Michigan State University Museum
Mark Auslander (PhD Anthropology, University of Chicago) is Director of the Michigan State University Museum and Associate Professor of Anthropology and History at MSU. A sociocultural and historical anthropologist, he works at the intersection of ritual practice, aesthetics, environmental transformation, kinship, and political consciousness in sub-saharan Africa and the African Diaspora. His award winning book, The Accidental Slaveowner: Revisiting a Myth of Race and Finding an American Family (University of Georgia Press, 2011) re-reads American racial politics under slavery and post-slavery through structuralist approaches to mythology and kinship. His extensive curatorial experience includes exhibitions on topics ranging from slavery, liberation, and memory in university settings to contemporary African Diaspora art to explorations of heroin and homelessness, among many others. From 2011-17, Dr. Auslander served as director of the Museum of Culture and Environment at Central Washington University, where he oversaw the academic program in Museum Studies. He also co-chaired, with Nana Akua Anyidoho (University of Ghana), the African Studies Association annual meetings (Atlanta, Georgia in November 2018) and serves on the board of directors of the Consequences of Radiation Exposure (CORE) Museum. With his students and colleagues, Dr. Auslander has led numerous community engaged/service learning courses, partnering with vulnerable communities in developing collaborative exhibitions, documentary projects, and social justice initiatives, such as restoring and documenting historically African American cemeteries; collaboratively curating art exhibitions with African refugee communities; and developing art partnerships with Latino families threatened with mass eviction. Currently, he is working with the sister survivors of the vast sexual violence of crisis at MSU to develop a collaboratively curated exhibition, "Finding our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak," opening April 2019.
Monday, May 20
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM