Museum Queeries Project Organizes Inaugural Workshop

Ryan Rice delivers a keynote lecture at the Museum Queeries workshop

Ryan Rice delivers a keynote lecture at the Museum Queeries workshop (photo credit: Lauren Bosc)

June 2-4, 2017 –– The Museum Queeries project launched this summer with a workshop on “Museum Queeries and Curatorial Dreaming,” hosted at UWinnipeg and coinciding with Winnipeg’s Pride Week. Organized by Dr. Heather Milne and Dr. Angela Failler, it was facilitated by Dr. Shelley Ruth Butler (McGill) and provided an opportunity for members of our Museum Queeries research network to connect in person for the first time as we hail from across Canada, the United States, and Australia. The overall goal of the proposed workshop was to connect members of our newly formed Museum Queeries research network, and translate specific objectives into tangible strategies for engaging museums on 2S+LGBTTQ issues.The following key questions framed this work:

*How are museums implicated in the ongoing struggle for 2S+LGBTTQ rights?
*How have 2S+LGBTTQ issues been integrated within the curatorial and programming mandates of museums?
*What kinds of alliances might be formed at the nexus of queer and indigenous/decolonial activism in relation to museums?
*What kinds of productive exchanges might occur at the intersection of queer and antiracist activism in the context of museums?
*How might we, as academics, activists, curators, artists, community stakeholders, and students, work collaboratively with museums to (re)conceive of them as queer spaces?

The workshop included a field trip to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) for one of its “Pride Tours,” a site visit to the Winnipeg Pride festival grounds located next to the CMHR, as well as a curatorial dreaming exercise led by Dr. Butler to attempt to reimagine queer content in the context of the CMHR. The intent was thus not simply to critique museums, but rather to engage and potentially collaborate with them by proposing ways in which they might more effectively address 2S+LGBTTQ issues.

The workshop was funding by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Research Manitoba, and the University of Winnipeg.

For more information on the Museum Queeries project, visit museumqueeries.org.

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Dr. Failler, with Dr. Heather Milne, awarded Connection Grant for Museum Queeries

Dr. Heather Milne (English) and Dr. Angela Failler (Women’s and Gender Studies) have been awarded over $22,000 to support the workshop Museum Queeries: Intersectional Interventions into Museum Cultures and Practices. This funding comes from a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Connection Grant and the Manitoba Research Connections Program.

The invite only workshop will be hosted at UWinnipeg this June to coincide with Winnipeg’s Pride Week and includes a site visit to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR).

As Dr. Milne explains, “The overall goal of the workshop is to connect members of our newly formed Museum Queeries research network, and translate specific objectives into tangible strategies for engaging museums on 2S+LGBTTQ issues. We use an intersectional approach to think through ways in which gender, sexuality, race, class, ability, religion, ethnicity, and national identities are inter-implicated in museums and in museumgoers’ points of contact with museums. This workshop will be the first time our research team, which hails from across Canada, the U.S., and Australia, will come together to begin these important discussions.”

This innovative project brings together two significant fields in cultural studies. According to Dr. Milne, “to date, there has been very little research that engages with 2S+LGBTTQ issues within the field of museum studies. It is an emerging field of scholarship.”

For more information on this project, visit museumqueeries.org.

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Decolonizing Curatorial Pedagogies workshop makes connections

Photo of gallery tour

Curator Alex Nahwegahbow leads workshop participants on a tour of her exhibit “Temporal Re-Imaginings.” (photo credit: Lauren Bosc)

Students, researchers, museum workers, and other members of Ottawa’s cultural communities gathered together from April 15-16, 2016 to discuss ways of “decolonizing curatorial pedagogies” at a workshop of the same name organized by Dr. Monica Patterson (Carleton University) and the Thinking through the Museum team.

The workshop included a visit to the Canadian Museum of History, student presentations on curatorial possibilities, a keynote address by Dr. Amy Lonetree (University of California, Santa Cruz), an interview with curator Alex Nahwegahbow and art educator Sylvia Dreaver (Dueck), roundtable discussions, and an Indigenous walking tour led by artist Jaime Koebel.

The full program and workshop itinerary, photo galleries, and video recordings will be available soon under the Workshops section of this website. Photos and responses can also be found by searching #decolonizingcuratorialpedagogies on Twitter!

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Dr. Amy Lonetree to speak at Carleton University

“Indigenizing Museums and the Move Toward Decolonization:
Successes and Ongoing Challenges”
April 15, 2016       5:30-8pm (light refreshments provided)      Loeb C164
Carleton University      Ottawa, Ontario

Amy Lonetree

(Photo provided by Amy Lonetree)

Dr. Amy Lonetree will be giving a keynote lecture at Carleton University as a part of the Decolonizing Curatorial Pedagogies workshop organized by the Thinking through the Museum project team and spearheaded by Dr. Monica Patterson from Carleton University.

Dr. Lonetree’s lecture examines the current state of contemporary exhibition practice with, by, and for Native Americans at both national and tribal museums. Central to her analysis is exploring how museums can serve as sites of decolonization by privileging Indigenous knowledge and worldview, challenging the stereotypical representations of Native people produced in the past, and discussing the hard truths of colonization in exhibitions in an effort to promote healing and understanding. Addressing this history is an important part of a decolonizing museum practice, and her paper will explore how we can extend our understanding of the potential of museums to be “sites of conscience” and forums to address difficult knowledges.

Dr. Amy Lonetree is an enrolled citizen of Ho-Chunk Nation and is an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002. Her scholarly work focuses on the representation of Native American history and memory in national and tribal museums, and she has conducted research at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the British Museum, the Mille Lacs Indian Museum in Minnesota, and the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways in Michigan. Her publications include, Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native America in National and Tribal Museums (University of North Carolina Press, 2012); a co-edited book with Amanda J. Cobb, The National Museum of the American Indian: Critical Conversations (University of Nebraska Press, 2008); and a co-authored volume, People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879-1942 (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2011). She is currently working on a visual history of the Ho-Chunk Nation from 1879-1960.

To reserve a FREE ticket to this event, please visit the ticket page here.

Coming soon: full workshop itinerary, highlights, and outcomes for Decolonizing Curatorial Pedagogies available here.

Follow #decolonizingcuratorialpedagogies on Twitter!

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Thinking through Inuit Art

Research team members view new Inuit art acquisitions in the WAG's art vault.

Research team members view new Inuit art acquisitions in the WAG’s art vault. (photo credit: Lauren Bosc)

On February 12, 2016, Thinking through the Museum team members participated in a workshop on Inuit art and curatorial practices at the University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Go to Collecting and Displaying Inuit Art under the Workshops tab for more description and a photo gallery.

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