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Medieval AND Rhetoric?


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Hi all,

I'm doing a little canvass for recommendations here. I'm into medieval and rhetorical studies, but I find that the two areas tend to flourish in different kinds of English departments. I know there are a few out there where both go strong -- UT-Austin, Illinois-UC, Washington, Michigan, and my alma mater -- but I'm wondering if anyone can think of any I haven't noted. Much appreciated!

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Hi there! Given the relatively few medievalists on this forum, I'll gladly throw in my two cents! I see that your list is very much spot-on in terms of strong medieval programs (there aren't too, too many in the States, unfortunately!). In terms of non-Ivies, Toronto, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Notre Dame, UCLA, WUSTL, and Indiana have outstanding programs! Many of the Ivies, including University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and Yale, offer brilliant programs; but they seem more bent on the historical context of the Middle Ages, rather than the rhetorical. Also, keep in mind that some schools are more "traditional" in their approaches to medieval studies (particularly the Ivies), whereas some are more "theoretical." The latter is generally the case for schools having younger medievalists in their department.

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I don't know much about Rhetoric, but Northwestern is also fantastically strong in medieval, and their interdisciplinary group or "cluster" is made of students from all departments, so they all get the same strong training. So, you could apply to the Rhet department there and work with medieval group/cluster/what have you.

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Thanks, everyone!

Zeugma, my own research is friendly to both new and traditional approaches to medieval studies, but it's certainly the Ivies/traditional programs where rhetoric's unlikely to be an area of focus. WUSTL looks promising -- I'll add it to my nascent list.

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If you do French, Minnesota. Mary Franklin Brown does both rhetoric and medieval (and theory). She's brilliant and very strong in languages, rhetoric, and poetry in particular, but if you don't do French lit at all, that won't be as helpful for you.

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Hi everyone! I'm also interested in a MA medieval studies, but the schools on my list so far are Toronto, Fordham, CUA, and Saint Louis. Does anyone know about their acceptance rates? I looked into other schools such as Columbia and Notre Dame, but the competition and tuition scared me away. I am most interest in studying French lit - that's why I looked at Toronto as my first choice. If anyone knows a lot about these programs and could give me some advice, that'd be greatly appreciated! Good luck with the application pools, everyone!

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Hi everyone! I'm also interested in a MA medieval studies, but the schools on my list so far are Toronto, Fordham, CUA, and Saint Louis. Does anyone know about their acceptance rates? I looked into other schools such as Columbia and Notre Dame, but the competition and tuition scared me away. I am most interest in studying French lit - that's why I looked at Toronto as my first choice. If anyone knows a lot about these programs and could give me some advice, that'd be greatly appreciated! Good luck with the application pools, everyone!

Notre Dame is just coming through a recent hiring phase in Medieval English, specifically, but they are extremely strong (and put a great deal of money and resources) into medieval studies. Toronto also has some excellent people -- I just met Fabienne Michelet a couple of weeks ago, and she was wonderful. Andy Orchard is an absolutely huge name in Anglo-Saxon, but I have heard that most of his students come out with excellent, but very 'similar' dissertations.

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Hi everyone! I'm also interested in a MA medieval studies, but the schools on my list so far are Toronto, Fordham, CUA, and Saint Louis. Does anyone know about their acceptance rates? I looked into other schools such as Columbia and Notre Dame, but the competition and tuition scared me away. I am most interest in studying French lit - that's why I looked at Toronto as my first choice. If anyone knows a lot about these programs and could give me some advice, that'd be greatly appreciated! Good luck with the application pools, everyone!

Glad to hear your interests in Medieval French studies! Not often does one hear that, given the multitude of 19th and 20th-century specialists out there. Be wary of the Ivies for the 2013 upcoming application season for Medieval French literature: medievalist Howard Bloch from Yale is on leave; and medievalist Sarah Kay, if I am not mistaken, has officially left Princeton to become the Director of Graduate Studies at NYU. Out of all the Ivies, Yale has the best medieval French program in my opinion (in addition to an excellent Medieval Studies department). However, with Dr. Bloch's international recognition, it might be hard to be advised by a professor who is heavily bent on research production and conference traveling. The last thing you would want is to be "used" as a researcher guinea-pig for "big wig" professors at the expense of your own research interests.

If finance is an issue, in addition to the Ivies (who would give you a full-ride fellowship), have you considered University of Wisconsin-Madison's and Indiana Bloomington's French Department? They also have fellowships that would grant you stipend plus tuition coverage and quality medieval French tracks. I have a friend who recently received his M.A. in Medieval Studies at Toronto. He had very wonderful things to say about the program! Great choice and find on your part! ;)

As I'm sure you've heard, for the sake of your future employment, don't solely focus on the Medieval...these days, young medievalist PhD candidates are waiting for the senior Medieval professors to retire in order to take their hot seats! :rolleyes:

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Thanks Marlowe and Zeugma for your help! This may sound weird, but I'm attempting to avoid the Ivies just because I know the competition will be fierce. It's not that I don't have the best grades, but I just have this feeling that it'll be out of my league in various ways. Also, I know that my GRE score won't be anything more than decent (I haven't taken it yet, but I'm terrible at standardized tests). I don't think I've looked at U of W-M and Indiana, but Illinois-Urbana Champaign and Saint-Louis are on my list. CSA and Fordham look awesome, but I don't know how I'd do in the NYC atmosphere (I'm from a medium-sized town in Louisiana). Basically, if I get into Toronto, I'm going there.

And for the future, I'll probably focus on medieval French lit and history, but I could also try to teach French, history, or anthropology at the high school level if I can't find anything at the college level - my dream job. I'm well aware that the options are slim, but I'm just hoping that somehow the economy will bounce back a little bit by the time I finish my master's.

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