[New-Poetry] MFA mythbusting
jforjames at aol.com
jforjames at aol.com
Tue Jan 11 14:55:48 EST 2011
Seth Abramson seems to feel that PhD option is somewhat static while the MFA program continues to flourish...
6. Doctoral programs in creative writing are overtaking MFA programs as the sole terminal degrees in the field. The number of doctoral programs in creative writing (or English Literature doctorates with the option of a creative dissertation) has held steady in the mid-thirties for more than a decade. Meanwhile, the ranks of low- and full-residency MFA programs have swelled: While there were approximately 75 such programs in 1996, there are now more than twice that number. If present trends hold, it's unlikely that the Ph.D. in Creative Writing (or Ph.D. in English with Creative Dissertation) will become the sole terminal degree in the field anytime within the next twenty-five years. Instead, the two degrees will remain co-terminal well into the foreseeable future.
On the face of it, without any first hand knowledge of either degree program, I've always wondered what a PhD in Creative Writing could offer over the MFA option? If one is intent on being a creative artist, it almost seems stodgy and superfluous to pursue the field/craft via a PhD program. It seems to just another pedagogical layer to a field that is supposed to based on artistic practice. Or, to put it another way, if art is instrumental and not scholarly, what other instrumentalities can be learned in a PhD course of study that wouldn't have been introduced in MFA program?
From: Catherine Daly <c.a.b.daly at gmail.com>
To: NewPoetry List <new-poetry at wiz.cath.vt.edu>
Sent: Tue, Jan 11, 2011 12:44 am
Subject: Re: [New-Poetry] MFA mythbusting
phds in creative writing are preferred for "terminal degree" creative writing jobs; phds in (literature) with a creative book (as well as the critical publication one earns ramping up to the phd) are also preferred over mfas -- perhaps over all other phds, too
PhD in Comp vs MFA writing is a comparison that's not true to life
On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 6:30 PM, <jforjames at aol.com> wrote:
I don't follow these issues closely, but isn't the job picture equally bleak for PhDs in English and the other Humanities?
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