Transcripts for the workshop are available here (must be logged in and must have attended the workshop for access).

The session questions (linked below) are meant to be guiding thoughts, given that all of the participants in the workshop have been immersed in these topics for years we have opted for a less formal style of presentation that, we hope, will allow for discussion. We don’t expect “polished” conference type papers. Please feel free to use any visual aids you want, we will have a projector set up. We have planned each session with enough time for discussion between panelists and with the workshop group. We want to focus on the sharing of ideas, practical solutions and on-the-ground work that will help us all as we tackled these issues in our own work and in future collaborations. Panel discussants will offer short remarks after each session and help moderate the panel discussions with the group.

Workshop Schedule (in grid format)

Thursday 01.19.12

8:30-9:00 breakfast at NMNH

9:00-9:30 Introduction: Kim Christen

9:30-10:30  Keynote: Jim Enote, Director of the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center

10:30-11:00 coffee break

11:00- 1:00 Panel 1: Collaborations & Communications (Mark Turin – Discussant)

*each pair of presenters will have 30 minutes total

  1. Guha Shankar, Folklife Specialist at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
  2. Cordeillia Hooee, Librarian Zuni Public Library
  3. Kate Hennessy, Assistant Professor, Media, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University
  4. Mervin Joe, Inuvialuit Living History project team
  5. Peter Brand, Director First Voices
  6. Victoria Wells, Ehattesaht Community Member and Language Activist

*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.

Questions and Discussions about Panel 1

1:00-1:45 lunch

2:00-2:30 Lightening Round Presenter: *each presenter will have 10 minutes

  1. Jennifer O’Neal, Head Archivist, NMAI
  2. Günter Waibel, Director, Digitization Program Office, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Smithsonian Institution

First Lightening Round session: Institutions & Collaborations

*These two lightening round presentations will focus on the work being done at the Smithsonian Institution 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.

2:30-3:00 coffee break

3:00-4:15: Panel 2: Returned & Received (David Penny, NMAI, Discussant) *each presenter will have 20 minutes

  1. Aaron Glass, Assistant Professor Anthropology, Bard Graduate Center
  2. Jane Anderson, Assistant Professor University of Massachusetts; Adjunct Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
  3. 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.

Questions and Discussion about Panel 2

4:30-5:00 wrap up and discussion

Dinner location TBD

Friday 01.20.12  

9:00-9:30 breakfast at NMNH

9:30-10:00 Introduction Day 2: Josh Bell

10:00-12:00 Panel 3: Access & Accountability (Michael Mason, NMNH – Discussant) *each presenter will have 20 minutes

*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
  2. Aron Crowell, Alaska Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Arctic Studies Center
  3. Robert Leopold, Director of the Consortium for World Cultures, Smithsonian Institution

Questions and Discussion about Panel 3

12:15-1:15 lunch

Lightening Round Presenters: *each presenter will have 10 minutes

  1. Effie Kapsalis, Head of Web and New Media, Smithsonian Institution Archives
  2. Jake Homiak, Director of Collections and Archives Program, Department of Anthropology, NMNH

1:30-2:00 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.

2:00-2:30 coffee break

2:45- 4:45 Panel 4: Circulation and Transformation (Gwyn Isaac, NMNH, Discussant) *each presenter will have 20 minutes

  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
  4. Rosemary Coombe, Tier One Canada Research Chair in Law, Communication and Cultural Studies, 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, intellectual property 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.

Questions and Discussion about Panel 4
4:45-5:15 wrap up and discussion

dinner location: TBD

Saturday 1. 21. 2012

8:30-9:30 breakfast at Hotel George

9:30-10:00 outro Mark Turin

10:00-11:00 workshop wrap up, next steps and plans for publications, website and other