So the adults in the field (the field being Russian lit) are finally beginning to notice something that diligent graduates students desperate to go abroad in order to conduct research and have some in-country experience have known for the past two years: the traditional sources of funding, i.e. ACTR and IREX that we are told to go after, are closing themselves off to scholars in the humanities. Although new stricter criterion of "policy relevance" is due to shifts at the State Department, I still find the ever-increasing numbers of essays that had to copied three times two years ago and now need to be copied five times annoying. I'm getting sick of defending my field. In light of the numerous American snafus made abroad, of course I think that literary and cultural studies are policy relevant but my two dismal years of rejection-letter collecting, make me thing that the powers that be do not think that same way as I do.

Back to my narrative for a fellowship that isn't (thank God) funded by the State Department. -Zh.


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