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@Lily9 "Pre-Columbian Native American history" is a strange way to put it, I think. I've read works of indigenous ethnohistory that cover events that happened before that particular group encountered any Europeans (or Africans). I can think of many fewer examples of work that includes events that happened exclusively before 1492. So, is "pre-Columbian" really the best term for Hawaii in 1778? That's centuries later than Columbus, but I think it would be included in the definition of history that you mean. I'm wandering outside my specialty and I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong, but saying somebody is a specialist on "pre-Columbian history" seems wrong to me, especially for groups that lived north of the modern US-Mexico border. (Would any scholars of the Maya be described as historians? Would any work by Maya archaeologists or art historians count as "history"?)

That said, I would think that most people who study indigenous history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries work not only on those groups' interactions with colonialism, but what they had been doing before 'contact.' You may be especially interested in scholars who work with ethnohistory. So I would suggest you just start with as long a list as you can find of scholars of indigenous peoples who study periods as early as you can find—which will vary by region—and seeing if their interests include a major emphasis on pushing the evidence about that group(s) back further than the point at which abundant written records about it begin. When you say "pre-Columbian Native American history," do you mean historians who say I will only work with material that occurred before this indigenous group first started encountering Europeans (and Africans)? I don't know of any. I should think there are lots and lots of historians whose work includes investigating the period before that indigenous group's first 'contact,' however. For example of a place to start, I found this conference for you—I wonder if you would find any of these people interesting:

http://www.oah.org/meetings-events/2015/highlights/native-american/

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1 hour ago, hats said:

@Lily9 "Pre-Columbian Native American history" is a strange way to put it, I think. I've read works of indigenous ethnohistory that cover events that happened before that particular group encountered any Europeans (or Africans). I can think of many fewer examples of work that includes events that happened exclusively before 1492. So, is "pre-Columbian" really the best term for Hawaii in 1778? That's centuries later than Columbus, but I think it would be included in the definition of history that you mean. I'm wandering outside my specialty and I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong, but saying somebody is a specialist on "pre-Columbian history" seems wrong to me, especially for groups that lived north of the modern US-Mexico border. (Would any scholars of the Maya be described as historians? Would any work by Maya archaeologists or art historians count as "history"?)

That said, I would think that most people who study indigenous history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries work not only on those groups' interactions with colonialism, but what they had been doing before 'contact.' You may be especially interested in scholars who work with ethnohistory. So I would suggest you just start with as long a list as you can find of scholars of indigenous peoples who study periods as early as you can find—which will vary by region—and seeing if their interests include a major emphasis on pushing the evidence about that group(s) back further than the point at which abundant written records about it begin. When you say "pre-Columbian Native American history," do you mean historians who say I will only work with material that occurred before this indigenous group first started encountering Europeans (and Africans)? I don't know of any. I should think there are lots and lots of historians whose work includes investigating the period before that indigenous group's first 'contact,' however. For example of a place to start, I found this conference for you—I wonder if you would find any of these people interesting:

http://www.oah.org/meetings-events/2015/highlights/native-american/

Yeah, I agree "Pre Columbian" isn't really the best way to put it. Thanks for pointing that out. I've gotten used to it because it's used in a fair amount in books I've read, but it doesn't make sense considering Columbus didn't even come to North America (and honestly using him as a way to divide eras is problematic considering who he was). The better way would probably simply be older Native American history (ie the times of chiefdoms, mounds, etc). Since historians have to rely on written documents rather than artifacts/archaeological records, I've definitely used contact records (ie of De Soto when describing mound chiefdoms) in my thesis.

Thanks! I've actually seen that list before and found a couple (one is retired but still) so I'll look it over more. 

And of course, my honors thesis adviser doesn't advertise himself as someone who studies pre-contact/farther back Native American history, but he knew a lot about it, so I think you're right that many of these scholars study both contact and pre-contact even if that isn't explicit in their bio (or they at least know enough to guide a student in the right direction.)

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1 hour ago, Lily9 said:

Since historians have to rely on written documents rather than artifacts/archaeological records

Not necessarily, and not sufficiently. 

What questions to ask and what perspectives to focus on are more crucial than what kinds of source to use. 

The prehistoric era could be, should be and will be as important as the historical era, for (future) historians, I think.  

Edited by VAZ

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23 hours ago, hats said:

Would any scholars of the Maya be described as historians? Would any work by Maya archaeologists or art historians count as "history"?

