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Posts from the ‘Material Culture’ Category

It is Time to Check Out The Michiana Potters: Art, Community, and Collaboration in the Midwest

Hi everyone. Some of you already know that The Michiana Potters: Art, Community, and Collaboration in the Midwest by Meredith A. E. McGriff came out recently from Indiana University Press. It’s great. You should read it asap. This is an exciting milestone not only for Meredith and her collaborators, but also for the Material Vernaculars book series that I edit for the IU Press. The Michiana Potters is the sixth title in the series. I am really happy about the work that the series is doing and I really appreciate both the IU Press and everyone who has supported the series as readers, reviewers, authors, and especially purchasers.

Why do a single out purchasers? Well, as I have noted previously, the MV series is an unusual experiment in scholarly publishing. Because those of us involved in the series want to make sure that potential readers are not hindered from reading series titles because of lack of library access or the inability to purchase the book, MV titles are offered for sale in beautiful print editions and also offered in free-to-readers editions online. When you choose to purchase one of those beautiful print books (or a commercial ebook edition), you are helping subsidize the digital free-to-readers edition. The granddaughter of one of the potters profiled in Meredith’s book, for instance, can click here and get access to the book and carry it around on her phone, show it to her art teacher, and use it for a class project. When someone who can afford to buy the book–a pottery collector getting excited about Michiana ceramics or a professor working in material culture studies, to give two obvious examples–buys the book, they are helping fund the production of the book so that others can also read and enjoy and learn from it. In fields such a folklore studies and cultural anthropology, maximizing access, especially for members of those communities from which we learn, is a crucial ethical consideration.

I have basically told this same story every time an MV title has appeared. The good news is that the system seems to be working. I hope that you will keep it working by purchasing Meredith’s fine book if you can.

As I will describe below, things are actually more complicated than I have evoked above. It is not actually the case that a book is either in print form or in the free digital form. There are other versions in the world too. Some of you can help the cause by using those other versions. I will now reveal some of these other ways.

First, the buyers. You can get a handsome paperback or hardback version of The Michiana Potters from a wide range of booksellers. The IU Press links to some of them on its webpage for the book. Pretty much any brick and mortar or online bookseller should be able to get it for you. If you are an ebook reader, you can also get an ebook edition from the usual sources of ebooks. So, book buyers, get busy. Thank you for making the series possible.

If you need or want to check out the free-to-readers edition of The Michiana Potters, it is now posted to the MV section of the IUScholarWorks repository. You can find its repository page here. If you know someone who really needs to read this or another MV title, please help them find this page. The series page with all six books in IUScholarWorks is here.

Now, lets get fancy. If you teach at a university or college and you wanted to assign The Michiana Potters or another MV title to your students, you can probably do this in a way that saves them money while also contributing financially to the work of the IU Press as the series publisher. “How can that be?” you ask. Well, series titles are also published as part of services that are relatively common in college and university libraries. One colleague of mine, for example, is teaching the inaugural series volume Material Vernaculars: Objects, Images, and Their Social Worlds this fall. Students in that colleague’s class will be reading the book via a JSTOR, a key service making journal and book content available on in university and college libraries. Other libraries have purchased eBook access using other services. For professors and students, your university library may or may not have purchased any one MV title in this form, but some have and more could. Usually all you need to do is look it up in your college or university library catalog.

So, if you are a university person, you can use a JSTOR or a university library ebook version for yourself or for your students. When you do, you are contributing, just by that use, to supporting the publishing work of IU Press, including the MV series. If you can do so, please use such library provisioned versions. They save your students money but they still help support the press. Doing so is better than pointing your students to the IUScholarWorks version. But, if you cannot arrange other access for your students or yourself, go ahead, of course, and use the Free-to-Readers version. That is what it is there for.

