For my students

On email:
I get about 100 emails a day. Personal emails, the kind requiring a response. I am not capable of responding to them all. If you don't get a response, it is NOT because I am intentionally blowing you off. It is because I am decidedly not superhuman. Please don't be embarrassed to try again, if I haven't responded in a timely fashion. The best plan is always to come to my office hours and see me in person, where you will have my full attention.

On phone:
Feel free to call me at my office phone and leave a message if I do not respond, but the above caveat applies in terms of my response times.

How to come to office hours:

  • Office hours are generally first-come, first serve
  • If you require a guaranteed time, email me in advance (but see above) and/or try to catch me in person to block off a specific time slot either during my official office hours or at another time.
  • If you want me to read something, DO NOT email it to me. Give me a hard copy- double-spaced and 12-point font (recycled paper encouraged). You can give it to me in advance if you want, but the best thing to do is bring it to my office hours and wait for me while I read it there.

If you need a recommendation

  • Think carefully first about whether I'm the best person to write you a recommendation. If you have done poorly in my class, probably not (see here for further details).
  • Make sure to give me at least a few weeks' notice.
  • Give me all the information I need in a clear and orderly fashion. This includes:
    1. Due date (or a clear list of due dates for each letter)
    2. Exact instructions for letters and/or links to where such information is provided.
    3. Your most recent CV
    4. A clear description of the program(s) or grant(s) to which you are applying and/or a link to such description(s)
    5. Your cover letter and/or short application essay
  • If a physical letter needs to be mailed, provide me with an addressed envelope.
  • If the date is approaching and you haven't received confirmation of receipt from me or the recipient, make sure to email me to check in
  • Once I have written you one recommendation, it is much easier for me to write others; however, you should let me know about any important new accomplishments that I should highlight each time you request a new recommendation

If you want me on your thesis committee (especially doctoral level)

  • You must learn the language spoken by the people amongst whom you are learning and conduct your fieldwork without the aid of a translator. I will not accept poor 19th century colonialist ethnology.
  • I expect your primary and/or only methodology to be participant-observation fieldwork. Your work must be rigorous. That means (among other things) that for every day of ethnographic fieldwork, you will spend at least one subsequent day transcribing/writing fieldnotes while in the "field" (what/wherever that may be)
  • "Transition" is not—nor will it ever be—a verb. I take grammar seriously. Edit carefully for grammar and spelling before giving me drafts to read.
  • I expect all my students to be proactive in meeting their deadlines and making sure their papers are in order. Make sure you get drafts in with enough time for your committee members to read and comment. I am happy to help and advise, but I will not keep track of your paperwork for you. Make sure you're not missing any required documentation well before your graduation date.

MAPA and PhD information

General tips & guidelines