"I lived in West Germany as an exchange student in a household where the father is Syrian and pro-Middle East; and the mother’s family members were anti-fascist activists in WWII Germany. I was 18 years old and I was living in the U.S. occupied section of West Germany during the Reagan-Thatcher era. That was the beginning of seeing U.S. domestic politics, geopolitics, and the global position of the U.S. in a different way. My training is in anthropology, whose primary method is to really just listen, absorb, and attempt to understand where people are coming from and what’s at stake for them and their lives (what we call “participant observation”). The combination of my own political development and anthropological approaches are very complimentary in this regard."
In this interview excerpt, Kris Peterson explains how she began to see U.S. domestic politics and position differently as a teenager when she lived in West Germany as an exchange student.