CFP: Contesting Knowledge: Museums and Indigenous Perspectives

From H-Museum:


CIC American Indian Studies Consortium
Newberry Library/Michigan State University Symposium


First Annual Symposium:

Newberry Library, Chicago
Monday, September 24, 2007

This is the first in a three-year cycle of annual symposia which will
situate American Indian Studies within a comparative, global perspective. We
seek scholars whose research focuses on how the founding of museums has been
bound up in the formation of nation-states. Benedict Anderson's description
of "imagined communities" sought to define and enlist a bounded citizenship.
Our focus is on those museums that reified cultural, racial, and class
differences as a justification for colonization. By rendering the world as
visible and orderly, the museum proved particularly effective in offering
concrete evidence of certainty.

This symposium explores how indigenous perspectives have challenged these
established perspectives. We are especially interested in how the movement
towards a more multi-sensory approach to knowledge has been employed to
question old certainties and present new ways of knowing. We would like to
encourage scholarly participation from the academic disciplines and
representatives of cultural institutions to examine how their own practices
incorporate alternative structures of knowledge.

The emphasis in this symposium is on listening to the multiplicity of
indigenous voices from a transnational perspective. We welcome papers from
international scholars, especially those who have worked with settler
society and/or indigenous museums. Although natural history museums are the
most obvious sites of contestation, we would encourage our participants to
investigate how knowledge is embedded in alternative exhibitionary sites,
such as house museums or historic settings.

Please submit an abstract that is one page in length by *June 15, 2007*.
You will be notified of the acceptance of your paper by July 5, 2007.
Papers will be submitted 30 days in advance of the conference (August 24,
2007) and will be distributed to seminar participants. Papers should be in
the range of 6,000 to 8,000 words and will be included in the seminar
proceedings that will be published by the University of Nebraska Press.

*DEADLINE: JUNE 15, 2007.*

Send one page proposal to CIC Symposium c/o the D'Arcy McNickle Center for
American Indian History, The Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton Street, Chicago,
Illinois, 60610 or Proposals and final symposium
papers should both be sent to the above mailing or email address. Please
direct questions to: Laurie Arnold, CIC-AIS Acting Director at or Professor Susan Sleeper-Smith, Symposium
Coordinator, Department of History, Michigan State University, at .

Laurie Arnold, PhD
Interim Director
D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History
The Newberry Library
60 W. Walton
Chicago, IL 60610
312.255.3575 (p)
312.255.3696 (f)


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