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Thought I'd start a thread somewhat akin to last year's, since I can't find one :) 

I'm a 2017 graduate with a BA in Asian Studies (maj) and film (min) looking at phd/masters programs in film studies with a focus on east Asia, specifically Japan.

As of now, I've contacted Harvard (through EALC, not film and media) Yale, and Chicago, which appear to be the ONLY schools with programs in my area of interest :( I'm a bit freaked out by the admission stats, for all three, though.

Anyone have any suggestions or thoughts on other programs worth looking at? 

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Pitt may also be an option.  As well as UC Irvine.  

Most Film and Media Studies programs are going to have one or more people who do east-asian in some form.  It may help more to think about what issues/eras/theories you're looking at than at a geographic region.  This may already be clear to you, but for example if you're working on silent-era Japan a person who works on contemporary Japanese cinema may be able to help you far less than a silent-era scholar who has published primarily on France but who has a global knowledge of the period.

I don't mean to assume you haven't considered this, but it wasn't clear from your post!  Thank you for starting the thread!

Edited by jrockford27
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Hey @jrockford27! Thanks for the response and suggestions. I'm hoping to stay within film & media studies (rather than do the opposite and work from EALC) for reasons of methodology. As of now I want to continue on with my undergrad honors thesis (post-WWII horror), which does apparently have a lot of study on it in western film, but not so much for Japan. 

What is your area of focus, if I may ask? I see you're already in school... ;) 

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6 hours ago, spicyramen said:

Hey @jrockford27! Thanks for the response and suggestions. I'm hoping to stay within film & media studies (rather than do the opposite and work from EALC) for reasons of methodology. As of now I want to continue on with my undergrad honors thesis (post-WWII horror), which does apparently have a lot of study on it in western film, but not so much for Japan. 

What is your area of focus, if I may ask? I see you're already in school... ;) 

See this opens up some other considerations!  If you feel like film is more critical to the methodology than an EALC approach (I'll confess some ignorance on that) then you might consider, for example, whether you might want work with a horror scholar.  Would it be stunting to the type of work you want to do to end up with an area studies film specialist, but one who isn't well read in horror?  My totally seat of the pants guess is that you're more likely to find a horror scholar who has thoroughly studied Japanese/east-asian horror than to find an east-asian film specialist who is well read in horror!  Though I could be 100% wrong.

Only you know what you're looking to set out after of course, this is just some advice for potentially widening your net (Chicago, Harvard, and Yale is a very very small net!).  This would lead me to again suggest taking a look at Pitt, which has a long history of work on horror film and some eminent scholars (for example, Adam Lowenstein) on the subject as well as people specifically working on east-asian cinema more generally.  Also UC Irvine has, coincidentally, a scholar who works on east asian horror film (Bliss Cua Lim), albeit not necessarily Japanese, and has recent written an absolutely fantastic book recently called Translating Time.  People who have gone to these programs have recently gotten good jobs, too!

My work focuses on the ways in which changes in material space, as well as to networks that structure space and life, change and are changed by cinematic representation.  Focusing primarily on north America in the mid-to-late 20th century.  Incidentally, my interests overlap a bit with horror studies.  Too much more detail and I risk revealing my secret identity if anyone from my program happened by the forum!

 

Edited by jrockford27
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@machacreampuff I have indeed considered RSEA! From what research I've done I like the approach the Harvard programs take to film/media. 

@jrockford27 That's definitely an approach I hadn't considered, since I admit to looking primarily for programs with a emphases on Asia. I'll take a look at both Pitt and UC Irvine! Thanks much for your detailed suggestions :) Your work sounds fascinating, but I won't push you any more, for the sake of your secret identity! But I'm always glad to hear that there are film people out there -- my undergraduate institution had a decent but underdeveloped film program, so it's good to hear about other people's research. 

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For those considering UC Irvine Visual Studies: has anyone else noticed (and found it odd) that they don't seem to require a statement of purpose? Am I missing something? Have never before come across a program that doesn't want one.

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  • 1 month later...
8 hours ago, spicyramen said:

@slouching I opened the UC Irvine application and it seems they do have a SOP — there is a place to attach one in the application. I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t require one! There’s no other way for a committee to really get to know the applicant, otherwise!

Yeah, it's a bit odd--I have started the application since my original post, and you're right, there is a space for the SOP, but there's no mention of it on the program's website.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

@slouchingI’ve been checking the comm thread periodically, since theee are a few there that are Media Studies. I haven’t heard anything on the media Studies side, though Someone on comm thread posted that they called up and asked when UT’s Media Studies (RTF dept) was going to contact. Apparently they’ll start contacting in a few days.

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@spicyramen congrats on the acceptances! Hope you hear more soon!

