Monday, September 26, 2016

Fellowship Announcement: Three-Year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian's National Anthropological Archives

The National Anthropological Archives (NAA) at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Department of Anthropology is offering a 3‐year postdoctoral fellowship that focuses on research within the NAA to establish methods, standards, and criteria for enhancing the discoverability of cultural anthropology data and materials within its holdings.

The NAA is the nation’s largest archival repository dedicated exclusively to collecting and preserving records documenting the history of anthropology and cultures of the world. These collections represent a major investment of private and public scholarship relevant to ongoing scientific interests in anthropology and related fields. NAA materials are used by a wide variety of academic, citizen, and source community researchers to help answer questions that range from the communal (i.e., humanenvironmental relations) to the global (i.e., language endangerment). Despite their cultural and historical importance, these materials are not being used to their fullest potential. Discoverability and optimal use of the collections is hindered by archival descriptive practices that do not align well with current interests of anthropological scholars and other researchers. Recognizing this problem, the research carried out during this postdoctoral fellowship will help establish a better understanding of anthropological user needs and data‐gathering practices that will inform improvements in the representation of archival materials. The postdoctoral fellow will help identify the needs and requirements of both archival custodians and researchers in an effort to improve archival descriptive practice and researcher success in discovery. Through user surveys and other means, research will consider the nature of contemporary anthropological inquiry and its archival legacy, the historical and current use of anthropological archives, and the analysis of how established archival practice may impede or enable discovery of these resources.

Roles and Responsibilities: This postdoctoral fellowship will be treated as a research position, with an expectation of productive research activity that will result in publications, conference and symposium presentations, and intellectual exchange with Smithsonian staff. During this three year project, the Fellow will initiate and develop research involving (1) past and present use and methods of discovery by researchers in the NAA; (2) past and present archival descriptive practice in the NAA and its impacts on discovery and use; and (3) current trends in the management of and access to digital anthropological research data. Results from these inquiries will inform revised and improved archival best practices for the description of anthropological archival material as well as create a forum for sustained conversation between archival researchers and custodians. As part of NMNH’s Anthropology Department, the postdoctoral fellow will work with anthropologists and archivists to conduct research and develop policies that will improve discovery and use of anthropological archives. An interdisciplinary advisory team is being formed to help further guide this project. The postdoctoral fellow will have ample opportunity to interact with archivists and archival collections, anthropologists in all four fields, and hundreds of researchers from around the world in numerous disciplines, as well as for active collaboration appropriate to the fellow’s individual research interests. 

Research conducted by the fellow should engage the following questions:
What are the roadblocks experienced by anthropological researchers in searching for information in the archives?
How can archival descriptive practices better represent elements of the collection to increase
discoverability by anthropological researchers?
How can archivists more effectively involve anthropologists and source communities in the archival processes of collection representation?
How can “traditional” archives such as the NAA better engage with emerging digital data
repositories such as tDAR, AILLA, OLAC, and DELAMAN, and how can we best develop shared
understandings of “archives,” and “digital data”?

Location and supervision: 
The individual selected for this postdoctoral fellowship will be based at the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, Maryland. The fellow will conduct his/her work under the guidance of Dr. Gabriela Pérez Báez, NMNH Curator of Linguistics, Dr. Joshua A. Bell, Curator of Globalization, and Gina Rappaport, NAA’s Head Archivist.

Candidates should hold (or have plans to defend) a Ph.D. in anthropology, information or archival studies, or other relevant field. Candidate must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The successful candidate will have a strong research background, proven information and project management skills, demonstrated excellence in communication skills, a record of publication and public presentation, and a strong interest in advancing archival practice and research through education, engagement, and collaboration. The successful candidate will have an understanding and demonstrated competency in any of the following areas of research in anthropological archives: ethnographic research methods, the history of anthropology, visual anthropology, archival theory and practice, historical and ethno‐historical research methods. The candidate must also have prior experience in conducting research using qualitative and quantitative social science methods. Demonstrated record of the ability to work in a multidisciplinary and collaborative environment is also desirable.

