"Heritage and Its Entanglement: Representing, Collecting, and Preserving Cultural Identity" (ANTHR/ARKEO 4460) was a collaboration between the Museum and the Department of Anthropology, exploring the ways that cultural heritage is embodied in things, particularly archeological landscapes, sites, artifacts, and art. The course was developed and cotaught by Professor John Henderson and Cathy Rosa Klimaszewski, Associate Director and Harriett Ames Charitable Trust Curator of Education at the Johnson Museum.

Identifying stakeholders in relation to collecting and controlling theses things and representing heritage was a key focus: What voices should states and other political entities have? Local residents? Descendants? How should descendants be identified?  Other topics included looting and the market in smuggled antiquities; repatriation; the ethics of studying and publishing looted objects; community engagement; display and interpretation of cultural materials; forces that destroy heritage and strategies for preserving it; and reinvented and imagined heritage. These issues were examined using the Johnson Museum and Cornell Cuneiform Tablet collections, and through case studies including Colonial Williamsburg, African burial grounds, the Harriet Tubman House in Auburn, the ancient Maya, and archaeology and the Third Reich.  

One undergraduate and nine graduate students participated in the course from a range of disciplines, including archaeology, English, historic preservation, history, international development, and rural development. During the semester, students participated in discussions and debates with instructors and guest speakers; site visits; and researched and wrote about works of art in the Johnson Museum collection. For the final course project, students wrote research papers presenting and analyzing a compelling case study in cultural heritage—an exhibition, perspectives and policies of a particular museum or cultural site, and other related topics. 

Fall 2017 Heritage and Its Entanglements students
Lizzy Bews
Salpi Bocchieriyan
Seena Kayasu
Elizabeth Proctor
Jennifer Rabedeau
Ryan Sherman
Cristian Stockton-Juarez
Heather Torres
Maia Tserediani
Gretchen Worth