Henare, Amiria J.M. 1973- (Amiria Salmond)

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Henare, Amiria J.M. 1973- (Amiria Salmond)

PERSONAL:

Born May 19, 1973. Education: Holds a B.Design, B.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Downing St., Cambridge CB2 3DZ, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, assistant curator for anthropology.

WRITINGS:

Museums, Anthropology, and Imperial Exchange, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2005.

(Editor, with Martin Holbraad and Sari Wastell) Thinking through Things: Theorising Artefacts in Ethnographic Perspective, Routledge (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Amiria J.M. Henare serves as the assistant curator for anthropology at the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in England. Her primary area of expertise involves ways in which research related to artifacts, both in a museum setting and in the field, can be developed in order to further anthropological thought. She is particularly interested in the artifacts of New Zealand and the Pacific. Henare's first book, Museums, Anthropology, and Imperial Exchange, was published in 2005. She is also the editor of Thinking through Things: Theorising Artefacts in Ethnographic Perspective, along with Martin Holbraad and Sari Wastell.

In Museums, Anthropology, and Imperial Exchange, which evolved from her doctoral thesis, Henare looks at the ways in which the cultural history of New Zealand is reflected through a variety of mediums, including museums where displays are designed and formatted by current, modern staff; individual artifacts that have been discovered in the field; the personalities of the individuals or groups responsible for colonizing the region; and even the nationalities that have come together to make up the country's current population. Rather than using material culture as the thread that ties these different cultural informers together, Henare delves into anthropological writings to illustrate how these items are not temporary aspects of culture but the building blocks that create the modern-day perception of the country. When analyzed carefully, they are revealed as the cultural, economic, and social stepping stones that reveal the transformations of the region over time. They match historical milestones, migrations of different nationalities and cultures, and even in some cases account for the names of similar sounding but disparate locations. Paul Moon, in a contribution for the American Historical Review, praised the book, remarking that "Henare has three specific skills that make her remarkable as an academic, especially one still at the early stages of her career: a solid and consistent scholarship, a flair for moving across academic disciplines as though there were no boundaries between them, and the ability to present her findings in an intelligent yet entirely readable fashion." Kenneth J. Orosz, in a review for the Canadian Journal of History, found that Henare's personal notes and anecdotes served as a distraction from the more scholarly parts of the book. He concluded, however, that the result is still "an impeccably researched and well-argued piece of scholarship that raises important questions about the role of material objects in creating and displaying meaning." Ilana Gershon, writing for Pacific Affairs, opined that "Henare has transformed an unexpected comparison between New Zealand and Scotland into an especially productive site for examining the historical interconnections between objects, museums and British imperialism."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, October 1, 2006, Paul Moon, review of Museums, Anthropology, and Imperial Exchange, p. 1158.

BJHS: The British Journal for the History of Science, June 1, 2007, James Urry, review of Museums, Anthropology, and Imperial Exchange, p. 280.

Canadian Journal of History, December 22, 2006, Kenneth J. Orosz, review of Museums, Anthropology, and Imperial Exchange, p. 632.

Journal of British Studies, October 1, 2006, Kathryn James, review of Museums, Anthropology, and Imperial Exchange, p. 936.

Journal of Historical Geography, July 1, 2006, Jude Hill, review of Museums, Anthropology, and Imperial Exchange, p. 662.

Journal of Interdisciplinary History, March 22, 2007, Elizabeth Edwards, review of Museums, Anthropology, and Imperial Exchange, p. 612.

Journal of Modern History, December 1, 2007, Daniel J. Sherman, review of Museums, Anthropology, and Imperial Exchange, p. 910.

New Zealand Journal of History, October 1, 2007, James Beattie, review of Museums, Anthropology, and Imperial Exchange, p. 219.

Pacific Affairs, March 22, 2007, Ilana Gershon, review of Museums, Anthropology, and Imperial Exchange, p. 144.

ONLINE

Cambridge University Press Web site,http://www.cambridge.org/ (May 21, 2008), author profile.

University of Cambridge Museum of Archeology and Anthropology Web site,http://museum.archanth.cam.ac.uk/ (May 21, 2008), staff profile.

University of Cambridge Social Anthropology Dept. Web site,http://www.socanth.cam.ac.uk/ (May 21, 2008), staff profile.