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One of our core values is responsible research, which includes collaboration with our partners here at the University of Michigan and beyond, particularly in communities where we conduct our research.

Below you can explore some of the partners our researchers have worked with and the collaborative projects in which they have participated. 


Collaborative Projects:

Applying to Graduate School Workshop

Date: October 27th, 2021

UMMAA Director and curator, Michael Galaty participated and co-organized a workshop on applying to graduate school which was held via Zoom on October 27th, 2021. The workshop was a collaboration between professors and graduate students from Colombia, Stanford, Brown, UCLA and the University of Michigan and sponsored by the Wenner Gren Foundation. Panelists included graduate students Madison Aubey (Anthropology, UCLA), Haoran Shi (Anthropology, Stanford), Jenny Ni (Anthropology, Columbia), and professors Zoë  Crossland (Columbia), Andrew Bauer (Stanford), Peter van Dommelen (Brown) and Michael Galaty (Michigan). 

The recording from the workshop can be viewed here.


Photo info: Jim (left) and Nick (right) working with three images from UMMAA’s Philippine collection at the Research Museums Center.


ReConnect/ReCollect: Reparative Connections to Philippine Collections at the University of Michigan 

Date: 09/08/2021

UMMAA is collaborating with UM faculty and staff to examine some of the largest Philippine archival, cultural and natural history collections in North America. The project is directed by Deirdre de la Cruz, associate professor in Asian Languages and Cultures and the Department of History and director of the Anthropology and History Program, and Ricky Punzalan, associate professor in the School of Information. Collaborators include Jim Moss, collection manager at UMMAA; Kerstin Barndt, associate professor of German Languages and Literature and director of the Museum Studies Program; Nancy Bartlett, associate director of the Bentley Historical Library; and Martha O’Hara Conway, director of the University of Michigan Library Special Collections Research Center.

The aim of the project is to create models for a responsive and ethical stewardship of Philippine materials at UM and other institutions by exploring questions of colonial complicity in the creation of these collections. UMMMA graduate student Nicholas Trudeau is serving as one of the GSRA’s for the project this semester.



Centering the Northern Realms: Integrating Histories and Archaeologies of the Mongol Empire (1200 to 1500 CE) 

Date: 09/08/2021

UMMAA curator Alicia Ventresca Miller is collaborating with Christian de Pee (Department of History), Miranda Brown (Department of Asian Languages and Cultures), Pär Cassel (Department of History), Bryan K. Miller (History of Art), and Sangseraima Ujeed (Department of Asian Languages and Cultures), in an interdisciplinary project to investigate the northern reaches of the Mongol empire. 
The goal of the project is to gain a better understanding of the understudied Khövsgöl region of the Mongol Empire, specifically in regards to its influence on networks of exchange, control of resources and engagement with other regions. The collaborators will explore these areas of interest by looking at evidence from both textual and archaeological materials.

Dr. Ventresca Miller excavating a Mongol Era burial (1206-1368 CE) in Khövsgöl Province, Mongolia, 2019 (photo credit S. Vanderwarf).







Cizhou vessel, Yuan dynasty, 1271-1368 CE (photo credit P. Bittner).

Knowledge Sharing display at the UM Museum of Natural History.


Knowledge Sharing: Students Learning from an Ethnobotanist and Anishinaabe Artists

September 2021

Knowledge Sharing is one of two new exhibits featuring UMMAA collections on display at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History (UMMNH). 

This exhibition is a collaboration between UMMAA, UMMNH, and Dr. Lisa C. Young's Winter 2020 Museum Anthropology (Antharch 497) students, who researched the objects collected by former UMMAA curator Volney Jones from Ketegaunseebee/Garden River First Nation. Dr. Young is a faculty member in the University of Michigan Department of Anthropology and a Museum affiliate in the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology.

The goal of the exhibit was for students to share their research on the history of the objects that Volney Jones collected and what they had learned from present-day Anishinaabe community members. During the semester, the class met with Josh and Sarah Homminga, award-winning basketmakers and teachers, who taught them about the importance of Anishinaabe living traditions. Students worked together in teams to select objects for the exhibit, write labels for these objects, and develop content for a text panel. 

Through a LSA Technology Services Digital Project Partnership, Dr. Young developed a companion website: Anishinaabe Plants: Learning from Museum Collections at the University of Michigan. This website allows visitors to the physical exhibit to digitally access additional information about the UMMAA collection with QR codes.

The exhibit can be found in the atrium, behind the mastodons, and will be on display until the summer of 2022.

Links for more information:

Wiidanokiindiwag exhibition at the UM Museum of Natural History


Wiidanokiindiwag (They Work with Each Other)

Date: September 2021

This exhibition is a reimplementation of an exhibition that was previously on display at the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways in 2019. It was co-curated by William Johnson, curator and interim director of the Ziibiwing Center, and Carla Sinopoli, emeritus UMMAA curator and director of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico.

The exhibition’s title, Wiidanokiindiwag (They Work With Each Other), has two meanings: the first refers to the Anishinaabek basketmakers, who worked with each other and with native materials, including black ash, sweetgrass, elm and birch bark, and porcupine quills. The second meaning refers to the collaboration of the people of the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways and the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, who worked together to bring about this exhibition. The collaboration between the groups began many years ago, with efforts to implement the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Since then, hundreds of Anishinaabek ancestors and their burial belongings have been returned to the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan and many other Great Lakes tribes.

Complementing this exhibition is an online catalog produced by the students of Dr. Young’s Winter 2019 Museum Anthropology course (Antharch 497), titled Bkejwanong/Walpole Island, Ontario Collections at the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology. Dr. Young contributed to both Wiidanokiindiwag exhibits.

Links for more information:

Poster for CAW roundtable. Created by HG, with permission from panelists to share on social media platforms.

CAW and Brown Bag Lecture: Roundtable: The Problems and Prospects of Community-Based Archaeology

Date: November 20th, 2020

This roundtable discussion was organized by  the Collaborative Archaeology Workgroup (CAW) and the UMMAA Brown Bag committee. CAW is a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workgroup (RIW) created by IPCAA and UMMAA graduate students to create a bridge of knowledge and resource sharing between students in both departments.  

The goal of the roundtable was to explore best practices related to community involvement in archaeology and examine how community based practices have changed, and continue to change, the fundamental nature of archaeological methodologies, pedagogy, and publication.  To do so,  the organizing committee invited archaeologists  whose research spans the globe from Detroit to Northern Sudan.

The roundtable was moderated by IPCAA doctoral candidate Nadhira Hill. Panelists included Dr. Krysta Ryzewski (Wayne State), Dr. Anna Antoniou (UMMAA alum), Dr. Geoff Emberling (Kelsey Museum) and Dr. Lisa Young (UM Anthropology).

The recording of the lecture can be viewed on our Youtube Channel, linked here.