I agree with you in that 'Pre-Columbian' is a very artificial watershed for us to categorize the history of one whole continent. Although we use it in Latin American History, I concur it is not easily applicable to the territories north of Nueva España. Yet, I couldn't understand how your two questions were connected. Historians that study the Maya civilization are historians. Art historians that study Maya art are art historians. Archaeologists that undertake digs in Yucatán are archaeologists. The discipline is informed by the questions and the methods, not by the object of study (which is a great thing, because it means we can collaborate with scholars of other disciplines). But I think I missed something in your post and suspect I didn't understand correctly. 

21 hours ago, Lily9 said:

 Since historians have to rely on written documents rather than artifacts/archaeological records.

Not necessarily. 

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@VAZ and @AP that is good to hear! I've heard it "rely on written documents rather than artifacts/archaeological records" from some historians and it's actually something I kinda disagree with, so I'm glad to hear your opinions.

On 8/30/2017 at 2:52 PM, VAZ said:

The prehistoric era could be, should be and will be as important as the historical era, for (future) historians, I think.  

I love this! This is what I'm hoping to do more of in grad school.

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On 8/27/2017 at 11:48 AM, Qtf311 said:

I am a interested in 20th century African American history, specifically how the Cold War, mass incarceration and neo-liberalism has affected the civil rights movement.  I also have broad interests in social movements, radicalism and slavery in US history.

My question is, does anyone have any suggestions on programs that might be good fits?  I have done my own research and have a list of schools and POIs but I just want to see if I may have overlooked any programs.  This is for a Ph. D program.  Thanks.

Check out Duke. Your interests sound very similar to my own, except that I also look at social movements in an international/transnational context. In addition to faculty that fit your interests, Duke also has a Center for Documentary Studies, which has become a hub for research on and with SNCC activists. 

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@AP In the sentence you quoted, I should have written the "pre-contact," especially "classic," Maya—was that the confusion? Of course I know there are historians of the modern and early modern Maya! I had thought the 'pre-Columbian' carried over from the rest of my post, but I see now that the way I wrote it was unclear—and unclear in a way that sounded like the common fallacy that indigenous peoples still don't have history. So I apologize for dropping the key term of that question. What I didn't (and don't) know was whether any scholars of the classic Maya housed in history departments. Are there many? I couldn't find the answer easily from a google search. If there are historians of the classic Maya who have history professorships, that speaks well of the discipline! I've met lots of archaeologists and art historians of the classic Maya—from their descriptions of their work, I have the impression that there's more than enough evidence to do history of the classic Maya. I wasn't sure whether that translated into tenure-track support for scholars who took that approach, however.

I haven't yet taken many graduate history courses, although with my interests I'm going to; hopefully I will then be a more informed participant in this forum. That said, when @VAZ says, "The prehistoric era could be, should be and will be as important as the historical era, for (future) historians, I think," my reaction is, well, there's a lot of pre-history. I agree that history can go at least a couple centuries into "pre-history" (as, problematically, defined by the presence or absence of texts); I get the impression that's further back than many historians go, which provides great opportunities for scholars like @Lily9 to contribute to the conversation. That said, once we start talking five hundred or a thousand years "pre-history", I get skeptical that history is the best way to answer a lot of questions. Once you're that far back, my instinct is that most of the most interesting questions would be more usefully answered in/with archaeology. Maybe this is close-minded of me, but when Lily9 says she's interested in the history of chiefdoms and mounds, I think, which ones? If you mostly mean Cahokia etc., just wait a minute while I get out my pom-poms and start doing a cheerleading routine for how great that is. On the other hand, if you really want to do the history of Poverty Point, more than a thousand years earlier, I just don't think the evidence is there yet. I'm willing to be convinced, though: and certainly material culture (both in addition to and in the absence of texts) is an increasingly important part of the historical discipline.

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On 2017/7/27 at 10:57 AM, narple said:

Hi all, 

This is my second time through the process. I am finishing up my thesis (due Friday..YIKES) at UChicago's version of the History MA (MAPSS)--if anyone has questions feel free to pm me.

Broadly, my current research focuses on World War II France and Korea. I find the comparison between these countries interesting and worth pursuing, but not really an easy pitch to give to POIs and schools who usually focus on one region or the other. I do find Koreanists slightly more interested in this type of comparative work though. Which brings me to my question...

I am curious about people's opinions on History vs. EALC (or similar regional programs). I am completely sure that I want to do History, but am having trouble finding POIs in Korean History. I find many more in the EALC programs, but I would rather be affiliated with History to do more on the French side.

Suggestions? Possible POI's I am overlooking?

 

I think am in a similar situation. Second time applying here, focus is modern Japan (nation-building, war memory, collective identities and gender in the context of international relations). But given that I don't have a degree in History (BA International Politics, MA International Politics- Asia-Pacific study with a focus on Japan), I will definitely apply for both EALC and History programs for PhD and a few funded MA programs in History. (that would be my third Master's though, ugh) I have been doing some research work (participating in some oral history projects as well) for an LGBT NGO in the past few years while I was doing my masters. So a second idea is to also look for programs strong in gender history then narrow the area to East Asia. 

