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Sacred Places in Conflict

By Shelby Howard, Megan Christy, John Cho, and Edna Kilusu, IV Form

Sacred Places in Conflict

Editor’s Note: In the course “Sacred Places: Sites of Spirituality,” the students chose either visual or written methods to demonstrate the following: an understanding of the concepts used in the course (not explicitly, but analytically); an understanding of the conflicts between differing world views with regard to sacred land; a discussion of an action that, as global citizens with an understanding of sacred places, the students could engage in.

Google Sites: Sacred Sites in Conflict in the United States (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Winnemem Wintu; Hopi Tribe) Shelby Howard

Google Sites: Conflict in Our Sacred World (Phiphidi Waterfalls, South Africa; Mt. Girnar, India; The Western Wall, Israel) Megan Christy

Google Slides: Sacred Places of the World Calendar: January 20-27 John Cho

Speech by Edna Kilusu: (more…)

Working Together to Launch the Model UN Club

By Isabelle Kim, Jovin Ho, & Rachel Wang, IV Form and Matt Walsh, Stephanie Moon, & Alan Gao, III Form

Working Together to Launch the Model UN Club

To understand what the “Model United Nations Club” is, it is essential to know the concept of the “Model United Nations” or “MUN”. Model United Nations acts as a simulation of United Nations conferences, in which participants act as delegates. Delegates represent various countries and their ideals, and engage in formal debates over global issues as well as international affairs, through which a resolution is achieved that is, ideally, satisfactory for all parties involved. A couple of weeks prior to the conference, the delegates are assigned respective countries, councils, and issues that will be debated upon, thus allowing delegates ample time to research the topic at hand and formulate their arguments. A big part of MUN is the delegates recognizing that they are not representing themselves, but are a part of a larger picture, having to uphold their country’s beliefs.  (more…)

A Novel of Reaction: Larsen’s Passing

By Charlotte Wood, V Form

A Novel of Reaction: Larsen’t Passing

W.E.B. Dubois wrote that “all Art is propaganda and ever must be…” He thought that artists and writers should try to make the world a better place through their work. Nella Larsen, the author of Passing, would not agree. Her novel centers on two light-skinned black women, Clare Kendry and Irene Redfield, and their respective decisions to pass as white or not. I believe she wrote this novel not to persuade the reader of something or to convince them to enact change, but rather to reflect the world how she sees it. The book is a reaction to society, not something for society to react to. Passing itself is portrayed as something that simply is, not wholly good or wholly bad. Both characters participate in it, and so the reader is not meant to side with one over the other. The relative passivity of its message is reflected in the passivity of its main character, Irene. Because she is not active, the intention of the novel is not active. Lastly, the ambiguity of the ending leaves the reader, like Irene, with more questions than answers. (more…)

Modern Day Martins

By Jenny Deveaux, V Form

Modern Day Martins

Much like hip hop music, modern day United States culture is based upon movements for change and the spread of continental ideas.

Hip hop was born in the seventies, and first originated in New York City. The genre was developed largely by African-Americans, but evolved to incorporate nuances from other minority groups such as Latin-Americans. Today, hip hop is a multi-billion dollar franchise that has become a symbol of United States culture because it exemplifies a diverse and influential community that seeks to spread tendentious ideas. Artists like Common, Nelly, Macklemore, and LL Cool J use their prominence in the hip hop genre to address today’s issues. Macklemore did this recently in his song “Same Love,” advocating for marriage equality while producing a track that made the top charts in America. (more…)

Akshaya Patra: Addressing Both Hunger and Education in India

By Yusra Syed, IV Form

Akshaya Patra: Addressing Both Hunger and Education in India

India is the world’s largest democracy and the second most populous country in the world – with over3 1.2 billion people. It is expected to be the most populated in the world by 2022. India is booming and, by many measures, is the world’s fastest growing big economy. Challenges of urban poverty in India are tied with the challenges of the country’s fast development. Cities are fostering poverty and hunger at a scale and extent unseen before. Nearly 70% of Indians live on less than $2 a day, with 61 million malnourished children – 1/3 of all the malnourished children in the world. This is causing too many children to choose food over education. (more…)

U.S. Historical “I am” Poems

By Samantha Sarafin, John Hart, George Littlefield, and Ginny Walsh, V Form

U.S. Historical “I am” Poems

Each of our United States History courses revolves around eight major themes prevalent throughout history. One of those themes is the question of “Who is an American” at any given time in the nation’s history. In keeping with our work and also trying to connect what we do inside our classroom to the broader St. Mark’s community and world at large, each class took their Community and Equity Day “I am” poems and looked at them from a historical angle. Each student was asked to look at an “I am” poem from the perspective of a figure from history. Some students were asked to be someone as specific as Alexander Hamilton, while others were (more…)