Falling in Love with Anthropology

26 thoughts on “Falling in Love with Anthropology”

  1. Anthropology is so interesting. It’s exciting to see the advances we as humans have made and the technology civilizations had hundreds of years ago.

  2. I love anthropology because nothing is more exciting, fascinating or important than human beings and our culture. I think especially now with globalization and so many languages and traditions threatened with extinction we need Anthropology. We are the keepers of tradition, folklore, human history and also the designers of where to go from here.

  3. here in Pakistan, peoples have no awareness about anthropology so they ignore to know about anthropology but these kinds of events can spread awareness to our local peoples about anthropology.
    I joined the department of anthropology and archaeology in University of Sindh jamshoro in 2015 because I love to know about humans deeply about their culture, traditions, ceremonies, issues, and want to make some solutions as anthropology teaches us.
    Anthropology makes us human, in Pakistan, we are facing many issues like gender discrimination, honor killing etc. so anthropology helps us to understand these issues and also give us suitable solutions to manage our society.
    anthropology is a holistic field which works from every angle.

    the anthro day is a good platform to convey our message to our local peoples that how we work like a team how we are unique from other disciplines.
    love anthropology, love humanity, love AAA.
    #anthroday.

  4. Many guess anthropology deals with fossilized skulls and bones left by past humans. It appears to be something abstruse. To some extent, it is true: so, every kind of trace i.e. skulls and bones, graves, tools, symbols etc. that humans left behind reveals human conditions if they are studied by anthropologists. Anthropological study, putting into cultural/political context, makes them relevant to the contemporary world.
    The knowledge derived from the anthropological study is therefore a special kind of “knowledge” which cannot be produced by other disciplines and entails “thinking outside the box”.
    That is why I love Anthropology.

  5. La violencia ha existido siempre. En nuestro contexto el nuevo modo de buscar, identificar e interpretar la humanidad víctima de la transgresión a través de la antropología – aunque forense en el caso propio- no representaría una lección valiosa si no fuera porque ella es estudiosa de comportamientos y valores culturales resididos profundamente en una sociedad con frecuencia violentada que ha motivado las transformaciones históricas. ¡Amo la Antropología porque vaticina cambios seguros para mi país, México!
    CLARA EUGENIA HERNÁNDEZ CASTRO
    SECRETARIA ACADÉMICA DE IZEU (UNIVERSIDAD DE CIENCIAS FORENSES, ZACATECAS, MÉXICO)

  6. I got to face Anthropology just by an accident, Honestly it was not my periority though i had been thinking to learn something new. So for that after completing my intermediate, i applied at University Of Sindh (Pakistan), there i selected Anthropology as my last choice because i had to put all the choices as per university rules. After some days, our first merit list got displayed i was so exciting i was thinking i would get Chemistry or Information Technology as these fields are periorities of almost every student over here at Pakistan but when i checked, i came to know i had recieved Anthropology. Seriously i was so confused, my parents were not so happy because according to them i had choosed something which was not good for students over here at Pakistan, my friends were laughing at me, my relatives and all other people were making fun of me, according to them i had selected something very funny, a discipline which doesn’t give any future. i was really very upset and worried, at the very beginning i thought i should not go for Anthropology but then one of my friend adviced me, he said i should go and check, he said i should go and attend the class he motivated me which made me realized, “Yes atleast i should check it”. So i went and attended the first class, and i came to know that Anthropology was the only suitable field for me. Introduction was very awesome, studying about human was always something gorgeous atleast for me. and then my love with Anthropology began, day by day i got more attracted towards Anthropology, i studied more and more about it, i made it my hobby to study Anthropology in my free time i searched it more in internet and checked out videos which made me feel more excited. gradually i came to know all about Anthropology, Edward Burnett Tylor’s defination of culture attracted me even more in which he says, “Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, arts, morals, laws, customs and habbits and any other capabilities acquired by a man as a member of society”, just few lines, and one can know all about culture.
    At the current moment, i can say i love Anthropology same as a person loves his girlfriend, even more.
    i would add one more thing, through the history Anthro day have never been celebrated in Pakistan, but we did it, Yes with the collaboration of American Anthropological Association we did it today. The celebration was at highest peak, i just can’t find words to explain it.
    The last thing i would like to mention here is, we are not getting any facility here at University Of Sindh (Pakistan), here Anthropology is facing so many problems, Specially Financial problems as university is not funding much. Department of Anthropology at University of Sindh needs attention.
    #AnthroDay #ILoveAnthropology

  7. Anthropology guided me to new ways of thinking as cultures, traditions ,beliefs and all social structures systems in societies .Such as a political anthropology which interested in study of socio-political organizations and tackles various aspects and scope of influence among people within an organized group/community.they are categorized into two groups, the centralized and the decentralized. Centralized anthropological political systems include the band and tribe while the decentralized include the chiefdom and state.so I am in love with anthropology because it allows me to be innovative, integrative, and unique person .
    #AnthroDay

  8. I fell in love with anthropology completely by accident. I was majoring in mathematics as an undergraduate. While home on winter vacation my father asked me how the math major was going. I told him it was OK, but that I was a little bored. He said, “You should take an interesting elective to round out your education, like anthropology.” “What’s anthropology,” I asked. “ANTHROPOS! The study of man! How can you get a college degree without knowing what anthropology is?!” he replied. So I did sign up for an anthropology course that spring…the only intro anthropology course that had a single seat left. As it ends up, at the time it was the least popular of the intro anthropology courses, “Introduction to Primates.” Almost immediately, I completely fell in love with anthropology. By the end of that semester I had changed my major, going on to graduate with honors in anthropology and becoming a professional archaeologist for a few years before returning to graduate school.