You can find The Michiana Potters in JSTOR here: https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctv14npjxm

One source that I would really like to discourage you from using are the ever growing number of dubious file sharing sites. There really is no justification for getting The Michiana Potter from a Russian hacker when the IU Press and the IU Scholarly Communications Department, both at the IU Libraries, have worked to share a safe and easy version with you.

Happy reading to everyone! Congratulations to Meredith!

9780253049650-2

The IU Press flyer promoting The Michiana Potters.

 

On Taking Credit: Textile Traditions and Fashion Rip-Offs

Below find a guest post by Carrie Hertz, Curator of Dress and Textiles at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. –Jason Baird Jackson

On Taking Credit: Textile Traditions and Fashion Rip-Offs

by Carrie Hertz

On August 13, the mail carrier delivered the most recent catalog for Boden, a British fashion brand. While flipping through its pages that evening, I stopped dead on a spread for a new “limited-edition collection” of clothes featuring very familiar embroidery patterns. In explanation, the copy reads:

Our designers were so inspired by a vintage rug they discovered on their travels, they dreamed up this limited-edition collection of exquisitely embroidered pieces.

Let’s unpack this.

The Boden designers, clearly positioned here as worldly travelers, admit foreign “inspiration” for their ideas without actually revealing any valuable details about the source. The mention of a “vintage rug” not only suggests a possibly singular, idiosyncratic item, it places that rug’s creation far in the past, likely made by an anonymous and untraceable craftsperson now lost to history. As a limited-edition line of clothes, potential customers could be led to believe these designs are rare, exclusive, and fleeting, requiring their urgent action. These designs, however, are not unique. They are rip-offs.

IMG_8683As a folklorist and curator of textiles and dress, I engage and partner with artists around the globe who often struggle against the living legacies of colonial structures and the inequalities endemic to Western cultural imperialism. Western fashion corporations repeatedly claim the rights of “discovery” to the world’s textile traditions, capitalizing on unfair advantages constructed over centuries of imperial exploitation, profiting off the creative work of others, and actively concealing the sources of their theft.

Perhaps most painful to many of the artists and communities that I work with is the public erasure of their cultural contributions. In this case, Boden didn’t provide proper credit, not even naming the exquisite embroidery tradition it found so inspirational, perhaps because to do so would immediately shatter the illusion of their design team’s innovation, the elite exclusivity of their garments, or even their relative beauty in comparison to much higher quality versions readily available at affordable prices in the global market place.

So, I offer a small piece of this context now.

Suzani (from the Persian word for needle) embroidery has been developed over centuries in Central Asia, traded along the Silk Road, and later survived Communist attempts to suppress it during the Soviet era in places like Uzbekistan. According to Mary Littrell, a textile scholar and research associate for the Museum of International Folk Art:

In the 20th century, Communist rulers in Uzbekistan equated handcrafts with a feudal past. Handcrafts, associated by the Soviets with individual creativity and private production, served no purpose in a unified and mechanized future. Craft production was forbidden or forced underground as the workers turned to mass production. With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Uzbek artisans began the long process of reviving their centuries-old craft traditions and transforming them in new directions for domestic, tourist, and international markets. (http://handeyemagazine.com/content/past-and-future-suzani)

Today, you can readily find gorgeous hand-embroidered garments made with naturally-dyed silks and cottons being sold on sites like Etsy and produced by living artists for which this artform represents multigenerational cultural memory and skill. During every non-pandemic year, the International Folk Art Market (IFAM, https://folkartmarket.org/) features numerous Uzbek artists selling handcrafted rugs, bedspreads, pillows, clothing and accessories. For examples:

Check out the beautiful designs at Bibi Hanum (https://bibihanum.com/) founded by Muhayo Aliyeva and her sisters (http://ifamstories.org/artists/muhayo-aliyeva/);

or the stunning work of Sanjar Ravshanovich Nazarov (http://ifamstories.org/artists/sanjar-ravshanovich-nazarov/);

or the truly exquisitely-embroidered coats produced in Madina Kasimbaeva’s workshop (https://www.instagram.com/madina.kasimbaeva_suzani/?hl=en) in Tashkent (http://ifamstories.org/artists/madina-kasimbaeva/).

