Jennifer Kramer

Jennifer Kramer

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Curator, Pacific Northwest, Museum of Anthropology (MOA), University of British Columbia

Jennifer is Associate Professor of Anthropology and a Curator, Pacific Northwest at the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at the University of British Columbia. She holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University. Her research focuses on Northwest Coast First Nations visual culture and its entanglements with aesthetic valuation, commodification, appropriation, tourism, legal regimes, and museums.

She has worked with the Nuxalk Nation of Bella Coola, BC, since 1994 on issues of cultural revitalization, repatriation, selling art, and Native-controlled education, resulting in the book, Switchbacks: Art, Ownership, and Nuxalk National Identity (UBC Press, 2006). She is also the author and curator of Kesu’: The Art and Life of Doug Cranmer (Douglas & McIntyre Press, 2012), which explores one Kwakwaka’wakw man’s innovative career as an Indigenous modern artist in the global art market and the potlatch big house. She is co-editor with Charlotte Townsend-Gault and Ki-ke-in of Native Art of the Northwest Coast: A History of Changing Ideas forthcoming from UBC Press summer of 2013. This anthology of writings about Northwest Coast art has 28 contributors – Native and non-Native art historians, anthropologists, legal experts, artists, and holders of traditional Indigenous knowledge.

Her current collaborative research involves (re)connecting Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, Wuikinuxv, and Kwakwaka’wakw language speakers, cultural teachers, and artists to their historic material culture in museum collections. She is also a research partner for the SSHRC CURA project “Tshiue-Natuapahtetau/Kigibiwidon: Exploring New Alternatives Concerning the Restitution/Recovery of Indigenous Heritage” with two First Nations in Quebec: the Ilnu of Mashteuiatsh and the Anishinabeg of Kitigan Zibi.

Articles of specific interest to IPinCH:

2004    Kramer, Jennifer “Figurative Repatriation:  First Nations ‘Artist-Warriors’ Recover, Reclaim, and Return Cultural Property through Self-Definition.”  Special Issue: Beyond Art/Artifact/Tourist Art. The Journal of Material Culture. Volume 9(2):161-182.

2013    Kramer, Jennifer Fighting with Property: The Double-edged Rhetoric of Ownership” in Native Art of the Northwest Coast: A History of Changing Ideas. (Townsend-Gault, Charlotte, Kramer, Jennifer and Ki-ke-in, eds.) UBC Press: Vancouver. PP. 720-756.