I’m having a difficult time finding a reader for my paper. I had expected this to be the case. Dr. Silverstein, while he said he’d be a consultant, suggested that he wouldn’t be the right person for the paper. I just talked with another person from the Anthro department and had a similar experience.

One downside to Chicago being a research institution is that even in the social sciences the faculty is very much in flux. A couple people who would have been good candidates for readers are in the field this year. So they’re out. This is another reminder that, even if I decide to do an eventual PhD, Chicago isn’t a strong contender. While this is the #1/#2 anthro department in the world, they’re strength is not in the type of work that I’m interested in. But it’s been worth the price of admission to know that I can hang here AND that it isn’t the right place for me to hang long term.

Another issue surfaced today. My project is going involved the adult entertainment industry. While I’m not specifically studying porn, they are the ones creating the bots that I’ll be analyzing. And I’ve been told that association can equal academic suicide for young male scholars. This is arguable the first time that the specter of gender discrimination has ever entered my life. The Ivory Tower apparently doesn’t look kindly on straight men and porn, even if the connection isn’t about the direct study of porn (as in my case). I’m not planning on letting this stop or worry me at this point. But I was taken a little aback by the entire conversation.

Far, far, far more important is finding a reader. If I don’t do that, I don’t graduate.