Speaker: Passion required for graduate programs

Speaker: Passion required for graduate programs

Frances Smith Foster, Charles Howard Candler Professor of English & Women’s Studies at Emory University, congratulated the university’s English Department Thursday for striving to improve its already stable graduate program.

In a lecture titled “The Current Direction of the Humanities and the Graduate Curriculum,” Foster offered advice to professors for maintaining the status of the university’s programs.

“What I can do…is first of all congratulate you for your decision and your progress on trying to look at your program and make revisions when you’re not in crisis mode,” Foster said.

At the same time, Foster advised that students should be able to make a living out of what they love.

She said students should not join a graduate program purely for the only reason to find a job, they should also have passion for it.

Foster said gave an example of how she joined a Ph.D program mostly just to secure employment. Under that practical mindset, she found her vocation in teaching.

Mona Narain, associate professor and director of graduate studies for the English department, said that Foster showed great insight of where the graduate program should be going by addressing both realistic and idealistic aspects of this study while reinforcing the passion involved.

“It is in that philosophical sense of educating yourself in a deeper way that I think Dr. Foster really talked about in addition to the very realistic, practical aspects,” Narain said.