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Photo by Orin Zyvan ’04

Christian Anayas ’10

anthropology

Hometown: Southfield, Michigan

How Reed changed me:  After high school, I didn’t want to go to college—I wanted to be a chef. But in culinary school, I realized the limitations of vocational training. I was interested in the history of food, the culture of food, the science of food. They were teaching me how to make an omelet. Reed was the extreme opposite. I have been changed in innumerable ways. I learned a new language. I studied abroad. I feel that I can engage with the world around me more deeply. The scholarships and grants I received were hugely helpful to me.

Influential book: The Funeral Casino: Meditation, Massacre, and Exchange with the Dead in Thailand, by Alan Klima.

Cool stuff I did: Learned Chinese. Spent a year studying in Beijing. Reed Social Change Action Team. MRC. Model UN. Reed Arts Week. Eating Candy with Strangers. Ladies Pie Society. Ultimate Frisbee.

Adviser: Prof. Charlene Makley

Thesis: Milk Does a Nation Good: Development, Nutrition, and the Sinification of Milk

What it’s about: Milk, which historically was not a part of the Chinese diet, came to be viewed as a desirable food as a result of the introduction of Western scientific theories like social Darwinism, hygiene, and nutrition at the beginning of the 20th century. In my thesis I argue that milk was put in service of a burgeoning Chinese nationalism that linked bodily growth and development to national strength.

What it’s really about: Connecting my culinary background to my Reed education.

What’s next: Teach at a cooking camp for kids at Zenger Farm.

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