Gillian Harrill '22 is awarded Engaged Learning in Anthropology Scholarship

August 31, 2021

The Department of Anthropology is pleased to announce that Gillian Harrill was awarded an Engaged Learning in Anthropology Scholarship.  She will use funds from this scholarship to conduct research in southeastern Arizona and work on her ethnographic film Heaven’s Forty Acres.  Gillian is a senior majoring in Communication and minoring in Anthropology.  She enjoys playing the harp, fencing sabre on the Cornell Varsity Fencing Team, and capturing the human experience in filmmaking. She describes her research project below:  

Heaven’s Forty Acres is an ethnographic film exploring the question: How do youth on the San Carlos Apache Reservation create their own culture and identities through skateboarding, indie music, and art? I will apply participatory filmmaking methods which involve the subjects as collaborators in the process. I learned these methods in Ethnographic Film Theory and Documentary Production courses taught by Professor Raheja, and hope this is the start of my career as a documentarian, anthropologist, and storyteller. 

Congratulations, Gillian!

Photo above provided by Gillian Harrill:  “Visual sample of the film, which will mix documentary and narrative storytelling.” 

The Engaged Learning in Anthropology Scholarship was established by an anonymous donor to support students who seek training in anthropological techniques or who would like to participate in anthropologically-oriented engaged learning opportunities.  The Department of Anthropology is grateful for these Scholarships and for the opportunities they've given to many students over the years for transformative research and life-changing experiences.   


photo from Gillian