In collaboration with Cambodia Town, Inc., the Anthropology Department at California State University, Dominguez Hills presents the 3rd Cambodian Arts and Culture Exhibition on Saturday, Nov. 19 at MacArthur Park in Long Beach. The event, which showcases the art, language, and traditions of the largest Cambodian community outside of Cambodia, has provided an invaluable experience for students, who not only learn about ethnographic methods but also how to produce an exhibition about Cambodian culture.
Chair of anthropology Susan Needham is co-director of the Cambodian Community History and Archive Project with Karen Quintiliani of CSU Long Beach. For more than 20 years, they have each pursued their respective research interests in Long Beach’s Cambodian community, with projects that preserve the past for the next generation of Cambodian Americans and introduce the mainstream community to a rich and fascinating culture. She says that the exhibition is one of a range of local research projects that is available to all students at CSU Dominguez Hills.
“It is unusual for undergraduate anthropology majors to have a class in ethnographic field methods,” she says. “It is even more unusual for them to have the opportunity to conduct original research with a local group previously unknown to them. The Cambodians have a rich and complex history which students find enthralling. Having the opportunity to apply what they are reading about in class to a real-world research project brings it all alive for them. This is the best form of learning which will stick with them forever: learning-by-doing.”
For more information on the 3rd Cambodian Arts and Culture Exhibition, click here.