Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fellowship Collage

Fellowship season is in full swing. These past few weeks, my classmates and I have been up to our necks in sample chapters, "narrative timetables," "relevance to broader humanistic inquiry," and finicky online applications. Take your project, the proposal for which you slaved over for months and which is about 26 pages long, and boil it down to four pages. Take your beloved 55 page chapter, and cut it in half. Cobble together a two page "sample bibliography," wondering which books will make you seem smart, and which are passé. Fellowship season is all about chopping yourself into little bits, rearranging those bits as instructed to do so by a mildly fascistic fellowship authority, and somehow trying to inject a little bit of life into the mix

There are ups and downs to being an Americanist. There are less fellowships for us to apply for, for one thing. If you want to go do archival research in Europe, there are tons of funding opportunities. And while I suppose it is a little easier and cheaper for me to go to my archives, it's actually not that easy or cheap, and I wouldn't mind support. At the same time, a friend of mine has a fancy fellowship to spend time in a foreign country, and the paperwork is just astonishingly arcane and intricate. So, you know, ups and downs.

I finished my main fellowship today. Another big one to apply for in January, and another in March. Here's hoping that some referee somewhere finds the relationship between music and McCarthyism so unbearably fascinating that they want to shower me with piles of money.

The good news? Now that I've done this, it is officially time to really move on to my next chapter! I love me my John Cage, but I'm looking forward to writing about music I can hum to when driving to school. Music of Changes somehow just didn't cut it.

4 comments:

cpo said...

By sample biography you mean sample bibliography, no?

sushipjs said...

Some good news to brighten your day: as of yesterday, the U.S. department of education has finally approved my host university. This means that I can officially do the trip that I've been planning to do. I guess jumping through endless bureaucratic hoops pays off.

Now about getting that student visa...

BTW, Hawaii is really hot.

BBound said...

indeed, bibliography. It would be fun to include a sample biography though: "As a child, I was always afraid of the dark..."

Congratulations, Sushi! Do you mind if I call you Sushi when I see you in real life?

sushipjs said...

Yes, you may call me sushi if I may call you "bb." Everyone else, though, is strictly forbidden.