Jump to content

MA in history or Poli sci, or an interdisciplinary soc sci Master's? Help me choose a program or uni in Canada or Europe 🙏


Recommended Posts

(Sorry for this being so long or if I'm posting this in the wrong place).

I'm finishing up my undergrad in history and poli sci in Ottawa and currently applying for a terminal master's. Looking to work in the public service...no intention currently of a PhD because of the shitty academic job market. 

I've developed research interests in the contemporary period and have good language skills in French and Spanish. For the purposes of my master's thesis/MRP: interested in investigating the emotional dimensions of ideologies and the appeal of political ideas or rhetoric during and after the Cold War in Canada, including through a history of emotions approach (e.g. "populism," culture war/"identity politics" debates in Canada, and potentially tracing transnational connections). 

More broadly interested in and have worked on: 20th century Canadian/Québec history, political economy, migration studies, ideologies/rhetoric/cultural studies...love the work of Paul Gilroy and Stuart Hall), political and intellectal history (New Lefts and "populism"...the work of Ian McKay, Christopher Bickerton, Anton Jager, Terence Renaud, Samuel Moyn, Enzo Traverso turn me on), labour history, women and gender in the Middle East (learning Turkish, hoping to learn Persian too), the Cultural Cold War, history of capitalism. In the Poli sci or Comms + emotions world, I like the work of Will Davies, Shane Gunster, Paul Saurette, William Connolly.

Methodologically, I'm very attracted to intellectual history, history of emotions, and somewhat to global/transnational or comparative history. Also interested in deepening my knowledge of political and social theory, as well as political economy, as I've found these helpful to guide my thinking but not necessarily as a main research focus. I'm weaker in quantitative/mixed social science methods but I'm interested in developing these skills.


TL;DR:

Should I do a history, poli sci, or an interdisciplinary master's? I don't care about PhD for the moment, so I'm mainly looking to gain some research skills, and be exposed to a new environment/city/cultures/languages. Don't wanna spend an arm and a leg either so I'm avoiding programs that aren't funded. 

Obviously there's no way to synthesize all of my interests into one MA project. I like history but my interests are too varied, I think, to confine myself to it. Also thinking pragmatically, it would be good to develop social science research skills. If I were to do an interdisciplinarity master's, I intend to combine a history of emotions approach with literatures in cultural studies/communications/poli sci and the use of social science research methods.

I was thinking that something like uChicago's MAPSS would be ideal but I don't intend to pay that kind of money, don't want to go to the United States, and it sounds too condensed/stressful.

Goldsmith's MA in Global Political Economy is very appealing, and Will Davies' research is fascinating to me. But £16 120 is steep (I irrationally wanna bite the bullet, someone please tell me that this would be a bad idea).

In Canada, I've found York's Social and Political Thought programme, which is interdisciplinary and apparently well-respected in academia (but York isn't the most prestigious for people not in academic circles). York also has great Poli sci and history departments, and they both claim to be open to interdisciplinary approaches; will be reaching out to potential supervisors. Funding is a question mark and Toronto is expensive. 

Queens: has an interdisciplinary Cultural Studies program that's well funded apparently. 1 or two years, nice focus on professional skills development. No real drawbacks I think?

McMaster has good funding and Ian McKay in history of the left is there but no interdisciplinary program (apart from a very English lit + theory-heavy Cultural Studies program) and idk about living in Hamilton for 2 years.

UToronto and McGill don't fund their masters students so fuck that. (Though I might try McGill since I live in Montreal, did some of my undergrad there and some profs who would be a good fit).

UBC Vancouver vs UBC Okanagan? I love Vancouver and have some friends over there but it's expensive. They offer an Interdisciplinary studies Master's. Not sure on potential supervisor though, since they have a very strong Asian focus. UBC Okanagan's Power, Conflict and Ideas theme interdisciplinary program fits my interests and I could make it work with some of their faculty I think. Idk about Okanagan though, I enjoy big cities, I don't know anyone there, nor do I drive.

SFU: Communications program looks appealing (Shane Gunster) but I have little background in comms.

University of Victoria: has a cool Culture, social and political thought interdisciplinary program that can be added onto either a history or Poli sci MA, which is 1 year. Don't know much about the uni or the city.

uOttawa: no interdisciplinary program but I know a Poli sci prof there with very similar interests who would be amazing to work with. Not sure about their funding; they just raised their GPA requirement so I no longer qualify for an automatic scholarship but they have a co-op program, so I could probably find a job in the government, and take courses to improve my French. This is rationally a good option but I already went there for undergrad and I hated living in Ottawa.

Carleton in Ottawa: Political Economy master's is interdisciplinary but I'd probably have to change my research approach away from history of emotions, though I might be able to shoehorn it into cultural political economy. Haven't found any relevant profs with similar interests. Apparently funding is very good and it has a co-op program. But I hate Ottawa.
 
Global history, or North American Studies at Free University in Berlin, or British studies at Humboldt. The latter two are interdisciplinary and have amazing history of emotions faculty. These are basically free and in English; no funding so I'd have to pay living expenses through loans probably. Down to learn some German; I have some friends over there. Mainly worried about differences in teaching/supervision style compared to the north american approach? Heard that you are left very much to your own devices. Also, no MRP option,  it's 2 years and Global History isn't interdisciplinary AFAIK.


Any advice or suggestions regarding programs or universities would be much appreciated!

Edited by pemexmtl
Typo
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.