Research Interests: Indigenous rights, anthropology of museums, collaborative museology, cultural heritage management, citizenship studies
Thesis title: Interculturality and the New Museology: indigenous self-determination in a culturally hybrid environment
Self-determination is frequently expressed as a priority in the realization of Indigenous rights, articulating the need to recognize peoples' rights to decide the course of their own political, economic, and social development. Collaboration is a process often touted as a means of achieving this self-determination, establishing partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals and organizations and giving Aboriginal peoples a voice in deciding how their needs and aspirations are to be met. The equality of negotiations in these relationships, however, is often less than implied, as Indigenous communities of necessity must navigate existing (and foreign) social, economic, political, and cultural systems.
My research takes a closer look at the process of collaboration in order to gain a greater understanding of what it means for a minority population to be self-determining, with the implication this carries of autonomous action, while simultaneously operating within the frameworks of another, dominant society. I do so with a focus on cultural heritage management, examining the complex relationships at play as Aboriginal communities work to represent themselves and utilize the resources of the Australian Museum in Sydney , and at Muru Mittigar, an Aboriginal cultural center in Western Sydney .
Schultz, Lainie. 2011. Collaborative Museology and the Visitor. Museum Anthropology 34(1):1-12.