As a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Brittany Meche draws from her time as a student at the Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs International Affairs often. A 2014 graduate of the MA International Affairs program, Meche says she was initially drawn to The New School for the opportunity it provided her to study at an institution with a progressive history that emphasizes turning a critical eye toward world events.
“The International Affairs program isn't about just regurgitating what a given professor thinks about an issue; the learning process is dialogic,” Meche says. “Some of my favorite memories are the contentious debates that happened with my fellow students.
They pushed me to be a sharper thinker. That has been useful in my current work and has laid a strong foundation for me to pursue doctoral studies.”.
Meche says she learned how to be self-directed, follow her own interests, and ask incisive questions during her two years at The New School. As a student, she took advantage of the International Affairs program’s access to courses at The New School for
Social Research (NSSR), where she shaped her research interests and took courses focused on the politics of expertise, non-Western approaches to the world, and South African history and culture. Meche also worked as a Research Assistant for Antina
von Schnitzler, associate professor of international affairs, and was a committed campus activist, organizing with LGBTQI students and students of color for a more inclusive and equitable university.
Meche is currently based in Dakar, Senegal, where she is finishing up fieldwork for her Ph.D. dissertation: “Securing the Sahel: Nature, Catastrophe, and the Empire of Expertise.” Her work examines the intersections of transnational security projects
and environmental politics amid the afterlives of empire in West Africa. .