By Lillian Bowe
David Kilby, a professor of anthropology at Eastern New Mexico University, has a special love for movies. Whether its action, drama or comedy, Kilby is a fan.
His love for movies gave him the idea to start a class about how anthropologists and archaeologist are portrayed in the blockbuster movies. The class, which will be offered in the fall, is called Anthropology on the Silver Screen and it is open to anyone.
Kilby said he wanted to show the differences between how movies see anthropologists and archaeologists and what they do in real life.
“The ‘Indiana Jones’ movies do get some things right, but I work at Blackwater Draw and I don’t fight Nazis every day,” Kilby said.
The class will be 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and is still has open seats for students to join the class.
What is the purpose of the class?
The purpose of the class is to look at how anthropology and archaeologist are depicted in popular culture. Popular films are one of the most powerful forms of media in how it influences the masses. The films will show how people view anthropologist and archaeologist.
What is the structure of the class?
I will give a little background on the movie we will be watching. I set the movies into four different categories. I have depictions of westerners among indigenous peoples, depictions of our past, ancient curses and spells, depictions of anthropologist in the field and archaeologists as action heroes. After every movie, we will have discussion on the movie. The discussions will be the most important part and I will get to hear how the students feel about the film.
What is your favorite movie that you will be showing?
Well the “Indiana Jones” films are everyone’s favorite when you think about archaeologists and many in my field frown at the film, but they’re just fun. “The Mission,” is my favorite film, I’m showing. It is a very heart wrenching film and it will be interesting to see how the students react to it.
What do you hope students get out of the course?
Well you know fundamentally, I want the students to see how popular media presides over our ideas. For the anthropology or archaeology majors, I hope they get the idea of how most people see them as and maybe use movies like “Indiana Jones” to recruit people. Then they can show how the differences between real life and the movies.