Question of the Week: September 11th, 2018.

What program did you take in school or what did you wish you could take? 

September always makes me reflect on my schooling and education. I started university in an Environmental Studies program by pure fluke, not really knowing what I would learn. At my university almost everyone chooses their major immediately and electives or side interests come later. I took a Gender Studies course with very little idea of what feminism was. Back then it was called Women’s Studies. I found feminist theory exciting and rewarding and went on to do a Minor and Masters in it. I still remember a peer of mine also had no idea what Women’s Studies was and accidentally took the same course. She felt duped and hated it. Since then I’ve wandered my way through academia learning about fields like Critical Animal Studies and Posthumanism by word of mouth but never really knowing what I was getting into. I explored Asexuality Studies for a time, but am not sure if I’ll ever do anything with that. I’ve recently wandered into fictional world building and its intersections with activism. I feel very lucky that my initial Environmental Studies background has been broad enough to support all the curious trails I follow.

About Talia

Talia is an asexual, nonbinary, vegan-feminist that drinks a lot of coffee and stays up very late playing Blizzard video games and writing fiction. They are working on a PhD in Environmental Studies where they think a lot about oppression as intersectional and impacting identities differentially. Talia has a particular fondness for asexuality, fandom, and Critical Animal Studies. Their personal blog is
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4 Responses to Question of the Week: September 11th, 2018.

  1. Blue Ice-Tea says:

    “Explored Asexuality Studies” as in “took courses in it, because there were actual Asexuality Studies courses offered at my school”? Or as in “experimented with trying to make room for the study of asexuality within the existing disciplines”?

  2. Owen Michael says:

    In Britain you have to choose your degree subject before even applying to University, and to change (except in the first couple of weeks in a very narrow band) you basically have to apply all over again, and there are generally very few modules you do outside your course.
    I was always planning to do a Maths-focused degree once I’d started applying (although when I picked my A-level options for Year 12 and 13 I meant to apply for a Politics, Philosophy, and Economics one and I’m still not quite sure when I changed my mind), but in hindsight I feel I made a mistake doing a straight Maths degree instead of taking the Maths, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics one I also got onto).
    I was planning to do a master’s in Data Science this year – that got scuppered by doing (very narrowly) too badly to get into any I could find, but I’m hoping I might be able to with some related work experience in the future.

    • Carmilla DeWinter says:

      Yeah. Same in Germany – you have to decide first. For some degrees (like pre-med or pharmacy in my case) you have to apply and they’re free not to accept you. Other disciplines are open, but you still have to tell the university what degree you’re planning to earn. I theoretically could have attended lectures in other disciplines. Downside: the campuses for the humanities were in other places all over the city, and I wouldn’t have been able to attend stuff I’d actually needed to pass. So – I got my equivalent of one master degree, and that’s it. Everything else I read about in my free time and sometimes regret not having joined with the humanities. On the other hand, pharmacy does pay okay enough for me to work part time.

  3. My degrees are all in math. (I’m currently working on a PhD in math, but really it’s mathematical biology.) When I hear people in Gender Studies type disciplines talking, I wish I had done such a degree, but whenever I try to read books in gender studies/feminism/queer studies, my brain just starts to swim, so I never get very far.

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