416 North Indiana Ave.
Bloomington, Indiana 47408
I am a folklorist and ethnologist whose teaching and research work bridges the fields of folklore, cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, ethnohistory, and museum studies. I have collaborated with Native American communities in Oklahoma (USA) since 1993, when I began a lifelong personal and research relationship with the Yuchi people. My studies concern, most centrally, the nature of customary arts, practices and beliefs and the role that these play in social life. In addition to the ethnography and ethnology of Eastern North America, I pursue projects exploring emerging issues (often quite contested) in the areas of intellectual property, cultural property and heritage policy. Lastly, most of my career has been spent working as a curator in museum contexts and I remain deeply engaged with research in, and teaching about, museums, especially museums of art and ethnography. I previously served (2005-2009) as the editor of the journal Museum Anthropology and I founded and now edit the open access journal Museum Anthropology Review. Among my current projects is a book on the role of community rituals in shaping historical consciousness among the native peoples of Eastern North America. In this project I am seeking to extend the arguments of my books Yuchi Ceremonial Life: Performance, Meaning and Tradition in a Contemporary American Indian Community (University of Nebraska Press, 2003) and Yuchi Folklore (University of Oklahoma Press, 2013). In 2013, I began service as Director of the Mathers Museum of World Cultures.