Per Rudling, Associate Professor, Lund University, Senior Visiting Fellow at the NUS

Per Rudling, Associate Professor, Lund University, Senior Visiting Fellow at the NUS

BY: Catherine Nygren

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For his PhD, Per worked on the rise and fall of the Belarusian national movement, 1906-1931. His path to history had a winding path: his first MA was in Russian literature and language, and then he became a high school teacher in California. After deciding that he wanted to teach at a higher level, he did a second MA in history and then a PhD in history. He chose Alberta because of the presence of two very important scholars in his field, who turned out to be enthusiastic mentors and friends. His research dealt with controversial topics, but his mentors and the graduate chair supported him against external critics. In general, the department wasn’t very hierarchical, and with the networks and events that were shared among colleagues studying similar topics, there was a strong sense of community.

Per finished his degree in six years. Because of low funding and international tuition, Per had very little to live on and had to TA from the beginning of his program, in addition to drawing from his savings. The later years were easier, with several prestigious fellowships contributing to his income. In some ways, the longer North American system better prepares graduates than the shorter programs that he considered in Europe, but in many Scandinavian and German-speaking universities, PhD students are often unionized employees, with higher incomes and more benefits than their Canadian counterparts.

Per started applying for academic positions in 2008, and found a permanent position only in 2014. In between, the few job openings—three or four a year—were often taken by Ivy League graduates, making Per sometimes wish that he had done his degree at Toronto or in the States, despite his excellent experience at Alberta. During post-docs in Germany and Sweden and teaching in Oslo and Vienna, his belongings were constantly in boxes, but he managed to build his publications even with his new family. At one point, he nearly left academia for a secure position in a different field. He continued, however, and a Visiting Professorship in Eastern European History in Vienna in 2015 lead to his current position as Senior Visiting Fellow at the National University of Singapore.

At NUS, Per teaches three courses a year, usually on his subject areas; Europe is an exotic place to his students. He feels a bit isolated, since only a couple other professors study Europe at his institution, but his head of department has helped him adapt to the culture, politics, and organization of his new institution and home. Although he’s still getting used to the climate and cultural differences of Singapore, he’s very satisfied and happy with the choices he’s made.

 


Poll: Relocation

For his PhD, Per worked on the rise and fall of the Belarusian national movement, 1906-1931. His path to history had a winding path: his first MA was in Russian literature and language, and then he became a high school teacher in California. After deciding that he wanted to teach at a higher level, he did a second MA in history and then a PhD in history. He chose Alberta because of the presence of two very important scholars in his field, who turned out to be enthusiastic mentors and friends. His research dealt with controversial topics, but his mentors and the graduate chair supported him against external critics. In general, the department wasn’t very hierarchical, and with the networks and events that were shared among colleagues studying similar topics, there was a strong sense of community.

Per finished his degree in six years. Because of low funding and international tuition, Per had very little to live on and had to TA from the beginning of his program, in addition to drawing from his savings. The later years were easier, with several prestigious fellowships contributing to his income. In some ways, the longer North American system better prepares graduates than the shorter programs that he considered in Europe, but in many Scandinavian and German-speaking universities, PhD students are often unionized employees, with higher incomes and more benefits than their Canadian counterparts.

Per started applying for academic positions in 2008, and found a permanent position only in 2014. In between, the few job openings—three or four a year—were often taken by Ivy League graduates, making Per sometimes wish that he had done his degree at Toronto or in the States, despite his excellent experience at Alberta. During post-docs in Germany and Sweden and teaching in Oslo and Vienna, his belongings were constantly in boxes, but he managed to build his publications even with his new family. At one point, he nearly left academia for a secure position in a different field. He continued, however, and a Visiting Professorship in Eastern European History in Vienna in 2015 lead to his current position as Senior Visiting Fellow at the National University of Singapore.

At NUS, Per teaches three courses a year, usually on his subject areas; Europe is an exotic place to his students. He feels a bit isolated, since only a couple other professors study Europe at his institution, but his head of department has helped him adapt to the culture, politics, and organization of his new institution and home. Although he’s still getting used to the climate and cultural differences of Singapore, he’s very satisfied and happy with the choices he’s made.

 


Poll: Relocation

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