Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society Organization Logo Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society

Research Project

Open Fields: Ethics, Aesthetics and the Very Idea of a Natural History

2015 – 2017

Ben Pease, The Prayer: Grandma Amy Yellowtail–White Man Runs Him (2019). Courtesy of the artist.

Project Summary

This partnership with the Field Museum brought together anthropologists, visual artists, curators, scholars of historic preservation, lawyers specializing in indigenous rights, and tribal elders from across North America, to help redefine the concept of “natural history.”

Research Team

Nina Sanders

Nina Sanders

Curator, Writer, Cultural Consultant

Nina Sanders (Apsáalooke) is a curator, writer, and cultural consultant. She has worked for institutions like the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the School for Advanced Research, and the Field Museum, where she curated the groundbreaking exhibition

Jessica Stockholder

Jessica Stockholder

Raymond W. & Martha Hilpert Gruner Distinguished Service Professor, Visual Arts; Director of Graduate Studies

University of Chicago

Stockholder works at the intersection of painting and sculpture. Her work sometimes incorporates the architecture in which it has been conceived, blanketing the floor, scaling walls and ceiling, and spilling out of windows, through doors, and into the surrounding landscape. Her work is...

Alaka Wali

Alaka Wali

Curator and Applied Cultural Research Director

The Field Museum

Alaka Wali is curator of North American Anthropology in the Science and Education Division of The Field Museum and Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University. She was the founding director of the Center for Cultural Understanding and Change from 1995- 2010. She currently curates the sizeable...

Project Narrative


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