Friday, June 13, 2014

Teaching Resources for Museum Anthropology

Dear readers, 

We want to thank those of you who provided your syllabus or reading lists to share here.  Below we have compiled these resources.  If you have a syllabus or course resources you'd like to share with our community, please email and we will post it at a later date. Although this our final post as editors of the journal, we hope that the discussion will continue on matters of pedagogy and teaching in our field.


Course: Museums and Indigenous Communities: Changing Relationships, Changing Practice [graduate course]
Dr. Cara Krmpotich 

This course explores the changing relationships between aboriginal source communities and museums holding their material heritage. We begin with a historical overview of collecting practices, the role of indigenous material culture in the development of museums, and the relationship between museums and colonialism. Contemporary case studies primarily drawn from post-colonial and settler contexts during the last three decades are investigated as a response to earlier practices. Students are challenged to use these case studies in order to interrogate ideas of the museum as a ‘contact zone’, the shifting meaning of objects, contemporary curatorial challenges, the potential of new museum practices, and source community expectations. Actual exhibitions, repatriation requests and museological dilemmas are used to engage critically with theoretical developments in material culture studies, material anthropology, art history, and indigenous studies.

  • explore the historic and contemporary relationships between museums and indigenous communities.
  • understand the influence of Canadian museum practice within the international dynamic of museums and indigenous communities.
  • generate creative, thoughtful and practical suggestions and solutions for the exhibition, interpretation and care of aboriginal material heritage.

Course Outline and Reading List

Week 1 Wednesday January 9: Definitions and Debates, Identities and Icons
Definitions of the following used by the Canadian Government, UNESCO, museum associations, and Indigenous organizations: Source communities; originating communities; descendent communities; Indigenous; Status and Recognition; Cultural property, heritage; intangible cultural property

Ruth Phillips. 2011. ‘A Preface – by Way of an Introduction’ in Museum Pieces: Toward
the Indigenization of Canadian Museums, McGill-Queen’s University Press. pp 3-22. [Available PDF in Blackboard]

Week 2 Wednesday January 16: Collecting Histories
Guest Amber Sandy, Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, to Introduce the Toronto Native Community History Project and First Story App

Cole, Douglas. 1995 [1985]. Captured Heritage: The Scramble for Northwest Coast Artifacts. Vancouver: UBC Press. E-book:
Gardner, Helen. 2004. ‘Gathering for God: George Brown and the Christian Economy in
the Collection of Artefacts.’ In Hunting the Gatherers: Ethnographic Collectors, Agents and Agency in Melanesia, 1870s-1930s. Oxford: Berghahn. Pp. 35-54. [Available PDF in Blackboard]
Hamilton, Michelle. 2010. Collections and Objections: Aboriginal Material Culture in
         Southern Ontario. Montreal, Kingston: McGill-Queen’s Press. **Chapter 2, For the
         General Good of Science: Historical and Scientific Society Museums [PDF in
Phillips, Ruth. 1998. Trading Identities: the souvenir in Native American art from the
         Northeast, 1700-1900. Hong Kong: University of Washington Press.
         **Chapters 1 & 2.  [Available PDF in Blackboard]

Week 3 Wednesday January 23: Colonial and National Identities in the Museum
  • Empire vs Natural History
  • Progress vs Static
  • Art vs Artifact

Archuleta, Elizabeth. 2005. “Gym Shoes, Maps, and Passports, Oh My!” In American Indian Quarterly 29 (3/4): 426-449. [Available PDF in Blackboard]
Clifford, James. “Museums as Contact Zones,” in his book Routes: Travel and Transformation in the Late Twentieth Century, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (1997), pp. 107-45.  [Available PDF in Blackboard]     
Doxtator, Deborah. 1996. ‘The Implications of Canadian Nationalism for Aboriginal Cultural Autonomy’ In Curatorship: indigenous perspectives in post-colonial societies, pp 56-76. Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Civilization.  [Available PDF in Blackboard]
Henare, Amiria. 2004. “Rewriting the Script: Te Papa Tongarewa the Museum of New
         Zealand.” In Social Analysis 48(1): 55-63. [Available PDF in Blackboard]
Phillips, Ruth B 2005. ‘Re-placing Objects: Historical Practices for the Second Museum
Age.’ In The Canadian Historical Review 86(1): 83-110. (e-article)

Week 4 Wednesday January 30: Why Objects Matter: identity, memory, healing
Guest Speaker: Dr Maureen Matthews, Curator, Ethnology, Manitoba Museum
  • Kinship and Ancestry
  • Reconciliation
  • Physical engagement, embodied memory
  • Nostalgia

Askren, Mique’l Icesis. 2009. ‘Memories of Glass and Fire’. In Visual Currencies:
Reflections on Native Photography H Lidchi and H Tsinhnahjinnie (Eds), pp
91-107. Edinburgh: National Museums Scotland.  [Available PDF in Blackboard]
McRanor, Shauna. 1997. ‘Maintaining the Reliability of Aboriginal Oral Records and
their Material Manifestations: Implications for Archival Practice.’ In Archivaria
Tapsell, Paul. 2011. ‘”Aroha mai: Whose museum?”: The rise of indigenous ethics within
         museum contexts: A Maori-tribal perspective.’ In The Routledge Companion to
         Museum Ethics J Marstine (ed), London and New York: Routledge. Pp. 85-111.
         [Available PDF in Blackboard]
Te Awekotuku, Ngahuia. 2008. ‘Mata Oro: Chiseling the Living Face, Dimensions of
         Maori Tattoo.’ In Sensible Objects: Colonialism, Museums and Material Culture,
         E Edwards, C Gosden and R Phillips (eds), pp 121-140. Oxford: Berg. **and
          skim the rest of the book.  [Available PDF in Blackboard]
Thornton, Russell. 2002. ‘Repatriation as healing the wounds of the trauma of
history: cases of Native Americans in the United States of America.’ In The
Dead and Their Possessions: repatriation in principle, policy and practice
(eds.) C. Fforde, J. Hubert and P. Turnbull, pp. 17-24. New York, London: Routledge. [e-book ]

Week 5 Wednesday February 6 Why Objects Matter: history, economy, politics
Exhibition Review due in Class
  • Cultural property
  • Historical documentation
  • Trade histories, Tourist Art, the Art Market

In class film: Inuit Piqutingit (That Which Belongs To Inuit)

Brown, Michael C. 1998. ‘Can Culture Be Copyrighted?’ in Current Anthropology 39(2):
193-223. [Available as PDF in Blackboard and e-journal]
Ettawageshick, Frank. 1999. My Father's Business. In Unpacking Culture: Art and
Commodity in Colonial and Postcolonial Worlds, R Phillips and C Steiner,
(eds), pp 20-29. Berkeley: University of California Press.  [Available PDF in
Glass, Aaron. 2011. ‘Objects of Exchange: Material Culture, Colonial Encounter and
Indigenous Modernity.’ In Objects of Exchange: Social and Material
Transformation on the Late Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast, A Glass (ed), pp 3-35. New York, New Haven: Bard, Yale University Press. [PDF in Blackboard]
Penny, David W. 2007. ‘Captain’s Coats’ In Three Centuries of Woodlands Indian
         Art, J King and C Feest (eds), pp. 85-91. Altenstadt, Germany: FZK Publishers. 
         [Available PDF in Blackboard]
Skotnes, Pippa. 2001. ‘”Civilised Off the Face of the Earth”: Museum Display and the
Silencing of the /Xam’ In Poetics Today 22(2): 299-321. [Available as PDF in

Week 6 Wednesday February 13: Challenges to Museums

Ames, Michael M. ‘How to decorate a house: the renegotiation of cultural
representations at the University of British Columbia Museum of
Anthropology’ in Museums and Source Communities, L Peers and A Brown
(eds), pp 171-180. London: Routledge.  [e-book
Hanna, Margaret. 1999. ‘A time to choose: ‘Us’ versus ‘Them,’ or ‘all of us together.’
Nason, James. 2000. ‘Our’ Indians: the unidimensional Indian in the disembodied
local past. In The Changing Presentation of the American Indian: Museums
and Native cultures. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. See also essay
by David Penney in this volume.  [Available PDF in Blackboard]
Task Force on Museums and First Peoples. 1992 (2nd edition). Turning the Page:
forging new partnerships between museums and First Peoples, Ottawa:
Assembly of First Nations and the Canadian Museums Association.

The Spirit Sings Exhibition-related readings:
Julia Harrison, Bruce Trigger and Michael Ames, “Museums and Politics: The Spirit Sings and the Lubicon Boycott,” Muse, Fall 1988, pp. 12-16, 22, 24. 
Alfred Young Man, “Review,” American Indian Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Winter, 1990), pp. 71-73.  [e-article]
M.L. Vanessa Vogel, “The Glenbow Controversy and the Exhibition of North American Art,” Museum Anthropology, Vol.14, no.4, 7-11.  [e-article]
Julia Harrison, “The Spirit Sings: The Last Song?,” International Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship, 1988, 7(4): 353-363.  [e-article]
Thomas H. Wilson, Georges Erasmus, and David W. Penney, “Museums and First Peoples in Canada,” Museum Anthropology, 1992, 16.2, 6-11.  [e-article] 

Week 7 Wednesday February 20: READING BREAK. NO CLASS.

Week 8 Wednesday February 27: Histories of Repatriation
  • Artifacts and Human Remains
  • Treaties, Laws and Moral Agreements
  • Emotions behind Politics

Dumont, Clayton W. Jr. 2003. The Politics of Scientific Objections to Repatriation.
Wicazo Sa Review 18(1): 109-128.  [e-article]
Fforde, Cressida, Jane Hubert and Paul Turnbull, (eds.) 2002. The Dead and Their
Possessions: repatriation in principle, policy and practice. New York, London:
Routledge. ** especially Isaac and Ayau and Tengan. [e-book]
Mihesuah, Devon A. (ed.) 2000. Repatriation Reader: Who Owns American Indian
Remains? Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 
Runde, Aileen. 2010. ‘The Return of Wampum Belts: Ethical Issues and the Repatriation
of Native American Archival Materials.’ In Journal of Information Ethics 19(1): 33-
44. [Available PDF in Blackboard]
Yellowman, Connie Hart. 1996. ‘Naevahoo’ohtseme’ – We Are Going Back Home:
The Cheyenne Repatriation of Human Remains—A Woman’s Perspective.

Week 9 Wednesday March 6: Contemporary Faces of Repatriation
Guest Speaker: Janis Montrose, Executive Director, Woodland Cultural Centre
  • Visual, Virtual, Knowledge and Figurative Repatriation

Bell, Joshua A. ‘Looking to see: reflections on visual repatriation in the Purari Delta,
Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea’ in Museums and Source Communities, L
Peers and A Brown (eds), London: Routledge. Pg 111-121. [e-book]
Crouch, Michelle. 2010. ‘Digitization as Repatriation? The National Museum of the
American Indian’s Fourth Museum Project’. In Journal of Information Ethics
19(1): 45-56.
gii-dahl-guud-sliiaay. 1995. Cultural Perpetuation: Repatriation of First Nations
Cultural Heritage. Material Culture In Flux: Law and Policy of Repatriation of
Cultural Property (theme issue), University of British Columbia Law Review:
Kramer, Jennifer. 2004. Figurative Repatriation: First Nations ‘Artist-Warriors’
Recover, Reclaim, and Return Cultural Property through Self-Definition. Journal of Material Culture 9(2):161-182.  [e-article]
Krmpotich, Cara. 2010. Remembering and Repatriation: The Production of Kinship,
Memory and Respect. Journal of Material Culture 15(2): 157-179.  [e-article]

Week 10 Wednesday March 13: Changing Practice
  • Exhibitions Collaboration and Curation

Conaty, Gerry. ‘Glenbow’s Blackfoot Gallery: working towards co-existence’, in
         Museums and Source Communities, L Peers and A Brown (eds), London:
         Routledge. Pg 227-240.  [e-book]
Kahn, Miriam. 2000. Not really Pacific Voices: Politics of representation in
collaborative museum exhibits. Museum Anthropology 24(1): 57-74.  
Kreps, Christina. 2009. Indigenous curation, museums, and intangible cultural
heritage. In Intangible Heritage, L Smith and N Akagawa (eds), pp 193-208..
London and New York: Routledge.  [Available PDF in Blackboard]
McMaster, Gerald (ed). 1998. Reservation X: the power of place in aboriginal art.
Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Civilization. [e-book] 
Nicks, Trudy ‘Introduction: Museums and contact work’ in Museums and Source
Communities, L Peers and A Brown (eds), London: Routledge. Pg 19-26.  [e-book]

Week 11 Wednesday March 20: Changing Practice
  • Equality in Research
  • Collections Management, Conservation and Handling

In class film: ‘Everything Was Carved’

Clavir, Miriam. 2002. Preserving What is Valued. Vancouver: UBC Press.  [e-book]
Fienup-Riordan, Ann. 1998. Yup’ik Elders in Museums: Fieldwork Turned on its Head. Arctic Anthropology 35(2): 49-58.  [e-article]
Sullivan, Lawrence and Alison Edwards (eds). 2004. Stewards of the Sacred.
            Washington, D.C.: American Association of Museums, **especially Section
            Three, and the essay ‘Managing the Sacred: Collection Development at the Woodland Cultural Centre’ by Tom Hill.
Thompson, Judy, and Ingrid Diana Kritsch. 2005. Long ago sewing we will remember: the story of the Gwich'in traditional caribou skin clothing project. Québec: Canadian Museum of Civilization.
Underhill, Karen J. 2006. Protocols for Native American Archival Material In RBM: A
Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage 7(2): 134-145.   
**And for a look at the Protocols discussed by Underhill, see First Archivists Circle. 2007. Protocols for Native American Archival Materials:

Week 12 Wednesday March 27: Changing Technology
  • On-line catalogues and exhibitions
  • Meanings of Virtual Objects
  • Technology of Enchantment, Enchantment of Technology

Research Projects Due in Class

Brown, Deirdre. 2007. ‘Te Ahu Hiko: digital cultural heritage and indigenous objects,
people and environments.’ In Theorizing digital cultural heritage: a critical
discourse, F Cameron and S Kenderdine (eds), pp 77-92. Cambridge Mass:
MIT Press.  [Available PDF in Blackboard]
Christen, Kim. 2012. ‘Does Information Really Want to be Free? Inidigenous Knowledge
Systems and the Question of Openness.’ In International Journal of
Communication 6: 2870-2893. [PDF in Blackboard]
Geismar, Haidy and William Mohns. 2011. ‘Social relationships and digital relationships:
rethinking the database at the Vanuatu Cultural Centre.’ In Journal of the Royal
Anthropological Institute (N.S.), S133-S155. [Available as PDF in Blackboard]
Isaac, Gwyneira. 2009. "Digital Enchantments: Identifying with Electronic Media at
the National Museum of the American Indian" in Visual Currencies:
Reflections on Native Photography, H. Lidchi & H Tsinhnahjinnie, (eds.), 77-
89. Edinburgh: National Museums Scotland.  [Available PDF in Blackboard]
Library and Archives Canada. Aboriginal Resources and Services Portal.
Monash University Information Technology. Koorie Archiving: Trust and Technology

Week 13 Wednesday April 3: Indigenous Museums and Heritage Centres
  • Separation vs Integration

Presentation of Research Projects for Colleagues

Campisi, Jack. 2007. ‘On Building the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research
         Centre’ In Three Centuries of Woodlands Indian Art (Eds) J King and C Feest,
pp. 161-169. Altenstadt, Germany: FZK Publishers. [Available PDF in Blackboard]
Clifford, James. 1991. Four Northwest Coast Museums: Travel Reflections.
Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display (eds.) I. Karp
and S. Levine, 212-254. Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution
Press.  [Available PDF in blackboard]
Erikson, Patricia Pierce. 2004. ‘Defining Ourselves Through Baskets’: Museum
         Autoethnography and the Makah Cultural and Research Centre in Coming to
         Shore: Northwest Coast Ethnology, Visions and Traditions (eds) M Mauze, M
         Harkin and S Kan, pp 339-361. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska
Press.  [Available PDF in Blackboard]
Hill, Richard W. 2003. ‘Meeting Ground: The Reinstallation of the Art Gallery of
         Ontario’s McLaughlin Gallery’ In Making a Noise! Aboriginal Perspectives on
         Art, Art History, Critical Writing and Community (ed) L Martin, pp 51-70. Banff:
Banff International Curatorial Institute.  [Available PDF in Blackboard]


Presentation: During the first class, students will choose one week to present a synthesis of the week’s readings to the class. This is not a summary of the content, but rather a presentation and analysis of recurring themes. The presentations will start each class and should be 20 to 25 minutes. Students will work in groups of three for their presentations. If numbers require it, some weeks may have four students. Groups will be determined in the first week of class.

Exhibition Review: Students shall visit a Toronto-based museum or gallery exhibition that includes indigenous material culture. Students will prepare a review of the exhibit, drawing upon the examples and theory encountered in the course, to constructively critique the exhibition and provide alternatives or solutions to any problems identified. Reviews should be no longer than 5 double-spaced pages.

Research Projects: Each student will participate in one group-project. Groups will be determined in the second week of class.

First Story App Research: 3 to 4 students
In support of the Toronto Native Community History Project’s development of the First Story App, students will conduct research regarding aboriginal histories relevant to specific areas within the GTA. Students will present a portfolio of research findings for use within TNCHP, as well as app-suitable write-ups to facilitate inclusion of the research into the app. Research will focus on the following locations:

1. Rouge River Valley - Ganatsekwyagon, Seneca Village close to Lakeshore,   
south of Rouge Park
2. Scarborough Bluffs
3. Lake Ontario - The name, waterways, transportation used etc.
4. Indian road - A path used by First Nations
5. Dundas Street - created by Simcoe with the help of the Haudenesaunee, was the first road that Europeans built
6. Laurence Hall and City Hall - Toronto coat of Arms, original one still on Laurence hall, see how it has changed over the years and its images of Native people, now represented by an eagle
7. Baby Point
Please note that a pre-existing intellectual property rights agreement pertains to this project, such that all research results and text become the property of the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto.

This project targets a range of skills, including: Historical research of primary sources including archives, architecture, oral histories, and potentially U of T Elders-in-residence; Historical research using secondary sources; Presentation of research results; Writing for the Web; Enhanced knowledge of app development; Project Management

Revisiting the Task Force Report: Groups of 3 to 5 students:
It has been twenty years since the Canadian Museums Association and Assembly of First Nations released the results of their national survey assessing the relationships between museums and indigenous communities in Canada. Very little exists that seeks to measure the influence of the Task Force Report: a student presentation at a conference; an early and brief article by Trudy Nicks, and an unpublished transcription of an MMSt-led special panel revisiting the Task Force from 2010.

Your task is to design tools to assess the extent to which the recommendations and priorities of the Task Force Report have been fulfilled, and also to design tools to establish current priorities for indigenous and museum relations.

Groups are expected to prepare the evaluation tools and handbook/manual to guide the collection of data with the ultimate goal being a product of sufficient quality for submission to the CMA and AFN. Groups should also prepare a report that discusses their choices for their research design.

This project targets a range of skills, including: Development of evaluation strategies; Research design; Research of primary and secondary sources, including original Task Force Report materials and unpublished transcripts of panel discussion featuring Trudy Nicks (ROM), Gerald McMaster (AGO) and Andrea LaForet (CMC); Practices/Handbook and Report writing; Project Management; Potentially consultation with national bodies such as CMA and AFN.

First Nations, Inuit and Metis in the new Canadian Museum of History: Groups of 3 to 5 students:

The Canadian Museum of Civilization is embarking on a new vision for itself as the Canadian Museum of History. President and CEO, Mark O’Neil, has stated that while the First Peoples Hall will remain, the intention is to integrate indigenous content into the re-vamped Canada Hall.

Consider what indigenous objects, events, and/or people should be included in the new Hall. Present curatorial or theoretical frameworks for your choices, as well as potential interpretive strategies that support your intentions. Since no curatorial or interpretive approach has been set for the new Hall, you are able to set the broader context: consider how your curatorial & interpretive strategies might play out across the Hall as a whole.

Groups should present a written explanation for their curatorial and interpretive choices, as well as sample text labels demonstrating historical research, installation sketches, images of objects, documents or photographs to be used.

This project targets a range of skills, including:Engagement with crowd-sourcing, via the CMH’s website; Interpretive planning;Curatorial research; Exhibition planning; A variety of writing modes such as report-writing, text labels, and/or exhibition briefs.

