I am very pleased to welcome Traditional Arts Indiana as well as its Director–my friend and colleague Dr. Jon Kay–to the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. Indiana University announced this organizational shift today in the media release pictured below (click here or on the picture below to read the release). Thanks go to all of those individuals and agencies who have long supported both units. I am excited by all that we will accomplish working together.
Posts from the ‘Good News’ Category
What is European Ethnology? The International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) has a great answer.
I wish the membership of the American Folklore Society, the American Anthropological Association, the Council for Museum of Anthropology, the American Society for Ethnohistory, and/or the Society for Cultural Anthropology could cook up a short video this good. Congrats to our great SIEF friends–some of whom appear in this video.
I am happy to note here that the Executive Board of the American Folklore Society has endorsed a proposal put forward by the Folklore and Museum Policy and Practice Working Group to establish a Folklore and Museums section within the society. The section came into existence as of the Executive Board’s November 2014 meeting in Santa Fe. I am very pleased to serve as the new section’s first convener and to invite everyone with an interest in the intersection of museum practice and folklore (/folklife/ethnology) to join the new section.
As noted in the call for members on the AFS website:
the Folklore and Museums Section exists to foster communication and cooperation among museum-oriented folklorists, to advance the contribution of folklore studies scholarship and practice in museum settings, and to articulate museum-oriented folklorists with other colleagues, institutions, and organizations in the museum sector. The section aims, whenever possible, to cooperate with other sections of the American Folklore Society and with peer-organizations in the field.
The public web home for the new section can be found online here: http://www.afsnet.org/?page=MuseumSection and the member’s group space is accessible to members who are logged into the AFS website.
While I am very eager for all interested colleagues to join AFS, I want to note that the AFS has a free “Section Only” membership category by which non-AFS members can sign-up with sections such as the new Folklore and Museums section. This might be of particular value to non-folklorists who wish to keep up with the section’s work. Information on the Sections Only “membership” is available on the Membership Categories page of the AFS website. There is no cost to join the Folklore and Museums section.
The Santa Fe meetings were a great gathering for museum-minded folklorists. I am optimistic that the new section can help make the 2015 meetings even richer for our corner of the field. Thanks to all who have contributed to the momentum behind the new section and to the growth of folklore and museums work.
Call for Applications (Deadline Nov. 15)
Museums at the Crossroads: Local Knowledge, Global Encounters
A Summer Institute of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures and the School of Global and International Studies, Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana, USA
May 14-21, 2015
The Indiana University Mathers Museum of World Cultures and School of Global and International Studies invite applications for up to eight Museum Partners who will take part in an innovative international workshop on the future of museums of culture and history.
Museums at the Crossroads, scheduled for May 14-21, 2015, in the beautiful college town of Bloomington, Indiana, combines keynote addresses, tours, charrettes, and social interactions. We seek applications from museum practitioners and theorists who wish to partner in conversation and creative practice with a group of invited keynote speakers and international museum fellows in a small, informal workshop setting. Successful applicants will receive eight nights of on-campus lodging and per diem support of $45 for eight days.
About Museums at the Crossroads
Museums at the Crossroads connects theory and practice, bridging institutional, regional, and national museum contexts in order to advance the global conversation around museums and generate a range of practical outcomes for its participants.
Workshop participants will include:
• 4 international fellows from innovative museums around the globe
• 8 museum partners drawn from museums and other institutions in the United States and abroad
• 12 Indiana University faculty, staff, and graduate students
• 4 keynote speakers, each addressing a broader social and cultural theme that we wish to explore in depth in museum contexts.
Our keynote speakers are:
• Steven Lubar, Brown University (keynote on Today’s Museum: Innovation, Change, and Challenge)
• Michael F. Brown, School for Advanced Research (keynote on Cultural Crossroads: World Cultures in Transition)
• Stephan Fuchs, University of Virginia (keynote on Disciplinary Crossroads: The Evolving Sociology of Knowledge)
• Haidy Geismar, University College London (keynote on Artifactual Crossroads: Real Meets Virtual)
Museum Partners will be responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from Bloomington, Indiana, and are expected to participate actively in the full workshop and in associated follow-on activities. Prior to attending, each shall develop an institutional profile that includes an account of challenges your museum faces relative to the three “crossroads” (Cultural, Disciplinary, Artifactual) being explored in the workshop. Partners without a museum affiliation will be asked to prepare a comparable position paper on the themes.
How to Apply
To apply for a position as Museum Partner, please send a resume or curriculum vitae, as well as a cover letter expressing your interest, as a PDF email attachment to:
Sarah Hatcher, c/o firstname.lastname@example.org.
Review of applications will begin November 15, 2014, with applicants receiving notifications by December 15, 2014.
For additional detail on the scope and nature of Museums at the Crossroads, see the workshop précis, which is accessible online at: http://www.mathers.indiana.edu/crossroads.html.
Additional information about Indiana University Bloomington can be found at: http://iub.edu/.