It's been not so easy for me to find POIs as well. This year I have broadened my search to European institutions too, but I do feel the training system (and archives!) is better for me in the U.S. 

Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated.:)

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I am applying for History MAs this cycle, and I am applying to 6 schools (aside from my undergrad institution). Indiana University, NYU, Duke (its a reach), GW University, Temple, and UMass Amherst. My GPA is 3.7, I'm apart of Phi Alpha Theta, my GRE scores were 153Q 151V 5.5 AW, so I am a little nervous that my test scores will bring me down. However, I think I will have strong LORs and I am pretty proud of my statement of purpose, along with my writing samples (though I need to extend them a bit). 

If I get accepted, I would love to study how the roles of women of different social classes have evolved in Western civilizations. I'm honestly just crossing my fingers at this point, though.

Good luck to everybody! :)

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18 hours ago, jaaaayciee said:

I am applying for History MAs this cycle, and I am applying to 6 schools (aside from my undergrad institution). Indiana University, NYU, Duke (its a reach), GW University, Temple, and UMass Amherst. My GPA is 3.7, I'm apart of Phi Alpha Theta, my GRE scores were 153Q 151V 5.5 AW, so I am a little nervous that my test scores will bring me down. However, I think I will have strong LORs and I am pretty proud of my statement of purpose, along with my writing samples (though I need to extend them a bit). 

If I get accepted, I would love to study how the roles of women of different social classes have evolved in Western civilizations. I'm honestly just crossing my fingers at this point, though.

Good luck to everybody! :)

If you apply to Duke for the MA, make sure you reach out to the DGS or your POI. Duke doesn't typically admit students for a terminal MA, unless there is a special case. I cannot speak to application cycles prior to 2016, but for the last 2 years the department has not admitted a single terminal MA student. The department does, however, advertise that it has an MA program because it admits many students directly from undergrad and allows them to get an MA en route to the PhD, which is common. All this is to say, just make sure speak with someone before spending time and money on your application. 

Edited by KLZ
Typo

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20 hours ago, jaaaayciee said:

I am applying for History MAs this cycle, and I am applying to 6 schools (aside from my undergrad institution). Indiana University, NYU, Duke (its a reach), GW University, Temple, and UMass Amherst. My GPA is 3.7, I'm apart of Phi Alpha Theta, my GRE scores were 153Q 151V 5.5 AW, so I am a little nervous that my test scores will bring me down. However, I think I will have strong LORs and I am pretty proud of my statement of purpose, along with my writing samples (though I need to extend them a bit). 

If I get accepted, I would love to study how the roles of women of different social classes have evolved in Western civilizations. I'm honestly just crossing my fingers at this point, though.

Good luck to everybody! :)

Among your list, I'm applying at the PdD level to UMass Amherst and Temple as well.  Might end up applying to NYU also since it's located in NYC where I live, but it's a low possibility.  I am, though, applying to about 5 or 6 more places in addition to the other two. 

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1 hour ago, ltr317 said:

Might end up applying to NYU also since it's located in NYC where I live, but it's a low possibility. 

Good luck!! Everybody says how selective NYU's programs are. I'm sure that competitiveness is magnified even more for PhD programs but I'm hoping that I have a shot for the MA programs.

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On 9/4/2017 at 9:05 AM, hats said:

  Lily9 says she's interested in the history of chiefdoms and mounds, I think, which ones? If you mostly mean Cahokia etc., just wait a minute while I get out my pom-poms and start doing a cheerleading routine for how great that is. On the other hand, if you really want to do the history of Poverty Point, more than a thousand years earlier, I just don't think the evidence is there yet. I'm willing to be convinced, though: and certainly material culture (both in addition to and in the absence of texts) is an increasingly important part of the historical discipline.

My honors thesis (50 pages max so it doesn't have quite enough room for enough of a study on each mound) talks about a couple different mound sites, but Cahokia and the surrounding area takes up the majority of room because there is simply so much more info on it, like you said.  

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@hats I see what you mean, and your response clarifies a lot, thank you for that. 

Because of the sources for some chronologies/places, we have to adapt our methods. Historians are very flexible about methods, or at least I was trained like this. Given the tight job market, we are more and more creative on how we 'read' sources and how we engage with other disciplines. What I mean to say is that it wouldn't surprise me if an archaeologist has a history professorship. (I have friends in Anthro, Hispanic Studies, Film Studies, and Art History departments, all trained historians). But you are making an excellent question which you should continue to bring up in your seminars/conversations. 

