Why Anthropology?

Last fall, Dr. Emily Manetta asked the advanced Anthropology majors who were taking ANTH 205 Senior Proseminar why they majored in Anthropology and what it meant to them. Many of them wrote about the way in which they learned about the major, and where they hoped to take it in the future. Some addressed why Anthropology speaks to them, or what questions about the human experience they find important. We hope that by sharing a few of these excerpts with you over the next few weeks, you too will be able to think more deeply about the discipline and why you find its approaches useful.


Lauren Porell (Anthropology, Class of 2017)Lauren Porell

In my freshman year of high school, I stayed after class one day to talk to my World Civilizations history teacher, Ms. Antonio. I was doing well in the class, but I expressed to her that I was frustrated with our history classes because they seemed to focus on the wars and battles of the past rather than the daily lives of the people. I wanted to know more about the people holding down the forts at home while the soldiers were away. She suggested I look into anthropology, and from that moment on, I have made it my mission to explore the lives of people from all over the world, both near and far. I’m able to combine anthropology with my other love for storytelling. I plan to use the communication and exploration skills I’ve learned from studying anthropology to listen to as many people’s stories as possible. My favorite stories are those that are about family histories and traditions. As of right now, I am still unsure what my future looks like career-wise, but I know that I intend to study and work with families. Whether my future leads me to nonprofit work, social work, or service work, I plan on listening to and learning from the stories of people from all walks of life, especially those who are often left out of high school history lessons.


Comments are closed.