Open Day for prospective students interested in anthropology held at LSAR
On May 28th, 2016, an Open Day was organized for prospective students curious to know more about anthropology at TSU. This was an important event for the LSAR which, having become known to many Russian and international colleagues, is very much interested in attracting young people who see science as their future and can potentially become part of the LSAR team. It is notable that these young people and the LSAR team are, in a sense, in the same position starting out on a journey. September 2016 will mark a second year of student enrollment in the TSU programme in anthropology. This means that we are all involved in the introduction of this new specialty ‘Anthropology and Ethnology’ – one of the first ones of the kind across Russia – here at TSU.
The past 2015-2016 academic year is remarkable for the fact that bachelor degree theses were for the first time defended by students specializing in social anthropology, this specialization available for students of history at TSU helped pave the way for the development of a stand-alone ‘Anthropology and Ethnology’ programme. These students were very much involved in preparations for the Open Day and, interestingly, it also attracted 10th grade students who still have a year ahead in secondary school. Evidently, they just started thinking about their future profession and so they did not have a clear idea about it yet. What made them attend the LSAR Open Day then? As they themselves told us, for some it was their curiosity about languages and folk cultures, whereas some just came for company. However, there is no doubt that all of them got a flavour of what social anthropology is actually about.
LSAR Head, Professor Irina V. Nam welcomed the students, and 4th year students Ekaterina Lukyanova and Seil Djanyzakova gave a presentation of the study programme in ‘Anthropology and Ethnology’. Other students and LSAR fellows shared their impressions of studying and doing research in anthropology. And the impressions were many. Thanks to young anthropologists’ stories and photos taken in the field, visitors could get the feel of anthropological fieldwork carried out in Sakhalin, Gornaya Shoriya, Kazakhstan and Bulgaria and of summer schools held in Russian cities and in Europe. At the same time, they could realize that there was no need to go somewhere far away to conduct field research as social anthropology is also about being interested in and attentive to what is going on around us and about learning more about people who may live just next door. The presentation provoked visitors’ lively reaction and nearly professional questions like ‘what other kinds of communities can be studied this way?’, ‘how should an anthropologist approach his/her informants?’, etc.
The meeting went well and in a friendly atmosphere, and a remark made by a 10th grade student that it was such a pity she had yet to wait for one whole year before she could apply for anthropology at TSU pretty much sums it up.