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Futuristic Thinking

Anastasia Putri on Bethesda Row.

Photo by Cynthia Sumarijanto.

Anastasia Putri ’16 

Growing up on Indonesia’s Java island, Anastasia Putri ’16 learned the value of thinking ahead and thinking big. She’s applying that expansive worldview as a dance and anthropology double major who sees Dickinson as an "idea lab" where she is working to help establish a study-abroad dance program in her home country.


Theatre & Dance (dance concentration) and anthropology.

Clubs and organizations:

Dance Theatre Group (president), Hypnotic (president, secretary), The Dickinson Review (co-artistic director), Department of Theatre & Dance Student Advisory Board and Sustained Dialogue (moderator).


Dean’s List, Deans Scholarship and the Emil R. and Tamar Weiss Prize in the Creative Arts.

Favorite book:

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin.

Favorite movie:

The Fall (director: Tarsem Singh).

On choosing Dickinson:

To be honest, it was my mom’s first choice. Coming from an all-girls’ high school, I really wanted to continue the experience of sharing intellectual experiences with other empowered women.

The greater question is: Why did I choose to stay at Dickinson? After my first year at Dickinson, I saw that I could make an impact at the college, and I wanted to. My professors and friends encouraged me to "be myself," and I translated that into “I can do any project I want, and I’ll be fine. This school is like a testing ground for my ideas!”

And I did just that. I became events coordinator for the Dance Theatre Group (DTG), planned events and enjoyed it. DTG salons became my main project. It was a place where performance and visual artists from different corners of Dickinson came together and a created a safe space for one another. After the first DTG salon, I thought, “The universe conspired for me to be here. I am supposed to experience this.”

Favorite place on campus:

The Biblio Café’s cubicle seats, next to the large windows.

Favorite Dining Hall food:

Quinoa with feta.

Favorite class:

I am actually one of those people who gets an adrenaline rush looking at class listings, so this might be the hardest question. It’s between Social Distinctions (ANTH 336), Philosophy of Race and Gender and Modernism and the Body (THDA 316). Social Distinctions gave me a really strong foundation in understanding different cultures, which I could carry across different fields. Philosophy of Race and Gender made me realize the importance of weighing multiple outcomes of the contemporary racial and gender-activist movements; also, who knew gender metaphysics existed? Lastly, Modernism and the Body was a turning point for me. I knew dance was meaningful, but the class made me realize that I am a part of a movement lineage, and it helped me forge a sense of pride in my passion.

Most important thing I’ve learned so far:

It’s not just about academics at this point; it’s about making the right decisions for myself.

Favorite professor:

Indubitably [Director of Dance] Sarah Skaggs. She is a creative, deep-thinking and nonlinear-brained genius, and I have been blessed to meet her and learn from her. She pushes me to fearlessly believe in my choreography and my artistic passions.


I was in a band called Apaperheartplane, and we almost got signed in 2012.

Biggest influence:

My grandfather; he is an amazing person. He taught me the basic stuff, of course—how to be a hard worker, etc. He also always reminded me of my roots and taught me lessons about humility, the way the Javanese people see it. At the same time, he showed me how to be a human of the world—a global citizen—and a futuristic thinker. He was the one who encouraged me to study in the United States. He saw that being rooted to one’s culture and being able to navigate the world comfortably need not be mutually exclusive. 


About my internship:

This summer, I interned at Multicultural Community Service in Washington, D.C. I was interested in their mission to help the immigrant community gain access to civic life and assimilate to the D.C., Maryland and Virginia communities. The office in which I worked provides local institutions with interpreters and translators. (Under the 2004 Language Access Act of D.C., immigrants in the area have a right to receive information in their native language.)

Through this internship, I learned a lot about the tedious organizational tasks that come with working in a small nonprofit. This is a good lesson, because I think I should apply the same kind of organizational skills to my academic life during my senior year.

My current project:

I’m working on creating a study-abroad program in Indonesia. It really is a seed of an idea right now. I'm really passionate about opening my country up to new possibilities and enriching Indonesia’s [population] with a larger scope of knowledge—in this case, through cultural exchange.

Also, being an anthropology and dance double major, I see that Indonesia—and Southeast Asia in general—has a lot to offer American students; maybe an Indonesia study-abroad program could break down preconceived notions of a monolithic Asia. At the same time, I really want to leave some kind of legacy at Dickinson that’s not in the form of a building. I want to leave some kind of legacy that people can experience.

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Published October 9, 2015