These are only a few of the talented and dedicated artists “dreaming up” suzani designs today. Uzbek artists and others have fought hard to sustain and revitalize suzani tradition. At the very least, they deserve credit for their efforts.

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My Dad’s Shoes

The following is re-posted from my personal Facebook page (June 9, 2020). It was pecked out quickly with my thumbs on my mobile phone. Many friends and colleagues appreciated it and two asked if they could use it in their work with students in relation to the idea of biographical objects (see, for example, Hoskins 1998: Kay 2016). To make such use easier, I reproduce the short essay and photographs here. I appreciate everyone who expressed such kind interest in this post.

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My Dad’s Shoes

The day after my father’s passing, my mother and brother and I began sorting his clothes and belongings. Among his shoes was a pair that was quite atypical for him (and me). They were these simple, espadrille-like slip ons. The WallMart house brand. On a lark I tried them on and they fit comfortably. They felt great. I asked my mom if I could have them. She said yes. I have basically worn them everyday since then, a fact facilitated by the quarantine lifestyle. I have pretty much walked in my fathers footsteps for 105 days. Because of how we live now, that has meant wearing them for walks around my neighborhood. I’ve been averaging about four miles per day, which means I’ve walked about 400 miles in them. For the first time in my life I have worn a hole all the way through a pair of shoes. I have even worn a hole through the two insoles. To keep going I have taken to putting a piece of cardboard between the insoles and soles. This will get them through one walk each patching, but the sole is getting so thin that I won’t be able to keep this up much longer. I don’t want to give them up but that moment is arriving. It has been good to think of my dad with these shoes over the past three challenging months. These shoes are now what my colleagues call biographical objects, despite the fact that my dad seems not to have actually bonded with them particularly. (The were barely worn and my mom could not recall the circumstances of his getting them.) I will miss walking with them, and him.

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References Cites (in the Headnote)

Hoskins, Janet. 1998. Biographical Objects: How Things Tell the Stories of Peoples’ Lives. New York: Routledge.

Kay, Jon. 2016.  Folk Art and Aging: Life-Story Objects and their Makers. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Creation and Community: Making Mississippi Choctaw Arts

Creation and Community: Making Mississippi Choctaw Arts

A Material Culture Studies Lecture by Emily Buhrow Rogers

Thursday May 21, 2020
2–3 p.m. (EST)

Email Jason Jackson at mchsl@indiana.edu to request Zoom details.

This talk examines how Mississippi Choctaw basket weavers, sewers, and beaders innovatively navigate myriad complex landscapes through their acts of creation. It reconceptualizes scholarly beliefs about the nature of material gathering, focuses on the lived realities of individual’s creative efforts, and brings into focus makers’ acts as future oriented and constitutive of the important rhythms of Choctaw social life.

Emily Buhrow Rogers holds a doctorate in anthropology and a master’s degree in folklore from Indiana University. She is currently an editor of the journal Mississippi Folklife and a researcher in the Material Culture and Heritage Studies Laboratory at Indiana University. She carried out her ethnographic research on the expressive practices of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) from 2017-2018 with the generous approval and support of the MBCI’s Chief’s Office and Tribal Council. This work was funded by grants from the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design; the American Philosophical Society; and the Whatcom Museum.

Sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University.

2020-05-21 Rogers Lecture2

Sowei Mask Repairs in Focus: Material Interpretation and Object Itineraries (Lecture)

2020-05-14 Otto Lecture

Sowei Mask Repairs in Focus: Material Interpretation and Object Itineraries

A Material Culture Studies Lecture by Kristin Otto

Thursday May 14, 2020
2–3 p.m. (EST)

Email Jason Jackson at mchsl@indiana.edu to request Zoom details.

