Campus Commentaries

Semester ICarol Quillen Storytelling Lecture

Alongside concepts covered in the lecture the afternoon before, Professor Quillen delved into the idea of story telling in our humanity’s past. I’ll start by saying I very much so enjoyed this lecture due to the thought processes I was able to follow as the lecture went on. It opened up new ideas for me and how we can take communication to new levels. A key point in her lecture surrounded the idea of using stories as a means instead of the concepts of liberalism. Professor Quillen additionally discussed exiting our current political state of affairs by absorbing other’s stories. I contemplated this idea and I have to say it’s strong in theory, but it would be difficult to take it further than just the story and acknowledging the other side. How might we progress after we listen? Is it just a means to further or knowledge? To check our privilege? I would be worried that these stories would come to a generalized stereotype amongst certain racial groups, and that our individual stories would be for nought. Despite the uncertainty of the answers to these questions, Professor Quillen gave us all an important idea to consider, and one that is hopefully utilized in our daily lives: listening.

Semester II – Bean Bread, Ramps, and Food Sovereignty

I was told by my anthropology professor that if I showed up to this lecture, I’d get a free meal. I was lied to, BUT, I will say that this event was extremely informational and at the same time quite enjoyable. The panel consisted of four people, three of which were members of a Cherokee tribe in Eastern North Carolina, and the other a lawyer whose work mainly focused on disputes between Native Americans and the U.S. Government. During the talk, the family discussed mostly their roots as Cherokees and the recipes passed on by their ancestors like bean bread and ramps. Bean bread is said to be an extremely difficult recipe to master, and we were told that there were only 9 people on the reservation that were able to successfully make it. Ramps on the other hand, are a pungent vegetable similar to onions that are considered to be a delicious side, though some members of the panel expressed their distaste in the smell of them. The lawyer lectured briefly on his experience in the courtroom and people he has represented, though the majority of the discussion was not centered on food policy, but rather the meals that the family make and the difficult processes that they face as a result of the U.S. Government.