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Now that I’ve passed tenure review, published a book, cemented my teaching skills, and learned how to be a productive member of a college committee, I feel confident, self-assured, and filled with certainty about every aspect of my career as a professor. The same certainty extends to research and fieldwork. From choosing a topic to developing research questions to getting a good start in the field—it’s all a piece of cake.

Ha! I wish I felt this confidence. The truth is that passing the tenure phase two years ago, as wonderful as it was, opened up a whole new set of questions: Who am I as a scholar? What truly interests me now? What kinds of fieldwork am I able and willing to pursue at this point in my life? (excerpt)

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