Six Decades at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

Tag: Education

The author has studied and/or worked as an educator.

Barbara Nicholson – Pembroke ’60

Sixty years ago, when I was an undergraduate, the Haffenreffer Museum didn’t exist. As it developed we heard about it, but it was “way over” in Bristol. We young ladies at Pembroke didn’t venture much beyond Thayer St., so I spent 4 years never having seen that special place. I’m not even sure I knew what anthropology was!

Many decades later, having been a public school teacher for 30 years and then retiring back to RI in 1998, I became involved with a vibrant group of lifelong learners on the Brown campus (called BCLIR – Brown Community for Learning in Retirement). It was exciting to be back on campus, taking semester long collaborative learning courses, soaking up new ideas. Continue reading

Tuija Rankama, Adjunct Professor of Archaeology, University of Helsinki, Finland

With Vili, the archaeology dog, at Varangerfjord, in Norway's Arctic, 2011.

With Vili, the archaeology dog, at Varangerfjord, in Norway’s Arctic, 2011.

I remember coming to Brown in the fall of 1990 with Jarmo Kankaanpää (my then boyfriend, now husband), both of us as grad students with quite a lot of archaeological fieldwork already behind us. Arriving at Giddings House, trying to figure out who is who, meeting the grad advisor to decide which courses to take… The core seminars were a must, of course, and Doug Anderson’s Native American Archaeology was inevitable, but as to the fourth one, that fall semester seemed to offer few suitable ones, especially considering our interest in arctic anthropology and archaeology. The archaeological field course would have been a possibility, but we were advised that our field experience made it rather redundant. So in the end an exception was made: although first year grad students were normally not permitted to do Reading and Research courses, we were allowed to arrange, with Doug Anderson, to do Reading and Research focusing on the arctic archaeology collections at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.

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