Grad Students

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Comment by Joel M. Wright on April 30, 2010 at 11:09pm
I have a year's worth of PhD coursework under my belt, though I am not currently in a program. I'll spare you the bloody details, as I don't want to bash the program in a public forum, but I walked from it voluntarily.

However, my concern right now is not so much about the politics and ethics of graduate school experiences in the discipline, though I am definitely disgruntled enough to do so!

Really, my greatest concern now is about geographic specialty. As an undergraduate in anthropology, I was told by my honors/academic advisor that I had the luxury of waiting until grad school for designating a geographic specialty. I don't know if it matters, but he was old school anthropology. For what it's worth, he was a Harvard man.

I actually got my Masters in sociology, and I was told that geographic specialization wasn't really a common goal in the discipline.

Then, I find myself in a PhD program toward sociolinguistics and an interest in Middle Eastern studies...with little to no support from the MES professors in the program. I'm thinking that, for practical reasons, a shift to European studies would suit me better.

At the PhD level, my impressions were that you had to hit the ground running on a dissertation topic. It was intoned that I really had to have a target group for research in order to move ahead...but no support to help me build that substantive goal.

I've got familiarity with theory, methods and ethics. I've got the abilities to make a successful anthropologist, I feel; but wow, no one ever helped me to develop a geographical grounding, and that has definitely hurt me to date.

On a related note, there seems to be no concerted effort give anthro students at any level access to language immersion programs. That seems odd and impractical.

Any thoughts out there?
Comment by Agustin Diz on December 31, 2009 at 3:04am
Also looking at graduate programs in anthropology and was wondering if anyone currently in a PhD program had any words of wisdom to share in terms of starting the search, contacting professors, how to make choices. Thanks!
Comment by Nicholas Marshall on November 4, 2009 at 6:28am
I'm looking at graduate programs in anthropology now. Perhaps I'll have some specific questions for somebody here soon. -nick

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