Following the emergence of repair as a topic of interest for material culture scholars, this talk examines the significance of repair for the “lives” / biographies / itineraries of ethnographic material culture in museum collections. Sowei masks (also known as Sande or Bundu masks) are among the most widely collected and easily recognizable objects from Africa in museum collections around the world. Repair proved to be a common experience for the masks as they circulated from performative contexts in West Africa into Western markets, collections, and institutions. Through in-depth case studies of five sowei masks in museum collections around the world, Otto examines how repair shapes the material and immaterial lives of the masks in new contexts and transactional spaces.

Kristin Otto is a Ph.D. candidate in Indiana University’s Department of Anthropology and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Her work as a museum anthropologist and curator focuses on how processes of making and repair impact our understandings of museum collections and material culture.

Sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.

Two Collections of Florida Seminole Dolls

Since beginning the social distancing era, I have taken on a small, personal project to photograph and share two collections of Florida Seminole dolls from my life. Building on the post I wrote soon after my father’s passing, I began by posting (Facebook, WeChat) images of his second collection of such dolls. After picturing those eleven dolls, I did the same for the eight dolls in the personal collection that my wife Amy and I share. These all date to my graduate school days, before I became a museum curator and had to stop growing such a collection. For the interest of those outside my narrower social media circles, I share these two groups below. I am now starting on the grimmer task of taking images and inventorying the larger group of Florida Seminole dolls that were in my father’s initial collection. These all suffered smoke damage and associated chemical contamination when they were caught up in a house fire. While marred by this, they still hold scholarly and humanistic interest and there are things to be learned from them. I will share more about those dolls later.

The Second Kendall Jackson Collection of Florida Seminole Dolls

The Amy and Jason Jackson Collection of Florida Seminole Dolls

Material Culture and Heritage Studies in Northern Guangxi, China at #AFSAM19

I am here using a blog post not to share current news, but to get an older document online and linkable. What follows is the short (public) and long (unseen, for peer-review) abstracts from the panel “Material Culture and Heritage Studies in Northern Guangxi, China: Ethnographic Reports from the China-US Folklore and Intangible Cultural Heritage Project” presented at the 2019 American Folklore Society Annual Meeting (October 17, 2019, Baltimore, Maryland). My intention is to link to this post from a new (February 2020) page for the “Collaborative Work in Museum Folklore and Heritage Studies” (sub-)project. An earlier post on the panel appeared here.

Material Culture and Heritage Studies in Northern Guangxi, China: Ethnographic Reports from the China-US Folklore and Intangible Cultural Heritage Project

In a three-year phase of the China-US Folklore and Intangible Cultural Heritage Project, researchers from six museums have collaborated in a binational program of ethnographic research in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. In this panel, project participants will report on the research, sometimes emphasizing textile practices such as embroidery and basketry, sometimes focusing on heritage issues, sometimes discussing the lessons of the collaboration. The presenters will share their findings in accessible ways but China specialists may wish to know that research has taken place among the Dong people of Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County and the Baiku Yao people living in Nandan County.

Material Culture and Heritage Studies in Northern Guangxi, China: Ethnographic Reports from the China-US Folklore and Intangible Cultural Heritage Project

