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Ancient Worlds Contemporary Selves: Smithsonian Scholars Explore Intersectionality 

03/24/2021 @ 7:00 pm 8:00 pm

In partnership with Smithsonian Affiliations.  

FREE with registration. REGISTER HERE.

 In this discussion, scholars from the National Museum of the American Indian, Asian Pacific American Center and Smithsonian American Art Museum explore how artists integrate the ancient world within their contemporary artistic practice. In so doing, their works update and create new meanings, allowing them to pass on complex and layered cultural interpretations to future generations. 


Michelle Delaney, PhD, Assistant Director for History and Culture, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian 

Healoha Johnston, Curator, Asian Pacific American Women’s Cultural History, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center 

Claudia Zapata, Curatorial Assistant, Smithsonian American Art Museum 

 Moderated by: 

Tricia Edwards, Deputy Director, Smithsonian Affiliations


About the speakers:

Dr. Michelle Anne Delaney is the Assistant Director for History and Culture at the National Museum of the American Indian, managing the Museum’s research and scholarship team, and leading the intellectual program development for exhibitions, educational programming, publications, and digital scholarship. She also directs strategic internal pan-Smithsonian projects, and external collaborations and university partnerships. Previously Delaney was Senior Program Officer for History and Culture, Office of the Provost, Consortia director for the Smithsonian Grand Challenges Consortium for Understanding the American Experience, and curator of photography in the Photographic History Collection, National Museum of American History. Delaney is chair of the editorial committee for the 2019 publication Smithsonian American Women. An author and editor of several history of photography books, Delaney has also curated 25 Smithsonian exhibitions and related web projects. She is a current Board member for the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and received her History PhD. from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, in 2018.

Healoha Johnston lives in Kaiwiki, Hawai‘i and is a Curator of Asian Pacific American Women’s Cultural History at the Smithsonian Institution. Her research interests include exploring connections between historic visual culture and contemporary art with aparticular focus on the socio-political underpinnings that inform those relationships. As an art historian, Johnston has curatorial experience working in contemporary art galleries, arts and cultures non-profit organizations, NOAA’s Pacific National Monument program, and the Honolulu Museum of Art before joining the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Claudia E. Zapata is a curatorial assistant of Latinx art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and is a doctoral candidate at Southern Methodist University. They received their BA and MA in art history from the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in Classic Maya art. Their research interests include curatorial methodologies of identity-based exhibitions, Chicanx and Latinx art, digital humanities, BIPOC zines, and designer toys. Zapata has curated exhibitions at Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin and other Texas institutions. They have published articles in Panhandle-Plains Historical Review, JOLLAS, Aztlán, Hemisphere, and El Mundo Zurdo 7.

Presented by Smithsonian Affiliations, in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, American Art Museum and Smithsonian Affiliate organizations across the country.

Image credit: Mujer de Mucha Enagua, PA’ TI XICANA(SAAM-2020.40.1_1.jpg) Yreina D. Cervántez, Mujer de Mucha Enagua, PA’ TI XICANA,1999, screenprint on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Samuel and Blanche Koffler Acquisition Fund, 2020.40.1, © 1999, Yreina D. Cervántez.



7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Event Category:


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