Ritwik Bhattacharjee

 
A critical psychosocial analysis of the Canadian settler-colonial society
 
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

While I have been interested in research since my postgraduate days, I spent several years working due to several unforeseen circumstances in my life. However, the moment my research question took a definite shape I decided to return to academia. I realized that such an exploratory theoretical project needed the full breadth and scope of a PhD degree, one that was sufficiently interdisciplinary in scope.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

As I was interested in studying settler colonialism, I wanted to study in Canada. I decided to study at UBC due to three reasons: 1. the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program; 2. to be able to work with my supervisor, Glen Coulthard; and 3. to live in Vancouver!

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The Interdisciplinary Studies PhD program allows me to work with political, and social theorists as well as leaders in critical Indigenous Studies. The program gives me the freedom to learn new methods and approaches, uncover new perspectives, and to situate my work within the wider community of researchers who are increasingly choosing to be un-tethered from the traditional disciplinary silos.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

The biking culture was a welcome surprise!

The program gives me the freedom to learn new methods and approaches, uncover new perspectives, and to situate my work within the wider community of researchers who are increasingly choosing to be un-tethered from the traditional disciplinary silos.
 
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

I am enjoying being able to control/manage my own research.

What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?

To find the right balance between staying true to the interdisciplinary nature of my project and the post-degree requirement to try to fit it into a specific discipline for career growth.

How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?

The conversations with different students and professors from various departments are helping me understand how best I can navigate the murky waters of employment.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

I think years of working in a non-academic area (publishing consultancy) has helped me to learn to be more flexible and adaptive. Overall the measured and disciplined focus definitely comes from my career.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I love playing table tennis, running, working out, BBQing, and just beer-chatting for hours with friends!

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Take it slow. This is a long ride. Take care of your mental and physical health first. The grades will follow.

 
 
 

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