Amanda Sorensen

critical museology, visitor studies, First Nations, representation, material culture

Research summary:

For my M.A. thesis research, I am focusing on the Museum of Anthropology (MOA)’s “In a Different Light: Reflecting on Northwest Coast Art,” a exhibition developed by three curators and thirty First Nations collaborators, and I am exploring this exhibit’s messages about and representations of First Nations cultures with Indigenous young adults. Drawing on focus group methods, I aim to examine the following question: how may continued discussion about exhibitions with those whose cultural belongings are displayed promote more nuanced understandings of museum representations?

B.A. Anthropology, Loyola University Chicago, 2017
Honors Thesis: “Hominid See Hominid Do: Visitor Perceptions on Human Evolution”

B.A. French Language and Literature, Loyola University Chicago, 2017

UBC Supervisor: Dr. Susan Rowley

Conference Papers:

2018 “Indigenous Representation In a Different Light”
Royal Anthropological Institute 4th Annual Conference: Art, Materiality and Representation
London, UK

2018 “Framing the ‘Other’: Ethnographic Photography and Anthropological Theory”
UBC Department of Anthropology Poster Conference: Amplified: Voices, Landscapes, and Belongings
Vancouver, BC

2017 “Early Reservation Representation: Lindesmith and Cheyenne Material Culture”
Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology Symposium
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C., USA

2017 “Hominid See Hominid Do: Visitor Perceptions of Human Evolution”
Society for Applied Anthropology 77th Annual Meeting: Trails, Traditions, and New Directions
Santa Fe, USA

Museum Exhibitions:

2017-2018 “Haida Now”
Museum of Vancouver, Vancouver, BC
Curatorial Assistant

2017-2018 “Antarctic Dinosaurs”
Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL
Exhibition Development Intern

2017-2018 “Ancient Mediterranean: Cultures in Contact”
Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL
Exhibition Development Intern

2017-2018 “Specimens: Unlocking the Secrets of Life”
Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL
Exhibition Development Intern


Sorensen, Amanda. “Making, Doing, Wearing: The Case of Fr. Lindesmith’s Leggings.” In Putting Theory and Things Together: Research with Museum Collections, edited by Joshua A. Bell and Jennifer Shannon. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press (forthcoming).

2018/19 Faculty of Arts Graduate Research Award, University of British Columbia, Faculty of Arts
2017/18 Graduate Entrance Scholarship, University of British Columbia, Department of Anthropology
2017/18 International Tuition Award, University of British Columbia, Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies
2017 Chardin Award: For Excellence and Achievement in Anthropology, Loyola University Chicago, Department of Anthropology
2016/17 Provost Fellowship Loyola University Chicago, Loyola Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, Honors Thesis:
2016 Fellowship Incentive Grant for the Fulbright Student Research Grant Program, Loyola University Chicago, Fellowship Office