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African American Studies PhD/Master Programs 2013


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Hello Everyone!

I will be applying to some MA and a few PhD programs this fall. It seems that Northwestern is the top choice for a lot of people. I will also be applying to CAL, Syracuse, NYU, Columbia and UCA

Have you guys heard any good things about these programs?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Makedada, 

 

Just a line of caution, I have several friends who are either at NU or left that have informed me that the community isn't that friendly and the environment can become very "fake." Meaning, the people that you would consider your colleagues/friends/peers aren't really, they use you to get ahead. Of course, as graduate students, this type of environment isn't new. For example, places like NYU, Columbia, and other Ivies have had cases where graduate students hide things from their fellow colleagues to get ahead. Moreover, as with most programs, there is a lot of favoritism (by faculty members) in the African American Studies program at NU. Nonetheless, if there is someone there that you really want to work with and they you, and you have talked to the faculty member than I say go. Graduate school experiences vary from person-to-person; therefore, your experience there might be better than some of my friends of colleagues I've talked to at conferences. 

 

With all this being said, make the decision that is best for you--avoid basing decision solely off of others experiences. Indeed, consider their input, but remember, this is your graduate school experience. Also, what exactly are you studying? Advice I got from professors in several disciplines (including African American Studies): If you work focus on race, gender, sexuality, culture, identity, and so forth and so on, consider programs such as American Studies and/or Cultural Studies, or other interdisciplinary programs, because you will be able to do similar research while increasing your options and chances of getting funded. 

 

Best, hope this is useful! 

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Hey all, just wanted to introduce myself onto the forum. I applied to Berkeley's African-American Studies program, Harvard's African-American studies program, and Emory's History Program. My research interest is the intersection of African-American religion and African-American political thought, specifically how African identity and American class structures have shaped African-American religion, and how this process has shaped African-American political thought. I finished a dual masters program last year and I am hoping to further my education. I'm not nervous yet, but come April I will be! Good luck to everyone. Blessings. 

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Hi everyone.. I would love to hear from the person who was nominated for a fellowship in the African Studies program at MSU. I researched the African Studies program at IU, but they were not accepting applications. MSU's African Studies program is of interest to me, as is one of their graduate student associations related to African Studies, but I ultimately applied to another program that was more closely aligned with my interests (and I can do research related to African and African American Studies). Anyway, I would be interested in hearing about your experiences!

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Hi everyone.. I would love to hear from the person who was nominated for a fellowship in the African Studies program at MSU. I researched the African Studies program at IU, but they were not accepting applications. MSU's African Studies program is of interest to me, as is one of their graduate student associations related to African Studies, but I ultimately applied to another program that was more closely aligned with my interests (and I can do research related to African and African American Studies). Anyway, I would be interested in hearing about your experiences!
Hello there: I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.
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Hello there: I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.

 

I'm not sure where to start.

 

I guess my first question would be.. do you have any tips for someone whose focus is on African American literature and literature from the African diaspora?

 

If not, would you be willing to share the name of anyone in the African Studies department you think is a particularly good person to speak with regarding admissions, fellowships, etc.? PM if you want.

 

Also, do you have/do you plan to have any experience with the Sankofa graduate student association?

 

I'm still waiting to hear on my admission decision (from the other program). Thanks!

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Unfortunately, I do not have any tips regarding your program of interest. My interests lie in the area of Development and MSU's program is one of the few in African Studies which I felt might be capable of properly supervising me. Most of my applications, consequently, we're to IR/Dev. Programs. The only advice I would offer is simply to look at MSU's overall strength in literature and ensure that it's a good fit for you. You'll be a part of AAAS, but as the program is interdisciplinary, I imagine that you'll end up relying on faculty from other departments quite a bit as well.

Nonetheless, MSU's AAAS faculty has such breadth that I would imagine you'd be easily able to locate more than one person interested in your research.

I've spoken with a few people associated with the program, but I found Dr. Edozie (the Program Chair) to be extremely responsive. Just email her, indicating your interest, and try to schedule time to speak with her. She really sells the program. I believe that she's on sabbatical this semester, so it may take her time to reply.

