SOAR Student Profiles

Emily Merian

Emily Merian

  • SOAR Position: Student
  • Major: Anthropology

Current Focus: The evolution of oral histories in France

Project Description

This summer I will be traveling to France with Dr. Saul as part of the MTSU Signature Program, Forensic Aviation Archaeology. We will be working at an excavation site in a small village in southwest France, just outside Paris. The trip is primarily focused on the archaeological aspect of the project, but since the focus for my major is cultural anthropology, I will be taking the opportunity to interview residents of the village while I am there. I'm hoping to compile interviews, notes, and other written word into an ethnographic essay, and possibly a presentation, once I get back to the United States.

Why does this topic interest you?

I have always been fascinated with all aspects of human cultural traditions, from the foods that people eat to the languages people speak and how these things impact culture and vice versa. Being able to talk to people about how significant events impact the way they perceive their own cultures and the world around them is truly a gift.

What are your professional aspirations?

After graduating with my bachelor's, I hope to go to graduate school for Anthropology to continue my studies. My end goal is to work in some sort of cultural research position, possibly with the government, so that I can help others and learn while I'm at it.

Do you have any advice for future researchers?

I haven't done an official research project yet myself, but for those who are interested in starting one I can definitely say one thing: pick something you're passionate about and dive headfirst into it. If you have a desire to learn about something, let that drive you. Let it lead you and help you grow as a person and as a researcher. And always ask for help! Nothing is more valuable than a good mentor.

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