Students interested in this option should consider having a group member visit and document the First Peoples Hall, existing Canada Hall, and talk about the new museum vision by Jean-Marc Blais.

Repatriation for the Future: Groups of 3 to 5 students:
NAGPRA is now more than twenty years old, while Canada’s policy-based approach to repatriation is just twenty-years old. NAGPRA is being reviewed this year for clarity of language, but some wonder whether more than just the language requires clarification.
This project asks students to compare and contrast repatriation case studies from the US, Canada, and the UK: more specifically, students will compare the repatriation of indigenous material heritage and human remains to source communities, with the repatriation of material heritage and private property confiscated by the Nazi Party, and subsequently returned to individuals, families and heirs through the Spoliation process (UK) and the Nazi Era Provenance Portal (a non-legislative approach by American museums).

Consider the parameters that make these approaches successful or unsuccessful; what can countries learn from each other’s modes for repatriation? Consider whether these models work for digital material heritage, intellectual property, or other “objects” and “property” that were not as prescient in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In other words, explore the current and future challenges for repatriation work.

Students should present their findings in an article format, with the ultimate goal being submission of the paper to a peer-reviewed journal.

This project targets a range of skills, including: Research of secondary, and potentially primary, resources; Comparative analysis; Development of area expertise; Academic writing and scholarly communication; Article preparation.


Course: Museum Anthropology [undergraduate/graduate course]
Dr. Cory Willmott

This course situates anthropology museums among the various types of museums, examines the roles of museums in the history of anthropology, and explores contemporary issues in North American museum anthropology in the three fields of anthropology that are currently involved with museums (archaeology, biological and cultural). Due to current trends in the field, there will be a strong emphasis on relations between museum anthropologists and Native Americans; however, some attention will also be given to international issues.

Course Objectives
1) To impart upper level knowledge of anthropological approaches to the collection and display of physical, archaeological and ethnological heritage items.
2) To develop skills in reading comprehension, critical thinking, library research, and written communication in/about anthropological research.
3) To develop an understanding of the ethical issues involved in the collection, study and display of physical, archaeological and ethnological heritage items.

Required Texts
IMW - Introduction to Museum Work (G. Ellis Burcaw, 1997)
EC - Exhibiting Cultures (Ivan Karp and Steven D. Levine, eds., 1991)

Course Outline


Introduction Lecture: What is Museum Anthropology?
Exercise: Survey
Reading: IMW pp.13-22; 37-55

Collecting Theory
Lecture: Collecting Art, History and Science
Exercise: The Art/Culture System
Reading: IMW pp. 56-72

Anthropology Museums
Lecture: Collecting in the Four Fields of Anthropology
Reading: MM Ch. 3

History of Ethnographic Collecting
Exercise: Reading Worksheet
Reading: BB Willmott (Museum Praxis)

History of Ethnographic Exhibitions
Lecture: Evolution of World’s Fairs
Video: Ishi
Reading: EC Ch. 18, Hinsley
Willmott, Cory. 2006. “The Historical Praxis of Museum Anthropology: A Canada/US Comparison.” In Historicizing Canadian Anthropology. J. Harrison and R. Darnell, eds. Pp. 212- 225. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.


Introduction to NAGPRA; Human Remains
Exercise: Term Test 1
Video: Bones of Contention (49 min.)
Reading: Chapters from: Miheshuah, Devon, ed. 2000. Repatriation Reader: Who Owns American Indian Remains? Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press.
Trope and Echo-Hawk, on NAGPRA and NAGPRA act in appendix.

The NAGPRA Debate
Exercise: NAGPRA scenarios
Reading: Landau and Steele, on archaeologists’ perspectives

Case Studies: Repatriation
Lecture: Virtual Repatriation: RRN and GRASAC
Video: Box of Treasures
Reading: Jacknis, on a case study of Native American perspectives
Alexander, Edward, and Mary Alexander. 2008. “Natural History and Anthropology Museums.” In Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums,Second Edition. Pp.53-84. New York: Alta Mira Press.

Ethics in Art & Archaeology
Video: Stealing History (52 min.)

Ethics in Ethnology
Video: Smithsonian National Museum for the American Indian (28 min.)
Reading: Wastiau, Boris. 2008. African Art at the Museum of Ethnography in Geneva (MEG). African Arts 41(1):1-7.


Construction of Meaning and Value 1
Exercise: Term Test 2; Three Sites of Meaning”
Reading: Willmott, Cory. 2008. Visitors’ Voices: Lessons from Conversations in the Royal Ontario Museum’s Gallery of Canada: First Peoples. Material Culture Review 67:45-55.

Construction of Meaning and Value 2
Exercise: “The Fragment”
Reading: EC Ch.20 pp.386-416 Kirshenblatt- Gimblett

Hierarchy of Senses in Museums
Lecture: Anishnaabe Metal Arts
Exercise: Musical Instruments
Reading: EC Ch.22 Hudson

Emic vs. Etic Representations
Video: Shooting Indians
Reading: C Ch.14 Clifford

Intangible Heritage
Lecture: Folk Festivals and Dances/National Identities
Reading: EC Ch. 17 Kurin


Course: History, identity, memory, and ‘things’ [graduate seminar]
Dr. Laura Peers

This graduate seminar was designed to help me think through current research interests on historic objects and social healing for indigenous people. It reflects my own intellectual history and that of the Pitt Rivers Museum. The syllabus was used in winter 2013 and reflects the opening of an exhibition at the Pitt Rivers Museum about the Blackfoot Shirts Project at the end of the term, with a visiting Blackfoot delegation.

This seminar considers issues surrounding relationships between material objects and indigenous histories, and the use of museum objects to strengthen indigenous identities today. The focus is on North American indigenous groups with additional material from Australia and New Zealand.

Structure: Teaching will be through 8 seminars of 2 hours each. Students will be expected to participate actively in all discussions and to do all the readings for each week. In addition to the core seminars, there will be visits to artefacts in the Pitt Rivers Museum both in and out of case.

Each student will be responsible for synthesizing the main emphases of the readings for one week and giving a presentation of no more than 20 minutes to the group. You should assume that everyone has done the readings, so this is not a summary of each reading; rather, you should give an overview of the issues within the topic and their implications for other topics covered across the classes. On the day you do your presentation, you should submit a paper of ca.10 double-spaced pages on the subject. There will be a final examination for this seminar in Trinity term.

Week 1: Class organization and definitions  

Series organization. Preliminary discussion: what is a museum, what is an artefact, what is a source community, what is an ‘indigenous person’:  stereotypes and complexities. Contexts of indigenous histories and their contemporary intersection with museum collections.

**Visit with historic artifact, Pitt Rivers Museum, conservation studio.

-definitions of indigeneity (real, political, and provocative…): explore these and any other definitions you can find before class, and be prepared to discuss how such definitions evolve and what their purposes are:

-for Canada, see: (this is the Indian Affairs site, which also gives details of legal relations between status/non-status/Metis/Inuit groups and the federal government)

-case studies: Indigenous cultures, identities, histories, memories, sensory engagements and ‘objects’:

-** watch before class: ‘Everything was carved,’ video on Haida visit to PRM [ ]
-‘Visit to Glenbow with the Kainai Studies Students to see the visiting War Shirts from the Pitt Rivers Museum of Oxford, England’ (this is a video taken by Adrienne Heavy Head of the Blackfoot Digital Library during a class visit as part of the Blackfoot Shirts Project; it shows ceremonialist Alan Pard lecturing to students and various interactions with the shirts: just dip into it)

Week 2: Sensory engagements with objects: How do sensory engagements with objects stimulate or provoke responses? What kinds of responses are observed, and what kinds of knowledge are they linked to?

Edwards, E., C. Gosden and R. Phillips (eds.) 2006. Sensible Objects: Colonialism, Museums and Material Culture. Oxford: Berg. *Introduction and essays by Te Akwekotukutu (‘Mata Ora: Chiselling the Living Face) and Classen and Howes (‘The museum as sensescape: western sensibilities and indigenous artefacts’)

EITHER: Arigho, B. 2008. ‘Getting a Handle on the Past: the Use of Objects in Reminiscence Work.’ Pp. 205-212 in Touch in Museums: Policy and Practice in Object Handling, ed. H. Chatterjee. Oxford: Berg.
Chaterjee, H, et. al. 2009. ‘Museopathy: Exploring the Healing Potential of Handling Museum Objects.’ Museum and Society 7:164-177.

Seremetakis, N. 1996. The senses still: perception and memory as material culture in modernity. Chicago: U of Chicago Press. *read pp.1-18.

Dudley, S. 2009. ‘Museum Materialities: Objects, Sense and Feeling.’ Pp.1-17 in Museum Materialities: Objects, Engagements, and Interpretations, ed. S. Dudley. London: Routledge. 

Edwards, E. 2010. ‘Photographs and History: Emotion and Materiality.’ Pp.21-38 in Museum Materialities: Objects, Engagements, and Interpretations, ed. S. Dudley. London: Routledge. 

Fienup-Riordan, A. 2005. Things of our Ancestors. U Washington Press. (read the Introduction, chapter ‘First Day’ and chapter ‘Fifteenth Day’)

Supplementary reading --not necessary for the class, but pursue if you wish:

            Classen, Constance. 2005. The Book of Touch. Oxford: Berg.

Chatterjee, Helen, ed. 2008. Touch in Museum: policy and practice in object handling. Oxford: Berg.

Howes, D. ed., 2004. Empire of the Senses. Berg.

Harkin, M. 2003. ‘Feeling and Thinking in Memory and Forgetting: Towards an Ethnohistory of the Emotions.’ Ethnohistory 50(2):261-284.

Pink, Sarah. 2010. ‘The future of sensory anthropology/the anthropology of the senses.’ Social Anthropology 18(3): 331-333.

Pye, Elizabeth, ed. 2007. The Power of touch: handling objects in museum and heritage contexts.  Left Coast Press.

Saunderson, Helen. 2011. ‘ ‘Do Not Touch’: A Discussion on the Problems of a Limited Sensory Experience with Objects in a Gallery or Museum Context. Pp.159-170 in The Thing about Museums: Objects and Experience, Representation and Contestation, eds. S. Dudley et al. London: Routledge.