I'm sorry, I don't know anything about the Sankofa other than the fact that it exists at this point. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

Good luck with your other applications.

Edited by Keephopealive
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Visited Northwestern's program over the summer, but I got bad vibes and decided against applying. I'm not sure about most of the programs listed, but like many others suggested Northwestern has a premiere program (their queer black studies strength is what initially attracted me, but McBride is quite busy these days). I'm not sure what your specific interest is, but it still remains a strong program in a great location (just not suited for me). 

 

I am, however, applying to the PhD program at Massachusetts (Amherst), the MA program at Wisconsin (Madison) and the American Culture program at Michigan (Ann Arbor). I visited Indiana's AAS program and really did love it, but they aren't admitting students for two seasons and I found out that most of their faculty members who did black queer studies moved to the gender & sexuality studies department, so I applied there as well. 

Edited by Gwendolyn
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This is really exciting news! Thanks for sharing. I have some similar interests.

 

Perhaps we'll end up working together.

 

I visited Indiana's AAS program and really did love it, but they aren't admitting students for two seasons and I found out that most of their faculty members who did black queer studies moved to the gender & sexuality studies department, so I applied there as well. 

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This is really exciting news! Thanks for sharing. I have some similar interests.

 

Perhaps we'll end up working together.

Not a problem, I'm always excited to meet people with similar research interests (which is super rare here in Alabama). 

 

Does anyone know if the Harvard admit on the results board was real?  

 

Anyone else hear anything?

 

Haven't seen any formal posts about the applicant, but I can't see any reason to speculate she wasn't real. 

Edited by Gwendolyn
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That's too bad. Most likely you'll meet more people with similar research interests at whatever program you choose. However, I've gotten the impression lately that any particular convergence of African American studies with another burgeoning field is somewhat unusual.. i.e. black queer studies, black speculative fiction, etc.. Maybe I'm wrong, though.

 

Mind sharing how you received the IU acceptance?

 

Not a problem, I'm always excited to meet people with similar research interests (which is super rare here in Alabama).

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That's too bad. Most likely you'll meet more people with similar research interests at whatever program you choose. However, I've gotten the impression lately that any particular convergence of African American studies with another burgeoning field is somewhat unusual.. i.e. black queer studies, black speculative fiction, etc.. Maybe I'm wrong, though.

 

Mind sharing how you received the IU acceptance?

 

Perhaps you're right.

 

It came in the form of an e-mail from the secretary (Nina J. Taylor) and had most pertinent information in a separate document (it was personalized). Have you applied?

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That's been my experience, anyway. If I mention Audre Lorde or Octavia Butler I get a blank stare.. at best, I've been told by people that they're not really familiar with Lorde's work (except for my M.A. mentor) or that they don't like science fiction. I was introduced to Jewelle Gomez's The Gilda Stories by a professor, though, so it's not all bad.

 

I applied, yes, and it was a great fit as far as a potential POI.. though he's not in Gender Studies.. oh, well.

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That's been my experience, anyway. If I mention Audre Lorde or Octavia Butler I get a blank stare.. at best, I've been told by people that they're not really familiar with Lorde's work (except for my M.A. mentor) or that they don't like science fiction. I was introduced to Jewelle Gomez's The Gilda Stories by a professor, though, so it's not all bad.

 

I applied, yes, and it was a great fit as far as a potential POI.. though he's not in Gender Studies.. oh, well.

 

I attend an HBCU so the faculty within my department are pretty familiar with Lorde and the like, but it is the South so only a few do research that pertains to sexuality in general. With that said, we spent a while on Octavia Butler and her works in Literary Theory (there's a grad student at IU in the gender studies program who is approaching her works from a disability studies standpoint), but I totally see from where you're coming. 

 

I think IU probably has the best faculty fit for me, but I just can't see myself in Bloomington (however beautiful) for what is typically 7 years. It's really sad though because they have one of the biggest (if not the biggest) Black Film Archive in the nation along with the Kinsey Institute. 

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