Information on the Mathers Museum of World Cultures is available at: http://mathers.indiana.edu/.
Questions about the workshop can be addressed to the organizers at: email@example.com.
The Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy (aka CHAMP) is a very active initiative at the at the University of Illinois. Led by anthropologist Helaine Silverman, it involves a huge number of Illinois faculty and organizes a wide range of conferences, talks, and projects. CHAMP has announced a busy series of lectures for October. Check out its website for more information on CHAMP’s activities. Here are the upcoming lectures.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16
DAVENPORT HALL, room 109A
Food, heritage and intellectual property in Europe
Lecture by Dr. Erica Farmer (James Smithson Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Institution)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17
DAVENPORT HALL, room 109A
Negotiating the “increase and diffusion of knowledge”: Policy, practice, and values around cultural heritage at the Smithsonian Institution
Lecture by Dr. Erica Farmer (James Smithson Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Institution)
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21
GSLIS 126 (501 E. Daniel)
Why UNESCO Matters: The Destruction of Cultural Heritage around the World
A panel presentation:
Lynne Dearborn (Architecture): The destruction of vernacular architecture
Laila Moustafa (LIS): The loss of Islamic manuscripts
Helaine Silverman (Anthropology): Looting the archaeological record
Kari Zobler (Anthropology): The devastation of Syria’s cultural heritage
Co-sponsored with the UNESCO Center for Global Citizenship
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22
Lucy Ellis Lounge, first floor in FLB
Vikings in America? Swedes in the American Ethno-Racial Hierarchies in the 19th Century
Lecture by Dr. Dag Blanck (English Department, Stockholm University)
MONDAY, OCTOBER 28
Lincoln Hall room 1064
The Colonial Occupation of Piura: The Historical Archaeology of the First Spanish Settlement in Peru
Lecture by Dr. Fernando Vela (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Reflections and Reports on Open Access Published in the New Issue of Cultural Anthropology (@culanth)
The new, May 2014 issue of Cultural Anthropology is out now. It is the second issue of the journal to be made freely available online, which means anyone with internet access can read it. (Hurray.) In support of the journal’s commitment to understanding and pursuing open access approaches to scholarly communication, the new issue has a dedicated section of peer-reviewed contributions focused on open access in the journal publishing realm.
I am happy be one of the contributors to this section. Ryan Anderson and I revised and updated an earlier interview on open access that we did together. We calibrated the new version to contemporary circumstances, included specific discussions of the Cultural Anthropology case, and sketched a critical anthropology of contemporary scholarly communications practices. It was exciting not only to revise the interview but to improve it on the basis of appreciated peer-review. We think of the piece as an experiment in genre too, as the interview was a textual co-construction in which we revised and altered each others’ words with the goal of creating the most useful resource that we could. It began as a true interview, but did not end there. (In this, its inspiration was an earlier Cultural Anthropology piece on open access “Cultural Anthropology of/in Circulation.”) The interview’s primary function among the other pieces is as an introduction to open access practices. We hope that it is useful in this role. We appreciate everyone who has already expressed kind appreciation for the piece.
There are many great pieces in the open access section (see list below). I am only now reading the other articles in the issue. Charles’ Briggs’s “Dear Dr. Freud” is compelling.
A key thing about the way that the Society for Cultural Anthropology is doing its journal and website is that the site is a rich hub for content both in support of the journal and extending well beyond it. Articles are often richly supplemented with interviews, images, and media and there are also opinion pieces, shorter works, photo galleries and much additional content. While Chris Kelty is present in the open access section of the journal, I want to call attention to his even newer opinion piece, which was published today. In it, he makes a strong case for the adoption of Creative Commons licenses for Cultural Anthropology going forward. I share his views.
There is lots to read in the new issue. Here are the open access pieces.
- Editors’ Introduction by Anne Allison and Charles Piot
- Beyond Copyright and Technology: What Open Access Can Tell Us about Precarity, Authority, Innovation, and Automation in the University Today by Christopher Kelty
- Reason, Risk, and Reward: Models for Libraries and Other Stakeholders in an Evolving Scholarly Publishing Ecosystem by Kevin Smith and Paolo Mangiafico
- Anthropology and Open Access by Ryan Anderson and Jason Jackson
- Designing Digital Infrastructure: Four Considerations for Scholarly Publishing Projects by Ali Kenner
- Cultural Anthropology and the Infrastructure of Publishing by Timothy W. Elfenbein
- Glossary of Open Access Terms by Cultural Anthropology
I really like the Glossary. It allowed me to get a definition of FUD into the pages of Cultural Anthropology! (Learning the term was the only good thing about the PRISM fiasco, an episode that seems so long ago now.)
The issue is receiving a good bit of discussion on Twitter but, as so often happens, there will probably be only a tiny amount of commenting on the journal site–even though there is great infrastructure in place to allow for it. I invite everyone to prove me wrong. Be brave and leave a comment on any of the papers.
Thank you to @culanth editors Anne Allison and Charles Piot for their hard work and for including the piece that Ryan and I did. Thanks as well to @culanth Managing Editor Tim Elfenbein for his hard work on the issue.
