Event: Workshop on Ethics, Settler Colonialism, and Indigeneity in the History of the Human Sciences, University of Washington

On November 4, 2018 the University of Washington’s Walter Chapin Simpson Centre for the Humanities will be hosting a special workshop on Ethics, Settler Colonialism, and Indigeneity in the History of the Human Sciences.

Taking place from 9:30-4:30pm in Communications Building 202, this workshop will explore how historians of science and others might assess the ethical breaches and conundrums that took place in the past as researchers in the human sciences carried out investigations of and on “the other.”

A question that has long troubled historians is whether, and in what way, they should judge the historical actors they study, whose behaviors often fell short of what is considered ethical by today’s standards. Drawing on the recent work of historian Jan Goldstein, who has called for an “empirical history of moral thinking,” this workshop engages this question by asking how historians of science and others might assess the ethical breaches and conundrums that took place in the past as researchers in the human sciences carried out investigations of and on “the other.”

The Ethics, Settler Colonialism, and Indigeneity in the History of the Human Sciences workshop will explore this question by bringing historians of science into conversation with scholars of Indigenous studies, settler colonial theory, and theories of race and empire. In doing so, the workshop foregrounds the Global South and decenters the presumed centrality of North Atlantic histories of science while debating Goldstein’s proposal and addressing two sets of broader questions. First, what role has the construction of ethical and moral norms played in scientific inquiries of human diversity? How has the construction and transgression of ethical frameworks aided or interrupted settler colonial projects of dispossession? And second, what is the afterlife of ethical relations and their transgressions? In other words, do ethical relations persist through data sets, material objects, bones, and bodies? How do they continue to shape knowledge?

Questions about this event can be directed to Adam Warren at awarren2@uw.edu

Abbe Museum receives $169K grant to ‘decolonize’ its practices

Mainebiz, September 7, 2018

"The Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor has received a $169,070 Museums for America grant to continue "decolonizing" its practices in documenting and interpreting Native American history and experience.

As Maine's first and only Smithsonian affiliate, the Abbe Museum's mission is to inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations at its two locations: in downtown Bar Harbor and inside Acadia National Park at Sieur de Monts Spring. The museum works closely with the Wabanaki people to share their stories, history and culture and has a collection of over 70,000 archaeological, historic and contemporary objects.

It also holds the world's largest and best-documented collection of Maine Native American basketry.

Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, who has been president and CEO of the Abbe Museum since 2009, has been co-leading the museum's decolonization initiative, which includes developing policies and protocols to ensure collaboration and collaboration with Maine's Wabanaki people.

In a recorded TEDxDirigo talk in Portland delivered on Nov. 5, 2016, Catlin-Legutko explained the urgency behind the museum's efforts to decolonize its practices and displays.

""How does the work I do cause another person's pain and anguish?" she wrote in a blog posting accompanying the link to her TEDxDirigo talk on the museum's web page. "How dare I ignore this pain?""

More here

Digital footprints of the past: An online archive of Native history

Santa Fe New Mexican, August 10, 2018

What if you could view a vast archive of your family’s history and your cultural records from your living room? What if you could talk back to that archive and correct its spellings, annotate its histories? What if you could share your research, write your own histories, and upload these documents and photos to a shared living narrative?

All these futuristic promises are being delivered with the ongoing rollout of the Indigenous Digital Archive, a project of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Known as IDA, the online archive allows viewers to easily access what amounts to roughly 270,000 pages (150 linear feet) of records on the Santa Fe Indian School and other Native boarding schools in New Mexico, as well as land- and water-rights use claims. The records come from the U.S. National Archives and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center New Mexico’s Tribal Libraries program. But the focus is squarely on papers from the boarding school era, which remains a black hole of collective memory, an imbalance that the IDA hopes to correct.

“These records have been available, but it was difficult to get them. You had to be a researcher type and travel to these locations in Denver, in Albuquerque or Washington, D.C., to view them,” said Veronica Tiller, an IDA board member who is a University of New Mexico professor and a member of the Jicarilla Apache tribe. “You had to have access to a microfilm reader and know how to search for material. It was really exhausting and time-consuming.”

A historian by training, Tiller knows her way around the special ways in which an archive is organized. She has traveled thousands of miles to view them, in order to write books such as The Jicarilla Apache of Dulce and The Jicarilla Apache: A Portrait. But experiences like hers may become a thing of the past, thanks to the site now available at indigenousdigitalarchive.org.

More here. 

Join CMA at Reduced Rates!

The Council for Museum Anthropology is offering 10% off section membership dues to any new and former (2 or more years lapsed) professional and/or student members through October 31, 2018.

Email members [@] americananthro.org to verify your eligibility and receive your exclusive promo code today!

