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Duke English vs Literature?

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Hello! I'm a Fall '14 applicant that's applying to English programs, but with interdisciplinary interests in race and religion. Was wondering if anyone had any insight on the difference between the Duke English and the Duke Literature programs -- I'm a bit confused, as both seem to allow interdisciplinary dissertation topics.

 

Thanks!

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Someone who actually attends one of these programs may be better at answering this question, but one of my advisors from my previous program got her PhD at Duke and told me a little about the difference. The Lit program is more theory based, so if your primary area of focus is theory and cultural studies, that would be the place to go. However, if you have a more traditional time period, but are just kind of "thematizing" your approach through race, religion, and culture (or something along those lines), the English department is better. Also, the English department has steadier (and perhaps more?) funding.

 

Hope this helps!

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I'm in Duke Lit. I actually thing the above comment largely holds—literature tends to be more theory-focused, English more concretely tied to periodization. Funding is actually not that different. Feel free to PM if you want more details. 

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Did anyone else apply to duke literature? It looks like the interviews started to come out the end of this week last year.

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Omg my heart dropped someone just posted an interview.

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I'm applying to the English department and saw the lit interviews and am now panicking. I am also applying for a Fulbright and am rather pessimistic that I'll find out I didn't get either tomorrow or something. Gah! Both of these processes are driving me crazy!

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Speaking of the Lit program, does the program interview all applicants that they are considering admitting? Seeing the number of interviews posted for previous years, I am just wondering whether they use it as a way to decide between similarly qualified candidates or something that they do with every student that they ultimately admit. I only ask because I see that a couple interview invitations have gone out and I want to know at what point I should give up hope. Thanks!

Edited by incognegra

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Hey, this is my first posting after a couple months of lurking, but I'm wondering whether to give up on Duke as well. Is the interview system different for international students in any way? Thanks in advance for trying to answer my question. 

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I'm not certain, but I think based on what I've heard about previous years that they generally interview everyone on their short-list -- so in other words, if you weren't already invited for an interview, that probably means a rejection. Note that this only applies to the Literature program, I don't think English does interviews at all. Others might be able to give more information but I'm afraid I think that might be the case.

 

I just did my interview. Is there anyone else on here who's had one today or is doing one later in the week? How did people think they went? I wasn't too happy with how I did but it's not easy to tell I guess

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Well crap...After reading this, I think I should have applied to the Literature program rather than the English program. There goes my chances. Haha.

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After reading more of the results from previous years, I feel like I have a little more (however anecdotal) information than I had earlier in this thread. I noticed that last year, some prospective students received interview invitations on 1/23 and then another crop of applicants received invites on 1/30. I'm not sure why they would send out notifications to people a whole week apart (?!) but if they're doing this again, those of us without invites may still be in the running...at least until Friday :S

Edited by incognegra

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My interview is Wednesday. As far as I could tell from the sign-up sheet they sent out with the invitation, there were 20 spots. Not sure if all of them were filled.

 

Hey, ivandub, mind giving me some info on what your experience was like? I'm going insane at the prospect of skyping with jameson. The future is a bizarre place.

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I didn't get any info about a visit, which was kind of a bummer. Maybe that's later in the process...?

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No there was no info given about visiting, just Skype - maybe they've canceled the visiting weekend part of the process in recent years.

 

The most frustrating thing about my interview was that they were slow in setting up and I lost five minutes, and they didn't give me extra time at the end to compensate, meaning that I only got 15 rather than 20 minutes. Obviously it's a bunch of very famous people in a room interviewing you and that can be a bit scary, but they're perfectly straightforward, if a bit stiff in their demeanour. They basically just asked me about the various things I brought up in my statement of purpose. I was a bit unprepared for some of the questions which was really my own fault for not preparing properly. I was a bit surprised and disappointed they didn't say anything about my writing sample, especially as I felt some of the critical things they asked about my project were actually answered more articulately in the writing sample itself than in what I was able to say in response to them. There was supposed to be time for me to ask questions about the program but I guess owing to the lost time that didn't happen. The whole thing was a bit awkward, Katherine Hayles particularly who runs the interviews I found hard to interact with... basically you just need to be confident about yourself and your work and you'll do well; but be prepared to have to answer challenging/critical questions

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I just got an email from the dgs, all interviews have been extended

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Thanks for the updates, all. I'm admittedly sad to know that I didn't score one of the interviews but best of luck to you all in securing some of those coveted spots!

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Yes, congratulations to those who scored the interview! I'm sure they went well--Dr. Hayles is probably just not used to human subjects anymore. Best of luck, y'all! 

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I just discovered this thread... I just had my Duke interview today, and it was definitely intimidating, but not as bad as I thought it would be. Apparently there is some sort of snowstorm in Durham right now, so interviewees scheduled for today be prepared for a smaller group. I only had Katherine Hayles and one other POI on mine. (In some ways, this lessens the pressure/scrutiny, but on the other hand it kind of ups the stakes because you only have the chance to make an impression on two people.) 

 

In terms of questions, my POI interviewer is an expert on my subject so I was grilled about my project. Very specific, pointed questions. Difficult but a nice opportunity to show what you know. 

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Hey all,

 

I'm a first-year in Duke Lit. The interview period is a hellish process so I thought I'd break it down for y'all's convenience:

 

1. They'll do 20 Skype interviews. I think all of those should have happened by now, unless yesterday's were cancelled due to snow.

2. Of those 20, they will invite a subset--typically 8--down here for a campus visit. (If last year's any indication, this will be on ridiculously short notice. I think this year they're planning for Valentine's day weekend.) You'll get a chance to check out the program and they'll also do in-person interviews, which in my experience are much less awful than the Skype version.

3. Of those 8, they will extend offers to 6.

 

Like I said, it's an awful process, with much more hoops than any of the other schools where I was admitted. That said, I chose Duke and am very happy here. Other things to note:

 

1. If you get invited down here, you're basically in. They'll extend offers to 6/8 but we typically lose at least one or two of those to other programs. So don't stress out too much about the campus visit.

2. If you *don't* get invited down here, there's still a chance. Last year we ended up accepting one person who was not invited for a campus visit. That said, that offer didn't come through until early April because they have to wait to hear what the first folks do. If you're one of those 12, you should definitely explore other options, but don't rule out the possibility of a last-minute offer.

3. If you feel like you bombed the Skype interview, that's probably a good sign. I was convinced I'd given the absolute worst interview in the history of humankind, and I was still asked to come down here, and then offered a spot.

 

Feel free to PM if you have other questions, and good luck in all your applications!

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looks like they started sending out rejection letters via email...any acceptances?? i got neither, and wonder what that's supposed to mean:(

for Literature, not English

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