What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dirty Jersey!

So I went on Monday to revisit the depths of last year's despair.  Last year's academic quest ended with a last second denial at Rutgers.  I was wait-listed, thus had to wait till the final hours of the April 15th deadline to learn my fate.  This year I've got this new strategy that places the ideal analytical lens below just getting in to a PhD program that allows me to get back to work.  That debate is the Sociology versus Anthropology debate.  I struggle with locating the division between the two in practical terms, but I tend to find more fulfillment in anthropological work and reading - seems closer to the ground.

Anyway, Rutgers is the only Anthropology school I've applied to this year.  Everything else is Sociology, with one political science program and one joint program.  Most of the places I've found do interdisciplinary work, and the people cross over well, but still Rutgers was my top choice last year, and it is hard to imagine it as anything but that this year.  It is tough though.  I am visiting a lot of schools and developing relationships with people and places.  My friend and the critical nature/perfectly structured program at York, the radical joint program at Northeastern, the anti-capitalist global critique of Binghamton, Boston College's focus on public sociology, the Cali schools, Pittsburgh.  There are really good people that I would really struggle to say no to.  Programs that all sound great.  Rutgers, always seems to rise above them though.  It pains me to say that, because I want to work with my friend in Toronto, etc.  But the program just fits.

On Monday I met with I think seven people.  My one friend and professor that I have been working with all year on Occupy.  Then several people I met last year and really like.  It was great to see them again as ther was an immediate familiarity and almost affection.  And then the new people!!  They were great.  The one works on media and the other is a joint criminology appointment.  So right there in addition to the engaged anthropology (i.e. using what you learn to bring change), and the focus on violence, conflict, Africa, American inequality, and with several people working on social movements, they now have the two buttresses of my Occupy project.  There is only four years of funding which is tough.  But your field work usually has funding through external grants and such, and mine would be in NYC most likely so wouldn't be such a challenge to handle.

The meetings went well.  I got some very good questions and had to find ways to frame things in different ways for each person to understand things.  I have two supervisors right off the bat that I would think would be fabulous!  I spoke with both of them for an hour at least.  One lives five blocks away from me here in Brooklyn!  Anyway, as is, this school search is tough, I have the applications in and should start hearing back from places any day now.  I had a positive email from UC Davis, and good visits throughout.  We'll see.  Rutgers would probably be the highest regarded program I applied to.  It would be tough to turn down.  But we'll see, so would York in Canada, and Northeastern in Boston, and Davis in Cali.  So it goes, assuming I get in - an assumption I've made before....

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