The Diversity Of The Human Experience Essay

1405 Words Apr 12th, 2016 null Page
The diversity of the human experience is stupendous and has been described, recorded, cataloged and represented by a number of anthropologists working in natural history museums. For many anthropologists, natural history museums provide an outlet for presenting their research, in which this institutionalized and multidimensional space acts as a nexus for the reconstruction and understanding of life in a variety of time periods across the global landscape. More specifically through the displays and re-presenting of cultures, peoples, and practices, and material artifacts, museums act as synchronic portraitures of typically marginalized lifestyles and people groups. As for any such presentation of “text,” critical observers must step back from simply receiving the spectacle and ask how it was created; what was included and excluded?; what foregrounded and what backgrounded?; through whose eyes were the presented images seen and to convey what? While all such presentations of peoples and cultures invite these questions and more, museum exhibitions of marginalized, colonized, conquered, and subordinated peoples and cultures have become the topic of particular attention both by present day members of those cultures as well as scholarly critics today more sensitive to such questions. In the United States, the history of the exhibition of Native American cultural practices, peoples, and lives offers us an opportunity to raise these questions, so to speak, “close to home,” and to…

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