"Documenting the Ethnographic Object: A Media History of Anthropology"

Dr. Hannah Turner, SIAT, SFU

Oct 26 2016, 12:30 - 14:20 pm, SFU Surrey Room 5380

About the talk:


In this talk Hannah Turner will propose a media history of early anthropology. I will specifically examine the material documentation technologies that record material culture in ethnographic museums. Based on my dissertation research, this talk applies the concept of the information infrastructure to the historical study of anthropology. I suggest that a full understanding of how knowledges become marginalized through time requires an investigation – a media history – of how knowledge becomes stabilized through documentation and work practice in media like ledger books, catalog cards, and even in large computerized database systems.

About Speaker:

Hannah Turner is a Postdoctoral Fellow with SIAT in Kate Hennessy’s Making Culture Lab. She completed her PhD in Information Studies at the University of Toronto in 2015; where her dissertation examined the role of documentation and infrastructures in digitized ethnographic catalogs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). She is interested in how different recording and documentation technologies produce different knowledges through time: particularly in the context of ethnographic and cultural history. Her recent published work has examined historical systems of classification and categorization in museum ethnographic collections. She is also interested in how new digital technologies are used to represent material culture more broadly.