Race, Representation, and Museums Lecture Series Begins Sept. 27

Race, Representation, and Museums

Year-long Anniversary Series to Include Historic and Contemporary Topics

CAMBRIDGE, MA September 8, 2016 – “Smashing Agassiz’s Boulder” explores our knowledge of human evolutionary origins and the historic and contemporary challenges of communicating evolution to a sometimes-resistant public, including 19th-century Harvard professor Louis Agassiz. (The title is a reference to Darwin’s prediction that Agassiz might “throw a boulder” at him in response to Darwin’s revolutionary theory of evolution.) It is the first lecture in the free public Race, Representation, and Museums lecture series at Harvard beginning Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at the Northwest Building, Lecture Hall B103, 52 Oxford Street, Cambridge at 6:00 PM.

See all Race, Representation, and Museums lectures: www.peabody.harvard.edu/race-representation-museums

The series explores the concept of race and the representation of cultures in museums from the perspectives of human evolutionary biology, archaeology, social anthropology and museology. Topics range from the evolving relationships between museums and Native American groups to the Peabody’s important collection of fifteen slave daguerreotypes. A moderated discussion follows each lecture. The series is co-sponsored by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology with Harvard’s Department of Anthropology and the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology as part of the Peabody Museum’s 150th anniversary year. Multiple campus institutions will co-sponsor individual lectures including the Harvard University Native American Program and the Project on Race & Gender in Science & Medicine at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.

“As Harvard was one of the first U.S. universities to institute a research and teaching program in anthropology with the founding of the Peabody Museum, this is an ideal place to address how race and culture have been represented and have changed over the course of more than a century,” said Jeffrey Quilter, the William and Muriel Seabury Howells Director of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University.

"This series promises to generate important discussions about the entanglement of race, science, and culture in our past and the present,” said Evelynn Hammonds, Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. “This distinguished group of scholars will surely illuminate broad questions about the centrality of "race" in the histories of anthropology, evolutionary biology, and the Peabody Museum. It should not be missed.”

See all Peabody Museum anniversary events: https://www.peabody.harvard.edu/anniversary

Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology
One of the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture
Harvard University
11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 
617-496-1027 public information

Media contact: Faith Sutter   617-495-3397  faith_sutter@harvard.edu