Reflection by: Amy Kuritzky, Environmental Science & Anthropology '19
With support from the School of Social Sciences Gateway Program and Rice Undergraduate Scholars Program, I traveled to San Jose for the 117th annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). This meeting is the world’s largest gathering of anthropologists, with over 6,000 attendees. It was a huge privilege to be able to attend it as an undergraduate!
At the meeting, I presented a poster about human experiences with water toxicity, looking particularly at a Superfund site in Houston. The poster was based on interviews and ethnographic research I did for an anthropology class in spring 2018. This year, I am expanding that research into a larger honors thesis. Presenting a poster at the AAA meeting was invaluable for learning how to communicate my research to others. I also got helpful feedback from people who came by to read my poster.
Overall, I really enjoyed the four days I spent at the annual meeting. I had a chance to attend many panels and hear people speak whose work I greatly admire. I even got to meet some of the scholars who have been especially influential in my own work. I loved spending time surrounded by people, professors and graduate students, who are passionate about anthropology and eager to talk about their research interests. This experience made me excited about the prospect of going to graduate school and attending future AAA meetings!