Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Call for Papers: Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) Annual Meeting

Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) Annual Meeting
Continuity and Change, Pittsburgh, March 24th – 28th, 2015

Session Title: Controversy in the Museum: Current Issues

Session Organizer: Lindsay Barone (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

From provocative artwork to scientific controversy, museums are faced with a unique set of challenges in developing exhibits on divisive topics. Staff members are continually negotiating the creation of engaging, cutting-edge content, developing exhibits that will be considered successful and will attract a high number of visitors while simultaneously coping with administrative and donor concerns. Papers in this session will explore the role of museums as centers of authoritative knowledge and artistic expression and the challenges they face from visitor demands, pressures from the academic community, and the larger public response to exhibitions and programming choices perceived as controversial. 

Abstracts should be submitted by email to Lindsay Barone (lmbarone@uwm.edu) by Wednesday, October 1st with the following information:

* Name 
* Institutional affiliation 
* Paper title 
* 100-word abstract 

* Contact information 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Program Assistant, Recovering Voices Program, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Program Assistant (IS-303-7), Recovering Voices Program, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Recovering Voices is looking to hire two non-federal, four-year, trust-funded full time Program Assistant positions ($42,209 salary). Both positions will be integral to helping further the work of Recovering Voices Program at the National Museum of Natural History.

We will accepting applications until September 17.

The Recovering Voices Program collaborates with communities and other institutions to address issues of indigenous language and knowledge diversity and sustainability at the national and global level.

The program assistant to the Recovering Voices Program will:
•Assist with community visits to the anthropological collections. These duties include running collections database (EMu) reports of collections for visitors, assisting visitors with access to collections, updating and enhancing database EMu with data collected during visits.
•Be responsible for video recording of community visits, as well as logging and archiving the video, as well as synchronizing video information with EMu records of collections.
•Assist with production and update of program materials and web pages.
•Assist with linking collection information using the Smithsonian Collections Center, Recovering Voices website and Emu.
•As required, assist with a variety of administrative tasks related to the Recovery Voices Program.

•Manage incoming and outgoing correspondence related to Recovering Voices activities at the Museum Support Center.

In addition to a cover letter explaining your interest in, and qualifications for the positions, please include a CV, which lists the starting/end dates of job (mo./yr.), average number of hours worked per week, salary, country of citizenship and 3 references with contact information.

Friday, September 05, 2014

‘HacktheHearst’ to Expand Public Discovery of Ancient Treasures

UC Berkeley News Center
Kathleen McClay, August 27, 2014

'The Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, may be home to treasures that are thousands of years old, and a museum hackathon that kicks off Sept. 10 aims to make the stellar collection more relevant and accessible than ever.
HacktheHearst is expected to produce new tools, including apps, that will enable easier, open-source exploration of the museum’s digitized collections data and images.
“It would take centuries to physically exhibit everything in our collections, given the size of our sole exhibition space,” said Michael Black, head of research and information systems at the Hearst Museum. The museum’s approximately 3 million artifacts come from around the world, with especially strong collections from North America, ancient Egypt, Africa, the ancient Mediterranean, Oceania, South and Central America, and Asia.
Students were recently working to digitize a large set of Hearst Museum artifacts.  Photo by Michael Black.
Students were recently working to digitize a large set of Hearst Museum artifacts (Photo courtesy of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology).
As a result of the hackathon, said Black, elementary school kids might not have to spend hours on a bus trekking to the UC Berkeley museum for a tour, or rummaging through an old-fashioned education kit that has been offered for years, but instead access much of the collection at their computer keyboards.
“We’re not Ivory Tower experts who want to keep information to ourselves,” Black said. “Our job is to share this data with the public, and to serve as a clearinghouse for new information about the objects in our collections.”'

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Position Announcement: Blackwater Draw Museum Curator, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico

Eastern New Mexico University seeks applications for a full, time permanent Blackwater Draw Museum Curator. The successful candidate must be able to, under limited supervision, assist the Director in directing the operational, financial, and personnel management activities of the museum. A Master of Arts degree in Anthropology or a related discipline is required, with demonstrable knowledge and experience with Paleoindian research, or Late Pleistocene faunal studies, or other aspects of early American prehistory. The ideal candidate should have experience with museum collections, database management, and show an ability for public speaking, public relations, giving hours, museum security, and technical writing. One year of experience with museum collections and related database management preferred. Work is moderately active in nature that occasionally requires exerting up to 50 pounds of force and/or moderate amount of fore frequently to constantly life, carry, push, pull or otherwise mover objects. 

Electronic applications may be submitted through the links avaiable on the Employment area within the ENMU Human Resources page. Applicants should submit a letter of interest outlining qualifications, current CV, academic transcripts, and names of three references. Applications will be reviewed beginning September 15, 2014, with review continuing until position is filled. Applicants must pass a pre-employment background check and employee must have a valid drivers license at time of hire. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Museum Anthropology Leaders: Sheila Goff, History Colorado, Denver, Part 2

Exclusive Museum Anthropology Blog Interview with Sheila Goff, History Colorado, Denver

This interview is the second installment in a new series, Museum Anthropology Leaders, where blog intern Lillia McEnaney will be interviewing various anthropological museum professionals. The first installment in the series was with Alaka Wali at the Field Museum. 

This is Part 2 of 2.


Do you have a favorite object in the History Colorado collection?
I have many favorites. I am drawn to Mesa Verde Black-on-white pottery with its beautifully painted designs. I also like objects that make me think about the person who made or used them. For example, we have a coiled basket from the Mesa Verde region with a broken awl tip embedded in it. I imagine the reaction of the woman who was making the basket when she broke her tool. 


