Prospective Graduate Students
I am actively seeking students to work with, although whether or not I can accept any students in any particular year will of course depend on the graduate application pool, the needs of the department as a whole, and ability to offer a competitive financial aid package to students. I am particularly interested in students who are working with issues of disability, social movements, and technology (regardless of region). I am especially interested in helping diversify Cal and academia by mentoring successive generations of disabled scholars, scholars of color, queer scholars, and other minoritized scholars.
I welcome e-mail from prospective graduate students who want to work with me and encourage you to write early in the process (late spring or summer). When you do write, I do want you to have at least a draft statement of purpose that I can read and think about (i.e., your statement can be a crappy first draft but at least it'll form the start of a conversation).
Entering a doctoral program in anthropology is a tremendous commitment of time and energy on your part and on the part of the university and your graduate advisor. You should spend as much time as possible before you apply to programs both articulating why you want to enter a doctoral program as well as trying to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the various programs that you want to apply to. At UC Berkeley (as well as at most other institutions), incoming students are selected by a committee of the faculty as a whole. Thus, successful candidates should frame themselves in ways that appeals to at least three different faculty as a general rule. The days when a single professor chose their individual students is long gone, thankfully.
My former colleague at Yale, Professor William Kelly, wrote an extensive description of what the Yale anthropology department is looking for in applicants, prospective doctoral students are strongly advised to read this as that program is quite selective and serves as a good proxy for many other competitive programs including UC Berkeley.
I've written some blog entries about graduate programs in Japan Anthropology and doctoral/MA programs in Visual Anthropology and Deaf Studies/Disability Studies. And finally, some of the most useful advice I've found on the admissions process for grad students has been on TheGradCafe.com - for example this post on the steps you need to follow when applying to grad schools, finding an advisor, and writing your statement of purpose is simply superb: http://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/59029-identifying-programs-finding-a-supervisor-and-writing-a-statement/
Anthropology and Medical Anthropology at Berkeley
UC Berkeley has two separate PhD programs that I am part of. The first is the PhD in Anthropology, which includes socio-cultural anthropology. The second is the Joint UC Berkeley UCSF Medical Anthropology Program. These are two separate programs with separate admissions processes (you cannot apply to both at the same time) and separate funding. However, the med anthro faculty also serve in socio-cultural and students in both streams can take classes in the other stream. We can talk about which program is better for you once you have a sense of what your project might be.
Disability Studies at Berkeley
There is no doctoral or master's program in Disability Studies at UC Berkeley nor do we have a certificate (yet).
Most graduate students who are interested in Disability Studies at Berkeley enter through one of the departments or programs that have proven to be supportive of DS. This includes but is not limited to Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, English, TDPS, Art Practice, Geography, and so forth. I am part of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society which does provide intellectual support for the Disability Studies Research Cluster.
Queer Studies at Berkeley
There is no doctoral or master's program in Queer Studies at UC Berkeley. This was somewhat puzzling to me when I arrived and still puzzles me now. So just as with Disability Studies, if you're interested in Queer Studies, you'll enter through a traditional discipline (Af-Am Studies, History, Anthro, Geography), and get a Designated Emphasis in Gender and Women's Studies.
Teaching PhilosophyA short piece on my philosophy of teaching and mentoring. Also see the "careers" section of my blog.
Informed Consent#InformedConsent: Grad school is not for everyone. Don't apply or go to grad school just because everyone told you that you should because you're smart. And don't go because you don't have other choices. A grad career takes much too long (doctoral programs are 5-8 years) and pays much too little for an uncertain future where full-time tenure track positions are shrinking in number. Furthermore, the bay area has an extremely high cost of living. Think carefully about why you want to apply, where you should apply to, and how you'll pay for it. Never go into debt for graduate studies.
Resources for Disabled Students and Scholars
- Chronically Academic - a network of scientists and scholars with disabilities and chronic conditions
- HBCU Disability Consortium - a network of disabled student services at historically Black colleges and universities
- Black, Disabled, and Proud College Students - a network designed for Black and disabled college students themselves
- PhD Disabled - a blog for doctoral students with disabilities
- Autism&Uni - a European Union based effort to increase access to universities for autistic students