Friday, February 24, 2017

This Weekend: Penn Museum to Host Celebration of African Cultures

PhillyVoice, February 13, 2017
Sinead Cummings

The Penn Museum will host a celebration of African cultures on Feb. 25. Music and dance will be a large part of the day, with traditional African music and contemporary African dance highlighted.

Culture Shock, a multicultural dance group affiliated with the University of the Sciences’ International Society, will perform traditional dances from areas of both East and West Africa. The style will also include hints of Caribbean influence and some African belly dance. They take the stage at 1:30 p.m.

Later in the day, West African Vibe will perform to a variety of contemporary Afrobeat artists. Afterward, the group will teach attendees some dance moves. As for music, the Women's Sekere Ensemble will perform. The group is dedicated to the preservation of African music.

Guests are encouraged to get in on the action and bring a drum or instrument to the celebration. There will be a drumming workshop at 3 p.m. The museum event will also include arts & crafts, storytelling, an African marketplace, games and family gallery tours.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Call for Papers: Museum Anthropology in the Age of Engagement, Panel at the 2017 American Anthropological Association

A couple of decades ago museum anthropologist Michael Ames declared that the museum profession and anthropology were in “jeopardy,” and needed to be “reformed” if they were going to play any “useful roles in society.” Smithsonian anthropologist Richard Kurin also denounced anthropology and museums’ poor track in being socially relevant and publically engaged. Much has changed since Ames and Kurin made their justifiable critiques, but much reform also remains necessary. This panel considers change in museum anthropology from a historical and disciplinary perspective. Particularly significant is how barriers that have historically divided museum anthropology from other anthropological sub-fields are collapsing around the common cause of engagement. The age of engagement is understood not as a determined time with a beginning and end, but rather, moments when “complex interrelations between movements and tendencies” concerning issues of social relevancy and serving a public good have been “dominant, residual, and emergent” (Williams 1977). Panelists explore this history through discussion of a range of moments and case studies while critically reflecting on the many forms engagement can take and the meanings it can be assigned as a concept, an ethical and moral stance, research strategy, and approach to practice. Among the many questions raised by panelists are: How can we address the tensions between engagement as a tool of neoliberalism as well as progressive social change? How is museum anthropology particularly well-positioned to play “useful roles in society”?

Interested? Email Christina Kreps at

Native American Museum Studies Institute: A Professional Development Opportunity for Tribal Museum Professionals

June 13-16, 2017 to be held at University of California, Berkeley
Sponsored byJoseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, UC Berkeley, California Indian Museum and Cultural Center, and Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology UC Berkeley.
Supported with generous funding from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

The goal for this four day workshop is to develop the capacity of tribal community members to conserve and revitalize tribal cultural heritage, foster tribal representations and partnerships as well as educate tribal and non-tribal communities through museum development and exhibits.

Workshop topics will include:
Collections Management and Cataloging
Conservation/Collections Care
Curation and Exhibit Design
Educational Programming
Museum Management
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
Museum Fundraising
Tribal Partnerships and Collaborations with Counties, States, and Agencies

Priority will be given to those already working or volunteering with a tribe’s collection in a museum or in another tribal cultural preservation project.
Those planning a museum or other cultural preservation project may also apply and may be accepted depending upon availability.

The training is tuition free to the participants.
A $50 non-refundable fee will be used to provide lunch and materials.
Participants will be responsible for their other meals, lodging, and travel expenses (see website for more details). Partial travel stipends are available in case of financial need.

Space is limited. Please submit your applications before March 15, 2017. Application form and complete application instructions can be downloaded from our website or obtained via fax or mail by calling 510-643-7237.

For more information, call Christine Trost at 510-643-7237 or email Learn more about ISSI programs and research centers here and read our latest newsletter here. Help us spread the news on Facebook.

Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

OU receives Mellon Foundation grant for Native American arts initiative

The University of Oklahoma has received an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant for $750,000 to support a four-year initiative to increase cultural diversity while seeking to grow a mutually beneficial relationship between OU's doctoral program in Native American art and the Institute of American Indian Arts. The comprehensive program will increase the representation of Native Americans in curatorial and academic positions through collaboration, creativity and commitment toward the goal.

"The university is extremely pleased to receive this grant from the Mellon Foundation. It is a recognition of OU's strong reputation in the field of Native American art," said President David L. Boren.

The program will include six core projects, including paid internships for the museum's Native American art collection and pre-doctoral fellowships, accompanied by a teaching assistantship to students dedicated to the study of Native American art and culture. A biannual museology course will provide graduate students an opportunity to study museum theories and practices and learn curatorial skills by building an exhibition from concept to installation using the museum's Native American art collections.

