First, wherever you are at the moment I hope that you and the people you love are well.
Like many of you, I spent part of the weekend protesting police brutality in the United States. Like many of you, white supremacists groups have formed in my town and are threatening violence against Black Lives Matter work.
If you’ve been with us for awhile then you know that today we were scheduled to start something I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time: a free course on coursework. The shift from courses in a student mindset, like the courses in your BA and MA, to courses preparing you to be an expert is HUGE and we never talk about it.
As a result, I have seen a lot of good scholars burn themselves out on coursework without setting themselves up for success in prelims/fields or actual dissertation writing. I certainly burned myself out during coursework. Some things I did right. Most things I did wrong.
The things that I did manage to do right set me up, without exaggeration, for years to come.
The things I did wrong weren’t insurmountable, but the rest of my PhD process would have gone much smoother if I hadn’t made these early mistakes.
My whole mission with abd2phd is to help other people avoid the mistakes that I made.
I thought long and hard about cancelling this course. How can we focus on this fall’s coursework when we are worrying about our survival in the summer?
I’ve been thinking a lot about my country and it’s deep, deep roots of white-supremacy and anti-intellectualism. I’ve also been thinking about my research on Christian patriarchy which is both misogynist and white supremacist. Finally, I’ve been thinking about why we need PhDs. I posted a little bit about this last week. I’ll post more about it in the week’s to come.
In the meantime, I wanted to let all of you know that we will go forward with the course on coursework. Instead of starting today we’re going to start next week on the 15th.
We are still accepting participants for the course. If you’re interested then just let me know here.
I hope you’ll join me.
In the meantime, punch Nazis, wash your hands, and remember that you are loved.