Victoria Collins, Junior

December 14, 2018

Victoria Collins during her studies in Galway, Ireland.

What has been your favorite course and why?

“My favorite course that I have been enrolled in at UCSC is ANTH 130X, Topics in Ethnography. The 130X course topic changes every so often and for the quarter I took it, the course looked at Native Feminisms, Gender, and Settler Colonialism. It was taught by the fabulous, Renya Ramirez, who was so passionate about the course material that class never felt like an obligation, but something that I was constantly looking forward to. The course, overall, opened my eyes to the overwhelming oppression to Native peoples, especially women, around the U.S. and educated me about some of the many triumphs and struggles that Native peoples have had in the past and the present. One of my favorite aspects of the class was that Reyna taught over a variety of different medias, which allowed for an interactive and engaging class time. I came out of the course looking to be more active in the plights that were presented in class and because of it I have joined the UCSC American Indian Resource Center's newsletter, which allows me to further my education and activism in this field. This has been my favorite class for these many reasons but mainly because it has been the first upper division class in my arsenal to start the fire that got me all the more passionate to pursue anthropology. Anthropology 130X has shaped the way in which I see different human interactions by broadened my scope of what the different definitions of "normal/acceptable" human behavior are and allows me to make more informed interpretations of what I see day to day. While I always try to feel compassion and understanding towards others, this course taught me that it is necessary some times to be strong and stand up for what you believe in and to take action when things have gone wrong. In all, I would say this course helped me to become a stronger and more empathetic person in my every day life.”

What does Anthropology (biological, cultural, or archaeological) mean to you?

“To me Anthropology means the study and celebration of past and present peoples. I have been focusing on cultural anthropology mainly so in this regard, Anthropology is a way to see the world through an assortment of different lenses and perspectives. While it is not always a positive or pleasant process, in general it is an exciting way to view the world and the many niches that humans have created in it. I would like to pursue a career in cultural anthropology. What this means exactly, I am not too sure. I know that it is the field that I have engaged in most over my three years at UCSC and I am interested in doing fieldwork abroad somewhere. I have been in contact with a university in Galway, Ireland where I studied abroad and have been looking into what I need to do to apply for an internship or graduate studies over there once I graduate UCSC next year! During Fall quarter of 2017 of my junior year, I studied abroad in Galway, Ireland at the National University of Ireland. This experience was life changing as I was able to be half way across the world and see what definitions and standards surrounded anthropology there, while also growing as an individual. Studying abroad as an anthropology major student was a very exciting experience because it shaped how I viewed different situations and the people I met. I was able to look at structures and ways of life in a place that was foreign from my home and ethnographically question and look at these different forms and then use that knowledge to function in Irish society. As an undergraduate I definitely recommend trying to study abroad somewhere! It is an exciting opportunity to grow as an individual, academically and otherwise. There are so many amazing people in this department, utilize them! Get to know people and take advantage of the resources available to you. As for professors, go into their office hours even if you don't have a question, I have received some of the best advice surrounding Anthropology careers just from dropping in to say hello. Since Anthropology covers such a breadth of different topics it can be overwhelming trying to decide which field to focus on, but by taking different courses you can narrow down what you are most passionate about and go from there, so don't let it stress you out!” 

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