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The anthropology of happiness to be explored in Great Lectures Series

Duane Bonifer
MONMOUTH, Ill. – Happiness will be discussed and examined before this Saturday’s Monmouth College football game.

In the second installment of the Great Lectures Series, Monmouth anthropology professor Megan Hinrichsen will talk about “The Anthropology of Happiness.” Hinrichsen will speak from 10-11 a.m. in the Pattee Auditorium on the lower level of the Center for Science and Business. The talk is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.

The Great Lectures Series is a new pre-game event designed to showcase outstanding teaching and give Monmouth professors an opportunity to discuss their disciplines before every Monmouth home football game.

For Hinrichsen, Saturday’s lecture will also be an opportunity to explore new territory in her discipline. Hinrichsen currently does not teach about happiness, but she said that she hopes to offer classes about the topic in the near future.

“People might consider happiness to be something that anthropologists don’t talk about because it sounds more like psychology and other disciplines,” she said.

Hinrichsen will discuss happiness through the lens of anthropology and its four subfields – archaeological, biological, cultural and linguistic.

“A lot of anthropologists tend to look at social problems and the challenges that people have to overcome,” she said. “Instead of focusing on the challenges, I plan to look at how people stay resilient, how people find hope, how people continue fighting through these challenges.”