Fabricating the Authentic: Presenting Anthropology at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition

Date: 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 6:00pm

Location: 

Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street

Image of speaker Lee D. Baker for lecture Fabricating the Authentic: Presenting Anthropology at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition

Free Public Lecture

Lee D. Baker, Dean of Academic Affairs for Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education; Mrs. A. Hehmeyer Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Duke University

Frederic Ward Putnam, one of the Peabody Museum’s earliest directors, played a key role in establishing anthropology as a scholarly field. He was also a driving force behind the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where he aimed to present authentic exhibits about Indigenous cultures. His vision, however, was compromised by both the Exposition’s administration, which framed the exhibition of Indigenous people as entertaining freak shows, and by “friends of the Indian,” who wanted to show their “progress” toward civilization.  Lee Baker will discuss how anthropology became publicly mired in racial politics and the contested arena of Indigenous representation.

Free parking is available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.

Race, Representation, and Museums Lecture Series

Presented in collaboration with the Departments of Anthropology and Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University