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Anthropology of Museums

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - 2:00pm to Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 5:00pm

Room 328, Anthropology Wing, Penn Museum, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA

Fall 2017 Methods course for undergraduate and graduate students.

Anthropology 268: Anthropology of Museums: Memory, Place, Power, and Representation
Meets Wednesdays from 2-5 pm in the Anthropology wing.
Professor: Margaret Bruchac

Museums are crucial sites for complex discourse around issues of Indigenous history, identity, and representation. How are Indigenous people represented in museums? Who owns Native American culture? What are the social relations among collectors, curators, scholars, and Indigenous communities? This course will examine the selective preservation, representation, and contextualization of Indigenous objects, cultures, and histories in museums. Eras include: antiquarian collecting of curiosities; scientific collecting of biological specimens; nationalistic ideals that shaped state monuments; and innovative Native American exhibits that are re-shaping public perceptions. Course will feature hands-on studies of objects in the Penn Museum collections. Case histories, field trips, and collection surveys will include: digital repatriation at the American Philosophical Society; wampum research in New England; heritage sites in Philadelphia; and the Native American Voices exhibit at the Penn Museum. 

Undergraduate students: register on-line through Courses in Touch.
Graduate students: register for Independent Study with the Anthropology Graduate Coordinator.

For more information, email: