Emily Jean Leischner

Research Key Words:

Critical museum anthropology, collaborative and community-based research, settler colonialism, the history of museums, digital technologies, the history of collecting, databases and archives, Northwest Coast cultural heritage.

PhD Research:

My work focuses on the past and present ethics of museum practice. I care about supporting and working with community-based movements, particularly with Indigenous peoples, to move museums toward restorative and decolonizing aims.

PhD. Supervisor: Dr. Jennifer Kramer

M.A., Anthropology, University of British Columbia, 2018
Thesis: Kulhulmcilh and iixsalh, our land and medicine: creating a Nuxalk database of museum collections

Graduate Certificate, Museum Collections Management and Care, George Washington University, Washington D.C., 2015

B.A., History and English, Minor in International Studies, Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana, summa cum laude, 2010 Senior Thesis: Defining and Defying the Women’s Movement: A Case Study of the Home Economics Program at Goshen College, 1916-1987


Co-author with Nicole Kaeschele and Nununta Iris Siwallace. Accepted, pending submission. “Indiginizing Academic Minds to Work with Community: A Joint Reflection on the Everyday Work of Building Good Research Relationships” in The Community-Based PhD: Complexities, Triumphs, Missteps, and Joys of Community-based & Participatory Action Research as Graduate Students, edited by Sonya Atalay and Alexandra McCleary.

Accepted, pending revisions. “Missing Objects and Absent Records: Examining Silences while Researching Northwest Coast Tumplines” in Putting Theory & Things Together: Working with Museum Collections, edited by Joshua Bell and Jennifer Shannon. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.

Accepted, pending revisions. “Review of Incorporating Culture: How Indigenous People are Reshaping the Northwest Coast Art Industry.” Pacific Northwest Quarterly. University of Washington.

2019. “Review of Savage Kin: Indigenous Informants and American Anthropologists by Margaret M. Bruchac.” Transmotion Journal, Vol 5 no. 1. University of Kent. https://journals.kent.ac.uk/index.php/transmotion/article/view/771

2018. “Review of The Language of Family: Stories of Bonds and Belonging by Michelle van der Merwe, ed.” BC Studies no. 198 Summer 2018. http://www.bcstudies.com/?q=book-reviews/language-family-stories-bonds-and-belonging

Selected Workshops and Presentations:

(forthcoming). “Legacy Collections and Enduring Obligations: The E. Pauline Johnson Collection at the Museum of Vancouver.” Paper part of the panel: Indigenous and Local Collecting: Remembering what Museum History Forgets at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC, November 20-24, 2019.

Nuxalktimutaylayc-Transforming Museum Object Engagement into a Nuxalk Way of Being through a First Nation, Museum, University Art Nexus. Panel at the Council for Museum Anthropology Biennial Conference, Santa Fe, NM, September 19-21, 2019.

“Workshop: Using Museum Collections” for Tides Canada – Cedar 8 Heritage Training. Instructor: Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance. May 2, 2019.

Approaches to Expanding the Use of Anthropological Archives. Panel at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, San Jose, CA, November 14-18, 2018.

“How is Digitization Changing Community Engagement?” Interview with the Grunt Gallery. Video created as part of the video screening exhibition “Memory Institutions in a Digital Age: Provocations for the Future” at the Museums on the Web / MWX2018 Vancouver, British Columbia, April 18-21, 2018.

“Process and Possibilities in Creating a Digital Nuxalk Cultural Heritage Database.” Paper presented as part of the panel “Sustainable Museology” at the Society for Applied Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA, April 3-7, 2018.

“Northwest Coast Tumplines at the Smithsonian.” Guest Lecturer: Musqueam 101, Musqueam First Nation, February 7, 2018.

“Student Perspectives on Museum Anthropology Futures.” Panel at the Council for Museum Anthropology Conference, Montreal, May 25-27, 2017.