Each year we kick off our Anthropology Day celebration by asking individuals from across the field to share how they fell in love with anthropology. This year’s post begins with a note from AAA President Alex Barker. Leave your own story in the comments and share on social media using #AnthroDay.
“I love anthropology because I’m insatiably curious. Anthropology uniquely spans the arts, humanities, social science and natural sciences, and touches all fields of human endeavor or inquiry. Human origins? Uh huh. Human rights? Certainly. Ontology and the nature of being? Got it. Genome sequencing? Check. Poetics and aesthetics? You bet. Cross-cultural psychology? Please. Climate change? Down cold. Migration and displacement? Daily. Social media? We study that. Diversity and the many ways of being human? Obviously. Religion and spirituality, food security, human trafficking, ancient pottery, how humans communicate, Northwest Coast art, or family relations among baboons? Yes to all. Anthropologists study what makes us “us,” in all its complexity. It can be hard and frustrating, challenging and contentious, surprising and often fulfilling—but it’s never boring.
Anthropology has been part of my life for as long as I can remember—I began doing fieldwork through Northwestern’s program at Kampsville, Illinois about the time I started high school. At the same time that most young people were discovering themselves, I was also discovering a much wider (and deeper) world than I’d ever imagined, and how many other ways there were of being happily human. Trying to understand others gave me a clearer sense of who I was.”
Want to read entries from previous Anthropology Day posts? Use the links below:
Anthropology Day is held on the third Thursday of every February. The 2018 celebration will be on Thursday, February 15th and save the date for next year’s Anthropology Day on February 21, 2019!