Events at a Glance


Welcome by Christopher Woods (Director, Penn Museum)
Welcome by Deborah Thomas (Director, Center for Experimental Ethnography)
Keynote by Laura Van Broekhoven (Director, Pitt Rivers Museum)


The African Burial Ground:  Lessons for the Morton Crania Collection

Christopher Woods (Director, Penn Museum) in conversation with
Michael Blakey (William & Mary)
Rachel Watkins (American University)
Carlina De La Cova (University of South Carolina )
Joseph Jones (William & Mary)


What is the place of the U.S. in relation to global imperialism? In what ways have the dual histories of settler colonialism and slavery influenced collection and exhibition practices? What are the implications for the ways we think about and enact forms of decolonization and reparation?

Ciraj Rassool (University of the Western Cape, Iziko Museums of Cape Town)
Amy Lonetree (UCSC)
Pamela Geller (U-Miami)
Monique Scott (Bryn Mawr)

Moderator: Kathleen Brown (History, Penn)


How has NAGPRA legislation impacted the development of legal processes for repatriation and other forms of reparation?  In what ways might we think about moving beyond NAGPRA?  In what ways must North American museum practitioners also grapple with questions of empire and slavery in thinking about meaningful processes of repair?

Discussion and Q&A, Moderated by Gwen Gordon (Legal Studies and Business Ethics, Wharton)

Jane Anderson (New York University)
Wayne Modest (Research Center for Material Culture, Museum Volkenkunde)
Alaka Wali (The Field Museum)
Ann Kakaliouras (Whittier College)
Rachel Watkins (American University)


What should the 21st Century Museum Be?

Moderated by Critical Museum Studies Graduate Student Working Group


Dreaming as a R-evolutionary Act: A Creative “Talkshop”


Facilitated by Coral Bijoux, with reflections and response by Hladini Mensah 

This “talkshop,” which masquerades as a workshop/talk space/creative space, will begin with a brief presentation.  Coral will then lead activities designed to encourage participants to play and create in order to situate themselves within the heritage of their own lives and communities. In a disparate world, we must find our truths therefore reclaiming, and where necessary transforming, the SELF and the lost heritages of the world.  


In what ways have processes of decolonization, indigenization, and anti-racism been successfully implemented, and how might we build on these?

Roundtable, Discussion, and Q&A Moderated by Margaret Bruchac (Anthropology, UPenn)

Wayne Modest (Research Center for Material Culture, Museum Volkenkunde)
Stephanie Cunningham (Co-Founder of Museum Hue)
Ryan Rice (OCAD)
Lucy Fowler-Williams (Penn Museum)
Ingrid Masondo (South African National Gallery)
Sonya Atalay (U Mass-Amherst)

Moderator: Margaret Bruchac (Anthropology, Penn)


Dominique Santos (University of the Free State) featuring Unfixing the Museum

Matthias DeGroof (University of Antwerp) featuring Palimpsest of the Africa Museum


Deborah Thomas (Director, Center for Experimental Ethnography)