15 May 2017

It’s time for the ICME News Call for Papers again! ICME is the International Committee for Museum Ethnography. We publish a quarterly Newsletter, which contains short reports on projects and exhibitions, a Newsreel, and sometimes short reviews and interviews, reporting on Ethnographic activity in museums around the world.

Please do consider contributing; we accept all sorts of material. Even if you just have a little news to share with us, we can put it in our ‘Newsreel’ feature! This issue will be coming out in July, right in the summertime. So anything summery is particularly welcome. Or perhaps you had a wonderful spring, with some celebrations, and would like to share it with us? Perhaps there is a contemporary contentious issue you would like to reflect upon?

Please contact me to be included, on  jenny.walklate@gmail.com . Please send your contributions by the 9th July. Please send any text as a plain text file, and any images, compressed, separately. Please do not embed images within the text document itself.

10 May 2017

Histories of Anthropology: Transforming Knowledge and Power (1870-1970)

University of Cambridge
18-19 September 2017

The rise of anthropology as an academic discipline transformed the development of cognate disciplines and the interaction of power and knowledge in the modern world. This two-day conference will explore these two themes in terms of the social, intellectual and political history of anthropology, ranging in scale from the local to the transnational and global 

We seek papers on the history of anthropology in terms of two broadly conceived themes. The first concerns the history of anthropology’s relationship with cognate disciplines. In the second theme, we seek papers on the political and social history of anthropology, its relationship to governance, colonialism and broader political and social transformations. We welcome proposals that seek to describe changes over the course of the whole timespan or focus on specific events, debates, disputes and biographies between 1870 - 1970. We are particularly interested in transnational and trans-colonial perspectives, and we encourage submissions from academics at any stage of their careers. 

 We invite proposals for individual 20-minute papers broadly concerned with the following : 
- Interaction of anthropologists with other experts in the colonial field 
- How anthropology supported or undermined colonial administrations 
- The place of professional networks, metropolitan and peripheral, in the history of anthropology 
- How race, gender and sexuality influenced anthropologists’ authority 
- Relationship between anthropology and cognate disciplines 
- The role of interdisciplinarity in anthropology 
- The application of colonial research within the Western metropole 

Please submit an abstract (max. 300 words) and a brief description of your academic affiliation and disciplinary background to: anthropology.history.cambridge@gmail.com by 20 May 2017. We will announce accepted papers by early June. Limited funding will be provided to support travel and accommodation for participants outside the University of Cambridge. The ability to teleconference will also be provided if participants are unable to travel. 

Limited funding will be provided to support travel and accommodation for participants outside the University of Cambridge. The ability to teleconference will also be provided if participants are unable to travel. 

Freddy Foks, Valentina Mann & Viktor M Stoll 
Conference Committee 

9 May 2017

Collection of tourist Arts and Crafts

I am looking for a permanent home for my collection.

I have a fairly extensive collection of what is broadly described as ’Tourist Arts and Crafts’. My interest started around 50 years ago, when I made some collections for the Pitt-Rivers Museum.  I travel fairly widely have and been collecting in a small way ever since. I also regularly buy in flea markets etc, particularly if there is any information on provenance.

My collections involve two main types of objects: those collected personally in my capacity as a tourist, and these can be further subdivided in to objects made specifically for the Tourist market,and those objects that have become out dated and discarded and are sold o tourists. Those collected at flea markets and junk shops are generally discarded souvenirs or gifts brought back by tourists for friends and relatives. Nearly all the collection is of objects best described as ‘portable’. Which is also typical for the international tourist market – they have to be transported home.
The emphasis in my collecting, has been to ensure that as much data as possible is associated with each specimen. Except for those purchased in England with little or no background, the objects are labelled at the time of collection.

Within this rather random collecting there are several foci.  My own professional interests relate to wildlife, and as a consequence the collection features animals. In particular, there is an extensive collection of snakes. There are also a large number of bird whistles and bird calls.  
Another focus has been artisans; models of people doing daily tasks.
But on the whole it is fairly idiosyncratic,  particularly the discarded category – whatever was popular in flea markets and charity shops. Miniature totem poles, thornwood carvings, masks, shadow puppets for example.

I also have a very extensive collection of arts and crafts from Paraguay. This collection of some 200+objects aims to be more comprehensive, and contains a significant number of weavings which are likely to become extremely rare in the future, as the nomadic indigenous tribals that made them disappear. This collection has (mostly) been catalogued on a database. It is also part of ongoing collecting.




Ideally, I would like to donate this collection to a single location, but of course, by their very nature the objects in the collection have multiple classifications, and will fit numerous taxonomies.  Having visited numerous ethnographic museums, I can say with confidence that much of the collection is of ‘museum quality’, and the groupings within the collection often make interesting study material. And taken as a whole may be of interest in representing one person’s collection of a period of half a century. Finally, it is an ongoing project; I have not completed the labelling and cataloguing, which includes cross referencing much of the material to reference books, photographing the objects for recording in my data base. I felt it would be appropriate to establish any desire to give it a home, so that future development can be in accord with its future. Much of the material is accessible at present, although shortly to be packed away. If there is any interest I will be more than happy to answer questions or show the collection, or photos of specific objects. 

John Burton
JBurton@worldlandtrust.org