M.J. Rymsza-Pawlowska : New Museums and New (Kinds of) Histories

Today, we welcome a guest post from M.J. Rymsza-Pawlowska, author of History Comes Alive:  Public History and Popular Culture in the 1970s, on our changing ideas about museums. During the 1976 Bicentennial celebration, millions of Americans engaged with the past in brand-new ways. They became absorbed by historical miniseries like Roots, visited museums with new… Continue Reading M.J. Rymsza-Pawlowska : New Museums and New (Kinds of) Histories

Excerpt: Decolonizing Museums, by Amy Lonetree

One of the most vivid memories of my experience in the museum world—and one that has shaped both my understanding of collaboration and the significance of objects to Indigenous communities—took place in 1995 at the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS). As an exhibit researcher working on Families, an exhibition funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities focusing on Minnesota families that opened at MHS in 1995, one of my responsibilities was to locate a Native American family to be featured in the exhibition. Continue Reading Excerpt: Decolonizing Museums, by Amy Lonetree

Joseph Genetin-Pilawa: “Documented Rights” & Representations of Indigenous History in the Archive

The virtual exhibit “Documented Rights” raises some interesting challenges for scholars and museum professionals alike. It also reminds us that the struggle “for personal rights and freedoms” means something different for Indigenous people. While NARA should be congratulated for its attempt to do some justice to representing the Native experience, “Documented Rights” sheds light on the difficulty of doing so without replicating settler-colonial/archival patterns of organizing, categorizing, and flattening those histories. Continue Reading Joseph Genetin-Pilawa: “Documented Rights” & Representations of Indigenous History in the Archive