Steve Commichau

Faculty of Arts
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

While completing my master's degree and considering my options, continuing my studies seemed like a logical step. I felt like there was (and is) so much left I want to explore in this field.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I want to incorporate both a German and a non-German gaze on the field of Germanic studies in my research. My supervisor recommended UBC, having studied here herself, and I felt very supported and welcome by the department during my application process.

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

The support and engagement of the people in the CENES department is extraordinary. Despite the fact that no one in the department is focused on my specific sub-field (Medieval Studies), I have always felt welcome and intellectually engaged due to the helpfulness and all-around knowledge of everyone around me.

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

During my undergrad studies I was always particularly hostile towards Early Modern Studies, but after continuous engagement with my supervisors find myself incorporating more and more of it into my project. It really speaks to their effectiveness as educators that they can make me interested in this epoch.

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

Humanities in general, Germanic Studies in particular, and Medieval/Early Modern Studies even more so are not known for providing many career opportunities. Furthermore, these fields are riddled with conservatism (to put it lightly). Being less bound by disciplinary boundaries through interaction with experts in many different fields in the department and cultivating an intersectional approach in my research with their support makes me carefully optimistic to engage both challenges.

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

White-European cis-masculine privilege.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Visit the events hosted by the SASC. They are important, interesting, and usually there is free pizza. Also, don’t forget to rest and hydrate.


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