Professor Alison Brown from the School of Social Science spent two weeks in Washington DC this July as a Visiting Faculty member for the Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology (SIMA), a research training programme offered by the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History and funded by the US National Science Foundation. The programme seeks to promote effective use of museum collections in anthropological research and brings together graduate students who want to use museum collections in their work with staff from the Department of Anthropology, Visiting Faculty and Fellows. Alison led seminars on the history and ethics of making anthropological collections, working with small-scale objects, and community-based research. She also spent time in the collections with the students on the programme, learning about their research and helping them reflect on the issues that arise from collections-based work. The programme included a behind the scenes tour at the National Museum of American Indian, and the opportunity to visit many of the other Smithsonian museums. Alison is Programme Director of the Museum Studies MLitt at the University, and is looking forward to adapting some of the approaches to teaching with collections that she discussed with other SIMA faculty into our own programme here at Aberdeen. This will allow for closer engagement with the rich collections of the University for Aberdeen students, including doctoral students on the new PhD programme in Museum Studies which launched this year.
For more information on SIMA visit: http://anthropology.si.edu/summerinstitute
For more information on Museum Studies at the University visit: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-taught/degree-programmes/199/museum-studies/