LSAR welcomes newly-admitted students
On September 1, we met our first-year students who chose to study in the ‘Anthropology and Ethnology’ programme.
They have gone through entrance examination, and each of them can easily remember the sense of responsibility and anxiety this was linked to. Actually, they had a good reason to be anxious! When the admission procedure had started, there had been numerous applications received at the TSU Department of History (11 applications per one place out of 91 available in total). The number of state-funded places available to the applicants in the ‘Anthropology and Ethnology’ programme equated just to 10. The admission results showed that the 2016 final passing score reached 224 points, 12 points higher than last year.
All this is indicative of the increased interest in and competition for the opportunity to study in this programme. Whatever the figures though, newly-admitted students’ real interest and motivation will become clear in the course of their studies, and we hope they will make up active members of the LSAR team. While this remains to be seen, we hosted a welcome gathering for students, faculty, and staff to come together and meet each other on the Day of Knowledge, September 1. The atmosphere was warm and home-like, with tea and biscuits to accompany informal conversations. There were also senior and master students present along with doctoral researchers, the majority of whom are LSAR fellows.
The Head of the LSAR, Irina Nam, gave a welcome address. Then the senior students of anthropology showed an interesting presentation sharing their rich study and research experiences with their newly-arrived fellows. The latter also had their own little stories to tell of getting into the field of anthropology and ethnology, for this specialty is quite new and rare at Russian universities and thus applying for it seemed to be of no accident.
So what brought these young people from Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Khakassia, Kemerovo, and Krasnoyarsk regions to the TSU Department of History and the LSAR, in particular? Their stories revealed common motifs behind such a choice: a long-standing passion for history and folk cultures that they had developed in their families or schools. But the contemporary world’s development and an interest in current problems resulted in a dilemma for them of choosing between history and social anthropology, between past and present. The ‘adventurous’ nature of the anthropological profession along with expectations of new and diverse experiences from it determined the final choice in favour of anthropology. And in the end, as Irina Nam noted, the difference between history and social anthropology is not that big as perceived because in order to understand the present, the anthropologist cannot but have a deep knowledge of the past.
At the end of the meeting, there were announcements made of events planned to be held by LSAR, among which – The First Tomsk Anthropological Forum and a series of lectures by guest Russian and international specialists in social anthropology that all the students were invited to attend.
We wish you, dear students, best of luck with your studies and lots of positive impressions at TSU and LSAR!