Faculty Profile

David Schmid.

David Schmid

Associate Professor


  • PhD, Modern Thought and Literature, Stanford University, 1995
  • MA, Critical Theory, University of Sussex, 1988
  • BA, English, Oxford University, 1986

Professional experience:

  • Professor, English, University at Buffalo

What mentoring means to me:

As a product of the British higher education system through my MA, I was taught to basically fend for myself and not to rely on mentors. Since moving to the U.S. in 1989 to start my PhD, my thoughts about mentorship have changed radically. I benefited from important mentoring relationships when I was in grad school and having since advised dozens of graduate students over the past 20 years, I have come to realize how important mentoring is to students. I define mentoring very broadly. To me, its essence is treating each person individually, listening and working together to define, and then achieve desired goals. I draw from my considerable experience when mentoring but I try never to impose my own ideals or ideas on a student. I see my role as helping the student figure out what they want to do and then doing whatever I can to help them get to that point.

Topics I am willing to discuss with students:

Minority Experiences

  • Class and/or socioeconomic status and related discrimination.

David adds: I am from a working class background and was the first person in my family to finish either high school or college.

  • Physical health and/or abilities and related discrimination.

David adds: I have dealt with the number of physical and mental health issues over the years and empathize with those in similar situations

  • Mental health and/or abilities and related discrimination.
  • Racial, ethnic, cultural and/or religious minority status and related discrimination.

David adds: I am an atheist and would describe my political beliefs as an eclectic combination of communism and anarchism. I have extensive experience in anti-fascist and anti-racist organizing and I oppose all forms of discrimination with a visceral passion.

  • Sexual and/or gender minority status and related discrimination.

Personal Circumstances

  • Caregiving for children.

David adds: I have two kids and am used to the difficulties of balancing work and family responsibilities

  • Financial stress and strain.
  • Non-U.S. citizen or immigrant experiences.

David adds: I am a British expatriate and was a student visa and then a green card holder before becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005.

Academic Culture

  • Considering a non-academic path after grad school.
  • Dealing with politics and conflict with faculty or peers.
  • Decoding and demystifying academic culture and norms.
  • Taking a non-traditional path to grad school.
  • Uncertainty about staying in grad school.