Entering Fall 2017

Tomorrow marks the first day of classes (although my classes don’t technically start until next week since my classes are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays). I’m really looking forward to this quarter’s classes because I think they will be directly relevant to the direction my project is taking. I’ll be taking:

Kris Peterson‘s “Theorizing Africa” (ANTH 289)

Main course readings include:
  • Basma Abdel Aziz, The Queue (Melville House, 2016)
  • Achille Mbembe, Critique of Black Reason (Duke University Press, 2017)
  • Omolade Adunbi, Oil Wealth and Insurgency in Nigeria (Indiana University Press 2015)
Kris has stressed that this is less of an “Anthropology of Africa” course and more of an multi-disciplinary critical theory course. It’s catered to those who are studying Africa as much as it is catered to those who want to further their interest in radical theory and the de-centering of European/Anglo-American thought (regardless of your area of study). It also is geared toward thinking about how to scale research and writing in a way that can effortlessly cross disciplines and literatures while remaining grounded in anthropological principles (particularly of method). So this course is hopefully going to be an example of how to think and analyze across time, event, and theory.

Kavita Philip‘s “Science, Gender, Race & Empire” (HIST 290)

Main course readings include:

  • Mona Domosh and Joni Seager, ed Putting Women in Place
  • Sandra Harding ed The Racial Economy of Science

This course explores the interconnected histories of science, gender, race, and empire. I’ll hopefully know more but I’m looking forward to taking my first history course at UCI…

Milestone – Chair of Orals Committee Accepted!

A key part of the PhD journey is figuring out who you want to walk along with you to guide and support your growth as a thinker, especially when times get tough, (but also people who will question you when you think everything is going fine!). In other words, choosing your advisors is a key decision because they should be your biggest critics and also hopefully your best cheerleaders.

My PhD program is a bit different as compared to other Anthropology programs and doctoral programs more generally in that we do not choose who we will work with when we come in. We might have a general inclination about who we would want to work with, but just as the department assumes that our projects will change over the first two years of the program, they also assume that those we will work with may change as well.

But once you hit your 3rd year (cue next week, when I officially start the third year of my PhD program… eeek! where has the time gone?!), suddenly everyone is like… so… who’s on your committee?

Luckily, today I finally decided to make the plunge (after so many months of anxiety about making sure I chose the right advisor – my enneagram 7 type coming in for sure…) and today I asked a faculty member to be the chair of my orals committee… and she said yes! Should I have brought a ring and/or handcuffs?? hehe… Not sure yet… but having that sorted out definitely feels like a load off my shoulders. I’m so happy to have a key role filled by someone I highly respect and look up to and I will keep you posted on how the relationship moves forward.

One thing that I decided last year (Fall 2016) was that I would set up a Community Advisory Board to whom I will also be holding myself accountable to much like I do with my Academic Advisory Board. I plan to write more about this soon because I hope that this will ground my project with key project stakeholders outside of the academy.