What makes us human? That is a question our Level III students are discovering through a new Townshend pre-university prep course in Anthropology. Students began their first fieldwork assignment today by observing and building an ethogram based on primate and other animal behavior at our local Hluboká Zoo for a research project. Students observed various primates and other animals such as wild cats, wolverines, giant lizards, flamingos, and platypus.
I am really excited to teach and explore both physical and cultural anthropology with our Level III students this year. In her younger and more adventurous days, my mother was an anthropologist who was involved in projects for the National Museums of Kenya and exposed me to archeological sites and the legendary Australopithecus afarensis Lucy in Ethiopia. Through her work and my own studies, I have discovered that anthropology is a great hands-on interdisciplinary subject that allows students to not only see the world differently, but also allows students to see themselves differently to enrich their lives.
I feel as though anthropology is a subject that could not be more relevant to contemporary global society. As American anthropologist Ruth Benedict once stated, “The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences.”