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I dunno if this is appropriate but it seems like most of what is discussed here is about applications and there isn't really any other place for grad students to talk about their fields in general, so maybe a thread for general discussions of the literary humanities would be nice.

I really just want to vent about 3 things right now:

a. Upenn's CFP page is awesome but over the last few months it has gradually been overtaken by a company that keeps refreshing its long, long selection of journals. If the journals were reputable I wouldn't mind but no one in their right mind should consider sending the articles they've toiled away on to a journal of this standing, much less seeing how it basically spams for submissions, making it only slightly better than the predatory editorials that hunt you down from conference listings. It makes finding proper CFPs such a pain and I wish there was some mechanism to just get rid of them.

 

b. Would be nice if when a conference tells you that they'll have an answer by a certain date, they actually respect that. It's annoying enough having to just wait and see if you get accepted in general, but when you expect a reply bt a certain date, it makes it that much worse when they don't respond.

 

c. Always nice to send an article for review only to see the journal push their deadline a few days later. Guess I know response I'm gonna get there...

 

Feel free to use this for non-complaining, as well.

 

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Ah, I feel ya on the conference response time! I've been lucky to hear back on-time or even early at a few of them, but I've also gotten the "we need to let you know a month later because we have so many proposals" message. I understand that it takes time and these people are doing this all on top of their other responsibilities, but it sure does build up the pressure.

I just started grad school (MA in comp/rhet), and at a program like mine where there are more PhD students than MA students, I sometimes feel like I have to keep up with all the PhD students, which can be stressful and disheartening. Some people are getting things published and have their research fully fleshed-out and headed in a pointed direction, and I'm over here like, "uh, I don't really know what I want to research yet; I'm still figuring out how to write at a graduate-level let alone publish something." I know that's fine and that's all anyone expects of me as a first-semester MA, but I can't help but wish I had it figured out so that I could be on par with my friends, who are mostly PhD students/candidates. 

Edited by klader
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I'm not sure if this is the right place for this, but I'm sort of worried about the limitations of most PhD programs. 19th century British literature is definitely what I want to study, but there are so many other authors that I love that don't quite fit in this time frame. For example, I would love to be able to teach a class in early 20th century American literature, but I'm afraid that my focus will sort of pigeonhole me for the rest of my career.

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12 minutes ago, JessicaLange said:

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this, but I'm sort of worried about the limitations of most PhD programs. 19th century British literature is definitely what I want to study, but there are so many other authors that I love that don't quite fit in this time frame. For example, I would love to be able to teach a class in early 20th century American literature, but I'm afraid that my focus will sort of pigeonhole me for the rest of my career.

A lot of programs will have you declare a sub-speciality or second area for your qualifying exams. I don't think there's really a huge split at all between the two periods you mention. I mean, so many Victorianists end up writing about Henry James. 

Also to add, you could easily situate your work as Atlantic/hemispheric/oceanic (whatever is floating around at the time) and dip into 20th century American lit from a British base. 

Edited by poliscar
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16 hours ago, JessicaLange said:

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this, but I'm sort of worried about the limitations of most PhD programs. 19th century British literature is definitely what I want to study, but there are so many other authors that I love that don't quite fit in this time frame. For example, I would love to be able to teach a class in early 20th century American literature, but I'm afraid that my focus will sort of pigeonhole me for the rest of my career.

You'll often be able to teach (or TA) survey courses focusing on a genre or special thematic issue while you're in your program. You probably won't be given a course in another field--they'll obviously prioritize someone whose teaching portfolio would benefit from the 20th century course, given professionalization concerns.

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