Mentor: Amy Allocco
Project title: Nonviolence and the hierarchy of life: The function and ethics of contemporary Jain animal homes
This semester I presented at a number of conferences: The Southeastern Commission on the Study of Religion (SECSOR), National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), and Elon’s Student Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF). I also attended the only existent professional conference on Jain Studies at the University of London SOAS. In addition to conferences, I disseminated my research to the public through a photo exhibition on display in Lakeside dining hall, guest lectures in several Religious Studies classes, and a presentation at Life @ Elon. During this time, I also managed to work on my writing. I worked on two popular pieces relating to Jainism and my fieldwork—one for Huffington Post and the other for diaspora Jain publications—and I completed the editing and proofing process for my second paper which will be published shortly in the professional journal ASIANetwork Exchange.
On the surface, it appears that I have prepared myself to continue in the field of Religious Studies or more broadly in cultural research in an Anthropology department, and this is true. However, while these experiences have been fascinating and rewarding, I have come through my research experiences to know that these fields are not those which I wish to continue in. Instead, I intend to involve myself in the fields of food justice, sustainable agriculture, and environmental education—all “hobbies” of mine over the last four years. Despite this, I know that my Lumen experiences will be helpful to my future careers because of the developed skillsets (mentioned above) and the inner-drive and sense of achievement I have found in the process. This summer, I will be working full-time for Elon as both the Elon Community Garden and Loy Farm manager and the teaching assistant for the Elon Academy’s food and nutrition month-long course. Following this, I will continue to build upon my capacities as a research assistant for Dr. Rodney Parks, while I attempt to identify further employment prospects in the fields that I am most passionate.
Dr. Ann J. Cahill
Professor of Philosophy
Spence Pavilion 111
2340 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-5703
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