To Apply: 
Interested candidates should send a CV, a statement (2 pages maximum) of interest in this
position and how it relates to their personal goals, and a list of 3 references and their contact information to the project PI, Gabriela Pérez Báez at, and CC Joshua A Bell and Gina Rappaport Review of applications will begin on October 17, 2016. Selected applicant will be notified no later than November 7, 2017.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Remains long held in museum to be returned to Michigan Native American tribe

Michigan Live
Benjamin Raven, September 15, 2016

Native American remains long held in a museum since the late 1950s or early 1960s will return home to the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi. 

An official with the Michigan-based tribe told the Associated Press the remains will be "ceremoniously reburied." Marcus Winchester, a Pokagon official, told A.P. the tribe is committed to "restoring the reverence owed to Native American ancestors."

The Potawatomi operate in southwest Michigan and northern Indiana, as its governing body operates out of Dowagiac. 

The delivery of the bones and "funerary objects" was approved Tuesday, Sept. 13 by the Lake County Forest Preserve District Board, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, of Illinois, reports.

The remains and artifacts, which belonged to 34 people, had been in a protective storage unit at the museum, the Daily Herald reports. These items had been in storage since 1990 when the United States adopted the law requiring federally-funded agencies to return any Native American cultural items.

Officials had reportedly been working for years to find the remains' rightful home.

The Discovery Museum still has at least another 11 items, but have not been able to nail down who the belong to. The Daily Herald reports they are negotiating the transfer of the remaining items to the Michigan-based  Sault Ste. Marie tribe of Chippewa Indians. 

More here

Friday, September 23, 2016

Contribute to the CMA Column in Anthropology News

Contribute now! 

The Council for Museum Anthropology seeks 2016-2017 submissions for its regular column in  Anthropology News, the bi-monthly newsletter of the  American Anthropological Association!

This column offers a space to publish the newest, most innovative work in our field.
Have a current topic to write about? An in-process project? A conundrum? An exhibition? An innovative teaching approach?

Send your idea, half (500-word), or full (1000-word) piece to Diana E. Marshat.

In order to publish the most current work in our field, CMA news columns have rolling acceptance and will be published online each month, with three to six issues per year selected for print publication.
For the 2016–2017 year, we especially welcome submissions on the following topics:
  • collaboration
  • current exhibitions (reviews or curatorial perspectives)
  • teaching and methods
  • difficult heritage/the "interrogative" museum
  • museum anthropology and the public
  • curatorial conundrums
  • student work
Submissions must be received by e-mail in Microsoft Word or other standard text format. Authors may submit up to three images as separate files. Credit or caption text should be submitted as part of the text document. Authors must also provide their name, title, institution, and a short, one- to two-sentence bio to be included with their piece.

Submissions must be no longer than the specified word limit (500 for half pieces, 1000 for full), including title, photo captions, and bio.

Recent open-access CMA columns include:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Royal BC Museum returns Tla’amin Nation artifacts

Powell River Peak
David Brindle, September 7, 2016

Included in Tla’amin Nation’s final treaty agreement, which gave the first nation self-governance as of April 5, a small appendix on culture and heritage provides for the return of artifacts and cultural materials.

On Thursday, September 1, Royal BC Museum returned a small group of artifacts to Tla’amin.

“It’s important because this has all happened because of the self-government that is in place now,” said Tla’amin Nation hegus Clint Williams. “This is a pretty significant piece of work for anyone to achieve. Because of our self-governing status, it is possible to receive these artifacts and we want to welcome them in a good, positive way and receive them with good feeling.”

According to museum representatives, the most important piece among the returned items is a  stone club.

“The stone club is a larger piece,” said Royal BC Museum curator Martha Black. “It’s carved and has a zoomorphic design on it.” Zoomorphic, said Black, refers to the carvings of animal-like heads on the club.

In some first nations along the Pacific Northwest coast, these type of clubs were often imbued with supernatural properties and played important functions in stories and establishment of traditional lands.

Williams said the pieces, particularly the club, are connected to Tla’amin traditional lands and a dark time from the past.

“It’s something to receive this because not all that long ago there was a goal to destroy and erase us from history,” said Williams. “It’s not a happy memory but we acknowledge and respect what’s still left there, because it’s powerful to see things from the past that have survived that chaotic time.”

