Alumni Spotlight: Eric Nemarich
Pursuing Research and Scholarship in Medieval Studies
Eric graduated from Georgetown in 2014 with a major in Global Medieval Studies and a minor in Classics. After graduation, he matriculated directly into a PhD program at Harvard University, where he is currently a teaching assistant for several courses related to the Middle Ages.
While at Georgetown, Eric enjoyed taking courses with Professors Wickham-Crowley, Ciabattoni, Osgood, and Francomano. Outside of his courses, he sang in the Chamber Choir, where he convinced his director to incorporate more music from the Middle Ages. This later inspired him to write about medieval music, and he encourages Georgetown students to integrate their academic and extracurricular interests similarly.
Like other alumni, Eric strongly recommends studying Latin and other classical languages as soon as possible, especially if students intend to go into academia. By knowing the languages of the source materials they’re working with, students can analyze medieval texts directly. Students should also try to gain experience working with original manuscripts while still undergraduates. Though accessing them might seem daunting at first, faculty can help students gain access to these resources, and over time students will develop the skillset needed to analyze them. With this experience, students can write an impressive writing sample for their application to graduate schools.
For students who are thinking about getting a master’s or doctoral degree, Eric notes the advantages of being attached to an institution for several years, having an advisor and a steady income from teaching, and the ability to produce your own material. In addition, it’s common to travel to other countries regularly; for example, Eric worked as an archival historian in Italy and analyzed the legal history of 14th century Italian cities for his dissertation. But the job market in academia is competitive, so Eric recommends keeping your options open––it’s completely fine to major in a subject you’re passionate about, gain the support network of the program’s faculty, and go into a completely unrelated career. Eric encourages students to reach out to him if they have any questions about applying for or completing a PhD program; email us at email@example.com and our program will put you in contact.