Interpreting Oppression: An Uncomfortable Opportunity

Track
Education Audience Research & Evaluation
Start Day and Time
Monday May 8 1:30-2:45 p.m.
Venue and Meeting Room
274 America's Center
Description
Panelists will discuss their work interpreting slavery, xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism, and mass incarceration with museumgoers, discussing the strange places this work takes them-from hosting conversations about Black Lives Matter while wearing 18th-century period clothing, to confronting anti-refugee rhetoric in real time, to unpacking white privilege within the context of America's first penitentiary. Panelists will share how their own embodiment informs the stories they tell and the dialogue they shape to move visitors beyond resistance, disbelief, or guilt to empathy and social change.

Education, Audience Research & Evaluation track generously supported by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Learner Outcome
  1. Participants will learn to use sensitive methods that encourage resistant learners to reconsider difficult stories and move toward empathy.
  2. Participants will learn to connect past to present, linking historic liberation struggles to currently-unfolding civil rights movements.
  3. Participants will learn strategies to expand the research and interpretation of difficult histories while improving staff awareness of them.
Speakers
Presenter: 
Annie Anderson
Role: 
Moderator
Title: 
Manager, Research and Public Programming
Organization: 
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site
Bio
Annie Anderson an American cultural historian working at the intersections of public history, museum interpretation, and civic discourse. Annie is the Manager of Research and Public Programming at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site. She recently researched and co-wrote Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration, the first major museum exhibit to interpret this civil rights issue.
Presenter: 
Ashley Rogers
Role: 
Presenter
Title: 
Director of Museum Operations
Organization: 
Whitney Plantation
Bio
Ashley Rogers is the Director of Museum Operations at the Whitney Plantation, the only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery. She previously worked for History Colorado as the Assistant Director of Denver Regional Museums. She is a member of Museums as Sites for Social Action (MASS Action) and a contributor to an upcoming volume from Rowman & Littlefield about community engagement in museums.
Presenter: 
Devon Akmon
Role: 
Presenter
Title: 
Director
Organization: 
Arab American National Museum
Bio
Devon Akmon is the director of the Arab American National Museum (AANM). Under his aegis, the AANM was named an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and achieved accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums. Akmon was named one of Crain's Detroit Business magazine's "40 Under 40" business leaders in 2013 and, most recently, an Independent Sector 2016 American Express NGen Fellow.
Presenter: 
Elon Cook
Role: 
Presenter
Title: 
Humanities Director
Organization: 
The Robbins House
Bio
Elon Cook is a public historian and race woman. She is the Humanities Director of the Robins House, a historic site that interprets the life of a formerly enslaved African American Revolutionary War veteran. She is also the program manager and curator for the Center for Reconciliation, a non-profit focused on educating the public about the United States' history of slavery, slave trading and resistance.