Museum Anthropology Teaching Resources: Northern Arizona University

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MST 360: Topics Course in Museum Studies (co-convened with MST 599): Native American Representation in Museums
Northern Arizona University
T/Th: 4:00-5:15PM
Liberal Arts Rm 209F
Spring 2015

Instructor: Gwen Saul, PhD
Office Phone: 928-523-6821

Course Description
This course critically examines the museum/exhibit space as a crossroads for complex interpretations of Native American cultures, material culture, histories and peoples; as such, we will consider the relationships between museums and Native communities with special attention to the southwest region of the U.S. How do museums and exhibits influence our knowledge and opinions about Native American cultures, material culture, histories and art? This course will introduce students to theoretical concepts within museum studies, anthropology, and critical Indigenous theory as well as best museum practices. The dominant themes of this course include representation, the role(s) of museums in Native communities, collaboration, and museum practices. Students will analyze the roles of museums and collections within Native American communities and become familiar with relevant contemporary issues affecting Native American communities and museums in the southwest. 

Student learning outcomes/expectations for this course
1. Students will be familiar with contemporary case studies of collaboration between museums and Indigenous communities in the southwest United States.
2. Students will be able to articulate and critique, verbally and in written form, anthropological approaches to the concept of ‘representation’ 
3. Students will engage with critical Indigenous scholarship on museums/museum exhibits/collections in verbal and written form
4. Students will be able to outline intellectual/theoretical considerations and practical processes involved in museum display

The reading material for this course consists of articles and book chapters available on bb learn and listed accordingly in the syllabus.

Useful websites

American Alliance of Museums (AAM):

Course Requirements & Assessments
Participation/discussion leaders (100 points total): For each class, two students will co-lead class discussion on the assigned readings. Each student will have the opportunity to co-lead discussion twice during the semester. Class discussion leaders will prepare 4-5 discussion questions for the class (and turn in their questions to the instructor for full credit). Students will sign up to lead class discussion the first day of class.
“Just One Thought” 4 Short Writing Exercises  (25 points each, 100 points total): These will involve in-class writing exercises: reflections/critique on reading assignments/case studies.
Humanities in Action Team project (25 points)  Students will gain experience working as a team to create a class visual project as part of the Humanities in Action showcase on April, 7th at NAU. 
Final Presentation: (100 points): Your final assignment will be a presentation of 10-15 minutes with 5 minutes of questions and discussion afterwards. Your presentation will reflect a project/theme of interest to you, explored through class readings and independent research.
Total Points: 325

