Contesting Knowledge

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-07-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Nebraska Pr

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This interdisciplinary and international collection of essays illuminates the importance and effects of Indigenous perspectives for museums. The contributors challenge and complicate the traditionally close colonialist connections between museums and nation-states and urge more activist and energized roles for museums in the decades ahead. The essays in section 1 consider ethnography's influence on how Europeans represent colonized peoples. Section 2 essays analyze curatorial practices, emphasizing how exhibitions must serve diverse masters rather than solely the curator's own creativity and judgment, a dramatic departure from past museum culture and practice. Section 3 essays consider tribal museums that focus on contesting and critiquing colonial views of American and Canadian history while serving the varied needs of the indigenous communities. The institutions examined in these pages range broadly from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC; the Oneida Nation Museum in Oneida, Wisconsin; tribal museums in the Klamath River region in California; the tribal museum in Zuni, New Mexico; the Museum of the American Indian in New York City; and the District Six Museum in Cape Town, South Africa.

Author Biography

Susan Sleeper-Smith is a professor of history at Michigan State University. She is the author of Indian Women and French Men: Rethinking Cultural Encounter in the Western Great Lakes and the coeditor of New Faces of the Fur Trade: Selected Proceedings of the Seventh North American Fur Trade Conference.
Contributors: Kristina Ackley, Miranda J. Brady, M. Teresa Carlson, Brenda J. Child, Brian Isaac Daniels, Gwyneira Isaac, Hal Langfur, Paul Liffman, Amy Lonetree, Brenda Macdougall, Zine Magubane, Ann McMullen, Ciraj Rassool, Jennifer Shannon, Ray Silverman, Susan Sleeper-Smith, and Jacki Thompson Rand

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Contesting Knowledge: Museums and Indigenous Perspectivesp. 1
Ethnography and the Cultural Practices of Museums The Legacy of Ethnographyp. 9
Elite Ethnography and Cultural Eradication: Confronting the Cannibal in Early Nineteenth-Centuryp. 15
Ethonographic Showcases as Sites of Knowledge Production and Indigenous Resistancep. 45
Reinventing George Heye: Nationalizing the Museum of the American Indian and Its Collectionsp. 65
Ethnographic Elaborations, Indigenous Contestations, and the Cultural Politics of Imagining Community: A View from the District Six Museum in South Africap. 106
Curatorial Practices: Voices, Values, Languages, and Traditions: Museums and Indigenous Perspectives on Curatorial Practicep. 129
A Dialogic Response to the Problematized Past: The National Museum of the American Indianp. 133
West Side Stories: The Blending of Voice and Representation through a Shared Curatorial Practicep. 156
Huichol Histories and Territorial Claims in Two National Anthropology Museumsp. 192
The Construction of Native Voice at the National Museum of the American Indianp. 218
Tribal Museums and the Heterogeneity of the Nation-State Creation of the Tribal Museump. 251
Tsi<$$$>niyukwaliho<$$$>t¿, the Oneida Nation Museum: Creating a Space for Haudenosaunee Kinship and Identityp. 257
Reimagining Tribal Sovereignty through Tribal History: Museums, Libraries, and Archives in the Klamath River Regionp. 283
Responsibilities toward Knowledge: The Zuni Museum and the Reconciling of Different Knowledge Systemsp. 303
Museums as Sites of Decolonization: Truth Telling in National and Tribal Museumsp. 322
Contributorsp. 339
Indexp. 345
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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