Lauren has received a grant for a short-term residency at the Anthropology Library in the British Museum next spring, where she will be one of two RAI fellows for the upcoming year. Her research will focus on gaining a deeper anthropological understanding of Native American material culture, to better understand the role of indigenous objects in shaping discourses about Englishness and empire in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. How can historians learn to 'see' and interpret the indigenous artefacts that individuals collected, appropriated, and brought back to England, particularly in ways that restore greater agency to Native Americans and their systems of belief and knowledge-transmission beyond texts? How can the more nuanced study of Algonquian and Tupí artefacts - their colours, natural properties, and the technical production of pearls, shells, fur, and feathers - and the way the English used these objects shed light on early modern civility and consumption? The longer-term aim will be to link these initial encounters and artefacts to the afterlives of objects, encouraging greater dialogue among museums and visitors about the legacies of colonialism, and about the relationship between the Native American objects in domestic collections and national heritage. The RAI committee has commended Lauren for offering 'new perspectives on historical anthropology and the role that Native Americans and their material culture played in English people's conceptions of themselves, their nation, and their empire'.
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Nov 29 2017
TIDE’s Lauren Working Awarded Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) Library Fellowship for 2018