A rather odd oped by Khadija Carroll in today’s SMH bemoans the fact that current Aussie students at Harvard aren’t doing sufficiently worthy research. Although I was also a Frank Knox scholar at Harvard, I didn’t overlap with Khadija, but her arrows seem to be shooting off in all directions. For some reason, she’s very cross that my friend Richard Holden is doing research on gerrymandering (apparently if we know less about gerrymandering, the world will be a better place). She’s also annoyed that another Australian is going to work for the World Bank rather than on Australian indigenous issues (apparently working for the world’s premier development organisation constitutes selling out).

I’m delighted that Khadija is forging a path for Aussies in the humanities at Harvard, and I’m sure she’s right that Australia would benefit if more people followed her lead, and that of other Aussies she doesn’t mention, such as Harvard english PhD Sophie Gee and lingistics PhD Claire Bowern. But I’m bemused as to why she thinks that taking potshots at everyone who isn’t studying humanities is a productive strategy.

Incidentally, for any Aussies thinking about studying at Harvard, I’ve put together some information on funding sources (scroll to bottom of page)

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3 Responses to Harvardalia

  1. exit ramp says:

    I thought Khadija Carroll was serious until I came across the line starting “The Canadians, who are careful to distinguish themselves from America on the level of culture,…”


  2. Claire says:

    hmm. Well, I guess under her definition I would count as selling out too – I took a job at Rice where I could come back to work on Indigenous languages for 2 months a year rather than coming back full time. I stayed in the US partly because there were no jobs in Australia (there was a single semi-permanent linguistics job in the whole country last year, and it wasn’t in my area).

    btw, another funding source is the AAUW. And the Wenner Gren Foundation will fund anthropology-related work at US institutions – they have PhD fellowships.

  3. Andrew Leigh says:

    Claire, if you count as a sellout, there’s little hope for the rest of us!

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