    Now, as a tenured full professor of anthropology and Dean of a large Arts & Sciences college, I can honestly say that I use my anthropology training every day to make sense of the history, economies, politics, and cultures of higher education. For me, anthropology was nearly love at first sight, a love that has lasted 34 years and counting.

  9. I love anthropology because it introduced me to new ways of thinking, understanding social structures, and understanding human behavior. Anthropology challenged everything I was taught to believe was “right” and the “only” way to live and allowed me to develop an identity apart from the pressures and ideals of what I was expected to be. I also realized that many of my experiences growing up as a first-generation born, Third World woman in the US did not occur in isolation, but were tied closely to those of many other women and girls around the world. As I learned more about gender through an anthropological lens, I found a love for studying gendered roles and expressions from past cultures as well as in contemporary society. I also love that there is so much we don’t know about humans and that the perspectives we interpret the world from are constantly changing.

  10. I am a biocultural and medical anthropologist interested in traditional medicine, pharmaceutical design and resistance, evolutionary medicine, and the application of chemistry within medical anthropology, and I fell in love with anthropology by happenstance. I began my academic career as a chemistry major with a double minor in archaeology and criminal justice, thinking that I would use the skills learned in these fields as a stepping stone for a career in forensics. But on my first day of undergrad, I signed up for archaeology research with a professor that was so passionate about her research that I just had to find out more. I ultimately worked on a few more anthropology projects amongst a larger senior thesis in chemistry, and over time, I knew that I no longer wanted to be a chemist who looks at people, but rather an anthropologist who utilized chemistry.

    A two-year master’s program in anthropology guided me to where I am now and was the best blessing that I could have asked for. I am comfortable and confident in my research plans, agenda, and trajectory. I can still have my laboratory time, but I can still interact and learn from people in their everyday contexts or as experts describing their forte. I am in love with anthropology because it allows me to be innovative, integrative, and unique just like the lives we study. I study traditional remedies involving edible insects at the University of Notre Dame, and I could not think of a better field to capture all of my interests and allow me to continue with my passions than anthropology.

  11. I didn’t commit to a major in anthropology until my junior year of college, and that was only after exploring and considering several other disciplines, including English, biology, and geography, and conferring with a much admired Christian history professor about whether an anthropology major would conflict with my religious beliefs, who encouraged me to go for it…

    I became interested in anthropology because of its broad scope since I had very versatile interests, because I had an interest in “other” places and natural history, and because I wanted to learn about what made humans tick, in all possible ways…

    Some years later, when I became bored with my life, and contemplated graduate school, I looked at counseling, environmental studies, and anthropology, and again decided on anthropology…

    At 65, and after 20 yrs as an adjunct professor, I’m still proud to tell people that I teach anthropology… 🙂

  12. At the age of ten, my father told me that my late grandfather, Tichen Dong, was one of the earliest physical anthropologists in China. Later, I learned that he was persecuted and killed in the calamity of Cultural Revolution. I always feel that there is a spiritual calling for me, a calling that I have to answer; however, I didn’t have the chance to study biological anthropology until my late 20s. After studying anthropology for almost eight years in the United States, I feel that anthropology is a bridge that connects both science and humanity. The magnificent diversity of humanity and the extraordinary journey of human evolution always fill me with awe.

  13. I will never forget the time or place. February 1972. Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, California State University Fresno, a seventies-style classroom, filled with the eloquence of Professor Dirk van der Elst. I was the first person in my family to even think about attending a University, and although we would read National Geographic with enthusiasm from cover to cover in my parents’ home, I never even considered the possibility that I could study anthropology. I knew the world had to be bigger than the fields of grapes and fig orchards of the Central Valley of California. I was surrounded by agriculturally-fueled ethnic diversity and I desperately wanted intellectual tools to make sense of the array of beliefs and practices around me. It didn’t take long for me to realize that anthropology would give me the toolkit I so fervently desired. Matrilineality! Moieties! Mana! My life would never be the same.

  14. Anthropology Day gives us a chance to celebrate anthropology and a time to reflect on its value—to ourselves personally and to the world. Having already written two “I love anthropology” entries (see the above links to posts from previous years), I stand by those reflections, and add this now: I love anthropology for the collective body of knowledge produced by anthropologists from all over the world about humanity anywhere and everywhere. In these dark times, about which I spoke in my 2017 AAA presidential address, we need anthropological knowledge—the raw material that offers illumination to the world and a path towards mutual understanding on a grand scale.

