Jen Shannon is an Assistant Professor and a Curator of Cultural Anthropology. She conducts ethnographic fieldwork as well as object collections research, works on exhibits and collaborative projects in the museum, and teaches courses in the Museum and Field Studies program and in the Department of Anthropology. She worked as a Lead Researcher in the Curatorial department at the National Museum of the American Indian before earning her PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at Cornell University in 2008.
Jen’s research has focused on the relationships between institutions and indigenous peoples involved in collaborative exhibit making as well as efforts of self-representation in Native American communities. Her work focuses on collaborative practice and connecting tribes to museum collections through NAGPRA consultations, co-directed research projects and exhibits, digitizing tangible and intangible heritage, the development of online access to collections, and oral history projects. Through her research and professional work she has had the opportunity to work with diverse indigenous peoples, including the Chicago urban Indian community, the Navajo Nation, the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation, the Canadian Inuit community of Igloolik, the Australian Aboriginal community in Townsville, the Paiwan tribe on the island of Taiwan, and the Kalinago (or Island Caribs) of Dominica in the West Indies.
Photo by Jason Ordaz 2011