In a three-year phase (2017-2019) of the China-US Folklore and Intangible Cultural Heritage Project of the American Folklore Society and the China Folklore Society, researchers from six museums have collaborated in a bi-national program of ethnographic research in two counties in northern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. In keeping with the larger project of which it is a part, this museum sub-project has focused on questions of cultural heritage policy and practice. The researchers have paid particular attention to various local textile practices in local Yao and Dong communities, considering these practices in their own terms and in relation to the ways that they are being impacted by such heritage practices as cultural tourism, master artist designations, eco-museum development, and formal training initiatives. In this panel, project participants will report on aspects of the joint work, sometimes emphasizing studies of such textile practices as weaving, embroidery, and basketry, sometimes focusing on heritage phenomena, sometimes discussing the lessons of the joint work. In most instances, presenters will touch on all of these aspects in varying degrees. Reporting on a period of field research recently completed, the presentations will be an early stage in a process that will lead to formal publications drawing on the research project. The presenters welcome feedback on these early reports of work recently concluded. The presenters will share their findings in ways that will be accessible to those without knowledge of Chinese ethnography. Specialists may wish to know that the research team’s work has taken place among the Dong people of Sanjiang County, particularly those living in and around the town of Tongle and among the Baiku Yao people living near Lihu town in Nandan County. These communities are home to the Sanjiang Dong Eco-Museum and the Nandan Baiku Yao Eco-Museum, key institutional partners in the research collaboration.

Sources on the larger collaborations that contextualize this specific project include volumes by J. Zhang and Song (2017) and MacDowell and L. Zhang (2016) and an overview by Lloyd (2017). Relevant works in material culture studies include books by Formoso (2013) and L. Zhang (2010). Studies of cultural heritage topics of relevance to the panel include Chio (2014) and a volume edited by Bumenfield and Silverman (2013).

References Cited

Blumenfield, Tami and Helaine Silverman, eds. 2013. Cultural Heritage Politics in China. New York: Springer.

Chio, Jenny. 2014. A Landscape of Travel: The Work of Tourism in Rural Ethnic China. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Formoso, Bernard. 2013. Costume du Yunnan. Nanterre: Société d’ethnologie.

Lloyd, Tim. 2017. “The Inside Story of the AFS China-US Project.” AFS Review. June 12, 2017. https://www.afsnet.org/news/349609/The-Inside-Story-of-the-AFS-China-US-Project.htm

MacDowell, Marsha, and Lijun Zhang, eds. 2016 中国西南拼布 | Quilts of Southwest China. Nanning: Guangxi Museum of Nationalities.

Zhang, Juwen and Song Junhua, eds. 2017. Metafolklore: Stories of Sino-US Folkloristic Cooperation | 文化对话:中美非物质文化遗产论坛. Guangzhou: Sun Yat-sen University Press.

Lijun Zhang. 2010. China Folk Art Crafts. Beijing: China Agriculture Press.

The schedule of presentation from the conference program follows:

Diamond Session: Material Culture and Heritage Studies in Northern Guangxi, China: Ethnographic Reports from the China-U.S. Folklore and Intangible Cultural Heritage Project

Sponsored by the American Folklore Society, the Folklore and Museums Section, and the Transnational Asia/Pacific Section

Sarah Junk Hatcher (Indiana University), chair

8:00 The Fabric of Life: Baiku Yao Textiles in Huaili Village
Carrie Hertz (Museum of International Folk Art)

8:15 Field Research on Dong Textiles in the Tongle Area of Sanjiang County
Miaomiao Fan (Anthropology Museum of Guangxi)

8:30 Mijiu and Mai Wup: Trilingual Fieldwork and an Indigo Dying Method
MicahJ.Ling (Indiana University)

8:45 Imagination and Enlargement: Daily Performance and Life History in Ethnographic Video
Xiaoyan Liang (Anthropology Museum of Guangxi)

9:00 Notes on Basketry among the Dong People of Sanjiang County, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
C.KurtDewhurst (Michigan State University Museum)and Jason Baird Jackson (Indiana University)

9:15 Building a Museum Collection of Work Baskets in Northern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
Jason Baird Jackson (Indiana University) and Lijun Zhang (George Mason University)

9:30 A Rice Basket: Basketmaking in a Baiku Yao Community (Film Screening)
Jon Kay (Indiana University)

9:45 discussion

Hertz - The Fabric of Life

The title slide from Carrie Hertz’ presentation to the #AFSAM19 panel.

