Creativity Magazine

Career in Crisis

By Rachelveroff

Wait, I have a career? Oh yes, in theory.

Pun intended. 

The crisis is that I recently received my acceptance letter to the MA program at AUP. Hooray. Why did I only apply to one grad school? I don’t know.

I went to a conference today to see the current students present their research because I’m still on the fence about it all. Here’s a list of their thesis projects:

— Bilingual code-switching theory and the semiotics of power in Franco-Algerian cinema (super interesting)

— Victims of discourse: western media manipulation of sex trafficking and prostitution in Muslim countries (sort of à la Gayatri Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” etc.)

— Maria Felix, cultural icon: femininity and sexual normativity in post-war Mexico (fun!)

— Trauma and silent neurosis in Marguerite Duras’ Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein (she got a little bogged down with theory, but this was my personal favorite thesis)

— Reviving endangered languages through music: a case study in hip hop and Gbari (whoa she’s getting paid to go to Nigeria for field work)

Taking Tiger Mountain: Chinese nationalist propaganda from WWII to the present (this guy worked for Al Jazeera before this?!)

— Full-text translation of Alexandre Dumas’ La Femme au collier de velours (she also talked about the different schools of thought on translating, naturalizing, syntactic loyalty, etc. — really cool)

Not bad, right? It’s sort of an unconventional comparative literature program in that there’s a lot of liberty as to the kinds of projects you’re allowed to pursue. It’s not Harvard, but the faculty all seem really cool and so do the students. And I do have a lot of financial aid/research grant options.

So am I just suffering from Peter Pan syndrome, or is my hesitation based on legitimate reservations I might have about this life path?

Should I do grad school in Paris? Aaaaaaaah… I don’t know? Will somebody please tell me what to do with my life?


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