Week 3: Indigenous identities and museum objects: How is identity constructed/reconstructed in Indigenous communities? How do museum objects contribute to these processes?

Farrell Racette, S. 2009. Looking for stories and unbroken threads: museum artifacts as women’s history and cultural legacy. In Valaskaskis and Stout, eds, Restoring the balance: First Nations women, community and culture (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press).

Clifford, J. 2004. ‘Looking Several Ways: Anthropology and Native Heritage in Alaska.’ Current Anthropology 45 (1):5-30.

Lyons, C. 2002. ‘Objects and Identities: Claiming and Reclaiming the Past.’ In Barkan and Bush, eds, Claiming the stones/Naming the Bones: Cultural Property and the Negotiation of National and Ethnic Identity (Getty Research Institute).

Parkin, D. 1999. ‘Mementos as Transitional Objects in Human Displacement.’
Journal of Material Culture 4(3):303-320.

Tapsell, P.1997, 'The flight of Pareraututu, ' Journal of the Polynesian Society, 106.4: 323–74.

Week 4: Indigenous histories and museum objects: How do Indigenous histories and culturally-mediated narrations of the past combine to make museum objects valuable to Indigenous communities today?

Krmpotich, C. 2010. ‘Remembering and Repatriation: The Production of Kinship, Memory and Respect.’ Journal of Material Culture 15: 157-179.

Edwards, E. 2006. ‘Photographs and the Sound of History.’ Visual Anthropology Review 21 (1,2): 27-46.

Friedman, J. 1992. ‘The Past in the Future: History and the Politics of Identity.’ American Anthropologist 94(4): 837–859.

Phillips, R. 2005. ‘Re-placing Objects: Historical Practices for the Second Museum Age.’ Canadian Historical Review 86 (1):83-110.

Binney, J. and G. Chaplin. 2003. ‘Taking the photographs home: the recovery of a Maori history.’ In Peers and Brown, eds., Museums and Source Communities (Routledge).

Hafner, D. 2010. ‘Viewing the Past through Ethnographic Collections: Indigenous People and the Materiality of Objects and Images.’ Museum History Journal 3:257-280.

Week 5: Memory and objects

How is memory socially constructed, and how is it socially maintained (or altered)? How do museum objects function within collective memory?

Cruikshank, J. 2002.  ‘Oral History, Narrative strategies, and Native American historiography.’ In: Shoemaker, Nancy, ed. 2002. Clearing a Path: theorizing the past in Native American studies. London/NY: Routledge.

Hallam, E and J Hockey. Death, Memory and Material Culture.  (Berg) (read introduction and to p.43).

Nora, P. 1989. ‘Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoires.’
Representations No. 26 Special Issue: Memory and Counter-Memory: 7-24.

Seremetakis, N. 1994. The Senses Still: Perception and Memory as Material Culture in Modernity (University of Chicago Press). (read pp.1-18).

Climo, J. and M. Cattell (eds) 2002. Social Memory and History: Anthropological Perspectives.  Oxford: Altamira   *Robert Archibald essay and intro

Golden, C. 2005. ‘Where does memory reside, and why isn’t it history?’ American Anthropologist 107 (2):270-274.

Miller, D., and F. Parrott. 2009. ‘Loss and Material Culture in South London.’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 15: 502-519.

Week 6 What objects ‘do’ (in relation to indigenous histories): Are reconnection projects involving indigenous people and historic objects ‘healing,’ and if so, how?

Whitbeck, Les et al. 2004. ‘Conceptualizing and Measuring Historical Trauma among American Indian People.’ American Journal of Community Psychology 33: 119-30.

Chandler, M., and C. Lalonde. ‘Cultural continuity as a moderator of suicide risk among Canada’s First Nations.’ [pdf available online at: ]

Racette, S. ‘Confessions and reflections of an Indigenous research warrior,’ p57

Thompson, J., and I. Kritsch. 2005. Long ago sewing we will remember: the story of the Gwich'in traditional caribou skin clothing project. Québec: Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Thornton, R. 2004. ‘Repatriation as healing the wounds of the trauma of history,’ in Fforde et al, The Dead and their Possessions, pp.17-24.
Yellowman, C. 1996 'Naevahoo'ohtseme' - We are Going Home: The Cheyenne Repatriation of Human Remains' St Thomas Law Review 9: 103-116.

Tapsell, P. 2001. Pukaki: A Comet Returns.  * read Introduction and chapter ‘Comet’, and dip into the rest of the book.

Peers, L. 2003. 2003 ‘Strands which refuse to be braided: hair samples from Beatrice Blackwood’s collection at the Pitt Rivers Museum.’ Journal of Material Culture  8(1):75-96. Online at:

Butler, Beverley. 2011. ‘Heritage as pharmakon and the Muses as deconstruction: problematizing curative museologies and heritage healing.’ Pp. 354-371 in The Thing About Museums: Objects and Experience, Representation and Contestation, eds. S. Dudley et al. London: Routledge.

Connerton, Paul. 2011. The Spirit of Mourning: History, Memory and the Body. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

You may wish to check out the general news and publications of the Canadian Aboriginal Healing Foundation, and the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation,

Week 7 ‘Handling’ Digital Indigenous Heritage

Salmond, A. ‘Digital Subjects, Cultural Objects: Special Issue introduction.’Journal of Material Culture September 2012 17: 211-228,

                                Ngata, W., H. Ngata-Gibson, and A. Salmond. ‘Te Ataakura: Digital taonga and cultural innovation Journal of Material Culture September 2012 17: 229-244.
                                Maui Solomon and Susan Thorpe. Taonga Moriori: Recording and revival Journal of Material Culture September 2012 17: 245-263.
Carl Hogsden and Emma K Poulter. The real other? Museum objects in digital contact networks Journal of Material Culture September 2012 17: 265-286.
                                Jenny Newell Old objects, new media: Historical collections, digitization and affect Journal of Material Culture September 2012 17: 287-306.

Week 8 Being Blackfoot and working with museum objects: a discussion with Alvine Mountain Horse, Narcisse Blood, Joey Blood.


Course Materials: Museums & Critical Heritage  [undergraduate course]
Dr. Kathleen Fine-Dare 

We explore the rapidly growing, international field of critical heritage studies. The focus is on what museums, monuments, cultural performances, and other places and events dedicated to local, regional, and world heritage signify regarding the relationship of public culture to identity and power. Case studies of tourist destinations, heritage sites, and museum exhibits are a central part of the course.
Required texts

Voices of a Thousand People: The Makah Cultural and Research Center.  Patricia Pierce Erikson, with Helma Ward & Kirk Wachendorf.  Foreword by Janine Bowechop.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press (2002). 

Contested Histories in Public Space: Memory, Race, and Nation.  Daniel J. Walkowitz and Lisa Maya Knauer, eds.  Durham NC: Duke University Press (2009).

Letting Go? Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World.  Bill Adair, Benjamin Filene, and Laura Koloski, eds.  Walnut Creek CA: Left Coast Press (2011).

Living Homes for Cultural Expression: North American Native Perspectives on Creating Community Museums.  Karen Coody Cooper and Nicolasa I. Sandoval, eds.  NMAI Editions.  Washington DC: National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution (2006). [selections]

Saving Our Vanishing Heritage: Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Sites in the Developing World. Global Heritage Fund 

Written Assignments

#1: Visit a museum facility in the area (as I cannot impose additional “costs” to the course, you must choose if you wish to visit a facility that charges or is free). This can be the Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies (free), the Durango Discovery Museum (charge), the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum (perhaps free), the Southern Ute Cultural Center (charge), or any other museum-like center. In your 4-5 page analysis (which must first describe the center) discuss the following: How did the museum present information in terms of historical authority?  How were you invited as a visitor to participate in the museum experience? 

#2:  Write a summary and comparison of TWO lectures you attend (either in or outside of class).  You must a) describe each one separately (speaker, main points made); and then b) connect the lectures by comparing how they addressed any key points covered in this course.
#3: An essay based on Letting Go?

Projects (Choose one):

1) Select one of the global museum facilities/projects discussed in our readings and conduct research that updates their progress since the article or chapter was published.  You must base this research on publications, online resources, and direct contact via emails and/or phone calls with museum personnel.  Part of your research should be an evaluation of progress, an assessment of what they need to achieve desired success, and a set of suggestions to further achieve their goals.  This project will result primarily in a paper, but your goal should also be some kind of product that will raise awareness and perhaps needed funds for the facility (Main class resources: Voices, Contested Histories, and Living Homes texts).    

2) Create a project with a local museum facility or project that could possibly be carried out in the future through an internship via Anth 316 or some other means (there would likely be no time this semester, but you would have a concrete plan in place for next term, or at least something the facility could put in its files for future work).  What you will do this semester is actually create the internship proposal and plan based on the needs of the facility/faculty member, etc. to create a particular exhibit, gather oral histories, expand its interpretive and participatory base through web-based means, etc.  This could be with the FLC Center of Southwest Studies (museum and/or archives), with the Department of Anthropology (oral history project, collections, archaeological field school aftermath), the Durango Discovery museum, etc. (Main class resources: Voices, Living Homes, and Letting Go? Texts—also consult The Participatory Museum). 

3) Create a project that will inform and educate the public about the need to identify and safeguard cultural heritage sites in general and one identified site in particular. In addition to a paper, you must create a tangible product in the end (e.g., a museum case full of information accompanied by a brochure/pamphlet that is available for distribution and placed on line; a poster that can be displayed in various places and also placed online, linked to the Dept of Anthropology Facebook Page; an online campaign for awareness, etc.  While much of this information will come from the Global Heritage Fund site, your task is to expand this and to find very definite and effective ways to spread awareness locally. (Main class resources: Saving Our Vanishing Heritage, Letting Go?, and Living Homes texts). 