More here.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Canada: $2M Launches B.C. Effort to Repatriate Indigenous Artifacts

Times Colonist 
Richard Watts, September 8, 2016

The Royal B.C. Museum and First Nations are embarking on an initiative to repatriate ancestral remains and artifacts to their rightful indigenous homes.

Premier Christy Clark announced Wednesday a $2-million commitment for the project during the Cabinet-First Nations Leaders Gathering in Vancouver.

The Royal B.C. Museum will act as a resource for First Nations peoples who are interested in seeing the return of cultural objects lodged in museums in B.C., Canada and around the world. Those objects were often taken away without the permission of First Nations.

Jack Lohman, director of the Royal B.C. Museum, said the museum will join forces with indigenous peoples, but they will take the lead. “This whole process will be guided by and led by indigenous peoples.”

One of the first steps will be a memorandum of understanding between the museum and the First Peoples Cultural Council, a group immersed in the preservation and revitalizing of First Nations culture, notably native languages.

The museum will act as a secretariat for native peoples to bring home sacred objects.
“It provides a very important mechanism, a significant mechanism to enable, even intensify this work,” said Lohman. “In a way, it’s attaching concrete action to empathy.”

See more here

Monday, September 12, 2016

Museum Anthropology Syllabi: The Anthropology of Heritage, Jones & McChesney, University of New Mexico

In 2014, we asked readers to send us their Museum Anthropology syllabi. Two years later, we are reopening this invitation. We would like to share reading resources and themes for teaching Museum Anthropology with our readers, who range from undergraduates to graduate students to practitioners.

Please send your syllabi or lists of readings/themes to We will compile the information and share it with our readers. 


The Anthropology of Heritage ANTH 381/420; 570/581
Fall 2016

Dr. Emily Jones 
Office: Anthropology Annex 106/108  
Office Hours: Tu 3:30-5; Th 11-12:30

Dr. Lea McChesney 
Office: Hibben Center 113
Office Hours: Tu 11-12:30; Th 3:30-5

Teaching Assistant: Cyler Conrad 
Office: Anthropology Annex B04 
Office hours: W 11-12:30 pm; Th 10-12

Class Location: Anthropology 178
Meeting Times: TTH 2-3:15 p.m.
Course Description
Around the world, local communities, ethnic groups, nation-states, and other stakeholders all construct their present identities in relationship to interpreted histories and particular notions of “culture.” In the last two decades, cultural anthropology and archaeology have gained a growing awareness of how ideas of heritage are used to multiple and sometimes competing ends. When they intersect, these representations frequently collide with disastrous results rather than expanding our understanding of the human condition. This class will explore heritage-making practices and discourses through the lens of ethnology and archaeology. We will problematize the boundaries between different constructions of the past and discuss current debates surrounding the notion of collective heritage.

Student Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this course students will be able to:
1. Understand notions of heritage as being historically situated and emerging from particular configurations of social, historical, and economic power.
2. Understand basic configurations of anthropological and archaeological ethics and extend those concepts to outreach and community interactions.
3. Describe and analyze the multiple intersections between anthropology and local/native communities.
4. Recognize conflicts that arise between the empirically based practice of science and alternative ways of “knowing” the past.
5. Critically examine the relationship between anthropology and nationalist projects as well as identity politics.
6. Problematize the concepts of authenticity, heritage, and patrimony.

All materials listed on the syllabus are required reading. Articles are available as PDFs on the course UNM Learn page. In addition, there is one required book, which may be purchased at the UNM bookstore or online:
1. Heritage: Critical Approaches. 2013. Rodney Harrison. New York: Routledge.

Response Journal                    500 points
3 Position Papers                    300 points 
Attendance and Participation 200 points
Course Grade                         1000 points

Grading Scale: A+ 970-1000; A 930-969; A- 900-929; B+ 870-899; B 830-869; B- 800-829;C+770-799; C 730-769; C- 700-729; D+ 670-699; D 630-669; D- 600-629; F below 600.

Response Journal: Students will be required to keep a weekly typed journal to be based on prompts provided by the professors. Each journal entry should be approximately 300-350 words long. You will submit your journal entry online through UNM Learn each Thursday to be graded. The purpose of the journal is to assess student comprehension of the course readings and to help students prepare for class discussion. We will distribute a handout providing more details on the journal and the grading procedures during the first week of class.

