I study English, poetry and fiction writing, literature, twentieth century history, the Western and Central Asia, colonialism, post-colonialism, feminism (waves 1-3), war, culture, comparative religion, social movements, world religions, and philosophy. I spend my time reading, then writing about what I read, and then reading what people wrote about what I wrote about what I read. Why do I do it? Because I have no choice. I am compelled to study the world as it is today by studying the way it was. I read and write fiction and poetry as a way to make sense of the world, only to find that I am still as ignorant. I pore over Persian poetry, Soviet policy records, and Twitter feeds from Tahrir Square, even when I’m not required to for a class, and I still have no answers.
That’s what it feels like to study in the liberal arts. You want answers to questions, but the only answers you find lead to more questions. You are taught to question all answers. There are no answers. For that matter, there are no questions. But that is an answer, so it must be wrong. Right?
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