Heather Brinkman

Brinkman Heather

Graduate Student – North Dakota State University

I graduated from Longwood’s Anthropology program in 2012.  A few months later I moved my family to North Dakota to work on my masters in Anthropology at North Dakota State University.  Currently, I am finishing up my thesis on digital anthropology and applying for doctoral programs.  From Durkheim to Turner, to  Bollestroff, I have been influenced and inspired by society, symbolism, and digital anthropology.  My interests might at first glance seem divergent, but for me, they provide me with the tools I need to explore identity and community making.  The research I propose to do during my doctorate would be based upon examining the ways in which individuals are using the Internet strategically to change one’s religious traditions.  Are these individuals changing the traditions in order to suit their own needs?  Is the Internet allowing greater access to both “genuine” as well as “false” traditions?  These are just a few of the questions I hope to be able to answer as I focus on the African Diasporas of Voodoo in the United States and how it is being consumed and changed based upon the availability of the Internet as a resource.  My undergraduate work focused on religious change and my masters level work on digital anthropology, I propose to use my past work as a platform upon which my doctoral work will be based.  After I receive my PhD I plan to become a professor of anthropology.

I have to say that while people who do not live in Virginia might not know about Longwood University, you will not find a better set of professors.  Throughout my masters program I have been able to bring in the knowledge that I obtained from Dr. Jordan, Dr. Bates, and Dr. Dalton.  The three are a wealth of knowledge and support that you will not find anywhere else.  My hope is to be at least half the professor that any of these three are.

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