 

Overall, you should be looking at graduate students who do food history and figuring out what programs they are in and who they're working with. You'll probably find scholars you didn't expect, because you're currently focused in finding who has "food history" in their faculty profile. 

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16 minutes ago, calathea said:

Hello all! I am in a strange position, and am looking to reapply (with support from my current program) to history of science PhD programs this coming fall. I work on the history of 20th century European psychiatry and neurology, and my project deals with the functional neurological symptom in relationship to the history of the body/self-hood. I am sorting through sources from interwar psychoanalytic psychiatrists working through questions of "reductionism" in medicine and the relationship of language to (especially political) subjectivity during this period of crises in democratization.

Anyway, my plan was pretty straightforward and I had everything laid out in terms of reapplying, but the current global health crisis is worrying me (as I am sure it is worrying everybody else). Do people anticipate doctoral programs will cut admissions in the upcoming application season? I know there's really nothing I can do but wait at this point, but any insight people have would be helpful. 

I don't know. All I can say is to be prepared to submit applications in the fall. My university is encouraging everyone to just move forward despite being cut off from labs, libraries, international travel, and so on. It's frustrating, and this moment has left us with a murky future, but the folks at the top are of the mindset that it's better to be ready when things return to "normal" vs putting things on hold until we see what happens. I can imagine they're treating Fall 2021 admissions in the same way, until they actually make the decision to not admit or cut acceptance numbers.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, bakeseal said:

I'm looking to see if anyone has thoughts on how to apply to programs for a niche and still kind of new speciality. I'm planning on applying to History PhD programs in the fall, where I hope to study late 19th/early 20th US history of diet and nutrition-- I'm interested in how rhetoric surrounding food, cookery, and domestic economy interacts with medical knowledge and scientific discourses. My undergraduate thesis is (and I really did not expect how topical this would become!) on the construction of "ethic" food during outbreaks of infectious diseases, looking at the SF plague outbreak and NYC typhoid outbreaks in Irish-American communities.

I'm a history (and classics major, so I know Greek and Latin, not that that helps me in any way) at a well known SLAC and I know my stats are good enough to get my foot in the door. I'm confident I'll have a good writing sample-- it's based on research I did with the papers of an early 20th century food columnist (I also processed the collection while working as an assistant in my college's archives, so I am quite literally the first person to use it). My ongoing worry is over the specificity of my interest--  since it is a newer field, I'm having trouble finding professors at well-resected PhD programs who intersect with my area of interest in any meaningful way, and there aren't many 'superstars' in the field yet. There's definitely a lot of great scholarship being produced on US food history in this temporal period, but most of it is coming from professors at middling state schools without funded PhD programs or other liberal arts colleges, so following the scholarship has been something of a dead end.  

I am very committed to the study of food history-- food is the lens with which I approach everything I study, and all of my undergraduate work that's any good has been about food. I think I have some viable options for places to apply (Harvard, Yale, UToronto, Penn, Wisconsin, for starters) but even at the places with the best fit there's often a pretty significant gap between what I want to do and what any potential advisor studies, because very few of them study or teach anything related to food. Only Toronto has a dedicated food history track. I've seen a lot of people say admissions comes down to having people willing to work with you, and I'm worried my scholarly interests will make it difficult to find an advisor (especially one at a top tier school like Harvard) who would work with me over someone who did something more relevant to their work. How should I sell myself while still emphasizing my interest in food history? Any advice on applying to study a less common subfield, or even anyone else interested in studying food history out there? 

NYU could be another place to check out, because their Food Studies program could have nice crossover. I also know a couple food history scholars of America who got their PhD in Brown's American Studies department, as well as UNC Chapel Hill's program, so that could be worth looking into. 

Edited by automatic_peas
typo

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8 hours ago, bakeseal said:

I'm looking to see if anyone has thoughts on how to apply to programs for a niche and still kind of new speciality. k

You really don’t need to find a specialist of food history — just a good historian of medicine, the American state, or both, and there are plenty of those, supplemented by someone else on the faculty (in history or other social science departments, as NoirFemme said). Food history might raise some important, novel questions, but it’s nothing you can’t easily pick up on your own while working with a medical historian, and given the intertwined histories of food and medicinal regulation they may actually know quite a bit of this literature.

