...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Now that you know who you are, what do you want to be?

Yesterday I met with Kugler, my Religious Studies advisor, to talk about my post-graduation plans. I told him that I want to be a professor of American religion and described my area of interest: still liberation and feminist theologies, but more and more, immigrant religion and the ways immigrant and refugee communities use and interact with religion in carving spaces for themselves in the US. The scholar I've read that best captured what I'm interested in eventually doing is Robert Orsi, a scholar of American Catholicism.

Kugler gave me a list of graduate schools to look at that have good programs in my area of interest: UC Santa Barbara, University of North Carolina, Indiana University, Princeton, Yale, Chicago. I was hoping that he would mention the big H, Harvard Divinity, the home of so many famous names (Orsi himself, David Hall, Anne Braude, Elisabeth Schussler-Fiorenza, Leila Ahmed) that reading through their course catalogue was like visiting the Hall of Fame of Religious Studies. He said that their program was kind of a mess, and that they don't offer great sponsorship to their doctoral candidates when it comes to helping them find teaching jobs. That part was pretty disappointing. Then I asked him if the schools he listed off for me were realistic options, commensurate to my abilities, and he told me that, in his opinion, I'll be able to go anywhere I want, and that statement of confidence is, so far, the highlight of my semester.

I'm so excited and nervous to be investigation graduate schools. I still have a quarter of my undergraduate education to complete, yet it's as though I've already got one foot in the door. Everything is about the future, at the same time that it has to be about the present. It will be a liminal year, indeed.