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2014 Contexts--Annual Report of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

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The 2014 Annual Report of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology
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  CON  TEXTS TheAnnualReportoftheHaffenrefferMuseumofAnthropology Volume39 Spring2014  The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology is Brown University’steaching museum. We inspire creative and critical thinking about cultureby fostering interdisciplinary understanding of the material world.The museum’s gallery is in Manning Hall, 21 Prospect Street, Providence,Rhode Island, on Brown’s main green. The museum’s CollectionsResearch Center and Circumpolar Laboratory are at 300 Tower Street,Bristol, Rhode Island. Manning Hall Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology Box 1965Brown UniversityProvidence, RI 02912www.brown.edu/Haffenrefferwww.facebook.com/HaffenrefferMuseum(401) 863-5700haffenreffermuseum@brown.edu About the Museum Onthefrontcover(clockwisefromupperleft):  Doing research on an Egyptian Old Kingdom carving; a pre-Columbian vessel from Costa Rica donatedtotheMuseum;studentsinFacultyFellowElizabethHoover’sclass NativeAmericanEnvironmentalHealthMovements  examineanInuit mukluk  inCultureLab;a Thai Spirit House purchased for the collection; delegates of the Bangwa (Lebialem) community examine masks collected by Robert Brain in Cameroon.  1 AsthenewDirectoroftheHaffenrefferMuseumofAnthropology,Iwouldliketosharesomethoughtsaboutmuseumsingeneralanduniversity-basedanthropologymuseumsinparticular. All museums, from the Smithsonian Institution,to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to the HaffenrefferMuseum, are experiencing challenging times today.They are facing increasing public scrutiny regardingtheirtraditionalmissions.Thereisanongoingacademicdiscourse about their elitist srcins, their collectinghistories,andtheirrepresentationalauthority. At thesame time, there is a popular debate about the valueof museums in the Internet age. After all, why goto a museum if you can see their collections on-line?These challenges have led to a productive rethinkingofthefunctionsofmuseumsandagrowingawarenessof the importance of engaging the needs and agendasof diverse interest groups. A new museum ethos isemerging that sees museums not as passive reposito-ries of things, but as places where new relationshipscan be established. The Internet has not renderedmuseums obsolete; rather, it has provided a new con-text for museums to reach out to broader audiences.Museums are now recognized as active participantsin society, often taking on challenging social issuesin order to highlight injustices and to promote greatercross-cultural understandings.University-based anthropology museums, like theHaffenreffer Museum, occupy a special role in thisnew landscape. Such museums are places for theacquisition of new knowledge through archaeologicaland anthropological fieldwork and research. They areplaces for the development of innovative approachesto teaching. They are places for the exploration ofrepresentational practices by combining virtual anddigital exhibitions. They are places for the promotionofethicalpracticesregardingcollecting,stewardship,and repatriation.MyvisionisfortheHaffenrefferMuseumtohelpshapethisnewethos,bothnationallyandinthestateofRhodeIsland.TheHaffenrefferiswellpositionedtoserveasakeysitefortheproductionofnewunder-standingsaboutthematerialmediationofculture,inthepastandforthepresent.Itprovidesunparalleledopportunitiesforfacultyandstudentstoexploresomeoftheinterrelationshipsbetweenidentitydiscourseandheritageclaimsinalltheircomplexitiesandnuances.Significantly,thisnewdialogueneedstocriticallyexaminetheinterfacebetweenobjectsandtheirrepre-sentations,museumsandtheInternet,andresearchandteaching,forthebenefitofmultipleaudiences. Robert W. Preucel       F    r    o    m     t     h    e     D     i    r    e    c     t    o    r  2 HaffenrefferFacultyFellowsProgramInstituted TheHaffenrefferMuseumofAnthropologyhasestablishedaFacultyFellowsProgramtoencouragefacultytousethemuseum’scollectionsintheirteaching.The2013-2014fellowsare AriellaAzoulay (AssistantProfessorofComparativeLiteratureandModernCultureandMedia), PetervanDommelen (ProfessorofArchaeologyandAnthropology), PajaFaudree (AssistantProfessorofAnthropology)and ElizabethHoover (AssistantProfessorofAmericanStudies). StephenHouston (ProfessorofAnthropology),and AndrewScherer (AssistantProfessorofAnthropology)willsharetheaward.Moreinformationonthisprojectappearsonpage7. TwoPostdoctoralFellowsareAppointed TheMuseumhasappointedtwoPostdoctoralFellowsfortheacademicyear. JenniferStampe hasbeenreappointedasthePostdoctoralFellowinMuseumStudies.SheisparticularlyinterestedinAmericanIndianself-representationsinmuseumsandtouristsitesandnon-Nativeresponsestotheserepresentations. SeanGantt hasbeenappointedasthePostdoctoralFellowinNativeAmericanStudies.Seanisavisualandpublicanthropologistspecializing in tribal economic development,Indigenousself-representation,andidentityamongSoutheasterntribes. MellonFoundationfundscollaborationwithRISD’sArtMuseum RobertPreucel and JohnSmith (DirectoroftheRISDArtMuseum)receivedafour-year$500,000grantfromtheAndrewW.MellonFoundationtosupportaprogramon“objectbased”teachingandresearch.Theorganizingconceptfortheprogramistheideaof“theassemblage,”whichhasavarietyofmeaningsindifferentdisciplines.TheprojectwillinvolveFacultyTeachingFellows,Postgrad/PostdocPhotography Fellows, conferences and workshops.Itisthefirstmajorcollaborationbetweenourtwomuseums. NSFfundsresearchonwomen’srolesintheproductionandtradeofclothintheNorthAtlantic MichèleHayeurSmith wasawardedathree-year,$605,000researchgrantfromtheNationalScienceFoundation’sArcticSocialSciencesprogramtoexaminewomen’srolesintheproductionandtradeofclothacrosstheNorthAtlanticfromtheVikingAge into the early 1800s. Dr. Hayeur Smith’s newprojectexpandsuponherprevious,successful,3-year(2010-2013)collections-basedarchaeologicalprojectalsofundedbytheArcticSocialSciencesprogram.ThisisthelargestfederalresearchgranteverreceivedbytheHaffenrefferMuseum.MoreonDr.HayeurSmith’sresearchcanbefoundonpage14. NSFfundsVikingAgeresearch KevinSmith receiveda$45,503RAPIDgrantfromtheNationalScienceFoundation’sArcticSocialSciencesprogramtoconductemergencyexcavationsonaVikingAgesitedeepwithinIceland’sSurtshellirlavacave.TheworkdoneinAugust2013resultedintherecoveryofauniqueandinformativeassem-blageofVikingAgeobjectsandproducednewradiocarbondates.Moreinformationonthisprojectappearsonpage15. CollectionsManagementSystemsBeingRevamped With support from the Office of the Provost,the Haffenreffer Museum is preparing to migrateitsdatabasesystemfromArgustoZetcom’sMuseumPlusCollectionsManagementSystem.The move to MuseumPlus will allow the museumtomanagethecollectionsmoreefficientlyandmakethemavailableonlinetofaculty,students,andthepublic.Moreonthismigrationcanbefoundonpage19.      A    n    n    o    u    n    c    e    m    e    n     t    s
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