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area studies vs. history - History Graduate Students — LiveJournal

About area studies vs. history

Previous Entry area studies vs. history Mar. 22nd, 2010 @ 11:21 am Next Entry
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From:pansette
Date:March 23rd, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
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Heating and Air Conditioning.

Seriously. Less school, better money, better hours, and people actually understand why what you do is important.
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From:raven_moon
Date:March 23rd, 2010 12:42 pm (UTC)
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*snerk*
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 23rd, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC)

midwest85 responding (too lazy to sign on)

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what does that mean?
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From:pansette
Date:March 23rd, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)

Re: midwest85 responding (too lazy to sign on)

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"History or ____ Studies" is a false binary. There are other options. Like HVAC certification.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 23rd, 2010 02:26 pm (UTC)

midwest85 replying again

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ok, it took a while for me to get that. haha. truth be told, i'm not planning to become a full-time student. im already a full-time research librarian (with great benefits); i work at a top research library in the world, and frankly, my workplace provides financial support for me to pursue advance study. im interested in collection development and sharpening my bibliographic research skills in middle eastern studies/history. so im not just another person who should consider going into plumbing work instead of academia.
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From:pansette
Date:March 23rd, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)

Re: midwest85 replying again

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So assuming you're the OP...

What does it matter which you choose?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 23rd, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)

midwest85 again

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well, in case if i decide to aim for a tt position in the future. and also if ___ studies is worth it over just history. i was just looking for feedback from history grad students to see what they might say.
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From:pansette
Date:March 23rd, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)

Re: midwest85 again

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Well, now you're contradicting yourself.

If you're doing this out of a love of lifelong learning & because it won't cost anything, then it really doesn't matter.

If you're doing it out of a desire to jump the library ship for the teaching tanker eventually, I'd strongly suggest broadening your search parameters, because they're both pretty crap job markets.

Whichever of the contradictory things you said you finally decide you actually are, there's one opinion from someone familiar with both markets.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 23rd, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)

Re: midwest85 again

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look, i was curious what history people had to say about this. that's all.
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From:pansette
Date:March 23rd, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)

Re: midwest85 again

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And as somebody a few years into a History PhD, whose MA is in _______ Studies, I offered my opinion, bifurcated to match the two different reasons you claim to be asking.

I'd suggest you look at what the experts on the market have to say on the topic In History I'd recommend Sterling Fluharty and the AHA's Rob Townsend. It's not good out there.

And personally, I switched to history 'cause there were more HIST listings than interdisciplinary regional studies ones.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 23rd, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)

midwest85:

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Thanks, I wanted to read just this kind of feedback, "I'd suggest you look at what the experts on the market have to say on the topic In History I'd recommend Sterling Fluharty and the AHA's Rob Townsend. It's not good out there. And personally, I switched to history 'cause there were more HIST listings than interdisciplinary regional studies ones."

Not the other comments about plumbing or HVAC certification -- that was unhelpful and unnecessary. but you are entitled your opinion. i still fail to see how i'm making two different claims? i just wanted advice whether area studies vs. history is much different after all and see what others had to say.
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From:pansette
Date:March 23rd, 2010 09:06 pm (UTC)

Re: midwest85:

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They're different, but the degree to which they are different, and to some extent the ways that they are different, is dependent on your reasons for getting the degree.

You're going to get different things out of a program if you're there to get a career, or to do it for the love of learning, or to advance a career you've already begun. Different circumstances bring us to have different experiences.

You said different things-- that you're interested in getting the degree simply out of a desire to be a life-long student, and then you said that you wanted to get a tenure-track position. Different goals. And if you were doing it to advance yourself as, say, a subject reference librarian, that'd be a different goal as well. With different goals, we approach things differently, and get different results. The fact that you're not clear on your goals makes me want to encourage you to think about it a bit more before applying. This is a major undertaking, a commitment.

As for what you feel is helpful or unhelpful, I'm under no obligation to be either, so I don't really care what you think is what. Personally, I think that lightheartedly saying "Don't do it" is EXTREMELY valuable feedback. Especially since I did frame it in terms of a craptastic job market.

Edited at 2010-03-23 09:07 pm (UTC)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 23rd, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)

last comment from mw85

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people have different ideas and goals. what i might want to do now might change over the course of my study. who knows. and yes, you should be "determined" when you apply for a phd program, but guess what, things always change. and im mindful of that.

and maybe you should start considering a change in your academic career if you are so focused on this craptastic job market. it's obviously making you bitter about it.

im not in the same situation as you. if you don't care whether your opinions are helpful or not, please stop posting comments that aren't helpful. Maybe you should stop wasting time on livejournal and start being productive and optimistic about your career; otherwise, maybe it's you who should consider a career in plumbing.
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From:pansette
Date:March 24th, 2010 12:25 pm (UTC)

Re: last comment from mw85

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I'm not "bitter." But I have actually looked at the numbers and been watching job listings for the last six years.

I'm optimistic about my career. Doesn't mean I need to be optimistic about the job market in general, or your or any other individual's prospects on the market.

Since I don't know anything about you or your skills, I'm forced to assume you're a perfectly average potential PhD candidate. Which means that, statistically speaking, your chances of ever landing a tenure-track position are significantly less than 50%. It's worse than a coin toss, optimistic or not.
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