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Hi community!

 

I wanted to start an up to date thread so those of us applying for Comp Lit have a specific place to chat about stuff relevant to our apps and career field! I'll start by introducing myself (briefly): I'm applying to study Spanish, French, and English literature primarily, and want to focus on literary modernism (as in, late 19th century up to WWII). So if anyone has any overlapping interests I'd love to chat :)

 

Also, since we are in app season, I'll throw out some quandaries... What schools are you all applying to and why?? My top two are UT Austin and WashU in St. Louis, due to program design, location (yes, geographic location can be a dealbreaker for me), and placement ability. Also, what do people think about GRE scores? I know they weigh less on an app than other aspects, but what would you all consider good/ok/low scores?

 

Lastly, if anyone's interested in a SoP swap, let me know! 

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Just got an email acceptance from Irvine... Nearly a week after the first post on the results board. So, don't lose hope! 

Last year Davis sent me an email AFTER April 15th to ask if I was still available. (I wasn't.) it's not over until it's over, pals!

Yay! I'm happy to see more people introducing themselves for Comp Lit!! I'll go ahead and give my two cents about some of the thoughts/questions brought up...   GRE: well, on one hand, it supposedly

Nice. I've been looking for something like that. I'm applying to Comp. Lit. programs only and UT is on my list, again ! My languages are English and Arabic. I know it's not enough and having a third language would do me good for sure but I don't think I'll have the time to start learning a new one. I do have basic knowledge of French from high school, but I'm not sure if I can list this in nmy CV?? What do you think? I'll retake the GRE in a month or so, still working on my WS, and my SOP is yet to be revised. I'm aiming to applying to 5 schools. I hope more comp. lit people share their worries and hopes here. Best of luck to all :)

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Well Rose Egypt, from my perspective I think that it is in fact a minus that you only have two languages, but, and perhaps a stronger counterbalance is your Arabic. Interestingly, one of the fast growing areas in Comp Lit are Eastern, or at least non-Western languages (Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic seem to be the big three). That works in your favor as programs seem to want to keep those areas bolstered. Now of course this is speculation on my part, but I have heard from Comp Lit mentors that knowing and wanting to research Arabic is a big, no, a massive plus on an app. Also, I don't know if you'd be interested, but the Dept. of Defense I've heard really likes it when people study what they call "languages of interest" (Arabic is one) and if you consider that potential career path they supposedly make it really worth your while. But that's just hearsay; I have no real clue what the deal is there.

 

As for your French, I would highly recommend milking what little knowledge/exposure you have of it on your apps, and of course in the meanwhile maybe trying to brush up on it. It would be a perfect tertiary language for you considering the huge relationship French culture and Arabic culture share.

 

Good luck to you and hopefully this thread starts livening up!! It would be so awesome to meet more Comp Lit hopefuls and of course help each other through this painful process!

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I appreciate your encouragement a lot. You actually made me feel more hopeful that I'd be able to get an acceptance somewhere. I'll probably try to study or revise what I've studied in French so that I can add it to my CV with no shame. I have a question about my research point though; do I have to make a link in my research between English and Arabic? I have, I think, a very interesting and uptodate topic but it only focuses on Arabic lit. Do you think this is a downside of my application? I feel that it'd make my research less valuable if I try to force this kind of link, right? 

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I don't think it's necessarily a disadvantage that your app is very "Arabic heavy". In all honesty, I'm in the same boat. My research is valid, up to date, bla bla bla, but it's all Spanish based. So I'm working on linking it all together as well... But a lot of grad schools (Harvard and WUSTL come to mind) expressly say that you don't have to know what you want to write your dissertation about yet, you just need to show them that you're ready to enter the realm of post-grad literary study. Obviously having an idea of how to link your studies would be helpful, but don't feel dissuaded if it's a big step for you. It's their job really to get you oriented with your studies and help you find the direction you want to go. One way, although a little tedious, would be to start thumbing through Arabic literary bibliography and see if you can find any references that can help you bridge it over to American lit. 

 

I also googled it and came up with this: http://arablit.wordpress.com/ . Obviously there's an interest in reading Arabic literature in English (not quite a link to English literature, but hey, it's something of a bridge). Maybe Arabic-English translation?? Hopefully that helps get the wheels turning!

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I'm already following Arablit.wordpress. I'll see what I can do to make my research more appealing. I hope that you manage to do so too. It looks like very few people are heading for comp. lit. programs this year. Last year there was a very interesting group. I hope more people will join us here. Good luck :)

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Hey there! I am also applying to some Comp. Lit programs this year. I live in Spain just as you do, peterangelo! My languages are also Spanish, English and French. I will be focusing on the Early Modern Period, though. I will be applying to Stanford, UCLA, Chicago, Columbia and CUNY. Glad to meet you two!

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Hi, Rose Egypt! Yes, I have already taken the GRE. Got good verbal scores but I think I can improve my writing scores and definitely need to do something about the quantitative part, hehe. Sigh, I haven't done any real math since high school... I am taking the test again this coming November, for sure. Let's hope it goes better. So, I see that we are all from outside the US, for the moment.