More here.

Call for Exhibition Proposals: Curating and Public Scholarship Lab

Concordia-based research team seeks two Fellows-in-Residence to develop public exhibitions on contemporary social and political issues. (Version Français)

Submission Deadline: September 21, 2018

Interviews: October 1 – 5. 2018

Applicants chosen for interviews may be asked to provide more detailed project descriptions.

Resident selection: October 12, 2018


The Concordia-based research team Beyond Museum Walls is offering two curatorial residencies (February – April 2019, August – October 2019) to researchers, artists, curators and students interested in developing research topics, media, and artworks into full exhibitions that attempt to establish critical dialogues around pressing social and political issues. The Beyond Museum Walls research team has extensive experience consulting on exhibition strategies related to “difficult knowledge” — or meaningful encounters with histories of injustice, such as colonization, genocide, discrimination, violence, conflict, as well as under-representation and contestation relating to these in public discourse, particularly in the Canadian context.

Curatorial Fellows-in-Residence will engage in a series of meetings and workshops alongside Beyond Museum Walls researchers and research assistants to develop and produce (1) an exhibition experiment guided by  our “curatorial dreaming” methodology that would lead into (2) a public exhibition and series of outreach events (discussions/performances/workshops) at the Curating and Public Scholarship Lab at Concordia University. 

As a research team dedicated to broadening the discourse around histories of injustice in museums, we encourage Indigenous, racialized, disabled, LGBTQ+, gender non-binary, formerly incarcerated people, and people from working class or immigrant backgrounds, among others, to submit proposals. Emerging as well as established artists/curators/researchers are encouraged to apply. 

More here

SIMA Receives New NSF Funding

The Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology (SIMA) has been awarded a grant from the Cultural Anthropology Program of the National Science Foundation. It is the fourth round of funding that the NSF has provided to SIMA (with co-funding this time from the Documenting Endangered Language (DEL) program). SIMA began in 2009 and has run continually since then under the leadership of Candace Greene. With her retirement, Joshua Bell took over leadership of the program, which a 2018 editorial of Museum Anthropology, described as “an incomparable environment for rigorous training in museum methodologies at all levels of the field, promoting career advancement for emergent and established practitioners.”

Now entering its second decade, the Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology (SIMA) is a research training program offered by the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. The program seeks to promote broader and more effective use of museum collections in anthropological research by providing a supplement to university training. SIMA will now be broadening the types of collections  data  examined  by  offering  lessons  on  how  to  effectively  work  with  audio,  art  works,  as  well  as  still  and  moving  images,  alongside  museum  artifacts. They will also be extending the methodological  reach  of SIMA by  teaching  students  about  Ancient  DNA  research,  ecological  understandings  of  artifacts  through  flora  and  fauna  analysis,  and  discussions  of  conservation  analysis.

Each summer SIMA supports 10-12 graduate students who want to use collections in their research and learn how to engage with materiality of collections more effectively. In addition, two fellowships are awarded to teaching faculty who are interested in learning how to incorporate museum collections into their teaching, and who would like to use SIMA as an opportunity to observe, learn, and share lesson planning. While the core of SIMA will not be changing, they are widening the scope of the teaching to actively include and think about archival and visual materials.

Using Smithsonian collections, experts, and visiting faculty, SIMA:

  • introduces students to the scope of museum collections and their potential as data
  • provides training in appropriate methods to collect and analyze material and visual data sources
  • makes participants aware of a range of theoretical issues relating to collections
  • positions students to apply their knowledge within their home university
  • advances pedagogical training and methods that helps reposition museum collections as critical data for anthropology

The curriculum, including both seminars and hands-on workshops, teaches students how to navigate museum systems, select methods to examine and analyze museum specimens, and recognize the wealth of theoretical issues that museum data can address.

SIMA will put out a call for applications for faculty fellows and students (application deadline March 1, 2019) shortly and begin posting details of the 2019 program in the coming months. SIMA will run from June 17 to July 12, 2019. For more information on SIMA visit: http://anthropology.si.edu/summerinstitute

CFP: Final Week for Submissions - Recovering Voices Community Research Program

The Recovering Voices 2019 Community Research Program Call for Proposals closes in 1 week! The deadline for application submissions is September 15, 2018. Since this date falls on a Saturday, applications will continue to be accepted through the end of that weekend (11:59am, Sept 16, 2018).

This Call for Proposals will support multiple research projects to the Smithsonian collections and archives between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019.

The purpose of the Community Research Program is to support indigenous communities in their efforts to save, document, and enliven their languages, cultures, and knowledge systems. The Program supports groups of community scholars from around the world to come to the Smithsonian to examine specific objects, specimens, and documents related to their heritage and to engage in a dialogue with Smithsonian collections and archives staff in order to recover and revitalize their language and knowledge. 

