WHAT SHOULD THE 21st CENTURY MUSEUM BE?
This live in-person discussion took place in the Harrison Auditorium at the Penn Museum and addressed the question: “What Should the 21st Century Museum Be?”. It was moderated by the Critical Museum Studies Group at Penn.
Livestream and event began at 5PM EDT on Thursday, October 21 2021.
Cait McQuade asks:
Will you post links to your tours?
Thank you for sharing this, great presentations and ongoing initiatives. Might you be able to share any audience research results on the anti-colonial tour pilot? What percentage of visitors uses the QR codes? How does it affect visitors’ understanding of the Piedras Negras stelae and the erasures of local expertise and knowledge? How have you decided which stops will be developed and who is telling the stories with you?
Ryn Ingalls asks:
How do you see using current collections in the future?
I was wondering if the panelists could reflect on the fact that the Penn Museum has repatriated maybe just a few hundred of the skeletal ancestors, and fewer, proportionately, of the object-beings in their collections…How do you see your work articulating with a potential commitment the museum could make toward more repatriation and restitution?
Mohamed Hashim Elkareem asks
What are the theoretical basis or theoretical grounds are you basing and selecting QR Codes as tools for museuological practices?
Shannon Wagner asks
Interested in the Black Graves protection act suggestion. However NAGPRA is old and outdated and without “teeth”, how would you want to see decolonization and repatriation better employed with both the suggested BlackGPRA and 1990 NAGPRA?
Thank you for your work. How do you also take into account the biases of the museum guests as they engage with the museum as is and the additional personal work that would be required by your decolonial tour?
Ryn Ingalls asks
How did you create your QR codes in a way that really works?
Cait McQuade asks
Thank you for talking about ways to translate your ideas into practice! Please think about ways to disseminate your scholarship to practitioners, who rarely access academic resources.
Considering the differences between museums in colonized countries of the Americas and Africa and museums in European countries that historically colonized others, and the differences between the museum “audiences” in those locations, how would “ruptures” differ in these contexts?
I’d like to understand the idea behind this acknowledging of the land of indigenous people. Do the communities benefit in some way? Can the descendants eventually lay claim to the land and somehow benefit? Are they just acknowledged and that’s it? Is it just to serve as a reminder of settler colonialism?
The Critical Museum Studies Group will present their current efforts to rethink and de-stabilize the Penn Museum, including a mapping project that re-peoples the museum, a website with archival and historical context of the Museum’s role in violent collection, and a pilot Anti-Colonial tour project that pays attention to the language, labor, and people behind and among the exhibits.
Katleho Kano Shoro
Paul Wolff Mitchell
The mural depicted in the title image is “Decolonize And Chill/We Are Still Here”, a mural artwork by artist and community activist Jaque Fragua from the Pueblo of Jemez, one of the federally recognized tribes in New Mexico, as well as Ishi Glinsky and Shepard Fairey. It is art created out of an on-going decolonizing space and project called Indian Alley, in Los Angeles, CA. The photograph of the artwork is by wiredforlego (CC BY-NC 2.0).