Material Culture Studies among the Baiku Yao of China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region at #AFSAM18

I am here using a blog post not to share current news, but to get an older document online and linkable. What follows is the short (public) and long (unseen, for peer-review) abstracts from the panel “Material Culture Studies among the Baiku Yao of China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region” presented at the 2018 American Folklore Society Annual Meeting (October 18, 2018, Buffalo New York). My intention is to link to this post from a new (February 2020) page for the “Collaborative Work in Museum Folklore and Heritage Studies” (sub-)project.

Material Culture Studies among the Baiku Yao of China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

In this Diamond session, participants will share preliminary results from ongoing field research among the Baiku (White Trouser) Yao people of Nandan County in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Presentations will explore aspects of local Yao material culture, with a special focus on fabric arts and basketry. The presenters share an interest in the ways that these craft activities are being impacted by such cultural heritage practices as master artisan designations, cultural tourism, and eco-museum-based community documentation projects. The field research is one part of the American Folklore Society and China Folklore Society’s joint Folklore and Intangible Cultural Heritage Project.

Material Culture Studies among the Baiku Yao of China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

In this Diamond session, participants will share preliminary results from ongoing field research among the Baiku (White Trouser) Yao people of Nandan County in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Presentations will explore aspects of local Yao material culture, with a special focus on fabric arts and basketry. The neighboring villages of Huatu, Manjiang, and Huaili, where the panelists have pursued joint field research under the auspices of the American Folklore Society and China Folklore Society’s joint Folklore and Intangible Cultural Heritage Project, are communities with a high level of engagement with cultural heritage initiatives, the most visible of which is the Nandan Baiku Yao Eco-Museum, with which the researchers have partnered. The presenters share an interest in the ways that craft activities are being impacted by such cultural heritage practices as master artisan designations, cultural tourism, and eco-museum-based community documentation projects.

Kurt Dewhurst will present an overview of the team’s 2017 work in Guangxi and situate it in relationship to the larger projects of which it was a part. Jason Baird Jackson and Lijun Zhang will report on the team’s studies of bamboo basketry among the Yao, tracking baskets from making to marketing to household use. Miaomiao Fan and Marsha MacDowell will discuss Baiku Yao textile arts, characterizing the status of textiles, especially clothing arts, inside and outside the local community. Xiaoyan Liang and Jon Kay will both report on aspects of the video documentary work pursued during the December 2017 fieldwork, offering general reflections arising from the specific experiences of each filmmaker.

While some studies of the Baiku Yao have been published in Chinese ethnological scholarship, English-language studies are rare and focus mainly on Baiku Yao participation in eco-museum development (Nitzky 2012, 2014; Yi 2013). Within the larger literatures on the Yao peoples in the Southeast Asia Massif, Yao textiles have received considerable attention, but those of the Baiku Yao are distinctive and little documented (cf. Pouret 2002). English-language scholarship on basketry among the Yao is nonexistent, a situation that holds largely for the minority nationalities of Southwest China as a whole. These peoples and their diverse and impressive utility baskets are largely left out of surveys of Chinese basketry (Kwan 2010, but see Fei and Chang 1945). Sophisticated treatments of Yao culture, society, history, and circumstances in modern China by Western scholars have not yet taken up the circumstances of the Baiku Yao specifically (ex. Litzinger 2000) and the Baiku Yao situation has similarly not been considered in the context of larger comparative discussions of the region and its peoples (Chio 2014; Scott 2009; Turner, Bonnin, and Michaud 2015). Future work by the binational team aims to bridge Chinese-language and English-language scholarship on the Yao and their neighbors and, as in this panel, to begin introducing English-speaking audiences to the Baiku Yao. The team also aims to further connect its studies among the Baiku Yao to wider Chinese-Language and English-language work on cultural heritage (ex. An and Yang 2015; Hafstein 2012; Noyes 2017; Song 2015; Zhang 2014).

