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Advice on English Ph.D.



Hi all! I'm hoping for some advice regarding the strengths of various graduate programs in English.

I plan to apply to Ph.D. programs in the next cycle so as to begin in Fall 2018. I'm interested in studying the confluence of trauma and postcolonial discourses, particularly as they pertain to cultural memory studies, genocide studies, and American Indian studies. I have a list of programs that seem like a reasonably good fit, but I'm unsure if I would actually find appropriate coursework and mentorship there. Any advice would be much appreciated, particularly if you have insight into a particular department or program! Thanks in advance!

  • Penn
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Princeton
  • Rutgers
  • Cornell
  • Emory
  • UC Santa Cruz
  • UIUC
  • UC San Diego
  • UVA
  • Michigan
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You should add Univ of Nebraska to that list. I have heard they have an awesome American Studies program focusing in Native American studies. UMass also has an indigenous people program; however, it's not connected to the English Department so their focus may be historical or anthro. Those are all great programs you have listed, but you don't sound sure about whether they have what you need. Because I'm interested in Southern Lit as a secondary interest to contemporary American Lit, I did not concern myself with ranking, but rather, chose to apply to schools that had programs in place where I could pursue all of my interests. You can also be sure if you apply to a school that doesn't have at least 1 or 2 professors in the area of your interests, they will wonder why you applied there no matter their overall ranking. "Fit" is something universities discuss. Applications are also expensive, with the cost of sending transcripts and additional GREs to universities over and above the cost each university charges to apply. I applied to 9 universities and it cost me approximately $900 or $100 per school.

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If you're open to non-English programs you might look into Ethnic Studies/American Studies (e.g. American Culture at Michigan, Ethnic Studies at Berkeley) as well. 

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