Cultural Anthropology and Hispanic Folk Art of the Southwest: Week 2

Being a first-year here at CC, one of the most commonly asked questions that I hear from other first-years is “What FYE are you in?” See, for most people, that’s an easy question to answer. “Drawing,” they might reply. Or “Chem.” Maybe even “Philosophy.” But that’s not the case for my fourteen classmates and me. See, for us, the answer to that question is always a little bit more long-winded. Saying “Oh, well I’m in Intro to Cultural Anthropology and Hispanic Folk Art of the Southwest” can really take the energy out of you, and you better hope that no one asks about your FYE while you’re chewing…it could pose a serious health hazard. And don’t even try five times fast. Seriously.

Luckily, once you get past the incredibly long name, our class is pretty awesome. During first block, we took a 10 day field trip to New Mexico to visit cities like Taos and Santa Fe and American Indian Pueblos like Cochiti, Taos, and Acoma. We went to countless museums, met amazing artists, built up our green and red chile tolerance, and camped under the New Mexico stars every night. Each of us also had a research question that we were focusing on that we will be writing a paper about later this block. Mine is Santa Fe architecture, and I have to say, being able to actually visit the buildings I am researching gave my topic a whole new meaning. I guess that’s one of the great things about the block plan– you really get to experience what you’re learning about in a completely different, hands-on, experiential way.

We’re back in the classroom now for second block, and Mario(our professor)’s lectures never fail to get me thinking about something new. Is the spread of McDonalds to other countries diffusion or forced acculturation? What are the feminist, Marxist, and utopian approaches to looking at fairy tales? What roles do folk dramas play in different cultures? I’m still figuring it all out…stay tuned.