CMA Biennial Conference

Museums Different

Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Dates: September 19 – September 21, 2019

The Council for Museum Anthropology’s second biennial conference took place in Santa Fe, New Mexico from Thursday, September 19th through Saturday, September 21st, 2019. Using the unique position of Santa Fe — the “City Different” — as a starting point for thinking broadly about both local and global approaches to museum anthropology, the conference theme was “Museums Different.”

We built off the theme and conversations from our first conference, “Museum Anthropology Futures,” held in May 2017 at Concordia University in Montreal.

About “Museums Different”:

The conference was based on Santa Fe’s Museum Hill, home to both the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology and the Museum of International Folk Art. The conference included sessions and activities at the Institute of American Indian Arts as well as an evening reception at the School for Advanced Research.


Museum Anthropology Futures

May 25-27, 2017

Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

The program has been published! See: Conference Program

This conference invites museum anthropologists (academics, students, and museum professionals), artists, art historians, as well as other curators and community thinkers and actors for 2.5 days of stimulating sessions, sustained knowledge exchange, and museum visits. “Museum Anthropology Futures” seeks to spark critical reflection and discussions on (1) the state of museum anthropology as an academic discipline; (2) innovative methods around the use of collections; (3) exhibition experiments that engage with anthropological research; and (4) the use of museums to effectively take on pressing social concerns such as immigration, inequality, racism, colonial legacies, heritage preservation, and cultural identities, representation, and creativity as productive responses to these.

This will not be your traditional conference experience! “Museum Anthropology Futures” is designed to facilitate focused, frank, vivid conversations (roundtables, workshops, pecha kucha sessions, pop-up exhibits) and engage a broad public through keynotes and the dissemination of textual and audio-visual reportage in a range of media (press, podcasts, twitter, websites) during the post-conference period.

If you have any questions, please email the organizing committee at: