Tuesday, June 28, 2011

PhD training verus job requirements

The training to be a university history lecturer and the actual job are considerably different and I do not know exactly why this is the case. But, the specialization emphasized to get the doctorate contrasts sharply with the emphasis with the general knowledge needed to teach undergraduates. It seems here a greater emphasis on Western and Central Europe is more helpful than anything fancy. My post graduate training focused on areas almost completely outside Europe. My three MA courses were on Central Asia, the Ottoman Empire, and a methods course aimed at scholars of Asia and Africa. My PhD dissertation was on the deportation of Russian-Germans, Crimean Tatars, and Meskhetian Turks to Siberia, Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Europe as it is traditionally understood played a very marginal role in my post graduate studies.Yet, looking at my scheduled classes for the next year I have one class on European history each semester and one on world history each semester. So right now I am brushing up on European history from the fifteenth century through the nineteenth century. In retrospect I should have read a lot more 17th and 18th century French and English history while I was living in Arivaca. Instead I read a lot of Arizonan, Middle Eastern, Siberian, and Afghan history.

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