News from the Field

New York’s Museum of Sex Plans an Ambitious Expansion (and a Tryst With Musée d’Orsay)

Sarah CasconeartNET News

"As the Museum of Sex (MoSex) turns 15, it’s experiencing some growing pains—perhaps inevitable for a teenager—needing to enlarge its footprint to accommodate more visitors and house more artworks. But executive director and founder Daniel Gluck is facing these challenges head on, with ambitious plans for an expansion and new partnerships with a wide range of cultural institutions, as the museum looks to expand its curatorial scope over the next four years.

Founded in 2002, MoSex celebrates New York City’s sexual diversity, and showcases the best scholarship on sex and sexuality—the first institution of its kind in the US. “The original vision for the Museum of Sex really hasn’t changed over the years,” stated Gluck in a email to artnet News. “What has grown is our ability to execute.”

“Our goal is to simultaneously feature exhibition in the arts, sciences, and social anthropology at any given time. We’ve recently focused more in the arts, while most of our previous exhibitions had focused on social anthropology. In the next four years we hope to refocus in these areas, exploring areas such as religion, wartime, the Weimar, and the singularity,” he added. “There are countless subjects we wish to explore within our exhibitions and programming. Sexuality is a subject that everyone can connect with, a uniquely powerful way to broaden understanding of human culture.”

With a nearly endless amount of subject matter to potentially cover, it’s no wonder that the museum is looking to expand, having already grown from 10,000 to 22,000 square feet. In the upcoming expansion, yet to be finalized, Gluck plans to add new galleries, an event space and auditorium, and a screening room."

A letter from the editors of a fellow AAA journal publication, Cultural Anthropology

Dear Colleagues,
The Society for Cultural Anthropology (a section of the American Anthropological Association) is excited to announce a groundbreaking publishing initiative. With the support of the AAA, the influential journal of the SCA, Cultural Anthropology, will become available open access, freely available to everyone in the world. Starting with the first issue of 2014, CA will provide world-wide, instant, free (to the user), and permanent access to all of our content (as well as ten years of our back catalog). This is a boon to our authors, whose work we can guarantee the widest possible readership —and to a new generation of readers inside of anthropology and out. Cultural Anthropology will be the first major, established, high-impact journal in anthropology to offer open access to all of its research, and we hope that our experience with open access will provide the AAA as a whole, as well as other journals in the social and human sciences, valuable guidance as we explore alternative publishing models together.
While the current content of Cultural Anthropology will be available via open access, the current AAA contract with Wiley-Blackwell requires that the AAA continue to provide the journal to our library and member subscribers. Thus, CA will also continue to be available, in full, to library subscribers and all AAA members via the Anthrosource portal. Indeed, if you have access to a library subscription, or enjoy the benefits of AAA membership, we hope that you will continue to access CA by means of Anthrosource. The statistics these downloads generate continue to play an important part in the allocation of revenue, including to Cultural Anthropology, and thus help subsidize this new publishing venture.  In the future, our goal, and that of AAA, is to sustain Cultural Anthropology independently as a preeminent publication, produced with the hard work of editors and authors, and the contributions made by the members of the SCA.
This change opens up new possibilities and new questions for Cultural Anthropology. The most important aspect of the journal is the quality of the research it publishes, and CA will continue its practice of detailed and critical peer review and extensive editorial involvement in the publication of articles. CA will also explore new ways of communicating its content, making it visible to the world beyond our members and subscribers. SCA will also begin to explore other sources of revenue, and consider options for making print versions of the journal available on demand. We are confident that CA can continue to maintain the extraordinarily high standard of scholarship it currently enjoys; indeed, we expect that this new opportunity will attract ever more interesting work.  We want to thank the Executive Board and the publishing office of the AAA, and especially all of the members of the SCA, for their encouragement and support of this new project.  The members of the SCA Board look forward to working with our editorial team, as well as our colleagues across the academy, and in the library world, as we undertake this important endeavor.  
Brad Weiss
President, Society for Cultural Anthropology

The Future of the Ethnographic Museum

This essay discusses the recent past of ethnographic museums and raises questions about their future. In the last thirty years or so, ethnographic museums have faced many challenges arising both from within and beyond anthropology to the extent that in the post-colonial and post-modern era they could be said to have suffered an identity crisis. Many have been renamed, remodelled or rehoused in spectacular new premises (such as the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris). Only a few have remained largely unaltered, as at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford where the authors of this essay are employed. Drawing on the theoretical literature in museum anthropology and material culture, many years of ‘hands on’ curatorial experience and the insights gained from a five year collaborative research project involving ten major ethnographic museums in Europe, the authors investigate how ethnographic museums might engage with new audiences and new intellectual regimes in the future.

You can read the full article in Anthropology Today, Volume 29, Issue 1.

Our Language in Your Hands: BBC Radio 4 online series

Our Language in Your Hands BBC Radio Series

BBC Radio 4 program on themes of language diversity, endangerment and policy that starts Monday December 3.   

