I chose to apply to graduate school because I love to play with ancient books. Where else would I get to continue to do that, let alone get paid for it?
In the fall of 2017, I will begin a PhD program in English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. My intended area of focus will be in medieval literature from the late 13th and early 14th centuries. While I have been researching medieval English poetry from these centuries, in grad school I hope to also branch into a more global scope while keeping my theoretical interests in medieval politics and ecocriticism. I also hope to pursue Michigan’s graduate certificate program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, which will enable me to take a few classes in disciplines such as History to gain a richer understanding of the medieval world.
I will attend Michigan for six years. I chose UM because of its innovative resources and research, supportive community of students, and the friendly open-access policies of its libraries and museums… as well as its generous funding package. Every PhD candidate in my cohort will be fully-funded and given a stipend for six years, including funds for summer research, conferences, and— in my case— work with medieval manuscripts! In my second through fourth years, my funding will come from working as a Teaching Assistant in undergraduate English courses. I also hope to gain experience developing and teaching my own seminar course, and pursue the graduate school’s internship program that exposes students to “alternative academic” career paths such as non-profit work.
In addition to a commitment to a creative life of curiosity, research, and writing, my career goals for after my PhD include working as a curator at a museum or library, working in an administrative position at a museum, non-profit, or educational institution, and teaching as a professor.
Lauren Geiger is headed to the University of Michigan, where she will pursue a PhD in English.