[Air-L] Air-L Digest, Vol 74, Issue 35

Matthew Bernius mbernius at gmail.com
Wed Sep 29 15:35:11 PDT 2010

On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 6:00 PM, <Barry Wellman> wrote:

> I would suggest that you get your PhD in a longer-established
> discipline, such as Communications, Information, Sociology, Comp Sci, etc.
> -- with a concentation on the Internet as well as at least one other field
> within that discipline.
> That would improve your ability to get anchored in a discipline, received
> more methodological and theoretical training, and get hired afterwards and
> get grants to do the kind of research you'd like to.
> Of course, there are good people and courses wtihin internet studies, but
> I am thinking in probability terms.

I would like to second (or more likely fifth or sixth by the time this
reaches the list) Barry's suggestion. Though my particular project has a
strong intersection with internet and media studies issues, I chose to
explore it via the discipline of Anthropology. While it can be difficult
going at times, especially as aspects of the project don't sit comfortably
within the traditionally drawn boundaries of the discipline, the advantages
far outweigh the challenges.

In terms of outcomes, I frankly don't expect that I'll work within an
Anthropology department. But having the disciplinary training leaves that
possibility open (as well as working in a number of other humanities/social
sciences and digital humanities areas).

The critical thing, should you choose to go down this path, is to do the
due diligence. Be sure to thoroughly discuss your project with multiple
faculty members at every department you apply to and get their opinions
about how well it integrates with the current program (including the classes
currently offered) and what you'll be expected to produce to graduate.

- Matt

Matthew Bernius
PhD Student | Cultural Anthropology | Cornell University |
Researcher At Large | Open Publishing Lab @ the Rochester Institute of
Technology | http://opl.cias.rit.edu | @ritopl
mBernius at gMail.com | http://www.waking-dream.com | @mattBernius

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