The first episode, recorded in Nepal over the summer, airs from 11:00-11:30am GMT on Monday, 3 December, 2012. Alongside analogue and digital radio transmission in the UK, the programme will be streamed live online:

The series has its own set of web pages on the BBC site:

Episodes two and three cover the linguistic landscape of South Africa and New York City, and will be aired 11:00-11:30am on Monday 10 and Monday 17 December respectively.

The programmes will be archived as podcasts at some point in the future.

SAR Looks to Expand

The 105-year-old School for Advanced Research could double the size of its east-side Santa Fe campus due, in part, to a new relationship with a national foundation.

The anthropology and archaeology institute is moving toward buying 7.44 acres immediately south of its 7.8-acre campus of 40 years at 660 Garcia St.

The school has a contract to acquire the undeveloped land from the Howells family -- relatives of Martha Root White and Amelia Elizabeth White, wealthy New Yorkers who moved to Santa Fe in the 1920s to build a large home, called El Delirio.

More here

New Director of Penn Museum

President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Julian Siggers as Williams Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, effective July 1, 2012.

Dr. Siggers is currently vice president for programs, education, and content communication at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada’s largest research museum. He has also served as director of the Institute for Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum and as head of narrative and broadcast development at the National Museum of Science and Industry in London. Dr. Siggers taught prehistoric archaeology for eight years at the University of Toronto, where he earned his PhD in 1997, with a specialization in Near Eastern prehistoric archaeology.

More here

UA Field School at Rock Art Ranch

The University of Arizona School of Anthropology will be conducting its second field season at Rock Art Ranch during the first summer session of 2012 (June 4 through July 6) for undergraduate and graduate students at all skill levels. The participants will learn both archaeological survey and excavation techniques. For survey, participants will learn site identification, location and mapping using GPS; artifact identification, collection and processing; soil and plant identification; and artifact analysis and sourcing. For excavation, the participants will learn mapping at all levels of the site, feature identification, the principles of stratigraphy and their application to the archaeological record, seriation techniques, artifact identification and typology, and basic laboratory procedures. Finally, students will be shown how by combining the techniques of survey and excavation, a more complete understanding of human society in the past can be achieved.

Project Location: Rock Art Ranch is a private ranch 20 miles southeast of Winslow, AZ, that still raises cattle and bison.The ranch contains some of the Southwest’s most spectacular rock art dating from 6000 BC to AD 1400, which has been completely documented.

Schedule: Field and laboratory sessions are from 7 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday. Field trips will occur on Saturdays with dinner eaten in Winslow. Due to the remote location of the project, trips to Winslow to do laundry and shopping will be done on Sunday.

Tuition and Fees: Field school registration is subject to normal University of Arizona tuition and fees for summer school, which are the same for in-state and out-of-state students. These fees have not yet been set, but in 2011 were $315/credit hour for undergrads and $350 for graduate students. A special course fee of $600.00 for each course for a total of $1200 covers field school costs and is due at registration.

More here

Death of a Museum

CEDAR FALLS --- Michael Stahr pulls open a storage drawer at the University Museum and gazes at the collection of objects at his gloved fingertips. He hefts a rock specimen in his hand and examines it, replaces it and scribbles on his clipboard.

"I'm going through the entire geological collection and judging which rocks are best to keep in the collection," said the Davenport senior who will graduate from the University of Northern Iowa in May with an earth sciences degree. "I'm getting actual experience and using my expertise."

Seated at a desk nearby, Reinbeck graduate student Zach Moye carefully handles a worn leather holster and a stack of frayed drab olive green knapsacks. He started cataloging Civil War military memorabilia months ago, then items from the Spanish-American War and now pieces from World War I.

Read More here

Fort Apache Earns Historic Designation

The Theodore Roosevelt School at Fort Apache has been designated a National Historic Landmark for its role in the “highly complex and dynamic interactions” between the federal government and the tribes they were trying to assimilate and control.

The announcement Tuesday by the Department of the Interior ends a 13-year push by the White Mountain Apache tribe to have a site that lets them tell their side of history.

“The popular veneer of history of the West – that very thin layer of history that is perpetuated by Hollywood and the popular media – that’s not very satisfying to the native people of America,” said John Welch, one of the people who nominated the site.

“Fort Apache provides an opportunity for the tribe to tell that side of their story,” said Welch, board secretary of the Fort Apache Heritage Foundation.

More here

Cultural Heritage and Human Rights

An interesting summary article and update of the well-known excavations at Çatalhöyük:

In the arid, rural plains of central Turkey sits one of the most important archaeological sites on earth. Sheltered by an expansive glass canopy, dozens of archaeologists and students work year-round to unearth and preserve the treasures of the ancient village of Çatalhöyük. Since 1993 Stanford professor of anthropology, Ian Hodder, has been leading an international team in an ongoing excavation of the 9,000 year-old Neolithic site.

More here