Museum Anthropology Futures Conference

May. 25, 2017 - May. 27, 2017 Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

The Natural History Museum is heading to Montreal to participate in Museum Futures, the Inaugural International Conference of the Council for Museum Anthropology.

We’re organizing a panel titled “Challenging the Supremacy of Objects in the Anthropocene”:

The late Sioux scholar Vine Deloria Jr. argued that “The primary difference between the Western and Indigenous ways of life is that Indians experience and relate to a living universe, whereas Western people reduce all things, living or not, to objects.” As representatives of museums of natural history, we are deeply implicated in the processes of objectification and decontextualization that Deloria describes. But we also have the power to reconnect our collections to the living universe, to bring the past to bare on the present, and to use our resources to lift up the stories of the people who are struggling to protect the living universe for the future. This panel will feature museum professionals, artists, and scientists invested in bringing together scientific and Indigenous voices and ways of knowing. What practices of collecting, curating, and display can properly respond to the epoch in which we live?

Moderator: Steve Lyons, Research Director at The Natural History Museum

Panelists: Nika Collison, Curator at the Haida Gwaii Museum; Jacklyn Lacey, Curator at the American Museum of Natural History; Jill Baird, Director of Education at the Museum of Anthropology; Beka Economopoulos, Executive Director at The Natural History Museum