Section: Features

Kenyon Anthropological Society explores human culture 

Kenyon Anthropological Society explores human culture 

DeLay, left, and Szaraz are leaders of KAS. | BRITTANY LIN

For all those interested in anthropology, look no further than the Palme House lobby on Wednesdays, when the Kenyon Anthropological Society (KAS) meets over snacks and drinks to discuss anthropology, watch documentaries and host speakers. Leaders of the club Frank Szaraz ’25 and Zoe DeLay ’25 were inspired to make a club for anthropology enthusiasts and, with the help of their executive board, set the club in motion in the fall of 2023. 

DeLay explained the society’s main goal: “We wanted Anthropology students to be able to get to know each other and have a community.” Along with providing a space for majors and minors, DeLay also adds that the society wants to “have an outlet to make anthropology more accessible to the whole campus.” Szaraz elaborated: “We’re trying to make our events specific to anthropology but also applicable to everyone because it’s something everyone can find meaning in and everyone can enjoy.” For example, a past topic in a meeting was museum ethics and art history, and students were readily able to contribute information they learned from their area of study. 

Along with the weekly discussions, KAS hosts events throughout the semester centered around anthropology. On Feb. 4, in collaboration with Lyceum Magazine, they hosted a screening of the documentary “Fantastic Fungi.” There was turnout from both organizations and it was a “fun crossover opportunity,” said Szaraz.

KAS also has an upcoming storytelling event. “At its core, anthropology is learning about other people’s stories, so we thought it would be a fun event for the whole campus,” DeLay said. 

KAS is working to portray not only oral stories, but any written student work, too. Its new journal, Focus, is now accepting student submissions. “The goal is for it to be literally anything human-related, so photography, art, prose pieces, research articles — we’d love to have a huge amount of student work to showcase,” Szaraz explained. 

Any student at Kenyon is welcome to submit their work. While there are no set topics, DeLay specified that “human inquiry is at the bottom” of every submission. In regard to the theme, she added, “definitely an anthropological lens, but I think what’s nice about anthropology is that it is so multidisciplinary that it really applies to everyone.” 

Another exciting way students may be able to interact with KAS in the near future is by visiting the Newark Earthworks. Built by the Hopewell culture over 2,000 years ago, these mounds are an ancient piece of indigenous and Ohio history, recently inducted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. KAS will be bringing Kenyon students who sign up to visit this landmark on Mar. 30. Szaraz commented, “It would be a really great opportunity for students to interact with Ohio history.” 

There are so many ways to interact with Anthropology at Kenyon, and students who are fascinated with human culture and societies have ample ways to explore that interest with KAS.

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