In this spotlight interview, fourth-year undergraduate Emily Cigarroa elaborates on her experience as a double concentrator in the Department of Anthropology and Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World.
Since beginning my time in the department, I have had the opportunity to engage in coursework, class projects, and faculty research in the various subsects of anthropology. As a double concentrator at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, I have particularly enjoyed anthropological archaeology classes. In ANTH 1901: Anthropology in/of the Museum with Dr. Christina Hodge, our class discussed the state of museum ethics in the U.S. and collaborated with the John Hay Library to create an exhibit for a Taíno collection. In Dr. Preucel’s class, Indigenous Archaeologies, I am studying the similarities and differences between Indigenous archaeologies and archaeologies of enslavement in the U.S., particularly regarding approaches to burial sites and relationships to descendant communities. Through the department, I have found and developed mentorship relationships with professors that demonstrate what decolonial, ethical archaeology and museum work look like.
Additionally, I have been able to support faculty research and gain practical experience aligned with my various passions, across departments. Under Professors Candace Rice, Cicek Beeby, and Yannis Hamilakis, I have respectively excavated in Italy, researched scenes of sexual violence on Greek vases, and analyzed the diverse history of the Acropolis. With Dr. Katherine Mason in Anthropology, I was able to pursue my interests in medical anthropology through working as a research assistant for the Pandemic Journaling Project. I also enrolled in her CBLR class, ANTH 1515: Anthropology of Mental Health, and engaged in legislative advocacy at the Rhode Island State House for a bill supporting mental health providers.