Walker Art Center Looks Past Scandal With an Open Call to Native American Artists for a New Public Commission

ArtNet, January 17, 2019

“Two years after Sam Durant’s controversial commission at the Walker Art Center was ceremonially buried after sparking outrage among Native American communities around Minneapolis, the museum has launched an open call directed at Native artists for a public art project to be exhibited at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden or on the Walker campus by 2020.

The project stems from commitments made by the museum in collaboration with Dakota elders during the mediation process that led the the removal of Durant’s sculpture. His installation, Scaffold (2012), was partly inspired by the hanging of 38 Dakota men in Mankato in 1862 and was intended as a symbol against capital punishment.”

More here.

Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate in Archaeology, Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, Cornell Univeristy

The Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies (CIAMS) (https://archaeology.cornell.edu/) invites applications for a two-year Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate in Archaeology position, starting in Fall 2019. We invite applications from scholars who have completed the Ph.D. within the last three years with a specialization in archaeology (broadly defined). We especially seek applicants who offer areas of research and teaching that complement the existing CIAMS faculty (see https://archaeology.cornell.edu/faculty). Given Cornell’s strengths in Mediterranean and Near Eastern archaeology, we do not encourage applications from specialists in those areas, but are open to applicants who do research in any other part of the world. We are interested in scholars who can bring new analytical methods to CIAMS and have a particular interest in paleoethnobotanical research. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the faculty, we seek scholars whose work addresses issues of broad intellectual significance.

The Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate will teach two courses per year, and will deliver at least one public lecture each year (one of which may form part of the CIAMS, Finger Lakes AIA, or NYSAA lecture series). Additionally, the position-holder will be responsible for organizing and moderating the CIAMS brown-bag workshop series during the first year, and for organizing and hosting a thematic speaker series during one semester of the second year. The balance of the Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate’s time is to be devoted to her/his own research. A faculty mentor will be appointed to assist the Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate with their professional development. The Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate is required to be in residence at Cornell during the semesters of her/his tenure, but is free to conduct fieldwork in the summer or during the winter break if desired. The salary for this position will be $55,000 per year, with benefits, and with up to $3,000 per year available in research funds. Materials must be received by February 15, 2019 to receive full consideration.

Eligibility: Applicants must have received the Ph.D. degree no earlier than January 1, 2016. Applicants who will complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree (including filing the dissertation) before appointment in August 2019 are eligible to apply. The completion date for the Ph.D. degree will in no circumstances be waived or extended.

Teaching:  The position-holder is expected to teach four classes during the two years at Cornell, as follows: (1) a lower-level undergraduate course on a broadly-construed topic within his/her specialization; (2) a course on the practice of archaeology (on methods, ethics, etc.); (3) an upper-level course for a mix of undergraduate and graduate students on topics in his/her geographical area; and (4) a course of the applicant’s choosing. The timing and content of offerings will be negotiated after the fellow has accepted the position.

Applications:: Applications must be submitted here. 1. Please submit (1) a letter of application; (2) CV; (3) writing sample (of less than 30 pages); (4) a list of four courses (each with a 100-word description) that you propose to teach at Cornell; (5) a description of a possible theme for a series of 3-4 speakers in the second year; and (6) names and contact information for three references. Letters of reference will be solicited only for those applicants of the most interest to Cornell. Questions about the position or the application process should be addressed to CIAMS Director Prof. Kurt Jordan [a] kj21@cornell.edu.

Cornell University is an affirmative action equal opportunity employer and educator.

2019 CMA Conference: Call for Session Format Ideas

Dear CMA Friends, 

We hope you will be able to join us for the second biennial CMA meeting, which will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico from September 26 – 28, 2019. We are structuring a dynamic three-day conference that will foster dynamic and diverse conversations in our field, while also directly engaging with the particular placement of Santa Fe. The first day of our meetings will be on Museum Hill, home to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology and the Museum of International Folk Art, and the nearby School of Advanced Research will host an evening program. The second day will be partially hosted by the Institute of American Indian Arts, and the third and final day will be hosted by a Native community.

The theme of our meeting will be Museums Different, and to match our desire for an innovative and creative conference, we are seeking proposals for session structures that will set our conference apart. What do you wish academic conferences looked like? How can we break down the barriers between theory and practice through our collective conversations? Please send session format ideas, comments, or suggestions to cmaconference2019 [@] gmail.com by March 1, 2019.

The call for papers will be issued soon, and the deadline for those submissions will be May 6, 2019, with applicants being notification by June 3, 2019.  

CFP: Annual International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums

NYC to Commission New Work to Replace Controversial Public Monument

ArtForum International, January 3, 2019

“New York City is currently seeking artists to design a new artwork to replace the controversial statue dedicated to J. Marion Sims, the nineteenth-century gynecologist once hailed as the “father of modern gynecology” who was known for experimenting on enslaved black women. The monument, which was removed from its prominent location in Central Park, across from the New York Academy of Medicine, in April 2018, was the only public work that the city voted unanimously to take down.

The city was prompted to reevaluate all of its public artworks following the white supremacist rally that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2018. The event led to violent clashes between those protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee and counter-protesters. The rally led cities across the United States to confront the racist and colonial legacies of their public monuments and sparked a national debate on the role of public art and the commemoration of controversial figures.”

More here.