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I'm applying to Comp Lit, too! 

My focus is concentrated in Early Modern literature, extending to the Medieval influence.  My interests are  periodization, Shakespeare, Cervantes, travel narratives, the New/Old World, mysticism, etc.  My languages are English, Spanish, and Portuguese.  I studied Old English at one point, and read a ton in Middle English.

 

I have a question for you all about letters of recommendation.  Which professors are you using?  One for each language?  How do you feel about using your degree as merit for proficiency in the language, in place of a professor in that field?  I assume this is a bad idea, considering you want to showcase your critical thinking and writing in that language as well.  Just want to hear your thoughts, though.

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Yay! I'm happy to see more people introducing themselves for Comp Lit!! I'll go ahead and give my two cents about some of the thoughts/questions brought up...

 

GRE: well, on one hand, it supposedly is a less important aspect of the app, so my not-so-impressive score isn't keeping me from applying to better schools. Rose Egypt, I'm worried that taking it in November is a bit on the late side... It takes several weeks for scores to be reported and that would put you dangerously close to the early deadlines. But it still seems to be early enough.

 

Letters of Rec: tough one. My interpretation is that you want them to vouch mostly for your work, ability to complete a PhD program, why you'd be a good candidate, etc., and less on your language abilities. There are other ways. And let's be honest, we don't all learn our languages in a nice, academic way. I'll give mine as an example: English- native; Spanish- university and living in Spain (so that does work for me), Italian- university classes, but no work in it (doesn't help), French (this is the fun one)- girlfriend. Yeah, before I decided to do Comp Lit, I met a girl from France and after a while of speaking Spanish together (met in Spain), I decided to learn French. After several years of vacationing in France, I now speak it. It's not academically easy to justify, but I speak it all the same and read people like Foucault and Baudelaire in French. So there... Jumping back to letters of rec, I'm going to spread mine out the best I can: I was a double major back in California (where I'm from), English and Spanish, so two there, and one from my Master's program here in Spain. It's Spanish heavy; I wish I could get more from other areas, but heck, my aim is to show them that I'm an academic and ready for the challenge of grad school.

 

Lastly, eoyarbidem, you should PM me! I'd love to talk more things Spain related with you! Like where you live, bla bla bla...

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Hi there!

 

After last year, I've decided to branch out a little and apply to Comp. Lit. programs as well as English programs this year. 

 

I'm German and I majored in English and Italian in my undergrad (I also have my school French (7 years) and some basic knowledge in Swedish) and I also have 2 MA degrees in English (due to a cooperation between my university in Germany and an American university where I spent the last year). I'm very interested in Brandeis and the University of Michigan because I'm interested in Anglo-Jewish literature and I think those two would be a good fit. But I'm also looking at schools in California.

 

My GRE wasn't that great (84th percentile in the verbal section) and I guess I have to retake it. Plus, I also have to retake the stupid TOEFL despite having an MA from a US university. 

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Nice to see  more people here! Regarding the recommendation letters question, I think that the most important thing is to find someone that can comment about you in a very positive light. I also think it doesn't hurt to ask professors with which one feels at ease asking a lot of letters. I mean, I am applying to several places... Which leads me to another question. What do you guys make of Interfolio? I think I will be using it after asking all my universities if they are alright with that.

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Hi,

 

I'm applying to Comp lit programs for 2014 too. My interests are translation theory, theatre translation, multilingual literatures, global feminisms and postcolonial theory. I'm from India where I grew up speaking English and HIndi, and my undergraduate degree was in Arabic and English literature. I have an MA in literary translation and I'm also learning French at the moment. 

 

Am trying to finalize which schools to apply to at the moment, and also work on my SoP (which I find to be an arduous task). It's nice to meet you and if you have any application tips that'd be great. 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi there!

 

After last year, I've decided to branch out a little and apply to Comp. Lit. programs as well as English programs this year. 

 

I'm German and I majored in English and Italian in my undergrad (I also have my school French (7 years) and some basic knowledge in Swedish) and I also have 2 MA degrees in English (due to a cooperation between my university in Germany and an American university where I spent the last year). I'm very interested in Brandeis and the University of Michigan because I'm interested in Anglo-Jewish literature and I think those two would be a good fit. But I'm also looking at schools in California.

 

My GRE wasn't that great (84th percentile in the verbal section) and I guess I have to retake it. Plus, I also have to retake the stupid TOEFL despite having an MA from a US university. 

Why don't you look at WUSTL? They have 2 or more people working on Jewish lit.

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The wait is making me anxious/stressed. So thought I'd bump this thread up. How is everyone else coping? Any acceptances/ rejections. I've not heard anything. Had an interview for Penn State yesterday, but don't think that went too well. I just wish I'd know already. 

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Well, I've been here all alone looking for any comp lit guys to share anxiety with. Yesterday there was a Northwestern acceptance on the Results board. So, I guess this implies rejection for me since I got nothing.

 

In the same boat after seeing the Irvine acceptance. And it was the one where I felt I had the best 'fit' too!

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