A Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies Exploratory Workshop
This exploratory workshop will bring to Vancouver international specialists in anthropology, history, the history of science and art history, including scholars and curators at UBC, to discuss methodological issues and recent thinking on the role of artefacts, broadly construed, in encounters between different peoples across space and time. In conjunction with academic staff from the “Artefacts of Encounter” project at the University of Cambridge, as well as members of the Reciprocal Research Network of museums and First Nations bands, the workshop will explore the kinds of objects that emerge in situations of “cross-cultural contact,” with a focus on late-eighteenth-century encounters in the Americas and the Pacific and their still-unfolding legacy.
Texts, objects and images of the kind found in museums, cultural centres, and archives function both as artefacts and agents of these complex historical processes, as things that at once move through and bring into being different worlds. We plan to explore the role of such “artefacts of encounter” as mediating devices in human relationships and as instantiations of other ways of being -whether ancestors that endure in the form of woven cloaks and carvings or embodiments of pre-Modern purity for primitivist Europeans. In such contexts, issues surrounding historical evidence, notions of property, questions of classification and scale (time, space, entities that exist) and the kinds of qualities attributed to people(s) encountered by Europeans, as well as the differences these people attributed to others and themselves, will be explored. Particular attention will be paid to the significance these collections currently have for indigenous communities and scholars alike, including questions of physical and “virtual” repatriation. The four thematic rubrics will include: re-thinking cross-cultural encounter; collections and artefacts as evidence; disjunctures in the study of travel and exploration; and the still-unfolding legacy of early encounters.
Anne Salmond (University of Auckland), “Tears of Rangi: Water, Power, and People in New Zealand.”
First Nations Longhouse
Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 5:30pm
Pre-lecture reception at 5:00 pm
The following day, on Friday, April 12, we will be holding a series of presentations and discussions at the Michael Ames Theatre of the Museum of Anthropology, to which the entire campus community and members of the general public are cordially invited.
Carlos Fausto (Anthropologist at the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro), “The Animist’s Mask: Some Thoughts on Form and Ontology in the Americas.”
Friday, April 12, 3:30pm
Michael Ames Lecture Theatre, Museum of Anthropology, UBC
For more information about the events and the workshop, please see the workshop website.