The OU School of Visual Arts' nationally competitive doctoral program in the study of Native American art will be expanded in order to broaden students' exposure to leaders in the field and improve their critical analysis of current scholarship. Graduate students will manage a symposium on a current topic in the field of Native American art history, museum studies and pedagogy, and a Mellon Foundation Distinguished Lecture Series will be established. Finally, the OU School of Visual Arts will collaborate with the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe to create a pipeline of institute graduates for OU's graduate program to study Native American art history.

The program will be led by heather ahtone, James T. Bialac Associate Curator of Native American and Non-Western Art at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art; W. Jackson Rushing III, Eugene B. Adkins Presidential Professor of Art History and Mary Lou Milner Carver Chair in Native American Art; and Mark Andrew White, Wylodean and Bill Saxon Director of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Upcoming Deadline: Anne Ray Internship, School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, NM

The School for Advanced Research, Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) offers two nine-month internships (September 1–May 31) to individuals who are recent college graduates, current graduate students, or junior museum professionals interested in furthering their professional museum experience and enhancing their intellectual capacity for contributing to the expanding field and discourse of museum studies. The internships include a monthly salary, housing, book allowance, travel to one professional conference, and reimbursable travel to and from SAR. One internship is open to an indigenous individual from the U.S. or Canada, and one internship is open to any U.S. or Canadian citizen meeting the application requirements.

The interns will devote their time to working on IARC educational programming, research and writing activities, and collections management and registration. Other requirements include presenting a research paper at the SAR Colloquium Series; attending a professional conference; assisting with IARC seminars, symposia, and collection tours; and working on outreach initiatives to local Native communities. Interns will also participate in interviews, photo sessions, video recordings, and exit interviews to document their experience. During the internships, the Anne Ray Resident Scholar provides mentorship and academic support to the interns.

For more information, download the Anne Ray Internship Application (PDF, 420 KB). The deadline to apply is March 1st.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Next Week: Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Heritage Mother Tongue Film Festival Highlights Cultural Diversity

February 21-25, 2017
Various locations in Washington, D.C. 
Free and open to the public
The Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices Initiative will present films from across the globe on the occasion of its second annual Mother Tongue Film Festival. The five-day festival will open on United Nations Mother Language Day, Tuesday, Feb. 21, and will feature work representing 33 languages across six continents. The festival presents a curated selection of films on music, identity and place from communities around the world. Together, the program includes a variety of styles from drama to experimental and brings to light the value of language use and revitalization in today’s increasingly globalized world.
The festival will run through Saturday, Feb. 25, at multiple locations across the Smithsonian and Washington, D.C. Complete festival listings, times and locations are available at Doors will open approximately 30 minutes before each show. All screenings are free and open to the public.
“Language is inextricably linked to our identity,” said Mary Linn, curator of cultural and linguistic revitalization at the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. “The Mother Tongue Film Festival foregrounds the role mother tongues play in fostering a sense of self, both across the nation and around the world.”

Friday, February 17, 2017

Museum Anthropology Futures Conference: Student Travel Funding

We are pleased to announce a small graduate student travel fund provided by CMA to defray costs for travel, accommodation, and registration for the Museum Anthropology Futures conference.

Interested graduate students should submit: 1) a one-page letter stating how and why this conference will help their studies, along with (2) a budget stating how much funding is requested (including other potential sources for financial support), and (3) a current CV. Please send the letter to: Deadline for applications for the graduate student travel funds is March 31, 2017.

Remember to check the Museum Anthropology Futures Facebook page for updates!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Call for Submissions: CMA in Anthropology News

Museums are spaces where peoples of different backgrounds, cultures, and faiths can come together to promote dialogue and understanding. In the wake of global political upheaval, what can museums and heritage sites do? How are museum anthropologists and cultural heritage professionals reacting to threats to funding, speech, or the essential exchange of international ideas, exhibitions, and objects? What can our work in museum anthropology, material culture, or cultural heritage do, say, or advocate for in the current environment? Submit your proposal now!

The Council for Museum Anthropology's regular column in Anthropology News, the newsletter of the American Anthropological Association, is dedicated to publishing the most current thinking in our field. In addition to publishing news of the CMA, our CMA News column offers a space to publish our most relevant and innovative work fast online. (One piece from each section will be chosen each year for print publication.)

Send your proposal, half (500-700 word) or full (1000-1400 word) piece to Diana E. Marsh at:

CMA news columns have rolling acceptance and will be published online approximately two weeks after the final submission has been accepted and approved.

In addition to work on current events, for the 2017 year, we especially welcome submissions on the following topics:
museum anthropology and the public
curatorial conundrums (e.g. difficult heritage/the "interrogative" museum)
current exhibitions (reviews or curatorial perspectives)
student work
teaching and methods

Submissions must be received by e-mail in Microsoft Word or other standard text format. Authors may submit up to three images as separate files. Credit or caption text should be submitted as part of the text document. Authors must also provide their name, title, institution, and a short, one- to two-sentence bio to be included with their piece.

Submissions must be no longer than the specified word limit (700 for half pieces, 1000 for full), including title, photo captions, and bio.