Many graduate and undergraduate students received keen awards at today’s Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology Picnic. Congratulations everyone!
A couple of Fridays ago, all of the practicum students at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures made PechaKucha style (Ignite style, AFS Diamond style, etc.) presentations on the work that they have been doing throughout the museum. It was simply amazing! So inspiring. So well done. So impactful. This was our first semester hosting such an evening. The event will return in the fall. Learn more about MMWC practicum here: http://www.indiana.edu/~mathers/museumprac.html
Back in April, Art at IU featured the latest news from the MMWC Ostrom Project. The focus is on the exhibit Ojibwe Public Art, Ostrom Private Lives. Check it out http://viewpoints.iu.edu/art-at-iu/2014/04/14/ojibwe-art-collected-by-ostroms-on-display-now-at-mathers-museum/
One of that exhibition’s Co-Curators, School of Education Ph.D. student Sarah Clark has just launched a scholarly blog along with Dr. Adrea Lawrence of the University of Montana. The site is Education’s Histories. Its great. Check it out: http://www.educationshistories.org
I have not been able to keep up with all the good news from student rites of passage. Here is a catchup.
Teri Klassen is now Dr. Teri Klassen, after her successful Ph.D. dissertation defense. Her dissertation is titled: Quiltmaking and Social Order in the Tennessee Delta in the Middle 20th Century
Melissa Strickland and Meredith McGriff have earned their M.A. degrees in folklore.
Kelley Totten and Darlynn Dietrich have completed their Ph.D. qualifying exams and are now officially at work on their dissertations.
Sarah Gordon has her dissertation defense schedule for next week! Jon Kay has his scheduled for the first day of the fall semester!
Dr. Gabrielle Berlinger will return to Bloomington to join Dr. Klassen in this week’s graduate commencement ceremonies.
This is just a small sample of all the good stuff going on.
Update: I just saw that Dr. Candessa Tehee defended her dissertation today! So great.
I really enjoyed listening to the new Anthropod podcast on open access in anthropology. Focusing on the move of Cultural Anthropology to an open access model, hosts Bascom Guffin and Jonah S Rubin have done a great job with the podcast. I urge everyone to check out their well produced conversations with Sean Dowdy (of Hau), Alex Golub (of Savage Minds and many OA discussions), Brad Weiss (past SCA President), and Timothy Elfenbein (Cultural Anthropology Managing Editor).
The Mathers Museum of World Cultures (MMWC) is Indiana University‘s museum of ethnography, ethnology, and cultural history. Yesterday, the museum began its 51st year. Today I begin my second year as the museum’s director. It was an honor to have been named to this role and, as I reflect on my first year, I am really happy about where the museum is in its journey.
In a pair of posts, I would like to reflect upon the year just concluded and the year ahead. Not everyone is an excited about the details as I am, so I will place them below the “more” button. For those just skimming, I wish to thank you for keeping up with Shreds and Patches and for supporting the MMWC and the various projects that I am involved in. Thanks go as well to the museum’s staff, collaborators, students, policy committee members, donors, friends, funders, visitors and supporters. I extend special appreciation here to the leadership of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (the IU unit of which the MMWC is a part) and to Director Emeritus Geoffrey Conrad. Read more
Museums of Ethnography and Cultural History Celebrate Fiftieth Anniversaries and Welcome New Directors
I will say more detailed things about the Mathers Museum of World Cultures during 2013 in later posts. Here I just want to flag a few happy curiosities.
Today is the last day of 2013 and 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. This fact made it an extra wonderful year to begin service as the museum’s Director. The exhibition Treasures of the Mathers Museum was the centerpiece of our celebratory activities and a new strategic plan was the fruit of our reflections on the past and our goal setting for the future. We have made good progress on our goals for the second half century, but that is for a future post.
We were not alone among museums of ethnography, cultural history, and world cultures celebrating golden anniversaries in 2013. Joining us in such celebrations were the Fowler Museum at UCLA, the Wake Forest Museum of Anthropology, and the Cherokee Heritage Center. (2013 saw other notable 50th anniversaries in the broader museum world, including the 50th anniversary of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee/Milwaukee Public Museum museum studies program.) Congratulations to all of the half century celebrants, especially to these museums in our corner of the field.
2013 was also a year for new directors among such museums. I am happy to be among them. My friend Candessa Tehee and I shared the experience of becoming directors during a 50th anniversary. Candessa is the new Executive Director of the Cherokee Heritage Center. Robert Preucel was named the new Director of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Brown University and Patrick Lyons was named the new Director of the Arizona State Museum at the University of Arizona. The Cherokee Heritage Center was not the only Cherokee museum to get a new director, The Museum of the Cherokee Indian named James “Bo” Taylor as Executive Director. I am sure that I missed someone (please add them in the comments), but I want to wish all of these new directors well. It is an exciting time for our field and I look forward to seeing where we all collectively go during 2014.