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Workshop Forum
Workshop Program: 01.19.12 (Thursday) Introduction: Kim Christen KEYNOTE: Jim Enote, Director of the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center   Panel 1: Collaborations & Communications (Mark Turin – Discussant)  
  1. Guha Shankar, Folklife Specialist at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
  2. Cordeillia Hooie, Zuni libraries
  3. Kate Hennessy, Assistant Professor New Media and Anthropology, Simon Frasier University
  4. Mervin Joe, Inuvialuit Living History project team
  5. Peter Brand, Director First Voices
  6. Megan Lukaniec, Huronne-Wendat community member
  *This panel engages with the critical issues of forging partnerships—face-to-face as well as with and through technology—in order to facilitate the return or repatriation of cultural and linguistic materials. With this broad theme in mind, we asked collaborators to speak together about the challenges and successes of their joint projects and relationships. We hope that panelists will speak frankly about what it takes to form and sustain, as well as what factors can impede long-lasting partnerships. Many of these innovative collaborations have been forged at the crossroads of new digital technologies, national and local repatriation movements, the desire for cultural and linguistic revitalization and the on-going creation of culture and cultural practices within indigenous communities. With this overlap in mind, panelists will address the emergent benefits and lessons learned from their collaborations.   Guiding Session Questions:
  1. How have these partnerships transformed the materials themselves or the way that communities and/or various stakeholders interact with and imagine them?
  2. What specific challenges do communities and institutions face as they come together to facilitate the return of materials?
  3. How can and do institutions work to negotiate legal and institutional barriers that may hamper the return of materials?
    Lightening Round Presenters
  1. Jennifer O’Neal, Head Archivist, NMAI
  2. Jake Hommiak, Director, NAA
  First Lightening Round session: Institutions & Collaborations *These two lightening round presentations will focus on the work being done at NMAI and NMNH to reconnect Indigenous communities with cultural and linguistic materials through both physical and digital repatriation and return projects. Presenters will give symposium participants an up close view of Smithsonian-led projects and collaborations with local, regional and national partners that highlight the cross-cutting issues of digitization, repatriation, knowledge circulation and the cultural materials of Indigenous communities housed within the Smithsonian’s collections.     Panel 2: Returned & Received (David Penny, NMAI, Discussant)
  1. Aaron Glass, Assistant Professor Anthropology, Bard Graduate Center
  1. Jane Anderson, Assistant Professor University of Massachusetts; Adjunct Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
  2. Surajit Sarkar, Centre for Community Knowledge at Ambedkar University
  *This panel focuses on the reception of digital materials when there are multiple stakeholders involved. Specifically panelists will discuss the interaction between and within Indigenous communities, nation-states, collecting institutions, local and regional communities as they relate to the return and reception of digital materials.  These various stakeholders all interact with and have various claims to the preservation and circulation of these cultural materials and the attendant knowledge embedded within them. This panel addresses the intended and unintended consequences of returning materials.   Session Questions:
  1. Once digital surrogates become part of indigenous communities, institutional repositories or national museums, what practices do they evoke?
  2. What tensions arise when materials are returned and received and how are they mitigated; what new practices, norms, or social mores arise?
  3. How are new materials, partnerships and practices produced from the reception of these returned materials?
     01.20.12 (Friday)        Introduction: Josh Bell   KEYNOTE: Rosemary Coombe, Tier One Canada Research Chair in Law, Communication and Cultural Studies, York University   Panel 3: Access & Accountability (Kim Christen – Discussant) *This panel deals with the forms of access to and relationships with digital and material objects that occur during archival processes. Speakers will discuss the practical matters that arise during large scale digitization projects with Indigenous communities as well as the ways in which digital technologies can bridge some circulation divides while also defining new challenges. This panel looks at both the macro and micro levels to discuss how the digital return of materials can take into account the sensibilities and cultural needs of Indigenous communities while also working within and through large institutions. How are both altered in the resulting collaborations?  
  1. Sue Rowley, Associate Professor, Curator of Public Archaeology, Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia
  1. Aron Crowell, Alaska Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Arctic Studies Center
  2. Robert Leopold, Director of the Consortium for World Cultures, Smithsonian Institution
  Session Questions:
  1. Although digital technologies allow for quick return and ease of access, how can Indigenous systems of knowledge circulation and management shape the practices of return?
  2. How are the ethical concerns and responsibilities of institutions that hold materials and engage with indigenous communities imagined and put into practice in these varied settings?
  3. How have institutional practices been altered by partnerships with Indigenous communities?
    Lightening Round Presenters
  1. Effie Kapsalis, Head of Web and New Media, Smithsonian Institution Archives
  2. Gunter Waibel, Director, Digitization Program Office, Office of the Chief Information Officer
  Second Lightening Round: Institutions & Collaborations *These two lightening round presentations discuss the Smithsonian Institution’s digitization and web strategies and possible overlap with the conference themes of digital repatriation, indigenous knowledge and collaboration. Presenters will give symposium participants an overview of current digitization projects and standards with an eye towards engagement with new collaborations.     Pane 4: Circulation and Transformation (Gwyn Isaac, NMNH, Discussant)  
  1. Lise Dobrin, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, University of Virginia
  2. Gary Holton, Assistant professor, Anthropology, University of Alaska Fairbanks and Director of the Alaska Native Language Archives
  3. Haidy Geismar, Assistant Professor, Museum Studies and Anthropology, New York University
  *This panel looks broadly at the transformation of knowledge as a result of the circulation between communities and institutions. Panelists will discuss endangered languages, cultural materials and ephemera as they intermingle in divergent ways through the process of return. Although transformation can happen with any type of engagement, this panel seeks to examine the particulars of return practices that presuppose complex political, social, historical and legal situations that both prompt and enmesh the return of cultural and linguistic materials. With concrete examples, this panel will address the process by which their research findings resonate with local interests and may become politically contested in multiple spheres.   Session Questions: 1. How are materials re-imagined, engaged with and used locally when they begin to circulate? 2. How do different members within a community make use of returned materials, and to what kinds of political ends? 3. What happens to materials produced between scholars and local community members then get circulated ‘out’ into the academy where they are consumed by scholars outside of the region and evaluated by colleagues?
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