Position Papers: Students will write three 5-page positions papers throughout the semester. Each paper is worth 100 points of the final grade.

Participation and Attendance: Class participation, and therefore attendance, is an essential part of this course. Therefore, you are expected to come to class and talk. If we observe that students are not doing the readings or participating in class, we reserve the right to assign individual students to lead specific discussions of course materials, which will be figured into the student’s final participation grade.

Attendance will be taken at every class session, and unexcused absences will severely and negatively impact your final grade. If you miss class and have a valid excuse, you must provide evidence (doctor's note, etc.) as soon as possible. If you know you will miss class before hand, notify the instructor prior to the absence. Students with more than 1 unexcused absence will be docked 50 points for each additional absence. This will be strictly enforced.

*Additional Requirements for Graduate Students
Graduate students will complete the response journal assignment as outlined above and the first two position papers. In lieu of the third position paper, they will write a 10-12-page paper that offers an in-depth assessment of heritage as it relates to their own research interests. Graduate students will meet individually with faculty in advance to discuss and receive approval for their paper topics.

All graduate students will be expected to assist in facilitating class discussion on at least one day during the semester. We will meet with you to discuss ideas and expectations for leading the class on your assigned day. Graduate students will be required to submit a lesson plan in advance of their lecture.

Evaluation for Graduate Students
Response Journal        300 points
2 Position Papers        300 points
Long Paper                 300 points
Course Facilitation     100 points 
Course Grade             1000 points

General Classroom Behavior and Expectations
1. This class begins at 2 p.m. and ends at 3:15 p.m., or ends when we dismiss the class. Please arrive on time. Equally, please refrain from closing-up your notebooks, re-packing your bags, etc. until class is over. Don’t leave class early unless it is an emergency. If you know ahead of time that you must leave early, please let us know before class begins.

2. This is not an easy class. If you do not read and come to class you will not receive a good grade. That said, please stay on top of the readings and other assignments. On the syllabus you will see assigned reading for each day of class. This means that you should come to class having already read the articles or chapters listed for that day.
3. If work, other classes, etc. conflict with this class, consider dropping the course as soon as possible. It is your responsibility to attend class, be on time, participate in discussions, and complete the required readings according to the dates on the syllabus. You are responsible for taking notes during class.
4. Please turn off your cell phone prior to coming to class.

5. This course is a seminar, not a lecture. Your involvement and participation in the classroom discussion is vital and is necessary for its success. We will have regular in-class activities and discussions in which you are expected to participate.

6. Students are required to uphold the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct in this course. Academic dishonesty includes cheating on exams and assignments, and plagiarizing. Plagiarizing includes copying the work of other students, authors, or your own previous work. Do not copy any text from a published work (book, internet, etc.) without properly citing the source.

7. The University of New Mexico is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for all students with disabilities. Students with disabilities who require accommodation in this class are requested to speak with the professors as early as possible. Students with disabilities must be registered with the Accessibility Services prior to receiving accommodation in this course. Accessibility Services is located at 2021 Mesa Vista Hall, 277-3506 (http://as2.unm).

8. In an effort to meet obligations under Title IX, UNM faculty, Teaching Assistants, and Graduate Assistants are considered “responsible employees” by the Department of Education (see pg 15 - This designation requires that any report of gender discrimination which includes sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and sexual violence made to a faculty member, TA, or GA must be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at the Office of Equal Opportunity ( For more information on the campus policy regarding sexual misconduct, see: policies/2000/2740.html.

All articles may be found on UNM Learn unless otherwise noted.

