The Museum as Archive in American Indian Studies

NCAIS Workshop participants at the Peabody Museum
NCAIS Workshop Participants at the Peabody Museum
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
NCAIS Spring Workshop in Research Methods
Thursday, March 22, 2012 to Saturday, March 24, 2012

9am - 5pm

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University

Castle McLaughlin, PhD, Associate Curator of North American Ethnography at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography
Scott Manning Stevens, PhD, Director, D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies

The spring workshop will highlight museums as research sites and examine the value of historic objects for scholars working in American Indian Studies and related disciplines.  The workshop will be hosted by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, which stewards one of the largest and oldest collections in North America.  The collections, which are global but focus on the Americas, include not only material culture but also 2,500 paintings and works of art, extensive archival records, and some 300,000 photographic images.  Adjacent to the museum is the Tozzer Library of Anthropology.  During the workshop, students will learn how the museum is organized, how it functions, and, through guided activities, how to identify and access related resources.  Readings and discussions will consider fundamental questions about the development and changing role of museums and will explore current theoretical and methodological approaches to engaging with objects. Co-Director Scott Stevens of the Newberry Library will discuss means of integrating material culture research into various approaches to American Indian and Indigenous studies. Co-director Castle McLaughlin will provide a tour of Wiyohpiyata: Lakota Images of the Contested West, an exhibit that she co-curated with Lakota artist Butch Thunder Hawk, and will discuss her research on the museum’s Lewis and Clark collection.

To Apply
Each NCAIS institution is entitled to one slot in the three-day workshop. Students may participate in the workshop as part of an introduction to critical methodologies in American Indian Studies.  Students should apply directly to their NCAIS Faculty Liaison by February 3, 2012. The selection process of each member institution’s participant is according to the individual program needs and existing protocols of the member institution. Participants will be reimbursed up to $500 for travel and housing will be provided at Club Quarters hotel in Boston. Download Flyer.