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2 hours ago, AfricanusCrowther said:

You really don’t need to find a specialist of food history — just a good historian of medicine, the American state, or both, and there are plenty of those, supplemented by someone else on the faculty (in history or other social science departments, as NoirFemme said). Food history might raise some important, novel questions, but it’s nothing you can’t easily pick up on your own while working with a medical historian, and given the intertwined histories of food and medicinal regulation they may actually know quite a bit of this literature.

This is the right answer.

I would also start thinking now about the differences between marketing yourself as a "food historian" versus a "social historian interested in food". 

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3 hours ago, AfricanusCrowther said:

You really don’t need to find a specialist of food history — just a good historian of medicine, the American state, or both, and there are plenty of those, supplemented by someone else on the faculty (in history or other social science departments, as NoirFemme said). Food history might raise some important, novel questions, but it’s nothing you can’t easily pick up on your own while working with a medical historian, and given the intertwined histories of food and medicinal regulation they may actually know quite a bit of this literature.

I know that's the right path, and I've been looking between cultural historians v medical historians, but I think my biggest issue is that I am just less familiar with the historiography of those fields, so I feel less certain of how to market myself or show that I know their research and can position my work within it. Is it just a matter of finding the gilded age cultural historian (or similar) on the faculty?

I think I'm worried because I had a professor-- a 2018 Harvard PhD-- suggest that finding people with only tangentially related interests might not get me very far, mostly because he attributes his admission to Harvard almost solely due to his knowledge of his advisor's research. I've also had professors say that reaching out to potential advisors isn't even that important, so there's a lot of mixed messages coming from my department. 

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4 minutes ago, bakeseal said:

I think I'm worried because I had a professor-- a 2018 Harvard PhD-- suggest that finding people with only tangentially related interests might not get me very far, mostly because he attributes his admission to Harvard almost solely due to his knowledge of his advisor's research. I've also had professors say that reaching out to potential advisors isn't even that important, so there's a lot of mixed messages coming from my department. 

"Go not to the Elves for answers, for they will say both no and yes." Tolkien certainly knew academia.

It really depends on the person. Some professors want a Mini-me, others just want a cool project.

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1 minute ago, bakeseal said:

I know that's the right path, and I've been looking between cultural historians v medical historians, but I think my biggest issue is that I am just less familiar with the historiography of those fields, so I feel less certain of how to market myself or show that I know their research and can position my work within it. Is it just a matter of finding the gilded age cultural historian (or similar) on the faculty?

I think I'm worried because I had a professor-- a 2018 Harvard PhD-- suggest that finding people with only tangentially related interests might not get me very far, mostly because he attributes his admission to Harvard almost solely due to his knowledge of his advisor's research. I've also had professors say that reaching out to potential advisors isn't even that important, so there's a lot of mixed messages coming from my department. 

Easier said than done, I recommend that you focus a bit less on how you'll market yourself  (a concept of which I'm not particularly fond) and more on how you define yourself as a professional academic historian and on identifying trajectories of historiographical debate to which you can contribute.
 

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, bakeseal said:

I know that's the right path, and I've been looking between cultural historians v medical historians, but I think my biggest issue is that I am just less familiar with the historiography of those fields, so I feel less certain of how to market myself or show that I know their research and can position my work within it. Is it just a matter of finding the gilded age cultural historian (or similar) on the faculty?

I think I'm worried because I had a professor-- a 2018 Harvard PhD-- suggest that finding people with only tangentially related interests might not get me very far, mostly because he attributes his admission to Harvard almost solely due to his knowledge of his advisor's research. I've also had professors say that reaching out to potential advisors isn't even that important, so there's a lot of mixed messages coming from my department. 

I would suggest you go to department websites and look for American medical historians and/or Gilded Age and Progressive Era, eyeing potential advisers with a broad view toward thematic similarity (for example, my department has an excellent historian of the American state with a doctoral student who works on food history; my partner's department has a leading medical historian whose student wrote a dissertation on meat regulation. Neither faculty member works on food.). You might also look at recent articles published in journals like the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, or Global Food History, which might be authored by people you could work with. The scholarly literature on food and medicine is truly vast, ranging from studies on food and healing in the ancient world to contemporary accounts of neutriceuticals and NGOs.

As to your second point, conveying an understanding of a potential advisor's main intellectual projects is indeed a very important task to accomplish in your statement of purpose, but that has little to do with your research interests. As @telkanurusaid, advisers vary on the degree to which they want their students to do similar work, and I would also add that many professors think that they can mold their students into smaller versions of themselves over time, regardless of what they say they're interested in at the beginning of the program (but we won't get into that).

 

 

Edited by AfricanusCrowther

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