SOAS University of London

Adele Austin, 1st Year

I’m from Haiti, and my experiences there have helped me become sensitive to social and class struggles and political turmoil, which are topics that Anthropology provides tools for analysing.

Coming from a background in Sociology and having special interests in ‘postcolonial identity’ and cultural studies, Anthropology to me felt like a natural choice for continuing my studies.  It seemed like the best way to further my understanding of ‘the human’ in its cultural and social aspects. What makes Anthropology interesting is that it allows you to study yourself, and be aware of your own ethnographic narrative, in a sense.  It helps you see how you yourself are situated as an observer and participant who influences, and can be influenced by, whichever setting you are in. It’s easy to see why I’ve been drawn to Anthropology, given my own background: I’m from Haiti, and my experiences there have helped me become sensitive to social and class struggles and political turmoil, which are topics that Anthropology provides tools for analyzing, too. The array of things you can study is broad, and it gives you a good understanding of human socio-cultural relations, which is beneficial anywhere you wish to go.

What I find most attractive about studying Anthropology is that the academic knowledge one gains in that discipline can lead to a range of career paths. I’d love to eventually pursue doctoral research, or maybe become a cultural ambassador of some sort.

SOAS was a good choice for my postgraduate degree given its resources for reading, studying, and conducting research, and given that it has one of the best stocked libraries in any UK university. The Anthropology department at SOAS does a really good job of keeping students informed about external seminars that are related to our course. The Department also relays information about potential career prospects. My courses have been really well organized, and there is always a feeling of unrestricted dialogue among students in seminars, and between students and staff generally. This was especially the case in my courses, Issues in the Anthropology of Gender, and in the Anthropology of Human Rights.