References Cited

An, Deming, and Lihui Yang. “Chinese Folklore Since the Late 1970s: Achievements, Difficulties, and Challenges.” Asian Ethnology 74, no. 2 (2015): 273–90.

Chio, Jenny. A Landscape of Travel: The Work of Tourism in Rural Ethnic China. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2014.

Fei, Xiaotong, and Tse-i Chang. Earthbound China: A Study of Rural Economy in Yunnan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1945.

Hafstein, Valdimar T. “Heritage.” In A Companion to Folklore, edited by Regina F. Bendix and Galit Hasan-Rokem, 500–519. Blackwell Companions to Anthropology. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

關善明 [Simon Kwan]. 中國竹籃 [Chinese Basketry]. Hong Kong: 沐文堂美術出版社 [Muwen Tang Fine Arts Publication], 2010.

Litzinger, Ralph A. Other Chinas: The Yao and the Politics of National Belonging. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000.

Nitzky, William. “Mediating Heritage Preservation and Rural Development: Ecomuseum Development in China.” Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development 41, no. 2–4 (2012): 367–417.

Nitzky, William. “Community Empowerment at the Periphery? Participatory Approaches to Heritage Protection in Guizhou, China.” In Cultural Heritage Politics in China, edited by Tami Blumenfield and Helaine Silverman, 205–32. New York: Springer, 2013.

Nitzky, William David. “Entanglements of ‘Living Heritage’: Ecomuseum Development in Rural China.” Dissertation, Arizona State University, 2014. http://hdl.handle.net/2286/R.I.25920.

Noyes, Dorothy. Humble Theory: Folklore’s Grasp on Social Life. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017.

Pourret, Jess G. The Yao: The Mien and Mun Yao in China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. London: Thames & Hudson, 2002.

Scott, James C. The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009.

Song, Junhua. “An Analysis of the Current Situation and Problems of the Digital Protection of Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage.” Cultural Heritage, 6 (2015):10-23.

Turner, Sarah, Christine Bonnin, and Jean Michaud. Frontier Livelihoods: Hmong in the Sino-Vietnamese Borderlands. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017.

Yi, Sabrina Hong. “Examining the Suojia Ecomuseum and the Nandan Ecomuseum in China.” In ACAC 2013 : Proceedings of the Asian Conference on Arts and Cultures, 168–77. Bangkok, Thailand: Srinakharinwirot University, 2013. http://dro.deakin.edu.au/view/DU:30055238.

Zhang, Lijun. “Living with/in Heritage: Tulou as Home, Heritage, and Destination.” Dissertation, Indiana University, 2014.

The schedule of presentation from the conference program follows:

Material Culture Studies among the Baiku Yao of China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
Sponsored by the American Folklore Society, the Folklore and Museums Section, and the Henry Luce Foundation

Carrie Hertz (Museum of International Folk Art), chair

8:00 Collaborative International Museum Fieldwork: Joint Documentation and Learning
C. Kurt Dewhurst (Michigan State University Museum)

8:15 From Maker to Marketplace: Aspects of Basketry Among the Baiku Yao
Jason Baird Jackson (Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Indiana University)

8:30 Continuity and Transformation: Basketry, Personal History, and Community Life
Lijun Zhang (Anthropological Museum of Guangxi)

8:45 A Probe into the Art and Inheritance of White Trouser Yao Textiles
Miaomiao Fan (Anthropology Museum of Guangxi)

9:00 Baiku Yao Textiles in the Marketplace: A Quest to Understand Traditions and Adaptations
Marsha MacDowell (Michigan State University Museum)

9:15 Ethnographic Documentary and “Return Visit” Methods in Guangxi
Xiaoyan Liang (Anthropology Museum of Guangxi)

9:30 Craft and Videography: An Ethnographic Approach and Collaborative Method
Jon Kay (Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Indiana University)

9:45 discussion

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A portion of Manjiang village, a Baiku Yao community, viewed from above. December 14, 2017. Photograph by Jason Baird Jackson.

