Sarah Kendzior on Graduate School
RA: Looking back, is there anything you would change about your experiences in graduate school? Anything that you think should be done differently about how we train and teach graduate students?
SK: Graduate students live in constant fear. Some of this fear is justified, like the fear of not finding a job. But the fear of unemployment leads to a host of other fears, and you end up with a climate of conformity, timidity, and sycophantic emulation. Intellectual inquiry is suppressed as “unmarketable”, interdisciplinary research is marked as disloyal, public engagement is decried as “unserious”, and critical views are written anonymously lest a search committee find them. I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by the Academic Jobs Wiki.
Savage Minds interviewed Sarah Kendzior (who wrote about the U.N.’s unpaid internship the other week) about her experience in graduate school while earning a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology. It’s very good.