Featured Anthropology Major: Abraham Moss '22

Abraham Moss '22 is a dual major in Anthropology and History.  He shares his experiences as he prepares to graduate from Cornell.

Taking Ancient Peoples and Places sparked my interest in Anthropology, and then Human Evolution sealed the deal. To both Prof. Henderson and Prof. Velasco I must thank for their wonderful teaching. My two loves of Anthropology, Food and Gift Exchange, have guided my interests since first encountering them with Prof. Munasinghe.  For my second major in History, these two interests have still guided my research and study, be it food history or gift exchange during the early modern period. To Prof. Nadasdy for introducing me to Indigenous cultures of North America and subverting my world, I am eternally grateful.

As not all of life is about food (unless you are talking to me), learning to swing dance has been a singular pleasure, and it is a technique of body I will always relish. Being inducted to Phi Beta Kappa my third year was a pleasant recognition of my dedication to academics. But it is the people who have given life to those studies, and it is their company, particularly the conversations over a meal, that I will dearly miss.

Even though this goes against some of the advice given by my professors, I would advise every Anthropology student to never skim. I was able to go the entirety of my undergrad without skimming, even when I had a thousand pages in a week to read, so it can be done. More than that, it is worthwhile to do so.

Anthropology enlivens the mind most with the richness of specifics, the thick descriptions that bring the pages to life. The ethnographies shine brightest with the details of daily life, and it is only by reading them and laughing about them and telling your friends about them that your perspective on the world is subverted in the most delightful way imaginable. I almost fancy doing an ethnography of my future employment, working as a legal assistant at the firm Kang & Haggerty LLC in Philadelphia. No matter the case, I'll always think about it as an Anthropologist.


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