Today, the Smithsonian holds more than 2 million cultural artifacts. But where did these objects come from? Why were they brought to a museum in Washington D.C. and what motivated people to work hard to preserve them for so many years? This talk will explore how "salvage anthropology" became a mainstream movement and how tracking down missing objects represents a crucial part of investigating this story.
Sam Redman is an Assistant Professor of History in the Department of History at UMass Amherst. He holds an MA and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA from the University of Minnesota, Morris. His first book, Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums was published in 2016 by Harvard University Press. The book was named to "best of" lists by Nature, Choice, and Smithsonian Magazine. Redman teaches courses at UMass on US history, public history, and oral history. Before embarking on an academic career, Redman worked at the Field Museum of Natural History, Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Colorado Historical Society.