Tale of a Totem  -  (1998 WFYI Productions, Indianapolis, ca. 60 minutes).
[Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, and Sitka National Historical Park—Governor Brady (AK) collection; Bill Holm narrates]. What would a street on the near west side of Indianapolis be named Totem Lane?  That’s the simple question Dr. Richard Feldman asked his neighbors when he made the move to the city’s Golden Hill neighborhood.  The answer to his inquiry would take Dr. Feldman on a remarkable journey in search of a missing Native American totem pole that had once found a home on a street in Indianapolis.  Dr. Feldman’s search began with a modest goal in mind: He simply wanted to see if a photograph of the pole might still exist.  He soon found himself, however, on the track of an historic detective story that would take him from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair to the early decades of the 20th century, when the pole had stood as a curious Indianapolis landmark, to present-day Alaska.  The Golden Hill Totem, Dr. Feldman would discover, was the sole missing pole from the world’s most celebrated and studied collection of totem poles, which today are preserved in Sitka National Historical Park in Alaska.  Tale of a Totem retraces Dr. Feldman’s quest, and witnesses the mysterious power of the pole to bring diverse communities together.  His ultimate vision sees the rebirth of the Golden Hill Totem Pole, as a replica of it is hoisted on the grounds of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis during a traditional Native pole raising.

Stolen Spirits of Haida Gwaii  -  (Primitive Entertainment, Canada, 2004, 73 minutes)
Toronto filmmaker Kevin McMahon and his film crew accompanied the Haida delegation on a repatriation trip to Chicago in 2003. His film reveals the whole repatriation process through the stories and experiences of the people who participated, both Museum staff and the Haida people.  His film Stolen Spirits of Haida Gwaii won two Geminis in 2005, one for Best Direction in a Documentary Program and the secondfor Best History Documentary Program. Stolen Spirits has also won the Grand Prix Rigoberta Menchu at the Montreal First People’s Festival has been shown at film festivals and most recently, the 2005 Gold Ribbon Award for Aboriginal Programming (Canadian Association of Broadcasters).  AVAILABLE FROM Haida Gwaii MuseumBox 1373 Skidegate, Haida GwaiiCanada V0T 1S1p. 250.559.4643f.

Box of Treasures  -  (U’mista Cultural Society, 1983, 28 minutes).
In Alert Bay, British Columbia, 1980 marked the opening of the U’mista Cultural Centre.  This world class museum was created after years of struggles by the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations to bring home their sacred masks that were seized by the Canadian government after Dan Cranmer’s potlatch on Village Island in 1921.  This film documents the political struggles of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nationals of Alert Bay for the right to continue their traditions.  It also celebrates the opening of the U’mista Cultural Centre and the community’s ongoing efforts to pass on the knowledge of their culture and language from the Elders right through to adults and children in school.

In Search of the Hamat’sa  -  (Documentary Educational Resources, 2004, 33 minutes)
The Hamat’sa (or “Cannibal Dance”) is the most important and highly represented ceremony of the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) people of British Columbia.  This film traces the history of anthropological depictions of the dance and through the return of archival materials to a First Nations community, presents some of the ways in which diverse toward this history inform current performances of the Hamat’sa.  With a secondary focus on the filmmaker’s fieldwork experience, the film also attends specifically to the ethics of ethnographic representation and to the renegotiation of relationships between anthropologists and their research partners.  The material for this film was gathered and shot over the year between 2002 and 2003 during the course of research for Aaron Glass’s dissertation in Socio-Cultural Anthropology.  The research process consisted of extensive archival work – in which he traced the history of ethnographic representation of the Hamat’sa (in texts, film and photography, art gallery and museum display, and intercultural performance) – followed by an eight month period of residence in the Kwakwaka’wakw community of Alert Bay, BC.  The film was edited in a documentary filmmaking course in the Program for Culture and Media at New York University.  It is intended to communicate some of the complex issues involved in representing indigenous peoples and their expressive practices, especially as anthropological materials increasingly end up back in Native communities where they are used and debated as one kind of historical resource among many.

Labranza Oculta: The Silent Walls  -  (a Film by Gariela Calvache, Quito, Ecuador, 2010, 65 minutes).   “The Silent Walls” portrays the lives and aspirations of workers restoring Quito historic center, while reflecting on the fates of those who have been forgotten by history.

Taypi Kala: Six Visions of Tiwanaku  -  (1994 U of California Extension Center, 53 min.)    
This film, produced by archaeologist Jeffrey D. Himpele, examines the ruins of the Bolivian site of Tiwanaku through the perspective of five varying cultural groups: international tourists, U.S. archaeologists, urban Bolivian university students, a local Aymara family, and indigenous Aymara priests. Partially in English; Spanish portion has English subtitles. The film consists of five segments illustrating different cultural accounts and authorities that define this mythical place.  Camera and lighting, Lawrence J. Costa.

The African Burial Ground: An American Discovery  -  (Longtail Distribution, 1994, 30 mins per part).
Part I: The Search, explores the search and discovery of the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan.  It examines the archeological dig that resulted in unearthing the remains of some 400 African men, women and children.  Part II: A History, presented the never-before-told story of the history of Africans and African Americans in New York City from 1613 until July 4th, 1827—NYC’s Emancipation Day.  Part III: Politics and the People, documents the impact of local citizens upon the African Burial Ground, witnessing the conflict between ‘the people’ and an agency of the United States Government.  This segment highlights an essential and important civics lesson: how citizens can change the course of history.   Part IV: An Open Window, presents the long-range impact of the African Burial Ground and its greater cultural effect on art, literature, history, science and education in the United States.


Course: Culture on Display: Tourism, Heritage, Museums  [undergraduate course]
Dr.Tom Guthrie

This course examines the production and display of “culture” and “heritage” in public places worldwide, including tourist destinations, museums, and historic and commemorative sites.  We will focus on the social and political implications of these processes and their relationship to anthropology.  Museums were an early locus of anthropology and continue to be key sites for its public expression.  The tourism and heritage industries, now globally ubiquitous, rely on anthropological concepts and processes (including collection, interpretation, and display), although anthropologists have sometimes dismissed them as inauthentic.  In the early 20th century American anthropologists played a central role in shifting the meaning of “culture” from something only upper-class Europeans had to something everyone had.  But this pluralistic conception of culture quickly escaped their control.  This semester we will investigate “culture” on the loose and consider what studying the tourism and heritage industries can teach us about anthropology.  Topics will include the collection and display of objects and bodies, styles of ethnographic exhibition, the semiotics of tourism, conceptions of authenticity, cultural performances and living cultural exhibitions, exoticism and the curatorial management of difference, the memorialization of the past, and the transformation of daily life into “heritage.”  Throughout the semester the relationship among public culture, nationalism, colonialism, and capitalism will receive special attention.  Students will gain a deeper understanding of the culture concept in anthropology and practice cultural critique. We will divide our time between reading, field trips to local museums and historic sites, and a hands-on class project.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the semester students will be able to
1.      critically analyze museum exhibits, tourist sites, and historic sites
2.      describe the relationship between the tourism and heritage industries and anthropology
3.      deconstruct the concepts of culture and authenticity
4.      explain the logics and techniques of cultural display and the semiotics of tourism
5.      describe how groups memorialize the past as they position themselves in the present
6.      work collaboratively to produce a sensitive and critical cultural exhibition

Required Readings
Bruner, Edward M. 2005. Culture on Tour: Ethnographies of Travel. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Errington, Shelly. 1998. The Death of Authentic Primitive Art and Other Tales of Progress. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara. 1998. Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Lonetree, Amy. 2012. Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native America in National and Tribal Museums. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Museum reviews
Students will write short, critical reviews of two museums in or around Greensboro.  They may choose between the Wake Forest Museum of Anthropology (which we will visit together), the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, the Greensboro Historical Museum, or another museum approved by the instructor.  These reviews will analyze architecture, spatial organization, exhibit content and design, visitor experiences, and programs.

Oral presentation
Each student will give a formal 15 minute oral presentation on Inuit art, the history of its commodification (the development of an Inuit art market), Inuit ethnology and history, Inuit peoples’ relationship to the natural environment, or the relationship between Inuit peoples and museums.  These presentations will require independent research and reading and will provide a foundation for our class project.

Research paper
Students will write a 12 to 15 page research paper that critically analyzes a site or set of sites where culture or heritage is on display.  Papers might examine museums, cultural centers, historic sites, monuments, living exhibitions, commemorations, or tourist destinations.  As part of the research process students will submit annotated bibliographies.

Class project
All semester long we will work collectively to help develop an exhibit of Inuit art from the eastern Arctic.  The exhibit will be on display in the Guilford College art gallery during the fall semester.  Our class will help conceptualize the exhibit (themes, layout, etc.), select objects for display, and write object labels and other exhibit text.  This project will give us hands-on experience with the development of an actual exhibit and afford an opportunity for applying what we have learned through course readings, discussions, and fieldtrips.  It will require significant work outside of class.  At the end of the semester each student will write a short paper evaluating the project.

Course Schedule

Week 1: Course introduction; the social construction of “culture”

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 149–152 (up to “The Value of Difference”)
Handler, Richard, and Jocelyn Linnekin. 1984. Tradition, Genuine or Spurious. Journal of American Folklore 97.385: 273–290. M
Handler, Richard. 1988. “Having a Culture”: The Preservation of Quebec’s Patrimoine. In Nationalism and the Politics of Culture in Quebec, 140–158. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Mullin, Molly H. 2001. Selections from Culture in the Marketplace: Gender, Art, and Value in the American Southwest (1–8, 12–21). Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Week 2: Collecting, displaying, and repatriating objects in museums
Fieldtrip this week to Wake Forest University Museum of Anthropology (time TBA)

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett Chapter 1 (17–47)
Gulliford, Andrew. 2002. Bones of Contention: The Repatriation of Native American Human Remains. In Sacred Objects and Sacred Places: Preserving Tribal Traditions, 13–31. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.
Kirshenblatt-Gimblett Chapter 1 (47–78)
Week 3: Museum and exhibit reviews
Post museum review 1
Class project: introduction
Kirshenblatt-Gimblett Chapter 7 (249–256)
Berlo, Janet Catherine, and Aldona Jonaitis. 2005. “Indian Country” on Washington’s Mall—The National
Museum of the American Indian: A Review Essay. Museum Anthropology 28.2: 17–30.
            Clifford, James. 1991. Four Northwest Coast Museums: Travel Reflections. In Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display, ed. Ivan Karp and Steven D. Lavine, 212–254. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
Levy, Janet E. 2006. Prehistory, Identity, and Archaeological Representation in Nordic Museums. American Anthropologist 108.1: 135–147.
Penn, Mischa, Gregory Laden, and Gilbert Tostevin. 2008. Review Essay: RACE: Are We So Different? Museum Anthropology 31.2: 148–156.

