Most of this week’s anthropology readings dealt with the development of the discipline. Admittedly, I’ve seen similar attempts at cataloguing the history of other disciplines. Still, one thing I’ve not had the opportunity to do so far is look at the development of history as an academic field. Ironically, it feels as if I’ve had an overabundance of experience dealing with purported analyses of the development of Middle Eastern studies as a field.
Morning Arabic was notable for a rather rude reminder that applications for the FLAS fellowship are due in about a week. Suddenly, I need letters of rec and all that. Spent a good chunk of time tracking down forms, e-mailing potential recommenders, and so forth. On the one hand, it’s pretty silly since everybody and their pet iguana is applying (aka my chances are nil). But if I don’t start aiming for longshots, I doubt I’ll get very far. The road to the academy isn’t paved and isn’t straight.
Somehow, the discussion in the anthropology course became rather heavily oriented towards deciding what count as appropriate subjects for the field, and how such subjects can be approached. Fascinating, and yet disturbingly loose. I tend to wonder whether being open to almost everything means one will get almost any sort of results. It feels dissatisfyingly sketchy and unrigorous. Now to take my unrigorous head to bed for tomorrow’s discussion of modernity in history class.