Introducing… Lindsay Rosenfeld
Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina
Will graduate: 2013
Also majoring in: I’m also an Anthropology major with an Arabic minor
Unlike many of my peers, I was neither a Tarheel born nor a Tarheel bred. I have no great stories of going to my first basketball game at age seven, driving to Chapel Hill for a Franklin Street Halloween during high school, or knowing from a young age that I would call this place home some day. Coming here was both accidental and unexpected – serendipitous in its truest definition. Though the odd combination of financial convenience and a truly exceptional tour, I decided to permanently retire my dark blue paraphernalia and haven’t looked back since.
Surprisingly, my activities outside of the classroom have remained relatively consistent since my first year. Some of the highlights include participation in Admissions Ambassadors (tours) and NC Fellows on campus, and volunteering with the Orange County Rape Crisis Center and the NC Therapeutic Riding Center in the larger Chapel Hill community. Perhaps more notable than my activities themselves is the reality that through them UNC shrunk from a university of 18,000+ to a place marked by intimacy.
Anthropology of War and Peace (ANTH 280) with Peter Redfield
History in Person (ANTH 559) with Dorothy Holland
Religion and Colonialism (RELI 328) with Todd Ochoa and Jonathan Boyarin
Culture and Personality (ANTH 525) with Robert Daniels
Advice for Global Studies majors:
GO ABROAD! Whether you study abroad or volunteer abroad or work abroad, GO! There are so many resources available through UNC to do all of these things. As undergraduate students, we are here for the sole purpose of learning and the interdisciplinary nature of Global Studies enables us to do just that. Take the classes in subjects that you know nothing about and revel in your ignorance.
As a Global Studies and Anthropology double major, I am interested (predictably) in considerations concerning the individual’s relationship with the world and oneself through expressions and interactions of identity and culture. These interests first emerged during my first semester at UNC – I was enrolled in my first Arabic class and an English course on Reading and Writing Women’s Lives. Though I had chosen both classes without any specific purpose or aim, together they enabled me to question my understanding of the world (or lack thereof). My experiences in Arab 101 and Engl 134 (in addition to later courses in Islamic Civilization, Anthropology of War and Peace, History in Person, Culture and Personality, among others – and travel to Egypt and Uganda over the next two summers), introduced the idea that I am but one piece in one teeny tiny corner of the world. And I realized that extending my corner beyond my most immediate experiences matters… it matters to me as a student of this university and the world. I was recently going through some of my notes from that first semester and I found a piece of scrap paper from my first meeting with an academic adviser. We discussed potential majors and she encouraged me to jot down broad statements of interest, one of which read: I am interested in how, in our increasingly globalized world, our messy and yet wonderfully different conceptions of ourselves and others interact in incredibly beautiful, often violently horrifying ways. Though I will not pretend to have any great sense of certainty as to where or how I’ll be spending my days post-graduation, I have no doubt that this question/consideration will remain at the forefront. Regardless of what I choose to do after Carolina, I will be living and working and studying in a globalized society. And it is through and because of my experiences in Global Studies that I will be equipped to navigate the different spaces and cultures I am bound to find myself.
I’ve been blessed with several opportunities to travel, study, and volunteer abroad since first coming to Carolina. Though my experiences in Egypt and Uganda were undoubtedly formative, it was not until studying abroad in Morocco (in my junior year) that I truly learned what it is to connect with a place beyond my most immediate frame of reference. To articulate what Morocco means to me is much like describing the bright pepto-bismol blue of the medina walls, or the way the adhan or call to prayer dances in waves over the streets, or the way the tea sends shocks of sugar pulsing through your veins and into your toes. Though words can be employed, they are entirely insufficient, incomplete. Even after physically leaving after my program’s completion, I found myself longing to return, much in the same way we long for a sweetness we’ve only just tasted.
It seemed natural, then, to structure my honors thesis around some of the questions and experiences that shaped my time in abroad, simultaneously allowing me to keep a firm grasp on Morocco and enabling me to explore something of personal significance. The subject of my research focuses on the role of the body in dhikr, a Sufi ritual of remembrance. For Moroccans, the body in dhikr creates a certain type of intelligibility, becoming both an active agent and a canvas with which Moroccan lives are understood, constructed, and experienced. Through applying for a Senior Honors Thesis Grant for Global Studies, I was given the means to return to Morocco last May to conduct a portion of my research.
It feels strange responding to the question “How have these experiences changed you?” because it is so clear to me that my experience in Morocco has changed everything. It’s a bit cliché, I know, to say that a study abroad experience changed everything… to say that I cannot identify a single bit of my being that was not altered by and because of my experience. My Morocco – comprised of all the people, places, and ideas I encountered while there – opened my eyes and my heart to an entirely different way of living and being. It’s cliché, yes. A bit corny, definitely. But irrefutable all the same.