Why I Withdrew from My Ph.D. Program
in Folklore and Ethnomusicology

Actually, it's rather complicated. Burnout; distraction; disillusionment with some of the pitfalls of Academe (uncertain job market, low job security once you get one due to continual budget cuts which target interdisciplinary humanities programs first, petty inter- and intra-departmental politics as a result of the competition for resources and recognition, the fact that you're never finished proving yourself, a growing distaste for terminological fetishes and the tyranny of intellectual trends, etc.); a series of relatively minor health problems (recurring sinus infections, tendonitis in my shoulders) that left me physically drained and emotionally demoralized; discovery that there were other things I could be good at and be happy doing (and other things I wanted to do) besides perpetual "school" (becoming a professor still means staying in school, for both the good and the bad in that idea); some personal things that make it a rather longer story.

How's that?

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Abbie Anderson
Last updated 8/12/99