About the Opportunity:
The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology is Brown University’s teaching and research museum. A resource across the university, we inspire creative and critical thinking about culture by fostering interdisciplinary understanding of the material world.
The Associate Curator is based in the Curatorial Department and reports to and assists the Head Curator and Associate Director. They are expected to provide subject matter expertise in one or more areas of HMA’s holdings and work collaboratively with staff across departments to meet shared goals.
The main priority is to assist the museum’s legal responsibility to comply with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (PL 101-601). This work involves sending out new summaries, corresponding with tribes, helping evaluate claims, and facilitating repatriations. The Associate Curator serves on the museum’s NAGPRA committee.
The position also involves working with collections, records, and the museum database to improve the accuracy and completeness of museum documentation. This work includes generating and sharing new knowledge about holdings and their significance through research, collaboration, and consultation. The role will support—and may propose and lead—physical and digital exhibition and other modes of engagement.
The position oversees the Faculty Fellows Program. This work involves promoting the program, reviewing the applications, and arranging for museum support. They will coordinate with the Senior staff as well as the Manager of Education and Programs to accomplish these tasks.
The role assists in coordinating research inquiries. This includes managing requests for information, consultation, and/or repatriation of ancestral human remains and cultural materials from the United States and around the world, requiring long-term relationship and trust-building. The role will respond to inquiries and coordinate visits, as well as coordinate work as needed across museum departments.
The Associate Curator contributes to Brown’s curricular resources in decolonial scholarship and professional practice through teaching, exhibition, and other modes of public engagement. They will bring best practices and debates in the field to the museum and university community, including by fostering diverse perspectives within university spaces.
The role supports all aspects of curatorial operations. The Associate Curator will advise senior leadership in their areas of expertise and also contribute to programming and special initiatives, such as grants. The position will manage and supervise Curatorial Assistants, students, and interns. The role undertakes other duties as required.
Education and Experience:
- MA in a relevant discipline such as anthropology, archaeology, history, Indigenous or American studies or comparable work experience
- Minimum 3–5 years related experience
- PhD preferred
- Knowledge of museum operations and critical debates in the field
- Excellent research, writing, analytical, communication, and interpersonal skills
- Knowledge of museum information standards, including relational collections databases
- Attention to detail and excellent organizational skills; ability to manage time and meet deadlines
- Ability to work independently as well as within a team environment
- Initiative and judgment to independently problem solve and, when needed, collaborate and seek guidance
- Respect for sensitive and restricted knowledge, requiring attentiveness to university, legal, and cultural protocols and discretion
- Commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Ability to travel as needed
- Management experience preferred
- Previous experience with NAGPRA implementation or other restitution work preferred
- Ties to North American Indigenous communities, other communities related to collections, or other groups historically underrepresented in museum or university settings welcome