When I attended professional acting school back in 1986 (the MFA program at UC Irvine, I proudly remark), I had a teacher ask me once, “Charles, are you able to feel any authentic emotion other than anger?” I paused for a bit and considered the question, before answering, truthfully, “No....more
Posts Tagged: graduate school
I don’t consider myself a political person. To me, there are no “wrong” political beliefs. I believe that democracy means respecting everyone’s right to her opinion. And if I were forced to declare my own political views, I would have to reluctantly admit that, out of cynicism and self-interest, I find myself increasingly leaning towards the right....more
The MFA is only two to three years out of a writer’s life. Those years don’t outweigh decades of signaling from the publishing industry, major newspapers, and magazines about what type of fiction is popular and publishable.
For all the aspiring writers who sent out those applications a few months back, the day of reckoning soon approaches: acceptances (or lack thereof) are beginning to get sent out. To offer words of support, TheMFAYears blog shares testimonies from several candidates currently attending MFA programs that might offer the anxious waiting writer some comfort, or at least solidarity....more
Recently, it has become fashionable to debate the pros and cons of pursuing a MFA. However, for the Millions, Hannah Gersen suggests that this debate has steered the conversation away from a more difficult question: how do we support writers who do not have the means to pursue graduate degrees?...more
Are English departments dying? Or, are they simply changing to meet the wants and needs of today’s students? Emory University professor Marc Bousquet argues it’s the latter, and sees more change ahead:
If universities like mine are still offering doctorates in English 10 years from now, the programs won’t resemble the lit-only degrees at Yale or Columbia.
For those of us who have our hearts set on becoming professors, a Ph.D. is a necessary step toward landing a coveted tenure-track position. But if we aren’t planning to spend our lives at the blackboard, is a doctoral degree worth its hefty price tag?...more
“(W)e must think of graduate school as more like choosing to go to New York to become a painter or deciding to travel to Hollywood to become an actor. Those arts-based careers have always married hope and desperation into a tense relationship....more