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UM Museum Studies Program presents Erica Lehrer: "Curating Memories in Conflict: New Ethnography in an Old Museum."

Monday, March 31, 2014
12:00 AM
UM Museum of Art Multi-Purpose Room (125)

Michigan Anthro alum Erica Lehrer on "Curating Memories in Conflict: New Ethnography in an Old Museum"

Erica Lehrer, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Concordia University

Anthropologist Erica Lehrer will discuss a participatory exhibition of Polish-made figurines depicting Jews that she curated in Kraków’s Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in summer 2013. The exhibit grew out of research for her recent book Jewish Poland Revisited: Heritage Tourism in Unquiet Places (Indiana, 2013). In the broadest terms, the exhibition took up the question of how to deal with painfully disputed subject matter: How can one productively exhibit objects whose existence or the meanings one community promotes are deeply objectionable to another community? Lehrer will discuss Poland's Jewish figurines as "intersectional objects" that both bind and divide communities, and suggest their potential as catalysts for critical memory work that transcends the terms of today’s defensive public debate about Poland’s Jewish past.