The application guidelines and materials are available on the Recovering Voices website and blog.

Maxwell Museum exhibit explores gun violence

The DailyLobo, August 22, 2018

"Gun Violence, a Brief Cultural History is an exhibit on display at the University of New Mexico’s Maxwell Museum that focuses on the history and culture surrounding gun violence in the U.S.during the 21st century, said David Phillips, the Interim Director of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology.

Like any social issue, gun violence has a cultural history behind it. Phillips said gun violence directly impacts university campuses across the country and it is important that UNM has an open dialogue surrounding gun violence. 

“If we don't (do) something about this, we would be sticking our heads in the sand. (The Maxwell Museum) is the logical place to have this exhibit and conversation,” Philips said. 

Phillips partnered with the Maxwell Curator of Exhibits, Devorah Romanek, to create this exhibit. According to Romanek this exhibit is part of her ongoing project called “Current Issues in Anthropology.” This series focuses on a variety of current anthropological issues that impact visitors in their day to day lives, Romanek said. 

“David and I wanted to show that gun violence has been present in the world for a long time and let other people speak — by using quotations,” Romanek said. “The focus was on the United States, because David and I thought that would be most relevant, but examples were pulled from elsewhere in the world as well.”"

More here

2018 CMA Student Travel Awards

CMA is most pleased to announce this year's two CMA Student Travel Awards:

Elizabeth Derderian

PhD Candidate, Northwestern University

AAA Presentation: “Playing with the Rules: Ideologies of Critique and Freedom of Artistic Expression in the UAE”, to be presented in the session entitled “Beyond Resistance and Complicity: New Approaches to Middle Eastern Art Production and Circulation”

Amanda Guzmán

PhD Candidate, University of California, Berkeley

AAA Presentation: “Teaching Museum Anthropology and Cultural Equity by Design”, to be presented in the session entitled “Pragmatic Imagination, University Collections, and the New Museum Anthropology”

Congratulations Elizabeth and Amanda!!

All CMA awards will be presented at the CMA reception on Friday 16 November at the AAA meetings in San Jose. The reception will be at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. Come and celebrate!


J. I. Stanley Prize Nominations due October 1st

A nomination for the J. I. Staley Prize can be made by attaching a letter of nomination to the Staley Nomination Cover Sheet. Each nomination should address how the book fulfills the selection criteria listed below. Each nomination must be for a single outstanding and influential book.

Nominations must be received by October 1st to be considered for the following year’s J. I. Staley Prize and may be made by individuals or academic departments. Authors and publishers may not nominate their own books. Nominations should be emailed to staley@sarsf.org.


A panel of scholars evaluates books nominated for the J. I. Staley prize by the following criteria:

  • innovative and rigorous thinking in terms of theory, research methods, and/or application of findings;

  • superior integration of sub-disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary perspectives;

  • significant contribution to our understanding of humankind;

  • exemplary writing and clarity of expression; and

  • demonstrated or anticipated impact on the field of anthropology.


To be eligible for the J. I. Staley Prize, a book must currently be in print. It must have been in publication for at least two years before it is nominated and for no longer than eight years. Co-authored books are eligible for the Prize, but edited volumes and textbooks are not. Second or subsequent editions are not eligible for consideration.

Selection Process

After reviewing the nominations to ensure they are eligible for the award, the School convenes a panel of outside scholars representing a broad spectrum of the subdisciplines of anthropology. Comprised of a different set of scholars each year, the panel evaluates nominated books based on the criteria for the Staley prize. Books eliminated in the first round of consideration by three successive panels may be withdrawn from the pool.

At the Rubin Museum, the Future Has Arrived. And It’s Fluid.

The New York Times, August 9, 2018

"It flies and flows and creeps. You measure it, spend it, waste it. It’s on your side, or it’s not. We’re talking about time, and so is the Rubin Museum of Art, one of the biggest-thinking small museums in Manhattan. The Rubin is devoting its entire 2018 season and all six floors of galleries in Chelsea to time as a theme, with an accent on the future, a future which is making some of us nervous these days.

If you’re a Buddhist — and much of the historical art at the Rubin is Buddhist, from the Himalayas — time is an especially complex subject because it’s not linear. It’s layered and cyclical, with past, present and future snarled up together. And that’s the way the Rubin presents it. So where to begin?

I started at the admissions desk where, along with my ticket, I was handed a letter handwritten by an earlier visitor. (You’re invited to write a “Letter to a Future Visitor” of your own before you leave.) Mine was from someone named Bill who suggested I start my time-travel on the sixth floor with the exhibition called “The Second Buddha: Master of Time.”"

More here.