Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

Satellite Cases

Small-scale Exhibits around the Brown University Campus.

Along with exhibitions in the Manning Hall Gallery, the Haffenreffer Museum also hosts student-curated satellite exhibits on the Brown University campus. These are usually rotated twice a year, and include just one case in each location. If you are a Brown University department that would like to host a satellite exhibit, please email HaffenrefferMuseum@brown.edu.

Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center

Pandemic Journaling Project

exhibit caseIn May 2020, a team based at Brown University and the University of Connecticut created the Pandemic Journaling Project (PJP), an online space where people around the world could create a weekly record of their pandemic experiences in writing, audio, or images. By May 2022, over 1,800 people in 55 countries had created nearly 27,000 journal entries – including almost 3,000 images. In Picturing the Pandemic, PJP teams up with the Seeing Truth project to explore how people around the globe use images to tell their own pandemic stories, and to question and critique our changing world. The exhibition opened in October 2022 at the Hartford Public Library in Hartford, Connecticut, before traveling to Providence (March 2023), Heidelberg, Germany (April 2023), and Mexico City (May 2023).

In Providence, we are proud to collaborate with the Providence Public Library (PPL) as well as the Haffenreffer Museum, Swearer Center, Population Studies and Training Center, and students in Brown's Spring 2023 Anthropology of Mental Health course. At four Providence locations, we explore the origins, application, and art of the Pandemic Journaling Project. We put PJP contributions in dialogue with materials from the Rhode Island Covid-19 Archive (at PPL) and student artists (at Swearer). Here at the Campus Center, we focus on the goals and innovations of the Pandemic Journaling Project as public anthropology.

The Picturing the Pandemic traveling exhibition was curated by Sarah S. Willen and Alexis L. Boylan, and this exhibit at the Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center was curated by Katherine A. Mason and Sarah S. Willen in collaboration with Rip Gerry, Thierry Gentis, Robert Preucel, and Christina Hodge at Brown’s Haffenreffer Museum.

Visit Information for the Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center

John Hay Library

exhibit case with Caribbean artifacts and digital printsContextualizing Taíno Collections

In this exhibit, student curators share their work to put a new donation of ancient Caribbean artifacts into cultural, historical, political, and contemporary contexts. First peoples of many Caribbean islands developed shared beliefs and practices, which today we call Taíno culture. People practicing this culture were historically erased from Caribbean stories. To make sense of Taíno artifacts recently donated to the Haffenreffer Museum, the exhibit focuses on these "erased" people instead. The exhibit shares collections from the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology and John Hay Library.

on view May 2023–May 2024

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Rockefeller Library

Sculpture of a ball-game belt

a stone ring in an exhibit case with a text panel to the rightStone
Dominican Republic
1200–1500 CE

The details carved into this stone ring resemble bindings and knots, and archaeologists guess that it is a ritual version of the wooden or textile belts Indigenous Caribbean participants wore during ball “games” (in Taíno language batu). Contemporary Taíno people are revitalizing versions of the ball game, one of many ancient practices disrupted by centuries of colonialism.

image of toy car in exhibit caseAluminum and tin

A current satellite exhibition in the Rockefeller Library reading room explores forms of non- industrial recycling of the metallic element aluminum and tin.

While both scrap aluminum and tin are important source of the current industrial supply, in many parts of the world people use scrap aluminum and tin creatively to fashion enterprising and useful items ranging from functional household objects to jewelry and toys.

Aluminum, an abundant element, can only be extracted from bauxite ore with the availability of plentiful electricity necessary to smelt it and has therefore only became available in recent human history. Tin by contrast, is scarcer than aluminum but much easier to refine because of its low melting point. Alloyed with copper to make bronze, tin was used by humans as early as 5,000 years ago.

Highlights of the exhibition include a toy car made by Maasai children in Kenya from old coffee and margarine tins, an Aymara votive house model from Bolivia made from powdered milk tin cans and a sand cast aluminum cooking pot from Guinea made from aluminum beverage cans.

Ironically, the industrial aluminum and tin products which are mostly in the form of containers often return to the countries that largely are the sources of the raw materials used to make those products. The bauxite mines in West Africa that are the source of much of the new aluminum
used to make beverage cans today.

Visit Information for the Rockefeller Library