ANTH 2273 Who Owns the Past? (Online course, Jan 2023)

Why preserve the past, and in what form? What role do museums play in how skeletal remains are collected, presented, and interpreted? How have ethnocentric attitudes towards marginalized peoples excluded communities from participating in developing guidelines about the musealization and repatriation of ancestor human remains?

Through Indigenous- and non-western-led guest lectures, this course examines the musealization of human remains; social institutions and their associated power relations and evaluates their impact on marginalized individuals and groups in society. Students will learn that the identification of human remains is deeply spiritual for the communities of the deceased and that committing to a practice of creating and working within equitable power relationships, with marginalized communities, is imperative.