I've already gotten accepted to a few MA programs with funding, so I'm thrilled, honestly. Still waiting to hear back from six places, including all the PhD programs I applied to (Brown, Rochester, UC Irvine, UCSB). 

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2 hours ago, slouching said:

@spicyramen congrats on the acceptances! Hope you hear more soon!

I've already gotten accepted to a few MA programs with funding, so I'm thrilled, honestly. Still waiting to hear back from six places, including all the PhD programs I applied to (Brown, Rochester, UC Irvine, UCSB). 

Thanks! And wow congrats! MA with funding is pretty sweet! 

Good luck with those PhDs, as well. Solidarity! 

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I saw this gem on the results page for Pitt's Film program:

"Seriously who is in charge of admittance?! No wonder your program has fallen by the wayside like U of Iowa. MFA Film Production from top 3 film school, Student Emmy Winner, Student Academy Award Finalist, MA in Film Studies from top 5 University in the entire world, 1 publication, 1 forthcoming, and 5 conferences. I would say good luck to the admitted, but I'm sure you'll produce mediocre research. Bitter...just a bit. You did me a favor Pitt. Deuces"

I really hope this is a joke, or at least someone not in this thread. If it isn't a joke, someone needs to chill tf out. Does Pitt even have that big of a production program, anyway? It seems like a poor fit for whoever this was.

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12 hours ago, CulturalCriminal said:

I saw this gem on the results page for Pitt's Film program:

"Seriously who is in charge of admittance?! No wonder your program has fallen by the wayside like U of Iowa. MFA Film Production from top 3 film school, Student Emmy Winner, Student Academy Award Finalist, MA in Film Studies from top 5 University in the entire world, 1 publication, 1 forthcoming, and 5 conferences. I would say good luck to the admitted, but I'm sure you'll produce mediocre research. Bitter...just a bit. You did me a favor Pitt. Deuces"

I really hope this is a joke, or at least someone not in this thread. If it isn't a joke, someone needs to chill tf out. Does Pitt even have that big of a production program, anyway? It seems like a poor fit for whoever this was.

Sounds like Pitt dodged a bullet. I'm sure with their stellar credentials they'll go on to terrorize some other program.

Edited by jrockford27
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16 hours ago, CulturalCriminal said:

I saw this gem on the results page for Pitt's Film program:

"Seriously who is in charge of admittance?! No wonder your program has fallen by the wayside like U of Iowa. MFA Film Production from top 3 film school, Student Emmy Winner, Student Academy Award Finalist, MA in Film Studies from top 5 University in the entire world, 1 publication, 1 forthcoming, and 5 conferences. I would say good luck to the admitted, but I'm sure you'll produce mediocre research. Bitter...just a bit. You did me a favor Pitt. Deuces"

I really hope this is a joke, or at least someone not in this thread. If it isn't a joke, someone needs to chill tf out. Does Pitt even have that big of a production program, anyway? It seems like a poor fit for whoever this was.

I was always under the impression Pitt was mostly on the film studies rather than production side of things. Could be wrong, though. 

But yikes. There's a lotta anger happening over here...

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  • 3 weeks later...

A few questions to this board:

1. Is it better to accept an offer for a combined MA/PhD program now, or take an offer for a terminal MA and hope for admission to a PhD program later? I've got personal considerations that complicate this decision for me. My partner is currently working on his PhD, and I can't decide whether guaranteed stability for five years or the flexibility to move around with my partner's career would be better for our family.

2. To those in the know, of the Film/Media Studies PhD programs, which have the best track record of placing students in tenure track positions?

Not to be coy, but I didn't expect to have any choices whatsoever and (quite happily) find myself in the position to be mulling over a few offers.

Thanks!

Edited by vsweat
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22 hours ago, vsweat said:

. Is it better to accept an offer for a combined MA/PhD program now, or take an offer for a terminal MA and hope for admission to a PhD program later? I've got personal considerations that complicate this decision for me. My partner is currently working on his PhD, and I can't decide whether guaranteed stability for five years or the flexibility to move around with my partner's career would be better for our family

just my two cents, but I'd go with whichever has both a great fit and prestige. If that's the MA en route to PhD, nothing's stopping you from applying for other PhDs when you get to the point where you can say adios with an MA.

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I was expecting it, but it still stung when I randomly checked UT's portal to find that ominous, orange "denied" for Media Studies. That clears me out on the Media Studies programs (and all other programs). Here's hoping UT's American Studies program gives me the bump up off of the wait-list, because otherwise it's round 2 for me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi there, did anyone apply to Columbia Film & Media Studies program? I'm so nervous right now because I haven't heard anything from them. Did Columbia interview students?

If so, I didn't have the interview so I think I might have been rejected. But anyway still have finger crossed. 1a/1r/3p so far :( 

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