Course Schedule 
*subject to verbal and/or written changes*
Week 1: 
1/13: Introductions, course overview
Reading Assignment: “Introduction,” from Imagining Indians in the Southwest Leah Dilworth (1996) 
1/15: A history of colonizing
Reading Assignment: Chapter 1 “Representing the Hopi Snake Dance” from Imagining Indians in the Southwest Leah Dilworth (1996) 
Graduate students: Chapter 2 “Discovering Indians in Fred Harvey’s Southwest” Imagining Indians in the Southwest Leah Dilworth (1996) 
Week 2 
1/20: Native/non-Native histories and relations in the Southwest
Reading Assignment: from Museum Anthropology (Fall 2013): “L’etendart Sanglant est Leve: The Bloody Banner is Raised” Tony Chavarria, “Buyer Beware” Jim Enote, 
Graduate students:  “Notes from a Museum Lawyer” Linda Knowles
1/22: Contemporary Issues: Hopi/Museums/Repatriation
Reading Assignment: Chapter 2 from Mediating Knowledges  (Gwyneira Isaacs)
Week 3
1/27: Negotiating/Community engagement/Zuni
Reading Assignment: “Repatriation of Ahayu:da 20 years later” T.J. Ferguson Museum Anthropology (2013)
Graduate students: “Who’s Idea Was This?” Gwyneira Isaacs
1/29: Guest speaker: Jim Enote, Executive Director of A:shiwi A:wan Zuni Cultural Heritage Center
Reading Assignment: “Objects of Ethnography” Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (Karp & Levine 1991)
Graduate students: “Resonance and Wonder” Stephen Greenblatt (Karp & Levine 1991)
Week 4
2/3: Material culture and display
Reading Assignment: “Incorporating Quliaqtuavut (Our Stories): Bering Strait Voices in Recent Exhibitions” Amy Chan Museum Anthropology (Spring 2013)
Graduate students: “The Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways” from Decolonizing Museums (Amy Lonetree)
2/5: Incorporating narrative and oral histories
Reading Assignment: “Collaboration and exhibit development at the National Museum of the American Indian” (Cynthia Chavez Lamar) from NMAI: Critical Conversations; “Planning the National Museum of the American Indian” (Judith Ostrowitz) from NMAI: Critical Conversations
Graduate students: “Inside Out and Outside In” (Ruth Phillips) from NMAI: Critical Conversations
Week 5
2/10: NMAI
Reading Assignment: “Introduction” and “Naal Tsoos Sani: The Navajo Treaty of 1868, Nation Building, and Self Determination” (Denetdale) from exhibit catalog Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations NMAI exhibit, curated by Suzan Shown Harjo
2/12: Current Exhibitions at NMAI/collecting culture
Reading Assignment: “Gym Shoes, Maps, and Passports, Oh My! Creating community or creating chaos at NMAI?” Elizabeth Archuleta NMAI: Critical Conversations; 
Graduate students:“Franz Boas and Exhibits: On the limitations of the museum method of anthropology” Ira Jacknis
Week 6
2/17: Collaboration
Reading Assignment: Chapter 3 from Mediating Knowledges  (Gwyneira Isaacs)
Graduate students: “The Museum as a Vehicle for Community Empowerment” (Nancy Fuller)
2/19: Community engagement
Reading Assignment: “White People will believe anything! Worrying about authenticity, museum audiences and working in Native American focused museums” Larry Zimmerman Museum Anthropology (2010)
Graduate students: “From Third Person to First: A Call for Reciprocity among non-Native and Native Museums” Karl Hoerig Museum Anthropology (2010)
Week 7
2/24: Reciprocity/collaboration
Reading Assignment: “Collaboration Matters” from Decolonizing Museums (Amy Lonetree)
Graduate students: “Setter historical consciousness in the local history museum” Andrea Smith Museum Anthropology (2011) 
2/26: Historical representation/museums
Reading assignment: Chapter 1 Decolonizing Methodologies Linda T. Smith
Graduate students: “California’s Sites of Conscience: An Analysis of the State’s Historic Mission Museums” Deanna Artt Newton Museum Anthropology (2011)
Week 8
3/3: Method, sovereignty, decolonization
Reading Assignment: Chapter 3 Decolonizing Methodologies Linda T. Smith
Graduate students: “Introduction” from The Transit of Empire Jodi Byrd
3/5: Method, sovereignty, decolonization
Reading Assignment: Chapter 10 “The Erotics of Sovereignty” Mark Rifkin from Queer Indigenous Studies
Graduate students: Chapter 1 from When Did Indians Become Straight? Mark Rifkin
Week 9
3/10: Indigenous feminisms/Queering the museum space/Indigenous Queer Theory
Reading Assignment: “The museum’s silent sexual performance” James Sanders; also please read information on this website
3/12: Indigenous Queer Theory/Museums
Week 10-SPRING BREAK 3/16-3/20
Reading Assignment: Chapters 1-3, Our Indian Princess Nancy Mithlo; Chapter 2 “Saving Native Arts from the Tourist” and Chapter 3 “Museum display of Indian Art” from A New Deal for Native American Art: Indian Arts and federal policy 1933-1943 Jennifer McLerran
Week 11
3/24: Museums/appropriation/Native Art
Reading Assignment: “Assessing the consequences of Sustained Appropriations of Navajo weavers’ Patterns” Kathy M’Closkey Chapter 7 from No Deal! Indigenous Arts and the Politics of Possession 
Graduate students: TBA
3/26: Field trip: MNA (?)/Humanities in Action project preparation
Reading Assignment: “Neocolonial Collaboration” Museum Anthropology (2011) Robin Boast
Week 12
3/31: Humanities in Action project preparation
Reading Assignment: ATALM Sustaining Indigenous Culture; “Cultural Identity in Modern Native American Architecture” Atkin and Krinsky
4/2: Humanities in Action project preparation
Reading Assignment: “Museums as Relational Entities” Joshua Bell
Week 13
4/7: Humanities in Action Symposium
4/9: Debriefing on Humanities in Action Symposium
Reading Assignment: Read and review the following online Tribal museums: 
Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve, Tulalip Tribes (Washington state),; Makah Museum, Makah Cultural and Research Center
Makah Tribe (Washington state),; Yakama Nation Museum,; Squaxin Island Tribe (Washington state)
Week 14
4/14: Online exhibits/Tribal Museums and cultural heritage centers review
Reading Assignment: “Portraits of a Storied Land” Chip Colwell Chanthaphonh, 
Graduate students: ‘Oral narratives and emotion’ Michael Harkin
*Bibliography for final papers DUE
4/17: troubled histories/cultural sensitivity
Reading Assignment: “Welcome to this house” Patricia Erickson
Week 15
4/21: Class Presentations
4/23: Class Presentations
Week 16
4/26: Class Presentations
4/30: Last day of class
Week 17: FINAL EXAM Week

Final papers DUE May 6th 12 noon