Date of Award

4-21-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Despina Margomenou, PhD - Chair

Second Advisor

Emanuela Guano, PhD

Third Advisor

Jeffrey B. Glover, PhD

Abstract

Presenting a case study of an American Indian exhibit at the Funk Heritage Center, I critically examine how this museum’s ideologies and preferred pedagogies shape public discourse about Southeastern Indians in the past and present. Using the methodology of Visitor Studies, this public archaeology project illustrates the benefits of incorporating applied anthropology into museological practice through collaboration with museum staff, volunteers, visitors, and American Indians. Operating within the theoretical frameworks of Charles R. Garoian (2001) and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (1991), my results imply that inserting archaeological narratives into institutional pedagogy alters a museum’s traditional “performance” of the past by challenging its own authority; ultimately, I show how this process can increase viewer awareness about the politics of display.

Included in

Anthropology Commons

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