CFP: Connecting and Disrupting African Collections in European Museums

How and why is Africa represented in European Museums? This panel will critique the cognitive infrastructures underlying the research, interpretation and display of African material in museums, and the intersections of these within present post-colonial legacies, including politics of race.

This panel will question how African pasts and presents are currently represented in European Museums. It will seek to expose and critique the cognitive infrastructures underlying the research, interpretation and display of African material in museums, and the intersections of these within present post-colonial legacies, including politics of race. Addressing the conference theme, the panel will ask how connections and disruptions in African presents and pasts are being represented, and explore new approaches that might disrupt established thinking and practices to make new connections for African collections.

This panel situates itself within present debates over the future of African collections in European museums. Ground is shifting, with recent announcements made by President Macron, the Benin Dialogue Group and the V&A concerning repatriation and long-term loans. Questions of consistency surrounding the repatriation of colonial-era looted objects encircle Berlin's Humbolt Forum as it prepares to open in 2019. A demand for the recognition of acts of colonial violence in the past, and their legacies in the present, lie central to these debates. This includes questions about the structural inequalities that frame ideas of legitimacy and appropriate justice. While moral and logistical debates about repatriation continue to rage above the curatorial level, this panel seeks to recognise the underlying colonial legacies and inequalities that continue to frame work with African collections today. What are the assumptions underlying how collections are presented, and who for? What are the tensions that permeate ideas of legitimate expertise? Can anything be done to disrupt them?

More here.

Position Announcement: Director, Logan Museum of Anthropology and Wright Museum of Art

Beloit College seeks a Director of the Logan Museum of Anthropology and Wright Museum of Art to begin July, 2019. The Director is responsible for the administration of the Logan Museum of Anthropology and the Wright Museum of Art and for working with faculty and museum staff to develop exhibits, programs, policies and plans, grant proposals, and manage resources. The Director supervises a small professional staff and reports to the Provost and Dean of the College. This is an twelve-month, full-time, administrative position with an adjunct faculty appointment in a relevant department.

The successful candidate will have a Ph.D, preferably in Anthropology and must have three to five years of prior administrative or curatorial museum experience, preferably in an academic museum. Working knowledge of current practices, theories, ethics, and policies in the field of museums is required, preferably in anthropology and art museums. Experience with NAGPRA compliance and working with source communities is preferred.

The incoming Director must be a strong leader and provide vision and strategic direction for the Logan and Wright museums. Knowledge of American Alliance of Museum accreditation desired. The successful candidate must demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, as well as working with broadly diverse communities. They should demonstrate a  commitment to deconstructing the structural biases embedded in disciplinary boundaries. Evidence of ongoing interdisciplinary research and/or scholarly production that complements the existing strengths of the museums is preferred.

Teaching experience, broadly construed, is required. The successful candidate preferably has teaching experience at the undergraduate level. The Director will have adjunct faculty status, chair and teach Museum Studies, and cross-list in relevant departments. Demonstrated experience advising and mentoring students, cultivating and facilitating student research opportunities, and experience in object-based instruction is required. The Director will work with faculty and museum and development staff to develop, maintain, and promote the museums as excellent learning resources. Effective collaboration and strong communication skills are required.

For a complete job description, click here.

Because equity and inclusion are central to our students’ liberal education and vital to the thriving of all members of our residential learning community, Beloit College aspires to be an actively anti-racist institution. We recognize our aspiration as ongoing and institution-wide, involving collective commitment and accountability. We welcome employees who are committed to and will actively contribute to our efforts to celebrate our cultural and intellectual richness and be resolute in advancing inclusion and equity. We encourage all interested individuals meeting the criteria of the described position to apply.

Located in a diverse community close to Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago, Beloit is a selective undergraduate liberal arts college that attracts students from across the United States and the world. The college emphasizes excellence in teaching, learning beyond the traditional classroom, international perspectives, and collaborative research among students and faculty. It is recognized as one of the Colleges That Change Lives. More information about Beloit College can be found atwww.beloit.edu.

To apply, submit a letter of application, resume, and contact information for three professional references toBCDirMuseums2019@beloit.edu. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Call for Papers: Museum Ethnographers Group 2019 Conference

Everything we hope to do rests upon trust.  Ethnography displays rely upon mutual trust - between and among museum professionals, external partners, and diverse audiences.

How do we develop an environment of trust that enables, accepts and forgives the contradictions inherent in our displays? We display difference as a means of searching for commonalities; our displays seek to 'give voice' and yet often we 'speak for'.  Trust enables forgiving spaces and critical conversations around displays that aspire to present, represent, advocate, interpret and empower other ways of being.  An absence of trust risks displays that seem to misrepresent, (mis)appropriate, consume and disempower.

How do we encourage institutional trust in a time of post-truth politics?

How can museums deal with ‘toxic’ or contested objects in our collections that potentially undermine the institution's message? 

Recognising that a failure of trust causes actual harm, how can we nurture and maintain trust?

Can collaborative curation and conversation really effect change in the broader landscape of museum practice? Do we need to re-think the museum’s relationships with the state and funders? And with originating communities?

We welcome long and short papers that address these and related issues: long papers x 20 minutes, short papers x 10 minutes.

We also invite short papers on work in progress.

Please send a 200 word abstract and 100 word biography to the conference organiser, Robert Storrie, at RStorrie@horniman.ac.uk

Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2019