Week 4: Native Americans and museums
Oral presentations

Lonetree Chapter 1 (1–28)
Fienup-Riordan, Ann. 1999. Collaboration on Display: A Yup’ik Eskimo Exhibit at Three National Museums. American Anthropologist 101.2: 339–358.
Week 5: Curatorial collaboration
Class project: object selection and exhibit conceptualization

Lonetree Chapter 2 (29–72)

Week 6: The National Museum of the American Indian
Post museum review 2

Lonetree Chapter 3 (73–122)
Class project: object selection and exhibit conceptualization

Week 7: Decolonizing museums
Post research paper topic
Class project: curatorial vision statement, mapping out writing projects

Lonetree Chapters 4 and 5 (123–175)

Week 8: Authenticity and “primitive art”

Errington Introduction (1–45) [plus class project]
Errington Chapter 1 (49–69)

Week 9: Authenticity and “primitive art”
In-class progress reports on research this week

Errington Chapters 2 and 3 (70–117) [plus class project]
Errington Chapters 4 and 5 (118–157)

Week 10: Authenticity and the semiotics of tourism
Post annotated bibliography
Class project

Bruner Introduction (1–29)
Culler, Jonathan. 1981. Semiotics of Tourism. American Journal of Semiotics 1.1–2: 127–140.
Optional:MacCannell, Dean. 1999 [1976]. Staged Authenticity, and A Semiotic of Attraction. In The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class, 91–133. New York: Schocken Books.

Week 11: Tourism and (post)colonialism among the Maasai
In-class progress reports on research this week

Bruner Chapter 1 (33–70) [plus class project]
Bruner Chapter 2 (71–100)

Week 12: Tourism and anthropology in Bali
Post research paper argument statement
Class project

Bruner Chapter 7 (191–210)

Week 13: Historic sites: Illinois and Ghana
Post research paper
Bruner Chapters 4 and 5 (127–168)
Bruner Chapter 3 (101–123)

Week 14: Festivals; the avant-garde; course conclusion
Post evaluation of class project
Wrap up course and class project (during final exam period)

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett Chapter 6 (203–248)

Alternative topics for weeks 13 and 14
Errington: second part of book (nationalism, modernization, and development)
Kirshenblatt-Gimblett: Ellis Island and Plymouth Plantation
Bruner: ethnic theme parks
Worlds fairs


Course: Introduction to Museum Anthropology  [undergraduate/graduate course]
Dr. Jen Shannon

This course traces the development of anthropology in museums from the late 19th century to the present day.  Museums are places where ideas, identities, theories and power relations are debated, created, and placed on display.  They are places that reflect and sometimes challenge dominant ideologies about indigenous peoples to a wide audience.  The objectives of this course include: introducing students to a range of topics in contemporary museum politics, theory and practice; presenting the legacy of collecting and challenges of representing others; and, illustrating the interplay of anthropology, material culture and colonialism in order to understand the complex history of contemporary anthropology museums and the move towards collaborative museum anthropology.

Museums are about cannibals and glass boxes, a fate they cannot seem to escape no matter how hard they try… Museums are cannibalistic in appropriating other peoples’ material for their own study and interpretation, and they confine their representations to glass box display cases.  There is a glass box for everyone…

The Objective, then, is not simply to criticize museums but also to attempt to locate them (and the critiques) within their social, political, and economic contexts.   

— Michael Ames, Cannibal Tours and Glass Boxes: The Anthropology of Museums (1992: 3, 5)

Course Outline

PART I: Introduction to the Course and to Museum Anthropology

Week 1: Introduction to the Course
Welcome!  |  What is this course about?  Why take a course about museum anthropology? What are the assignments required to complete this course? How can a student do well in this class? 

What is Museum Anthropology?  | What is a museum? What is museum anthropology? What is the Anthropology of Museums?  How does this approach to museums  fit into Cultural Anthropology as a discipline? And Museum Studies? 

Recommended Readings
Erikson 2002 Introduction to Voices of a Thousand People
Handler 1993 An anthropological definition of the museum
Karp and Kratz 2006 Introduction - Museum Frictions

Week 2: The Power of Language and Imagery
The Power to Name  | What is the role of language and imagery in forming prevailing notions about indigenous peoples in the Americas?

Museums as Institutions of Ideology, Imagery and Power  |   What are some important concepts we can use to talk about understand the role of museums in society, and how they form, reflect, or work against prevailing notions about indigenous peoples over time?

Required Readings
Thomas 2000 Columbus Arawaks and Caribs
Hanson 1999 What’s in a Name
Deloria P 2004 Expectation and Anomaly
Karp 1991 Other Cultures in Museum Perspective
Clifford 1997 Museums as Contact Zones

Recommended Readings
USCHR 2007 Indian Tribes
Deloria P 2002 Thinking About Self in a Family Way
Forte 2006 Dual Absences of Extinction and Marginality

PART II: Early Museum Theory and Practice

Week 3: Early Ideology, Classification and Display
World Fairs: “Progress” and Colonialism on Display  | What is the connection between nation, expansion, colonialism and the display of indigenous peoples?  What did the imagery and narrative of these forms of display communicate?

Why Museums  | What kinds of purposes did early museums serve? Who owned them and who could visit them?

Required Readings
Hinsley 1991 The World as Marketplace
Ames 1992 The Development of Museums in the Western World
Errington 1998 Intro - Two Centuries of Progress

Recommended Readings
Web Topic, search for Ishi and Minik
Fogelson 1991 Red Man in the White City
Ames 1992 How Anthropologists Stereotype Other People
Great Museums: Riches Rivals & Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America, Online streaming movie at YouTube (60min)
Thomas 2000 A short history of scientific racism in America

Week 4: Early Collecting
Class visit to the CU Museum of Natural History and the CU Art Museum 

The Legacy of Early Collecting  |  What were some of the impacts of collecting practices for museums and source communities?
Required Reading
Jacknis 2002 Collecting - Storage Box of Tradition
O’Hanlon 2000 Introduction - Hunting the Gatherers
Lange and Leonard 1993 CUMNH Collections - Legacy of Joe Ben Wheat
Web search, CU Art Museum in the Visual Arts Complex
Web search, CU Museum of Natural History

Recommended Reading
Cannizzo 1998 Gathering Souls and Objects
Mayer 2002 In the Spirit of a Different Time
Thomas 1991 The European Appropriation of Indigenous Things

Week 5: Early Display – Museum Anthropo-logy and Debates
Typology | What is universal evolutionism? What do forms of classification and display tell us about the underlying theories of their producers?

Geography/Culture Area |  What is cultural relativism?  What was Boas’ critique of typological display, and museums more generally? What were the assumptions behind salvage anthropology? What are its legacies?

Required Reading
Chapman 1985 Arranging Ethnology
Franz Boas (1858-1942), Online streaming video reserve
Boas 1907 Some Principles of Museum Administration
Jacknis 1985 Franz Boas and Exhibits
Biolsi 1997 The Anthropological Construction of Indians

Recommended Reading
Degenerate Art, Word Document
Boas 1887 The Occurance of Similar Inventions
Boas 1887 Museums of Ethnology and Their Classification
Powell 1887 Museums of Ethnology and Their Classification
Jacknis 2004 A Magic Place
Jenkins 1994 Object Lessons and Ethnographic Displays - museums and making of American anthropology
Nurse 2006 Marius Barbeau and the Methodology of Salvage Ethnography in Canada
Teslow 1998 Reifying Race
Sahlins 1999 Two or Three Things I Know about Culture

Week 6: Classifying,  Circulating, and Valuing Objects
Art versus Artifact  |  What determines the classification of objects as either art or artifact? How is this classification related to issues of primitivism and modernism? Text and context? How does the classification of objects engage debates about authenticity and why?  How does this form of judgment affect the experience of source communities? 

Commoditization and the Art Market  | How are art markets and museums related?  How and why do art and artifacts acquire value? What kinds of objects are allowed into collections, and what kinds are not?  Why?

Required Reading
Myers 2004 Unsettled Business
Cruikshank 1995 Imperfect Translations rethinking objects
Welsch 2004 Authenticity of Constructed Art Worlds
Phillips 1995 Why Not Tourist Art
Hollowell 2004 Intellectual Property Protection and the Market for Alaska Native Arts and Crafts
Wade 1985 The Ethnic Art Market in American Southwest

Recommended Reading
Phillips and Steiner Art Authenticity and the Baggage of Cultural Encounter
Price 2007 Into the Mainstream - Shifting authenticities in art
Zilberg 1995 Shonas Sculptures Struggle
Danto 1988 Art and Artifact with Vogel Introduction
Graburn 1999 Ethnic and Tourist Arts Revisited
Steiner 1995 The Art of the Trade - on value and authenticity
Marcus and Myers 1995 The Traffic in Art and Culture - An introduction
Handler 1985 Authenticity
Phillips 2002 Where is Africa
1992 Task Force Report on Museums and First Peoples

Week 7: The Ethnography of Museums
Museum ethnography | What is ethnography?  What does an ethnography approach to museums provide that is different from other approaches?

Ethnographic Practice in the Museum | How is ethnography practiced in museums?

Required Reading
MacDonald 2001 Ethnography in the Science Museum
Isaac 2005 Mediating Knowledges
Bowechop and Erikson 2005 Forging Indigenous Methodologies Review
Shannon 2009 The Construction of Native Voice at the NMAI

Recommended Reading
Shannon 2014 Project iShare
Shannon 2013 Collaborative Anthropology with the MHA Nation
Smith 1999 Introduction - Decolonizing Methodologies
Merrill et al 1993 Return of Ayahu

Recap and Exam Review
Midterm Exam (for undergrads) / Object Research Essay due (for grads)

Required Reading
Pulford and Rice 2008 How to take Anthropology Tests
Sp2013 ANTH 4045 Midterm Study Guide

PART III: Representation and Critique

Week 9: Indigenous Responses to Museums and Anthropology

Critiques of Rights and Representations  |  What was the Red Power movement of the 1960s about? What was the heightened attention to critiques of representation in the 1980s about? What impacts did they have in arts and law?