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7 hours ago, jaaaayciee said:

Good luck!! Everybody says how selective NYU's programs are. I'm sure that competitiveness is magnified even more for PhD programs but I'm hoping that I have a shot for the MA programs.

Sorry if I didn't make it clear, but the low possibility of applying to NYU is due to personal reasons and not because of the program's selectivity.

I want to caution you about NYU's reputation of stinginess in financial aid for their master's programs.  I was admitted for the MPA program at the Wagner School, but was offered only a pittance of a scholarship that would have covered the cost of first-year books and not much else.  I ended up attending another school in the area.  This was a long time ago, but much more recently I have several friends who were accepted in other master's programs and were offered little funding as well.  If you're admitted, I hope they will provide you with a better financial package.   

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4 minutes ago, ltr317 said:

I want to caution you about NYU's reputation of stinginess in financial aid for their master's programs.  I was admitted for the MPA program at the Wagner School, but was offered only a pittance of a scholarship that would have covered the cost of first-year books and not much else.  I ended up attending another school in the area.  This was a long time ago, but much more recently I have several friends who were accepted in other master's programs and were offered little funding as well.  If you're admitted, I hope they will provide you with a better financial package.   

Unfortunately, most programs I heard about offer no funding, except in the cases of TA jobs being offered for only the second year. Aren't MA students typically used for cash cows for PhD students?

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3 minutes ago, jaaaayciee said:

Unfortunately, most programs I heard about offer no funding, except in the cases of TA jobs being offered for only the second year. Aren't MA students typically used for cash cows for PhD students?

Yes typically, but there are exceptions.  

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19 hours ago, jaaaayciee said:

Unfortunately, most programs I heard about offer no funding, except in the cases of TA jobs being offered for only the second year. Aren't MA students typically used for cash cows for PhD students?

This gets discussed every cycle, but there are actually a substantial number History MA programs that offer full funding (i.e., tuition remission and TAships that provide stipends). There are threads on this site where people have compiled some lists of these, but there are more out there even beyond that. You're right that MA programs are almost exclusively used as cash-cows for departments that also have PhD programs. But there are tons of History departments that only offer terminal MAs and don't have PhD programs, meaning all their funding goes to the Masters students. It's emphasized over and over again each year on these boards that it's not in students best interests to go to un/under-funded graduate programs where they'll need to take on debt with no guaranteed job prospects. I'll never understand why people insist on continuing to apply and pay for cash-cow MA programs when there are so many funded programs out there that sometimes have trouble getting enough applicants to even fill their funding slots. To those looking at MAs for this cycle, take the time to put in the research about all the programs that are out there... your future self will thank you when its not having to pay extra loans, mine sure does!

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I e-mailed a POI and he got back to me and CC'ed his colleges in the same field. One of them also replied then while still CC'ing all of the previous people.  I would like to respond to both.  Is it best to do this in one e-mail or in two CC'ing everyone each time? I am leaning towards the second but some of my questions are general and I do not want to clutter up inboxes.

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@historytothepplThis will not address all of your interests, but can help a bit on the public history part. If you are looking to obtain your PhD in Public History (as opposed to History while specializing in museum studies or something), then your choice of schools is limited. To my knowledge, the only schools that specifically offer a PhD in Public History are North Carolina State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Loyola University Chicago, and UC Santa Barbara and UC Sacramento (joint program). 

If your goal is not to get a Public History PhD, then I think your choices open up more. I think the type of program you apply to should be based on your career goals. As more and more people obtain specialized degrees in public history (there are several MA programs out there), museums, heritage sites, etc. are increasingly looking for people with those degrees, although it is completely possible to still work in the museum field without having a specific "public history" degree. 

I am very familiar with NC State's Public History program, if you have any questions. 

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1 hour ago, historytotheppl said:

I'm a 2017 B.A. looking into PhD programs/advisers that are compatible with my research interests in U.S. public history (+museum studies) and digital history. Does anyone know of anything that might be a good fit? 

Yes! PM me, firstly, but also some places to think about - UNC Chapel Hill, NYU, American, UC Santa Barbara, Colorado Boulder amongst others. I'm doing a history PhD but with a background in and a big focus on public history and grassroots archives. 

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On 9/11/2017 at 12:23 PM, historytotheppl said:

I'm a 2017 B.A. looking into PhD programs/advisers that are compatible with my research interests in U.S. public history (+museum studies) and digital history. Does anyone know of anything that might be a good fit? 

One of my friends just started her MA in PublicHumanities at Brown, which looks like a great program. It's a bit self designed, so you can focus it a bit more on history. https://www.brown.edu/academics/public-humanities/masters-public-humanities The only thing is that I don't think the funding is great, though funding does exist.

Edited by Lily9

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