Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting the History department at the University of Pittsburgh to learn about the graduate program. I met with Dr. Marcus Rediker, a highly respected expert in his field of Atlantic World history, and learned that my interests will not only be well served at the University of Pittsburgh, but also that my interests filled a void in the field of history. My interests focus on the field of maritime history, and in particular, how the maritime culture impacted the growth of American port cities. According to Dr. Rediker, research in the Atlantic World (maritime history) is a hot topic and many opportunities are growing. Within the filed of maritime history, Dr. Rediker indicated that research on port cities is lacking, but also a topic of growing interest. The new interest in the Atlantic World seems to stem from a different school of thought. In the past historians had viewed the oceans as a dividing force. Now historians are viewing the sea as a connector of peoples.
I sat in on one of Dr. Rediker's seminars and I really enjoyed the discussion of Bernard Bailyn's Atlantic History. The students were completely engaged and passionate about their views. It was interesting listening to them defend opposing viewpoints on the book, while respecting the views of others. I intend to add this book to my personal library within the next few days.
After the seminar, I had the opportunity to meet with two of Dr. Rediker's current students. We discussed their personal views about the program and each of them gave me an honest assessment of the programs strengths and weaknesses.
My application to the University of Pittsburgh is complete. I have completed 4 of the six applications to date. A fifth will be complete with the receipt of my transcript from WVU. I meet with the final school, Ohio State, on Monday. After that, I will focus on graduation, waiting to hear back on my applications, and spending time with Lori and James.
8 years ago