Graduate Research | Jim Rice
Jim Rice is originally from Montreal, but left in 1979 and lived in Toronto before coming to MUN. He completed his undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology at York University.
"I am currently completing my M.A. in Anthropology, soon to be followed in September with the start of my PhD program in Anthropology as well. My area of specialization broadly is urban anthropology in large urban centres, specifically dealing with social housing. Narrowly, my focus is on the discourses of 'community' and 'empowerment' in relation to the tensions between these terms as practices, which are observable, for example, in the local participation in tenant associations and community centres, and the terms as mobilizing metaphors, which are invoked by governments as related to a political agenda to downsize expenditures and to foster 'self-reliance'."
He decided to pursue graduate studies after numerous jobs and trades before starting his undergraduate degree as a 25-year-old ‘mature student'. According to Jim, "Nothing else has worked for me as academia has, so I basically decided not to leave."
"I chose MUN for a variety of reasons. First, and perhaps the most utilitarian, MUN offered significantly more funding though the F.A. Aldrich Fellowship, and it was a financial offer that the other universities I applied to were unable, or unwilling, to match. Secondly, the Anthropology Department here has a strong reputation and one of my profs at York had suggested MUN as a consideration for graduate work. Lastly, I have never been to Atlantic Canada before and I wanted a change from Toronto. The province and St. John's turned out to be one of the major reasons why I wanted to stay on for my PhD."
"One of the key advantages for studying in my department is my advisor, Dr. Sharon Roseman. I sometimes think I would be lost without her. The rest of the faculty are great and it is a very intimate environment. The faculty has time for you which, from what I hear about larger departments, is not always the case. I always think of MUN as almost the 'hidden gem' of Canadian universities in many ways. I have been able to find the materials I have needed at the library for the most part, and the CNS (Centre for Newfoundland Studies) is great if you are doing work in Newfoundland. There were two options for funding for my MA research, ISER and the J.R. Smallwood foundation, from which I was able to receive a grant from the latter for research materials. Even the staff of the various bureaucracies are friendly and helpful. The faculty of other departments also appear to be very helpful. My thesis research was helped tremendously by Dr. Sharpe of the Department of Geography."
"I don't think I can say enough good about St. John's. It is quiet, clean and the people are great. It is an environment which is very conducive for academic pursuits in my opinion."
"My intention since the first year of my undergrad was to go on to a PhD. There have been times when I have reconsidered this, under the pressures and strains which sometimes comes with graduate work. But there is nothing else at this point in my life I would rather be doing. So, once I complete my doctorate my intention, at this point, is to seek out a faculty position somewhere."
During Jim Rice's two-year MA program he received back-to-back F.A. Aldrich Fellowships and a J.R. Smallwood Foundation research grant. Recently he was awarded a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, which will fund most of his doctoral studies at Memorial.