The Free-to-Readers Version of Wedding Clothes and the Osage Community: A Giving Heritage

Many readers of this blog already know about the fifth title in Indiana University Press‘ Material Vernaculars book series–Wedding Clothes and the Osage Community: A Giving Heritage by Daniel C. Swan and Jim Cooley. It was released last fall and it is a beautiful, engaging, monumental work. The scholarship is great and the press produced the printed volume lavishly and with great care. The book is richly illustrated with wonderful community photographs and images of extraordinary objects of Osage artistry and craftspersonship. The book itself is a remarkable object. For all of these reasons, I hope that you will purchase a copy and thereby also support the work of Indiana University Press

But… fans of the Material Vernaculars series also know that making series titles free to readers who would otherwise lack access to them is also a key goal of the series. In this connection, I am very happy to note that the free-to-readers edition is now accessible from the IUScholarWorks Repository. To find it, use the following link:

https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/22292

Warm thanks to the Indiana University Press and to the Indiana University Libraries for helping make this title, and the other MV series titles*, much more accessible to interested readers, particularly to readers in the communities about which series authors are writing. In this connection, thanks also go to series authors for forsaking any author royalties so that all proceeds from book sales can go to supporting the free-to-readers editions.

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*Material Vernaculars

Forthcoming

The Michiana Potters: Art, Community, and Collaboration in the Midwest by Meredith A. E. McGriff (fall 2020)

Published

Wedding Clothes and the Osage Community: A Giving Heritage by Daniel C. Swan and Jim Cooley (2019)
The Expressive Lives of Elders: Folklore, Art, and Aging
 edited by Jon Kay (2018)
Framing Sukkot: Tradition and Transformation in Jewish Vernacular Architecture by Gabrielle Anna Berlinger (2017)
Material Vernaculars: Objects, Images, and Their Social Worlds edited by Jason Baird Jackson (2016)
Folk Art and Aging: Life-Story Objects and Their Makers by Jon Kay (2016)

Application Time: Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology (SIMA)

It is time again for graduate students to consider applying to participate in the Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology (SIMA). Here are this year’s details, courtesy of the SIMA program leadership. (Quoting now.)

“The Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology (SIMA) is a graduate student summer training program in museum research methods offered through the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History with major funding from the Cultural Anthropology Program of the National Science Foundation.

During four weeks of intensive training in seminars and hands-on workshops in the research collections, students are introduced to the scope of collections and their potential as data. Students become acquainted with strategies for navigating museum systems, learn to select methods to examine and analyze museum specimens, and consider a range of theoretical issues that collections-based research may address. In consultation with faculty, each student carries out preliminary data collection on a topic of their own choice and develops a prospectus for research to be implemented upon return to their home university. Instruction will be provided by Dr. Joshua A. Bell, Dr. Candace Greene and other Smithsonian scholars, plus a series of visiting faculty.

Who should apply?

Graduate students preparing for research careers in cultural anthropology who are interested in using museum collections as a data source. The program is not designed to serve students seeking careers in museum management. Students at both the masters and doctoral level will be considered for acceptance. Students in related interdisciplinary programs (Indigenous Studies, Folklore, etc.) are welcome to apply if the proposed project is anthropological in nature. All U.S. students are eligible for acceptance, even if studying abroad. International students can be considered only if they are enrolled in a university in the U.S. Members of Canadian First Nations are eligible under treaty agreements.

Costs: The program covers students’ tuition and shared housing in local furnished apartments. A stipend will be provided to assist with the cost of food and other local expenses. Participants are individually responsible for the cost of travel to and from Washington, DC.

SIMA dates for 2020: June 15 – July 10
Application deadline – March 1, 2020

For more information and to apply, please visit:https://naturalhistory.si.edu/research/anthropology/programs/summer-institute-museum-anthropology

SIMA

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