This is my first blog post to my OAC blog, and I am very excited and curious about it. I am still learning a lot about the website, about the community, and how this entire system works. I don't know if my blog remains on my page, if the post goes to a larger blog, or if it is a personal blog that anyone can read. For that reason, I feel both a little anxious and very enthusiastic about introducing myself in this fashion. Chances are that I will be asking questions throughout my blog posts, and anyone with more experience with the OAC than myself is more than welcome to answer them. :)

For the most part, I will write in this blog as I write professionally, but as this is a very casual post, I will not hesitate to use emoticons as per the internet culture that I am familiar with. You have been warned.

That said, allow me to tell you a little bit about myself.

I am currently an undergraduate student at the University of Northern Iowa, double-majoring in Drawing and Anthropology, with minors in Art History and the Russian Language (which I regret to say I am very rusty in). I fell in love with anthropology as a field of study about two years ago, when I took a Human Origins class as part of my Liberal Arts Core (General Education) requirements, and I've never looked back. After the Spring 2012 semester, I will have completed my requirements for the Anthropology major, though I will likely graduate in the Fall.

I am interested in pursuing a Master's Degree in Anthropology, though I haven't decided if I will or not yet. This is because my other love is comic book creation, and I may yet decide to pursue a career in comic book art. As both fields are very involved and would require my full attention, this is not a decision that I will make lightly. I've decided that if I pursue anthropology further, I would like to achieve my Doctorate in the field, and most likely become a professor. My main interests in Anthropology lie within the Physical and Cultural fields, though I appreciate the necessity of a holistic approach in understanding all of the dimensions of what it is to be human and what being human entails.

I tend to look at every piece of a situation in order to understand it, and try to gather as much information as I can before assessing any given situation. I say that so that I may say this within a more correct context: I appreciate the work of Franz Boas, but I don't feel that he was the most important person within the field of anthropology, as many of my professors seem to believe. I say this because, while I understand the immensely important contributions the man made, and while I appreciate his moxy in stepping forward with the theories and ideas that he did in the time period in which he did, I view his work less as the pillar of anthropology and more as its foundation. For instance, I feel that my professors place more emphasis on how Dr. Boas changed the course of anthropology as opposed to the numerous theorists who built upon his work, opposed his work, and dared to challenge his work. To me, you cannot take one part of the machine and have a working machine. You must appreciate all of the parts and what they do, even if their role does not seem as important. One must always seek as much information as possible in order to achieve the best understanding - the very reason why I support the holistic 4-Field Approach (I consider Applied Anthropology to fit within the individual's own field of emphasis).

I want to share my research papers - most of which are by no means to the level of many anthropologists that I'm sure are already part of the OAC - but I also don't want to risk providing material for potential plagiarism (which can be a downside to open sharing, but to ignore that would be more foolish than finding a way to prevent it). I'm assuming from the privacy controls on this post that the blogs are, in fact, more or less private to individual profiles? If not, I'd highly appreciate anyone letting me know otherwise. Because of the late hour (I'm on Central Time), I am unable to share more about myself, but perhaps another time. :)

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Comment by Francine Barone on January 12, 2012 at 2:02am

Hi Callie,

Thanks for joining and for sharing your personal story. If you decide to pursue anthropology as a career track, one of the benefits of such a diverse field is that you can still focus on art or comic book design or any number of overlapping subjects. Naturally, comic book consumer culture is just one example of anthropological interest, not to mention from your perspective as a creator. What you say about your exposure to anthropological theory via your professors' reliance on Boas will certainly strike a chord with many OAC members. Part of the reason why we have joined here is to look beyond the standard textbook trajectories of anthropology and to be introduced to new and challenging perspectives. Activity on the site can slow down at times, but I hope that others will take the time to welcome you. It would be nice if we had such open introductions from all our new members. There is a lot of information already on site, so please feel free to explore and don't be apprehensive about jumping in whenever you want. We're all here to learn.

Comment by John McCreery on January 10, 2012 at 2:44pm

What Keith says.

Comment by Keith Hart on December 30, 2011 at 12:45pm

I am glad that you took the plunge, Callie. Your post, like any video or photo you publish, is shared with all of us and anyone else who looks in. Although Ning has privacy settings, we discourage their use, since this is after all an Open AC. Comments made on your page stay there and messages are private. You need to read what we have posted under About in the menu bar. The three main media for discussion are the main page Forum, Blogs and Groups. Information posted in the last will tend to be visited only by members and then perhaps not often. We feature four blog posts at a time, but you can see them in sequence from the latest back by clicking on All Blog Posts. I have featured your post since I would like to encourage newcomers to try their hand at sharing their interests within our community.

There is quite a lot to be said about what you have shared with us here. Anthropology and comic books reminds me of someone, but the name slips my mind right now. I was interested in your discussion of Boas. One of the OAC's features is that its membership is global and much American anthropology isn't. I find inspiration from the classical thinkers who made a big difference, but like you I prefer to draw on many of them rather than line myself up with one.

So please continue to post. Don't be surprised if you get less written comments than you would like. Perhaps because our membership is so dispersed, there is less interaction here than on Facebook. But maybe we can change things in time, with the help and participation of people like you.


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