Independent Research and Public Anthropology
Anthropology students have many opportunities to pursue independent research and to communicate their anthropological insights to a wider public. Student projects can develop out of regular course-work or take the form of honors theses and other independent projects. Anthropology students are also creators of websites, blogs, and documentary videos and other forms of public anthropology.
Videos by Anthropology majors and alumni:
- Milton Guillen ’15: “Memories Matter.” For the Anthropology of History and Memory (Fall 2012)
- Debbie Merzbach ’11: “A Deep Ocean Ordeal: Whales Like Different Meals!” Merzbach reads the children’s book she wrote about anthropology for 5-8 year olds.
- Emily Bierwirth ’11: “The Flash Club.” A documentary about her flash mob.
Websites and Blogs by Anthropology majors and alumni:
- Mannon Frykholm ’22, Caroline Stoddard ’20, Kevin Argueta ’21, Emilie Pilchowski ’22, and Siobhan Pascal ’20 with Professor Catherine Besteman published an article in the Colby Museum of Art’s online magazine, The Lantern, Art in Conversation with Climate Change: Anthropological Reflections
- Lucy Soucek ’18 made the Colby Faith Podcast about religion, faith, and student experience at Colby.
- Peter Barkey-Bircann ’18 explores lyrical ethnography in Eviction: A Turn of the Dial.
- Liam Harley ’16 explores the links between family meals and memory.
- Students in AY298 Anthropology of Social Movements (Spring 2013) created a web-based exploration of five contemporary social movements.
- Students in AY398 (Spring 2012) created a website that explores the Anthropology of contemporary issues.
- Zachary Mitchell ’11 created Sonic Adventures, an ethnographic music website.
- Laura Miller ’11 developed a website about local food.
- John Perkins ’11 created a website about the use of social media and the Arab Spring uprisings.
- Melyn Heckelman ’08 blogs about her continuing connection to Anthropology post-Colby.
- Hannah De Angelis ’12 reflects on her study abroad experience in Senegal.
- Jennifer Gemmell ’12, and Duncan Hardock blogged about teaching English in Georgia (Europe).
- Eitan Green’s ’09 anthropology honors thesis research was the basis for this interactive view of the Global Climbing Community.
Other student projects:
- Molly Bennett ’11: “Research in Slab City, CA .”
- Melyn Heckelman ’08: “To What Extent Should Anthropologists Be Activists?”
Recent Honors Theses
Garima Dahiya, ’20: “Jadu ghar: Museum-going, the State and the ‘magical’ at the Indian Museum” – Supervisor, Prof. David Strohl
Juan Luna, ’20: “Acoso Visual: Staring Back at the State and Gender Conformity” – Supervisor, Prof. Mary Beth Mills
Cat Ledue, ’19: “We Take Care of Our Own: Stories from the South End” -Supervisor, Prof. Mary Beth Mills
Rachel Bird, ’18: “What the Walls Say: Finding Meaning and Value in Tel Aviv’s Street Art” – Supervisor, Prof. David Strohl
Charles Gauvin, ’18: “Somali Diasporic Placemaking in Lewiston, Maine” – Supervisor, Prof. Catherine Besteman
Alyssa Lang, ’18: “un-landed: remembering, family stories and Chinese-American immigrations” – Supervisor, Prof. Britt Halvorson
Ester Topolarova, ’17: “Dear reader, how do we go on?: Letters of Reflection on Community Care in Climate Activism in Maine” – Supervisor, Prof. Winifred Tate
Anne Vetter, ’17: “It’s not you, it’s— Hookup Culture and Sexual Subjectivity” – Supervisor, Prof. Mary Beth Mills
Anne Friedrich, ’15: “A Constellation of Caring: The Dynamic and Fluctuating Nature of Pediatric Cancer Care” – Supervisor, Prof. Chandra Bhimull
Katy Lindquist, ’14: “Everyday Forms of Resistance in Post-Genocide Rwanda” – Supervisor, Prof. Catherine Besteman
Ellicott Dandy, ’13: “Remapping Nature: Motherhood, Autonomy, and Anti-mining Activism in Intag, Ecuador” – Supervisor, Prof. Chandra Bhimull
Jessica Pires, ’13: “Uphams Corner and ‘Other’ Spaces: Racialized Youth Identities in Boston’s Cape Verdean Community” – Supervisor, Prof. Britt Halvorson
Rachel Rosenbaum, ’13: “Finite to Fail, Infinite to Venture: Interactivism and Relational Ethics” – Supervisor, Prof. Mary Beth Mills
Hannah DeAngelis, ’12: “Teaching Empathy, Inspiring Activism: The Diversity Leadership Institute as a Tool for Hate Violence Prevention” – Supervisor, Prof. Catherine Besteman
Sandhya Fuchs, ’12: “Public Imagery, Multicultural Integration and the Narrative Of British Citizenship: Reflections on BAPS Swaminarayan Hinduism in the British Diaspora” – Supervisor, Prof. Mary Beth Mills