Politics of Representation and Protests of Exhibitions  |  How did these critiques of representation and rights struggles affect museum practice?  What were some of the protests that highlighted this struggle? *DRAFT RESEARCH PROPOSAL DUE*

Required Reading
Deloria V 1988 Anthropologists and Other Friends
Native American Legal Milestones handout
Clifford 1997 Museums as Contact Zones
Strong 1997 Exclusive Labels
Chaat Smith 2009 On Romanticism

Recommended Reading
Boyer 2001 Reflections of Alcatraz
“Alcatraz is not an island”, search website
Mithlo 1995 History is Dangerous
Phillips 2000 APEC at the Museum of Anthropology
Task Force Report on Museums and First Peoples 1992
Butler, Shelly (1999) Contested Representations: Revisiting Into the heart of Africa, book on library reserve
Into the Heart of Africa - Protest Case Study, handout
Spirit Sings - Protest Case Study, handout

Week 10: Case Studies –Challenges of Representation
Representing Others: Musee du Quai Branly  (  |  Art or Artifact?

Collaborative Representation: NMAI  (  | What is “Native Voice”?

Self-Representation: Makah Cultural and Research Center ( |  What is “autoethnography”? 

Required Reading
Clifford 2007 Quai Branly in process
Price 2010 Return to Musee du Quai Branly
Price 2007 Paris Primitive Excerpt
Cobb 2005 NMAI Sharing the Gift
Mithlo 2004 Red Mans Burden - Politics of Inclusion in Museums Settings
Erikson 2004 Defining Ourselves Through Baskets

Recommended Reading
Lebovics 2006 Musee du Quai Branly Art Artifact Spectacle
Paris Primitive by Sally Price (2007), Book at course reserves
Phillips 2006 Disrupting Past Paradigms NMAI
Contesting Knowledge: Museums and Indigenous Perspectives edited by Susan Sleeper Smith (2009), Book on reserve
Voices of a thousand people : the Makah Cultural and Research Center by Patricia Erikson et. al. (2002), Book on reserve

PART IV: Contemporary Theory and Practice

Week 12: Contemporary Exhibitions
Thinking Back, Moving Forward   (Presentation on Igloolik Exhibit)

Contemporary Exhibits with/about Native Americans  and Careers in Museum Anthropology  *REVISED PROPOSAL AND ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY DUE*

Required Reading
Fitzhugh 1997 Ambassadors in Sealskins
Video interviews with Smithsonian NMNH Anthropologists online, esp. Loring, Pérez Báez
Video interview online with Chip Colwell-Chanthaponh, Denver Museum of Nature and Science Anthropology Curator
Video interview online with Steve Nash, Denver Museum of Nature and Science Archaeology Curator

Week 13: Reconnecting Objects to Originating Communities – Repatriation
Objects as Cultural Property  |  What is the relationship between objects in museums and their origins?  How does recognition of source community relationships to objects impact museum practice?

Repatriation  |  What is repatriation? What is NAGPRA? What kinds of objects or knowledge can be repatriated, to whom, and how?  How does it affect source community-museum relations and practices?  *RESEARCH PAPERS DUE IN CLASS (4)*

Required Reading
Box of Treasures, online streaming video reserve (28min)
Everything was Carved, video at Pitt Rivers Museum website (50min)
Rosoff 1998 Integrating Native Views at the NMAI

Recommended Reading
Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (1990), Online website
Echo Hawk 2002 Keepers of Culture
Merrill et al 1993 Return of Ahayuda
Jacknis 1996 Repatriation as Social Drama
Cranmer 1995 Potlatch Repatriation
gii-dahl-guud-sliiaay 1995 Cultural Perpetuation
Udvardy et al 2003 Transatlantic Trade in African Ancestors
Saunders 1997 Contested Ethnie in two Kwakwakawakw Museums

Week 14: Museums as sites of Social Relations – Collaboration
What does Museum Collaboration Look Like?  |  Why is collaboration important? Who are the participants and what are the  goals, constraints, and methods of collaboration? (Presentation about iShare/MHA Project)

In Class Peer Review Consultations  *PEER REVIEW FORMS DUE IN CLASS*

Required Reading
Boellstorff 2010 Three Tips for Making Peer Review Work for You

Recommended Reading
Enola Gay, handout
Ames 1999 How to Decorate a House
Archambault 1993 American Indians and American Museums
Clifford 2004 Looking Several Ways
Conaty 2003 Glenbows Blackfoot Gallery
Fienup-Riordan 1999 Collaboration on Display
Herle 2000 TSI Stories from an exhibition
Kahn 2000 Not really pacific voices

Week 15: Decolonizing the Museum
Critical Museology and Revisiting the Critiques of Representation |  Does collaboration address critiques of representation? Does it change the content or intent of exhibits? Of collecting?

Decolonizing the Museum  |  What does decolonizing the museum mean?  Has this been achieved somewhere? Why or why not?

Required Reading
Smith 1999 Introduction - Decolonizing Methodologies
Smith 1999 Responding to the Imperatives of an Indigenous Agenda

Recommended Reading
Kreps Changing the Rules of the Road 2
Lonetree 2012 Decolonizing Museums

Week 16: The Future of Anthropology and/in the Museum
Online Exhibits and Digital Returns/Access

Contemporary Issues and News regarding Museum Anthropology  *“REVISIONED” RESEARCH PAPER DUE*

Required Reading
Reciprocal Research Network short online video
Kate Hennessy's Online Exhibit, Dane Wajich
Hennessy 2009 Digital Matters

Recommended Reading
Dahl and Stade 2000 Anthropology Museums
Harris and O’Hanlon 2013 The Future of the Ethnographic Museum


1)      In class writing/Informal writing -  Handwritten.
During class you will occasionally be asked to consider a particular question or topic and handwrite a response.  These responses will be collected and are another form of participation.

2)      Open Book Quizzes – at D2L
In the D2L course assignments there are quizzes associated with each week’s readings.  You are expected to complete 10 of the available 14 quizzes.  The quizzes may include short or long answer, multiple choice, true false, etc.  If you complete more than ten, your ten best scores will be counted.  The quizzes are due the week in which the readings are assigned.  They are submitted on the first attempt and cannot be retaken.

3)      Midterm Exam (for undergrads) / Object Research Essay (for grad students)
There will be an in class exam half way through the semester for undergraduate students.  For graduate students, an essay documenting a collection or class of objects from the CU Museum of Natural History collection will be due (please consult with instructor for further instructions).  For those undergraduate students who also would like to conduct object research, you may select that as a topic for your final research paper.

4)      Research Paper
A research paper includes a thesis statement or argument, evidence to support the thesis, and works cited on a separate page.  The paper page limit does not include the works cited and “afterthoughts” pages, which are required.  I will provide more specific handouts to guide you through this process. You will be asked to provide the following materials throughout the semester:

1.      Proposal (1-2 paragraphs; 1 page)
2.      Annotated bibliography and revised proposal (at least four sources; 2-4 pages)
3.      Four copies of Research Paper due in class for your peers to review
4.      Peer Review forms of your evaluation of your group’s papers due in class
5.      Final paper (10-15 pages) submission with “Afterthoughts”


Course: Cultural Property [undergraduate]
Dr. Cara Krmpotich

This course explores the relationship between cultural property and everyday life through the themes of movement, ownership and value. Case studies, current events and debates help students understand how heritage is informed by the multiple values of cultural property.  This course addresses issues of cultural property and heritage in the contemporary world that are relevant to all subfields of anthropology.

Course Objectives:

  • Develop their analytical skills
  • Build frameworks for understanding the relationships between cultural property, nationalism, identity, politics and power,
  • Build frameworks for understanding the relationship between cultural property, aesthetics and economic value
  • Become familiar with regional, federal and international laws and treatises governing the movement and protection of cultural property
  • Develop their understanding of archaeologists’ and anthropologists’ roles as fieldworkers, researchers, advocates, policy writers and watchdogs
  • Think critically and open-mindedly about the ethics of cultural property, archaeology and anthropology
  • Enhance their abilities to articulate, orally and in writing, informed opinions.

Course Materials:
Rhodes, Robin F (ed).  2007. The Acquisition and Exhibition of Classical Antiquities: professional, legal, and ethical perspectives. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.
John H. Merryman (ed). 2006. Imperialism, Art and Restitution. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.

In addition to readings, students are encouraged to read or follow relevant blogs and websites, including

Course Overview

Week 1 January 9: Introduction, Definitions and Histories
-          Review of syllabus
-          Definitions: culture; property; cultural property; heritage
-          Historical overview of cultural property in the West

Barkan, Elazar and Ronald Bush. 2002. Introduction. In Naming the
Stones, Claiming the Bones. E Barkan and R. Bush (eds). Pp 1-16. Getty Research Institute: Los Angeles. [Robarts: CC135 .C48 2002X – check availability] [PDF in Blackboard]

Week 2 January 16: Nationalism and Internationalism
-          Universal or Encyclopaedic Museums
-          The tensions between national and international agendas
-          Who defines cultural property and to what purpose?
-          Who benefits from cultural property? Who should benefit?
-          Formation of Debating Groups

Merryman, John H. 2006. Introduction. In Imperialism, Art and
Restitution, J Merryman (ed), pp. 1-14. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press. [Inforum: 344.094 I34I – Course Reserves – check availability]
Cuno, James. 2006. View from the Universal Museum. In Imperialism,
Art and Restitution J Merryman (ed), pp. 15-36. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.  [Inforum: 344.094 I34I – Course Reserves – check availability]

In-class Activity:
Students will work in small groups to work through the debates for and against encyclopaedic museums, using the following short articles to help develop their own critiques. **Copies of the articles will be provided in class.

MacGregor, Neil and J Williams. 2005. The encyclopaedic museum:
Enlightenment ideals, contemporary realities. Public Archaeology 4 (Part 1): 57-9.  
Curtis, Neil. 2006. A continuous process of reinterpretation: The
challenge of the universal and rational museum. Public Archaeology, 4 (Part 1): 50-6.  

Week 3 January 23: Protection, Legislation and Policy
- Canadian Cultural Property Export and Import Act
- International approaches to cultural property protection

Gerstenblith, Patty. 2007. The Acquisition and Exhibition of Classical
Antiquities: the legal perspective. In The Acquisition and Exhibition of Classical Antiquities: professional, legal, and ethical perspectives R Rhodes (ed), pp. 47-60. University of Notre Dame Press: Notre Dame, Indiana. 
[Inforum: 069.5 A186A – Course Reserves – check availability]
Henry, Diane. 1995. Back from the Brink: Canada’s First Nations’ Right
to Preserve Canadian Heritage. In UBC Law Review Special Issue: Material Culture in Flux [e-article]
Murphy, J. David. 1995. “The Imperilment of Cultural Property in the
People’s Republic of China.” In UBC Law Review: 91-118.  [PDF in Blackboard]

In-class activity:
Work in groups to explore the premises underlying the Canadian Cultural Property Export and Import Act, and to learn the mechanics of identifying cultural property and transporting cultural property in and out of Canada.

