Nicola Levell

My research interests are located in the interdisciplinary folds of anthropology, theoretical museology, material culture and critical curatorial studies. Inspired by my experience as a curator, my research probes into the sphere of cultural production to explore the politics of interculturality and representation, specifically through the history of museums, museum anthropology, ethnographic collections, exhibitions and contemporary art practices, with an empirical focus on the material, visual and performance cultures of Asia and the North Pacific Coast. My current research is orientated to contemporary culture-making and the production of space (material forms and social relations) on the North Pacific Coast of Canada. I’m especially interested in the local-global politics of intangible and tangible cultural heritages and the work of artists and curators, as well as other individuals, agencies and institutions, which are agentive in the constitution, consecration, acquisition and dissemination of indigenous and indigenized cultural forms and practices.

Critical museology and curatorial practice; the global politics of tangible and intangible cultural heritages; the production of space; technologies of memory and place; the history of museums and museum anthropology, with special reference to the material, visual and performative cultures of Asia and the Pacific Northwest

  • (2016) The Seriousness of Play: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. London: Black Dog Publishing. (pp. 160, 128 b/w and colour plates).
  • (2013) Coppers From the Hood: Haida-Manga Interventions and Performative Acts. Museum Anthropology 36(2): 113-127.
  • (2013) Site-specificity and Dislocation: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and his Haida-Manga Meddling. Journal of Material Culture 18(2): 93-116.
  • (2013) Introduction: A Baroque Aesthetic. In Levell, Nicola (ed.), The Marvelous Real: Art from Mexico, 1926-2011. Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing/UBC Museum of Anthropology and Monterrey: FEMSA, pp.10-15.
  • (2013) A Chronicle of the Marvelous Real: Through Six Dimensions of an Exhibition. In Levell, Nicola (ed.), The Marvelous Real: Art from Mexico, 1926-2011. Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing/UBC Museum of Anthropology and Monterrey: FEMSA, pp.60-137.
  • (In press) Paolozzi’s Lost Magic Kingdoms: The Metamorphosis of Ordinary Things. In Jeffery, Celina (ed.), Artists as Curators. Bristol: Intellect Publishing.
  • (In press) Beyond Tradition, More than Contemporary: Four Northwest Coast Artists and Citizens Plus. In Stanbridge, Nicole (ed.) Urban Thunderbirds: Ravens in a Material World. Victoria: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
  • (2000) Oriental Visions. Exhibitions, Travel and Collecting in the Victorian Age. London and Coimbra: The Horniman Museum and the Museu Antropológico da Universidade de Coimbra.
  • (2001) The poetics and prosaics of making exhibitions. A personal reflection on the Centenary Gallery. Antropologia Portuguesa, Vol 18, pp.151–194.
  • (2001) The Translation of Objects. R. and M. Davidson and the Friends’ Foreign Mission Association, China, 1890-1894. In Shelton, A. (ed.), Collectors. Individuals and Institutions. London and Coimbra: The Horniman Museum and the Museu Antropológico da Universidade de Coimbra, pp.129–161.
  • (2001) Scholars and Connoisseurs, Knowledge and Taste. The Seligman Collection of Chinese Art. In Shelton, A. (ed.), Collectors. Expressions of Self and Other. London and Coimbra: The Horniman Museum & Garden and the Museu Antropológico da Universidade de Coimbra
  • (2000) Reproducing India. International Exhibitions and Victorian Tourism. In Hitchcock, M. and Teague, K. (eds), Souvenirs. The Material Culture of Tourism. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Ltd, pp.36–51.
  • (1998) (co-authored with Shelton, A.) Text, Illustration and Reverie. Some Thoughts on Museums and Education. In Journal of Museum Ethnography, no.10, pp.15–34.


Winter 2019

ANTH241 Introduction to Museums and Museology Sections

The critical study of anthropology museums as social institutions and material culture research and classification from the late 19th century to the present day.

Winter 2019

ANTH331A Art, Aesthetics and Anthropology - ART&ANTHROPOLOGY Sections

Anthropological perspectives on art, aesthetics, and expressive culture.

Winter 2019

ANTH518A Museum Methods - MUSEUM METHODS Sections

Analytical approaches to the study of museums and collections. Methods of field collecting, collections research, laboratory procedures, visitor studies, social organization of museum and related cultural industries, exhibit and program evaluation techniques and the ethics of museum research and practice.

Winter 2019

ANTH495A Advanced Studies in Anthropology - ADV STUDIES Sections

An intensive examination of selected topics in Anthropology. Consult the Department for this year's offerings.