8/23 Course Introduction
8/25 What is Heritage?
              Harrison Ch. 1 (p. 1-10) & Ch. 2 (book or online on UNM Learn)

Journal guidelines distributed
8/30 International Heritage
              Harrison Ch. 3
9/1 International Heritage
              Harrison Ch. 4

Journal Entry #1 due
9/6 U.S. Law and Heritage
              King, “CRM: Why is it? What is it? Who does it?”
9/8 Case Studies in Consultation
              Bruning, “Complex Legal Legacies”
              Thomas, selections from Skull Wars

Journal Entry #2 due
9/13 Heritage and Nationalism

Guest lecture by Dr. Les Field, Chair, UNM Anthropology
9/15 Heritage and Nationalism
              Harrison Ch. 7

Journal Entry #3 due
9/20 Language as Cultural Heritage
              Hill, “"Expert Rhetorics" in Advocacy for Endangered Languages”
              McChesney and Charley, “Body Talk”
9/22 Language and the Politics of Cultural Labels
Tentative: guest lecture by Carlos Enrique Ibarra, UNM Spanish Heritage Language program

Position Paper #1 Due (undergraduates and graduates)
9/27 Negative Heritage
              Meskell, “Negative Heritage”
              Thomas et al, “Nazi memorabilia, dark heritage and treasure hunting as "alternative" tourism”
9/29 Intangible Heritage & Cultural Landscapes
              Harrison Ch. 6

Journal Entry #4 due

10/4 Materiality
              Glass, “Souvenir T-shirts and the Materiality of Remembrance among the Kwakwaka'wakw of British Columbia”
              Miller, "Materiality"
10/6 Anthropology and Native Communities
              Deloria, “Custer Died for Your Sins”
              Swan and Jordan, “Contingent Collaborations”
Journal Entry #5 due
10/11 The NEA/Chaco project
              Kuwanwisiwma, “Yupköyvi: The Hopi Story of Chaco Canyon”
              Van Dyke, “Memory and the Construction of Chacoan Society”
10/13 Fall Break—NO CLASS
10/18 Museums and Heritage
              Bawaya, “Curation in Crisis”
              Teeter, “This Belongs in A Museum”
10/20 Museums and Heritage
              Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, “Objects of Ethnography”

Tour of Maxwell Museum collections
Meet in the Maxwell Museum galleries
Position Paper #2 Due (undergraduates and graduates)
10/25 Archaeology of Chaco
              Byszewski, “Colonizing Chaco Canyon”
              Begay, “Tsé Bíyah ‘Anii’áhí”
Guest lecture: Hannah Mattson, Postdoc, UNM-Anthropology
10/27 Preservation and heritage
Guest lecture: Angelyn Bass, Research Assistant Professor, UNM- Anthropology
Journal Entry #6 due
11/1 Multivocality
              Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson, “Memory Pieces and Footprints”
              Colwell-Chanthaphonh, “Remembrance of things and things past”
11/3 After NAGPRA
Tentative: guest lecture by Brian Vallo, SAR
Journal Entry #7 due
11/8 World’s Fairs & Heritage Parks
              Selection from Griffiths,
Wondrous Difference
11/10 World’s Fairs & Heritage Parks
              Handler and Gable, “Deep Dirt”
              Rowan, “Repacking the Pilgrimage”
Journal Entry #8 due

11/15 Tentative: Visit to UNM Office of Contract Archaeology (OCA)
              Skim “The Volcano Vista High School Site”

Everyone meet at OCA office: 1717 Lomas NE at the corner of University
11/17 US Law and Heritage, part II
              Schaafsma, “Study Conducted for Capitol Reef National Park as part of an Investigation for Repatriation of the Pectol Shields”
              Loendorf and Conner, “The Pectol Shields and the Shield-Bearing Warrior Rock Art Motif”
Journal Entry #9 due
11/22 Food and Foodways
              Lipe et al, “Cultural and Genetic Contexts for Early Turkey Domestication in the Northern Southwest”
              Jones et al, “Turkeys on the Fringe”
11/24 Thanksgiving—NO CLASS
11/29 Food and Foodways
              Nabhan, “Rooting Out the Causes of Disease”
              Terrio, “French Chocolate as Intangible Cultural Heritage”
12/1 Art and Authenticity in Archaeological Tourism
              Brulotte, “Yo soy nativo de aquí”
              Bunten, “Sharing culture or selling out?”
Journal Entry #10 due
12/6 Whose heritage?
              Altekamp and Khechen, “Third Carthage: Struggles and Contestations Over Archaeological Space”
12/8 Course Wrap-up

Position Paper #3 (for undergraduates) & graduate student papers due