Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

Pragmatic Imagination and the New Museum Anthropology

Edited By Christina J. Hodge, Christina Kreps

Copyright 2024, Routledge & CRC Press

Pragmatic Imagination and the New Museum Anthropology shifts museum anthropology’s relationship to the broader field from marginal to central by revealing the sophisticated transdisciplinary praxis (theory + practice) at the heart of current museum anthropologies. The book features international case studies that operate at the interfaces of critical museology, anthropology, material culture studies, art practice, and more. The theory of pragmatics proposes that meaning-making is collaborative and best evaluated through its impact in the world. Collectively the chapters in this volume evidence a ‘pragmatic imagination’ at work as museum anthropology practitioners ingeniously combine inventiveness (the possible) and practicality (the actual) in ways that drive the field forward. Defining museum anthropology as a pragmatic practice explicitly theorizes this work in order to mark its significance; demystify its processes of knowledge production; connect it more readily to debates within and beyond anthropology; and facilitate critique.


Table of Contents:


1 Introduction

 Christina J. Hodge and Christina Kreps

Part I Introduction Pragmatics of Documentation

2 The Role of Indigenous Archives and Their Pragmatic Imaginings in the New Museum Anthropology

Diana E. Marsh

3 The Pragmatics of Decolonizing Metadata: Praxes of 3D Digitization

Christina J. Hodge

4 Alternative Voices and Images of Ecotourism from La Ventanilla, Mexico: Reflections on a Neopragmatist-inspired Approach to Participatory Action Museography

W. Warner Wood

Part II Introduction Pragmatics of Restitution

5 Museum Anthropology in an Age of Reconciliation

Cara Krmpotich

6 A Pragmatic Approach to Reconciliation: Thoughts on Transforming Repatriation Practice

Margaret M. Bruchac

7 Unearthing Colonial Complicities in Maasai Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, Laura N. K. Van Broekhoven

8 Like a Bridge over Troubled Water?: Fieldwork, Publicly-engaged Scholarship, and Trafficked Indonesian Mortuary Materials

Kathleen M. Adams

Part III Introduction Pragmatics of Counter-narrative

9 Missionaries, Anthropologists, Museums: Instrumentalism and Lessons for Progressive Museology

Christina Kreps

10 European Museum Collections and Knowledge Co-production: Developing a Praxis

Giovanna Vitelli

11 Teaching Museum Curation and Cultural Equity by Design, Amanda J. Guzmán

Carolyn Smith, and Rosemary A. Joyce

12 Artistic Explorations of Place: Creative Pragmatism, Anthropology, and University Museums

Esteban M. Gómez and Bonnie J. Clark