Thursday, August 6 at 6:00 pm

Prophets and Ghosts: A History of Salvage Anthropology with Sam Redman

Join us as we host a virtual (Zoom) presentation by Samuel J. Redman, Ph.D., Associate Professor – Department of History, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who is the author of Bone Rooms.

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Anthropologist Frances Densmore records Blackfoot leader Mountain Chief in 1916.

Major museums in the United States (including the Smithsonian, American Museum of Natural History, and Field Museum of Natural History) today hold millions of “artifacts” or historical objects from around the world. But how did these objects get there? This talk will explore the complex and fraught history of cultural salvage (sometimes called “salvage anthropology”), a movement to “rescue” supposedly endangered cultural traditions. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, those collecting for museums were joined by artists, writers, and other chroniclers in efforts to record and preserve human culture. Many worked to “salvage” Native American cultural practices with special intensity. Through a deep dive into museum archives and interviews with Native American artists and curators, this brief presentation on a forthcoming book will shed light on the complex legacy many museums and Indigenous people wrestle with today.

 

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Passcode: 531191
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