Jennifer Kramer

I hold a joint position as cultural anthropologist in the department of anthropology and museum curator at the UBC Museum of Anthropology. I strive to be both a collaborative museologist and a critical museologist. In this way, I merge practitioner/curator and theoretician/critic as I partner with Indigenous communities to create ethnographic writing, exhibitionary displays, and digital resources that try to feel as true as self-representation, but at the same time be aware and reflexive of the histories, structural inequalities, and contemporary politics in which we are all embroiled.

I research how and why representation is meaningful and often politically charged by studying the ways that visual culture gets variously defined within art galleries and museums, art market economies, world expos and Olympic Games, national and international legal systems, Indigenous cultural centres, schools and tourism sites. In this way, material culture can be mobilized to support or refute claims to identity, status, land, or resource extraction in powerful and evocative manners, which highlight complex social relations between individuals and between cultural communities.

Currently Teaching

Research Interests

Visual culture and ‘art’ of the First Nations of the Northwest Coast, specifically the Nuxalk, Heiltsuk, Wuikinuxv, and Kwakwaka’wakw,

Art Market Economies, Identity Production, Representation, Repatriation, Cultural Property, Aboriginal Cultural Tourism, Indigenous Modernity, and Collaborative and Critical Museology.

Publications

Publications:

  • 2012 Kesu’: The Art and Life of Doug Cranmer. Douglas & McIntyre Press: Vancouver and University of Washington Press: Seattle. (2011 Alcuin Society Canadian Book design “pictorial” First Place)
  • 2006 Switchbacks: Art, Ownership, and Nuxalk National Identity. UBC Press: Vancouver
  • 2004 “Figurative Repatriation: First Nations ‘Artist-Warriors’ Recover, Reclaim, and Return Cultural Property through Self-Definition” Journal of Material Culture 9(2):161-182. PDF

Forthcoming:

  • (In press) Kramer, Jennifer “Fighting with Property: The Double-edged Rhetoric of
  • Ownership” in Native Art of the Northwest Coast: A History of Changing Ideas. (Townsend-Gault, Charlotte, Kramer, Jennifer and Ki-ke-in, eds.) UBC Press: Vancouver.
  • (In press) Kramer, Jennifer “Möbius Museology: Curating and Critiquing the Multiversity Galleries at the UBC Museum of Anthropology” in Museum Transformations: Art, Culture, History (Annie E. Coombes and Ruth B. Phillips, eds.) Wiley-Blackwell Press.
  • (In Press) Charlotte Townsend-Gault, Jennifer Kramer and Ki-ki-en (eds.) Native Art of the Northwest Coast: A History of Changing Ideas. UBC Press: Vancouver.

Exhibitions:

2012 – 2013
Kramer, Jennifer with ANTH 431/518 students
Together Again: Nuxalk Faces of the Sky April 5-September 30, 2012, MOA;
December 15, 2012 – July 14, 2013,
Seattle Art Museum

2012 – 2013
Kramer,Jennifer
Kesu’: The Art and Life of Doug Cranmer
March 17-September 3, 2012, MOA; October 19, 2012-February 17, 2013, Museum at Campbell River;
May 11, 2013 – ongoing, U’mista Cultural Centre, Alert Bay, BC
- Recipient of “Museums in Motion 2012 Award of Merit” British Columbia Museums Association

2010
Kramer, Jennifer The Story of Nulis – a Kwakwaka’wakw Imas Mask
January 22, 2010 – December 15, 2012