Linda Isako Angst, Asst. Professor of Anthropology
May 28, 2009
J.R. Howard Hall
I was born in Japan of Japanese and American parents. My studies and work have taken me to dense urban centers as well as small towns in Japan and the United States. Thinking across cultures—and across disciplines—seems natural to me, and I try to encourage this flexibility in students by including diversity in my courses.
Among the topics I teach are gender in cross-cultural perspective and the anthropology of violence. The course readings and their context evoke powerful feelings and challenge students to think about traditional ideas, common institutions, the world at large, and themselves in new ways. Many students, already politically aware, socially active, and hungry for solutions, find the experience transformative. They learn to express what had been inexpressible, to give voice to silence.
In their first semester of college, some students are shy, some full of bravado. As they progress toward self-knowledge, they discover—through their studies and encounters—something important about who they are, something they can carry with them into the wider world.