Week 4 January 30: Looting and the Illicit Trade in Archaeological Materials
-          The movement of looted items amongst, looters, dealers and the black market

Bell, Malcolm. 2007. Dealing with looted antiquities. In The Acquisition
and Exhibition of Classical Antiquities: professional, legal, and ethical perspectives R Rhodes (ed), pp. 31-42. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.
Bookidis, Nancy. 2007. The Corinth Theft. In The Acquisition and
Exhibition of Classical Antiquities: professional, legal, and ethical perspectives R Rhodes (ed), pp. 119-131. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.
Waxman, Sharon. 2008. Loot: the battle over the stolen treasures of
the ancient world. New York: Times Books. ** Ch 6 ‘Chasing the Lydian Horde’ [PDF in Blackboard]

Week 5 February 6: Cultural Property and Armed Conflict
- Hague Conventions of 1899, 1907, 1954 and Second Hague Convention of 1999
- The Geneva Convention
- Cultural property and war crimes

Bogdanos, Matthew. 2010. Thieves of Baghdad: The search for Iraq’s
Stolen Heritage. In Cultural Heritage Issues: the Legacy of conquest, colonization and commerce.  Nafziger, James A.R. and Ann M Nicgorski (eds), pp223-236. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. [PDF in Blackboard] [Robarts: K3791. C848 2009X]
Gibson, McGuire. 2003. Art Loss in Iraq: Cultural Tragedy in Iraq: A
Report on the looting of museums, archives and sites. [e-article]
Rose, Brian. 2007. Talking to the Troops About the Archaeology of Iraq
and Afghanistan. In The Acquisition and Exhibition of Classical Antiquities: professional, legal, and ethical perspectives R Rhodes (ed), pp. 139-151. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press. [Inforum: 069.5 A186A – Course Reserves – check availability]

In-class Activity: ROM Google Hang-Out

Week 6 February 13: A Progression of UNESCO Conventions
-          From cultural property, to world heritage, to intangible heritage
-          Opportunities and limitations of international treatises


Readings: Bortolotto, Chiara. 2007. From the “monumental” to the
“living” heritage: a shift in perspective. In World Heritage: Global Challenges, Local Solutions: proceedings of a conference at Coalbrookdale, 4-7 May 2006 hosted by the Ironbridge Institute. R White and J Carman (eds) pp. 39-46. Oxford: Archaeopress. [PDF in Blackboard] [Robarts: CC135 .W74 2007 – check availability]
Robinson, Olivia and Trish Barnard. 2007. “Thanks, But We’ll Take It
From Here…” In Museum International  59(4): 34-45. [e-article]
Shouyong, Pan. 2008. “Museums and the Protection of Cultural
Intangible Heritage.” In Museum International 60(1-2): 237-8.
UNESCO Convention 1970. Reprinted in Rhodes, pp. 160-168, and available

Week 7 February 20: Reading Break (no class)

Week 8 February 27:  Mid-term
In-class mid-term, covering material from weeks 1-6.

Week 9 March 6: Repatriation I
-          Case Study: The Nefertiti Bust, Egypt and Germany
-          Complex histories and complex presents

Evans, Vanessa. 2011. “Germany Denies Egypt’s Request for the
Return of 3,300 Year Old Bust of Queen Nefertiti.” Available on the Blog, Elginism:
Siehr, Kurt G. 2006. The Beautiful One Has Come – To Return: The
return of the bust of Nefertiti from Berlin to Cairo. In
Imperialism, Art and Restitution J Merryman (ed) pp 114-134. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.  [Inforum: 344.094 I34I – Course Reserves – check availability]       
Urice, Stephen K. 2006. The Beautiful One has Come - To Stay. In
Imperialism, Art and Restitution J Merryman (ed) pp 135-166.
Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.  [Inforum: 344.094 I34I – Course Reserves – check availability]

Week 10 March 13: Repatriation II
-          NAGPRA: An act about cultural property, religious freedom, or civil rights?
-          To legislate, or not to legislate

Brown, Michael M and Margaret M Bruchac. 2006. NAGPRA from the
Middle Distance. In Imperialism, Art and Restitution J Merryman
(ed) pp 193-217. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.  [Inforum: 344.094 I34I – Course Reserves – check availability]
Fine-Dare, Kathleen. 2002. Grave Injustice: The American Indian
Repatriation Movement and NAGPRA. Lincoln: University of
Nebraska Press. Ch 4 NAGPRA and Repatriation Efforts in the
1990s, pp 117-138. [PDF in Blackboard]
Stone T’ixwelátsa Repatriation Report & Supplement Report I. 2006.
Presented by Nooksack Indian Tribe to Burke Museum. Prepared by D. Schaepe and Herb Joe. [PDF in Blackboard] **Students should survey, rather than closely read, this document. It serves as an example of how communities and institutions work through NAGPRA and repatriation processes.

Week 11 March 20: Archaeology, Cultural Property, and Development  
Guest lecture: Daniella Jofre, PhD Candidate
-          The opportunities and limitations of archaeology tourism
-          Should cultural property be prioritized in development strategies?
-          Local and international interests

Walker, Cameron Jean. 2009. Heritage or Heresy: archaeology and
culture on the Maya Riviera. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. **Ch. 1: The Public Interpretation of Archaeological Sites.  [Robarts: F1435.1 .Q78 W35 2009X – check availability] [PDF in Blackboard]
Chirikure, Shadreck. 2005. Cultural or Physical Survival? A Note on
the Protection of Archaeological Heritage in Contemporary Africa. In Safeguarding Africa’s archaeological past: selected papers from a workshop held at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies, University of London, 2001 N Finneran (ed), pp. 7-10. Oxford: Archaeopress.  [Robarts: DT13 .S344 2005 – check availability] [PDF in Blackboard]

Week 12 March 27: In-Class Debates I.
See Assignments for a description.

Week 13 April 3: In-Class Debates II and Course Conclusions
-          Recap of course themes
-          Discussion of the implications of cultural property for anthropology, archaeology, and various publics.


OSNI Statement: 30%
In order for an item to be designated Canadian cultural property, it must be shown to possess “Outstanding Significance and National Importance,” or OSNI.  OSNI Statements are key tools used by the Review Board to determine whether an object is cultural property.

In preparing an OSNI Statement, students will:

  1.  gain first-hand experience of the processes related to cultural property designation in Canada
  2.  improve their knowledge of the Canadian Cultural Property Export and Import Act
  3.  increase their experience researching material culture
  4. gain experience writing technical reports.

Students are to choose a moveable object (artefact, work of art, archaeological assemblage, natural history specimen, etc) that meets the criteria of “cultural property” according to the Canadian Cultural Property Export and Import Act.

Students must then research and prepare an OSNI statement, using the OSNI template created by Canadian Heritage, and demonstrate the ways in which their object is of outstanding significance and national importance.

The Cultural Property Export and Import Act and the link to OSNI criteria, guidelines and template are available in Blackboard.

 In-class Mid-term Exam: 30%
The mid-term exam is designed to:

  1.  encourage students to learn and recall key aspects of cultural property debates 
  2.   accommodate various learning styles
  3.  encourage students to formulate and express informed and critical opinions on topics related to cultural property.

Students will choose two essay questions to answer. Responses should be informed by course readings, class discussion and personal study. Essays should demonstrate a grasp of the course content, critical thinking and an ability to move between specific cases and broader themes in anthropology. As students have sufficient time to organize and present their ideas, essays will be assessed for the accuracy and persuasiveness of content, and the clarity of the argument.
Debate and short essay: 30%
15% (Group mark for debate) + 15% (Individual mark for essay)

In weeks 12 and 13, student groups will conduct a series of debates in class. Groups will work together to prepare their arguments ahead of time. Each side will decide how to present its argument within the time allowed (see below), and will need to formulate a rebuttal during the debate in response to the opposition’s argument.

By engaging in debates, students will:
  1. be exposed to an alternative form of intellectual exchange and expression,
  2. gain experience presenting an argument both orally and in writing,
  3.  expand their knowledge of a specific area of cultural property,
  4.  appreciate the multiple perspectives shaping cultural property issues,
  5. gain experience “thinking on their feet” and formulating responses in a time-sensitive situation,
  6. gain experience navigating group dynamics, and
  7. (as audience members) enhance their ability to critically assess arguments presented to them.
 The Debate:
Teams will speak either For the Motion (proposition), or Against the Motion (opposition). An example motion is: “This House believes Canadian cultural property belongs to all citizens equally.” Within the debate, teams will have time to deliver two prepared arguments and to formulate a response or “rebuttal” to the other team’s arguments in real time. There is also time for arguments to be heard from “the floor” – that is, other students in the class. Students must adhere strictly to the time limits. The timing of The Debate is as follows:
  1. Proposition (in favour of the motion): 3 minutes
  2. Opposition (against the motion): 3 minutes
  3. Proposition: 3 minutes
  4. Opposition: 3 minutes
  5. Speeches from the floor: 1 minute each, up to 5 speakers
  6. Rebuttal Proposition: 2 minutes
  7. Rebuttal Opposition: 2 minutes
Not all students need to present orally, but all students are encouraged to support their colleagues who want to practice or improve their public speaking skills. Each team will decide who will present various parts of the debate.

Accompanying Essay:
Each student must prepare individually a short written assignment that:
  1.  summarizes the arguments presented by their team,
  2. rebuts (or refutes) the main arguments against their position,
  3.  articulates their personal position within the debate,
  4.  includes references
Essays must be no longer than 1000 words, excluding references. They can be organized using subheadings or sections. Students may draw upon class readings and/or additional examples to support their claims. Academic referencing styles common to anthropology should be used. Essays should be submitted in class the day of the debate.

Participation: 10%
Each student will be allocated one week in which they are responsible for submitting questions based on the readings and that will stimulate discussion in class.  Students must submit, via Blackboard Blog, one question per assigned reading by 5 pm on the Tuesday before class.  Constructive participation in class discussions and contributing towards a supportive learning environment will augment a student’s participation grade.

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