Image courtesy of History Colorado, Stephen H. Hart Library & Research Center

Generally, what is your favorite thing about museum anthropology?
Learning about the past in multiple ways. We study artifacts, using a variety of techniques and approaches. We consult experts who include archaeologists and the descendants of the people who made or used the artifacts.

Do you have any advice or tips for our younger readers who are perhaps thinking about going into archaeology or museums? 
Develop your specialty but at the same time prepare yourself broadly to do the variety of things that need to be done in a museum. In my case, in graduate school, my museum specialty was collections management and my cognate was Southwest archaeology. While my preparation is appropriate for my current job, I am grateful I took classes in exhibit development and that I had a background in education because exhibits and education through outreach are also a part of my job. Also, be sure to do volunteer work or internships to hone your skills, decide better what you want to do, and make contacts in the field. 


Have you seen any major changes in our field over the past decade? If so, what were they? 
I have seen several changes. Many museums of the past developed exhibits with content that curators thought visitors should know. I see a move now toward developing exhibits based on what visitors know and want to know. That information is gleaned through a lot of visitor testing before, during, and after exhibit development. I see museums becoming vibrant places with exhibits that provide content in a variety of ways (images, text, artifacts, video, interactives, programming, websites, etc.). More and more museums are consulting with tribes in the development of exhibits and programs that relate to tribes. NAGPRA also brought tribes into collections and museums have benefited from learning more about their archaeological and ethnographic collections from them. 

Where do you see the field of museum anthropology going? 
I believe it will only get better. I see more and more museums collaborating with the people and/or their descendants associated with museum collections to bring their visitors an accurate interpretation of objects and stories from multiple perspectives. 


As a relatively new curator, what differences have you seen between your coursework in Museum Studies and your work at History Colorado?  

I don’t see a lot of difference. When I reflect upon my overall program in Museum Studies, I think all aspects of it were relevant and prepared me well. In my current position, I have ended up using information from most of the courses I took. More importantly, while in school I was a graduate assistant in the Anthropology Collections Section of the CU Museum of Natural History, where I gained practical experience daily working with collections. My internship and thesis enhanced my knowledge of my cognate area. I was encouraged to join professional organizations and attend annual meetings, which I did and these too helped prepare me for work.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Invitation to the International Conference: Archaeology 2015, Ancient Cultures in the Lands of the Bible, Jerusalem, June 2015

Call for Abstracts:  The scientific committee of the conference invites experts to submit abstracts on the conference topics. The list of topics is presented on the conference web-site: Archaeology Israel

More details on the conference are available on the site.    

For questions contact: desk@archaeologyisrael.com

Monday, August 25, 2014

$1.5 Million In Grants Go Out To Help Tribes, Museums, Alaska Native Villages Regain Human Remains And Cultural Objects


The National Parks Traveller
August 23, 2014

The National Park Service has released more than $1.5 million in grants under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act to assist museums, Indian tribes, and Alaska native villages to document and return human remains and cultural objects to their native people.

Grants were awarded both to support the efforts of museums, Indian tribes, Alaska native villages and Native Hawaiian organizations in the documentation of NAGPRA-related objects (consultation/documentation grants), and to pay for the costs associated with the return of the remains and objects to their native people (repatriation grants). This year, 29 grants totaling $1,471,625.00 are going to 24 recipients for consultation/documentation projects, and $95,423.40 is going to eight repatriation projects.

“NAGPRA provides an opportunity to correct the mistreatment of native peoples' ancestral dead by returning the sacred objects and cultural heritage that have been removed from their communities,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “These grants will continue the process by which more than 10,000 Native American human remains and one million sacred objects that have been returned to tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations.

More here

Friday, August 22, 2014

Northwest Indian College Tribal Museum Studies Program


TMSD 201 Introduction to Tribal Museum Studies
Course Instructor: Sara Siestreem, MFA

This course and program is offered ONLINE in a hybrid format. Hybrid courses are supported through regularly scheduled video conferencing (face-to-face) classes with the instructor. Class includes 4 hours of academic study each week. This includes 2 hours of face-to-face class time and approximately 2 hours of additional classwork each week.

Class will meet online Fridays, 12:00—2:00 PM. A headset and microphone are required; a webcam is preferred, but optional for students.

This 4 -credit course will:
-present an overview of museums with an emphasis on tribal museums and cultural centers
-explore the ethical and legal issues related to Native people and the museums that portray their histories
-contrast mainstream museums and community-driven tribal museums
-discuss the skills needed for careers in museums, as Native artists and more

Class dates: Sept. 26; Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; Nov. 7, 14, 21; Dec. 5, 12
Sara Siestreem, MFA is a contemporary Native American Artist, scholar, consultant and educator. Sara is Hanis Coos and an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Tribes from the South Coast of Oregon. She earned her BS (Phi Kappa Phi) at PSU and an MFA (with distinction) from Pratt Art Institute in Brooklyn, NY.
FALL QTR. 2014 Sept. 22 - Dec. 12

Registration and more information:
To learn more about the Tribal Museum Studies Program, or to register, please contact:
Susan Given-Seymour at sgiven@nwic.edu, ph. 360.392.4248
Tami Chock at tchock@nwic.edu, ph. 360.392.4259

More information HERE

The Northwest Indian College is committed to providing indigenous peoples with opportunities to learn about and develop skills related to tribal history and cultural arts.  Through courses, workshops and trainings people in the Tribal Museum Studies Program will further their knowledge for careers working in tribal museums and cultural centers.