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Collecting Central American Antiquities in the 18th and 19th century: Traces of Local and Indigenous Curation in Archaeological Museums
This talk re-assesses histories of museum collecting that begin with the intentions and actions of European and North American institutions and scholars. Using ongoing research on collecting of ancestral things from Central America that made their way to European museums in the 18th and 19th centuries, Rosemary Joyce shows how local collecting practices were forgotten, even though scholarly interpretations depended on the knowledge of local people. Recognizing the traces of these collecting practices places local and indigenous historical consciousness rooted in things and their care back at the center of museum curation and archaeological research.
Rosemary Joyce, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, received her PhD from the University of Illinois-Urbana in 1985. A curator and faculty member at Harvard University from 1985 to 1994, she moved to Berkeley as Director of the Hearst Museum of Anthropology, serving in that capacity until 1999. She began archaeological fieldwork in Honduras in 1977, conducted dissertation research from 1979-1983, and co-directed postdoctoral projects from 1985 to 2009. Ongoing research on collections in museums led to Painted Pottery from Honduras (2017) and the co-authored Material Relations (2014). Her most recent book is The Future of Nuclear Waste (Oxford University Press, 2020).
Open to the public with a reception to follow. Supported by generous donors to the Jane Powell Dwyer Memorial Lecture fund.