Gwyneira Isaac

Grant Type

Conference Grant

Institutional Affiliation

National Museum

Grant number

Gr. CONF-713

Approve Date

March 4, 2016

Project Title

Isaac, Dr. Gwyneira, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC - To aid workshop on 'Borders: Anthropology and Museums in the Age of Mobility,' 2017, Mexico City, in collaboration with Dr. Diana Marsh

Museum anthropology in the English-speaking world has been dominated by issues and academic discourses derived from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Although it has critiqued practices in these geographical and cultural areas, which has led to institutional responses and repositioning, these narrow geographical and academic foci continue to reproduce and circumscribe the same limited breadth of discourses and discussions. Moreover, this mutual circle of disciplinary and institutional reconfirmation and transformation has tended to both naturalize and universalize itself in museum methodologies, curatorial practices, museum and collection history and in theoretical discourse. This workshop intends to rupture this closed circle approach by starting a dialogue with other museological histories, epistemologies, and methodologies, while engaging with wider experiences of Indigeneity and globalization. The workshop also seeks to interrogate entrenched geographic and disciplinary boundaries through the concept of borders. By bringing together practitioners and theorists from countries such as Latin America, Africa, Asia, Russia, the Middle East, France, Spain and Poland, we will explore the pluralities, differences and similarities between national and regional museologies. It is envisaged that by breeching national, cultural and disciplinary boundaries, museum anthropology in the English-speaking world will become more reflexive and acknowledge the wider diversity of approaches to knowledge creation and mobilization. This project, therefore, intends to nothing shorter than widen the field of museum anthropology.