How I use Anthropology every day
Kim Cameron-Dominguez '04, Visiting Assistant Professor
Minor: Latin American Studies
Employer: Lewis and Clark College
While at Mount Holyoke College, I took the invitation to explore my academic interests very seriously. I took courses in philosophy, history, political science, and Latin American Studies, and at one point or another, and thought I would major in each of them. Despite my honest love for each of those disciplines, I realized that my academic and personal interests were focusing closer and closer on "people" in the contemporary moment.
I declared my major in anthropology in my sophomore year. I had taken many courses in the major by then and had gotten to know the department faculty well. Most of all, however, my decision was made because anthropology met my desire to study the every day, the local, and unofficial practices of collectivity and the self. Also, I was moved by the requirement that anthropologists be explicit about the ethical obligations we have to the people with whom we work.
Upon graduating from MHC, I chose to study anthropology in graduate school.
As a professor, I love imparting those perspectives and challenges to my undergraduate students. It is wonderful to introduce them to the diversity of the world, cultures, and experiences. But I also ask them to think about the relationships between people, and between people and structures of power. My goal and hope is to help them to reflect critically about the world that they inhabit. Not every one of my students decides to enter the major, of course, but I do think that the discipline leaves a lasting impression on most.
One of my greatest joys outside the classroom is to run into adults who say, upon finding out that I'm a cultural anthropologist, "I took anthropology courses and loved them!"