Smithsonian Institution Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology
The curriculum, including both seminars and hands-on workshops, teaches students how to navigate museum systems, select methods to examine and analyze museum specimens, and encounter some of the wealth of theoretical issues that museum data can address. Topics include the critical analysis of documentation, the development of observational skills, the definition of appropriate data sets, and reconstruction of the "social life" of objects. Unique Smithsonian resources such as the annual Folklife Festival, the National Anthropological Archives, and the Human Studies Film Archives, complement lessons in which students explore the integration of museum-based data with other types of information, such as community fieldwork, critical reading of film and video, or technical analyses of materials. A visiting speaker series gives students a unique opportunity to learn from and interact with experts in museum-based research and world authorities on a range of topics in current anthropology. A series of Distinguished Lectures in Museum Anthropology is scheduled to coincide with SIMA.
Overview of the Program:
- Week 1: ORIENTATION TO THE FIELD SITE
- Week 2: VISUAL COMPETENCY: LEARNING TO LOOK
- Week 3: HOW COLLECTIONS ARE SHAPED: DATA CRITIQUE
- Week 4: NEXT STEPS: PROJECT DEVELOPMENT
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