“There’s a special responsibility to get it right in the backyard of the people who have been here for 10,000 years.”

In This Episode
Soon Kai Poh speaks to conservator Ellen Carrlee about Indigenous collaboration and the role of the conservator in networks of care. Recounting stories from her professional life, she illuminates the many ways communities can be invited to help care for their cultural objects and in doing so help define the future of conservation practice.

Download a transcript of episode 3.

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Ellen Carrlee holds an MA in Art History and Art Conservation from New York University and is currently a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her doctoral dissertation topic explores the networks of relationships, practices, and Yup’ik values surrounding the processing of marine mammal intestine as a material of material culture. She has been the objects conservator at the Alaska State Museum in Juneau since 2006, where her current projects include the collaborative Chilkat Dye Working Group and Alaska-specific virtual preventive conservation outreach. Research interests include object agency, animal personhood, relational ontology, organic artifact conservation treatments, current hybrids of Actor-Network-Theory and practice theory, and integration of Indigenous authority into museum practice.
The Fields of the Future podcast amplifies the voices and highlights the work of scholars, artists, and writers who are injecting new narratives into object-centered thinking. Join us for engaging conversations between BGC faculty and fellows and their guests.