Cara Zhuang on “Why Anthropology?”

CaraZCara Zhuang (Anthropology, Class of 2017)

As a first-generation Chinese American, my upbringing was characterized by the juxtaposition of two cultures. Caught between my family’s traditions and the influences of American society, my interest in cultural dynamics stems from the desire to understand the construction of various sets of values and how they can conflict with one another. This early exposure to the tensions that exist between different populations is what ignited my passion for anthropology.

I am particularly interested in how anthropology can be applied in conjunction with other disciplines to generate a more holistic appraisal of issues. As an anthropology and art history double major, my current interest is in finding ways to combine these two rarely integrated fields of study. I find the freedom of aesthetic form and politically charged content of contemporary art to be particularly interesting because it not only reflects the sociopolitical issues that interest the artist, but also encourages an exploration of the social constructions and intentions behind an artist’s individual technique. Ambiguous forms also creates space for a variety of interpretations, broadening the range of possible responses in an audience; this would also be an interesting dimension of contemporary art to explore anthropologically.

Comments are closed.