  15. Anthropology wasn’t my first love. My first love was linguistics: it blew my mind, made my heart race, made me forget to eat. But it often changed the topic when I wanted to talk, refused to answer my calls, and kept going out with other people. Anthropology was my reliable platonic friend, the one whose shoulder I could cry on, the one who would stay up all night with me talking about how strange and amazing, though often unjust, the world could be, and trying to figure out why people and things were the way they were. Anthropology was happy to share adventures with me, looking at the streets of our town with new eyes and taking off with me for new experiences.

    Finally, linguistics asked me why I was still hanging around even though in fact I was spending way more time with anthropology; linguistics observed that anthropology and I seemed to be getting along pretty well. I’ll admit, at first I was speechless; what was linguistics telling me?

    It took me a while to realize that linguistics was right. We’re still friends, in fact maybe better friends now than before. And I’ll always be grateful to it; it showed me where my heart truly lies. Since then, anthropology and I have had our ups and downs, but we both know we’re in it for the long run.

  16. Upon entering college, I planned to focus on the natural sciences. As I learned more about the world and its myriad social problems, I became convinced that people are at greater risk from one another than from any natural threat. By the end of my first semester at UC, Berkeley, I decided to switch to social science and, in my second semester, I signed up for Gerry Berreman’s “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology.” In that class, I learned about the enormous plasticity of human nature and an unimagined array possibilities for constructive social engagement. In my search for ways of organizing society to maximize an ethos of cooperation and mutual support, I realized I could not do better than to major in anthropology. I made that decision by the end of my freshman year; now, more than a half century later, I haven’t looked back.

  17. My love affair with anthropology came about via the serendipitous fact of ‘anthropology’ starting with the letter ‘A’. As I flipped through the undergrad course catalog my first quarter at UC Berkeley, there it was, preceding astronomy, a new and unusual subject with lectures that fit my class schedule. In Anthro 1 I watched Sherwood Washburn demonstrating brachiation and listened to him explaining human evolution, and I was hooked. From there to archaeology with Glyn Isaac, and then cultural with Laura Nader. The perspective and the sweep of the discipline thrilled me; they still do. From undergraduate major I pursued a Ph.D. and thence a career. To sweeten my connection with anthropology even more, and apropos Valentine’s Day, I married my favorite colleague in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Durham, where we each held our first academic posts. Now, many years on, we wonder whether we can pass on our proclivity for the life anthropological to our children…

  18. Anthropology is a discipline that filled a personal need as an undergraduate at Brown U in the 1960s when I was looking for a major that was “nonrestrictive”. It appeared as a separate discipline emerging from a sociology-anthropology department the year before. I have a “maven” personality and was looking for a discipline that allowed me to wander the universe of qiestions and experiences that humans have faced and confront. My BA degree experience only made me more convinced in the value of the cross-cultural perpective.
    A child of the cold war, the CubanMissle crisis, and early Peace Corps, I found that anthropology gave, and gives, me the tools to understand the dynamics of human socio-cultural development. And like a lawyer, the ethnographic and historical (including archaeological) record provides as “law library” of case histories of the problems and solutions mankind has faced and resolved.
    Fuether, as an applied anthropologist, I have found that I can be both the participant and the observer in situations where an honest broker is called for, someone who can see, understand the cultural issues and help participants to find common ground.
    Now nearly 55 years later — the love for anthropology, its potential and promise only grows more rewarding as I have watched the discipline expand its boundaries, scope and application. Hopefully, it will help to keep our species around for a few more millinium.

  19. Last year, at the Black Arts International: Temporalities and Territories conference held at Northwestern University, I was asked to respond to Carrie Mae Weems’s Ritual and Revolution (1998)– series of photographs and banners that explore the historic human struggle for equality and justice, including references to the Middle Passage, the French Revolution, World War II, among others. In my preparation, I was reminded that Weems had an interest in folklore and is an admirer of Zora Neale Hurston. Over the course of the day’s events, the conversation kept turning to anthropology and its colonial and racist history. Choreographer Reggie Wilson became a defender when he emphatically asserted that for him, it all starts and ends with Zora.

    As an artiste-anthropologist, I spoke of the decolonizing anthropology movement, the ongoing power struggles and how far we have come. At the end of my presentation, an undergraduate student approached me. She said “I want to thank you for being an anthropologist.” Such a sincere and unexpected acknowledgement. I was genuinely thrilled. “So you’re an anthro major?” I asked. “Yes,” she responded. I told her anthropology saved my life and keeps me stay sane especially as an immigrant trying to make structural and social sense of things. Her eyes gleaned. Why did you decide to be a major? Her answer delivered without fanfare blew me away so I asked her if I could quote it. Arudi Masinjila class of 2021 said: “If I don’t do anthropology, it would be a disservice to my soul because it is how I make sense of the world.” Another kindred spirit. Back at my home institution, majors often say we are the department that seems to care most about the world. Indeed, that’s one kind of love, for sure!

  20. I love Anthropology because I love learning about the world. The cultures, traditions and beliefs that not only tie a tribe, village, community, etc are so beautiful. I just want to learn more.

  21. Yes anthropology has given me a passion and profession which I appreciate from the core of my heart. The conglomerate of science is flourishing like anything and bringing the human life and culture to the forefront.

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