CURRICULUM VITAE March 2009
Mary Jo Arnoldi
Curator of African Ethnology and Art
Department of Anthropology MRC 112
National Museum of Natural History
Washington, D.C. 20560-0112
(202) 633-1937; fax (202) 357-2208
PhD Art History, Indiana University -l983
MA Art History, Michigan State University -1975
BFA Studio Art/Art History Bowling Green University -1970
1995-present Curator, African Ethnology
1988-1995 Associate Curator, Africa Ethnology
1984-1988 Assistant Curator, Africa Ethnology
Department of Anthropology
National Museum of Natural History
l984-83 Assistant Curator/Assistant Professor
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art/The University of
Books and Articles
2009 “The Imaginary World of the Sogo bò Puppet Masquerades” in Sogobo, the Animals
Come Forth Malian masks and puppets from the Paul and Sue Rosen Collection Africa
Museum, Tenefly, NJ
2008 “Puppet Masquerade in Kirango, Mali: Continuity, Innovation and Changing Contexts”
(with Elisabeth den Otter) Mande Mansa: Essays in honor of David Conrad eds.
Stephen Belcher, Jan Jansen, and Mohmed N’Daou. New Brunswick, NJ and London,
UK: Transaction Press. pp. 7-15.
2007 “Bamako, Mali: Monuments and Modernity in the Urban Imagination” Africa Today
54 (2) pp. 2-24.
2006 “Youth Festivals and Museums: The Cultural Politics of Public Memory in Post
Colonial Mali” Africa Today 52 (4) pp. 54-76
2006 "Ndomo Ritual and Sogo bo Play: Boy’s Masquerading among the Bamana of Mali" in
African Children’s Masquerades: Playful Performers. eds. David Binkley and Simon
Ottenberg. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Press. pp. 49-66.
2005 “African Voices: A Dynamic Collaboration between the Museum and Its Communities”:
Representing African Art and Cultures. Yukiya Kawaguchi and Kenji Yoshida, eds.
Osaka, Japan: Ethnographic Museum Journal, Senri Ethnological Reports. pp. 79-97.
2005 “Les sculptures de la rotonde du Musée royal de l’Afrique centrale (1910-2005)” La
mémoire du Congo le temps colonial Tervuren: Editons Snoeck/ Musée royal de
l’Afrique centrale. pp. 180-184
2004 “Création, Imagination et Connaissance à travers les Masques et Marionnettes du Mali/
Criaçāo, Imaginaçāo e Conhecimento nas Máscaras et Marionetas do Mali” pp. 22-75.
In Sogobò: Máscaras et Marionetas do Mali/Masques et Marionettes du Mali. Lisbon:
Instituto Português de Museus.
2004 “African Puppetry” African Folklore: An Encyclopedia. ed. Philip M. Peek and
Kwesi Yankah New York: Routledge Press. pp.376-378.
2004 “Commentaries on Beliefs and Values” in See the Music, Hear the Dance: Rethinking
Africa at the Baltimore Museum of Art. ed. Fred Lamp. Munich: Prestel. Pp.272-275
2003 Multiple entries on Malian theater. In The Oxford encyclopedia of theatre & performance
/ edited by Dennis Kennedy. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press.
2003 “Symbolically Inscribing the City: Public Sculpture in Mali 1995-2002" African Arts
Journal Vol XXXVI, No. 2, 2003 pp. 56-65; notes p. 95.
2003 “Art Colonial: les sculpteurs belges au Congo: 1911-1960", Regards sur l’art africaniste
en Belgique 1880-1960. ed. Jacqueline Guisset and Sabine Cornelius. Brussels: Musee
royal de l’Afrique centrale et Centre culturel de Woluwe-Saint Pierre. pp. 224-251
(French edition and Flemish edition)
2002 "Gifts from the Queen: Two Malagasy silk lamba akotofahana at the Smithsonian
Institution" Objects as Envoys: Cloth, Imagery, and Diplomacy in Madagascar
University of Washington Press. pp. 95-119.
2001 "The Sogow: Imagining a Moral Universe Through Sogo bò Masquerades" Bamanaya The
Art of Existence in Mali New York: Museum for African Art. pp. 77-94.
2001 "African Voices: Reflections on Process, Intentions, and Strategies" Co-authored with
Christine Mullen Kreamer and Michael Mason. African Arts Journal Vol. XXXIV no 2
pp16-35, notes p. 92.
2001 "Somono Puppet Masquerades in Kirango, Mali" African Arts Journal. Vol XXXIV, no 1.
pp. 72- 77.
2000 "Wild Animals and Heroic Men: Visual and Verbal Arts in the Sogo bò Masquerades of
Mali" Research in African Literature. Vol 31, no. 4 pp. 63-75.
1999 "From the Diaromic to the Dialogic: A Century of Exhibiting Africa at the
Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History" Cahiers d'etudes africaines. XXXIX 3-4,
1999 "Overcoming a Colonial Legacy: The New National Museum in Mali: 1976 to the Present"
Museum Anthropology, 22 (3), pp. 28-40.
1998 "Where art and ethnology met: the 1922 exhibition of the Herbert Ward collection at the
Smithsonian" The Scramble for Art in Central Africa. eds. E. Schildkrout and C. Keim.
Cambridge University Press. pp. 193-216.
1997 "Yaya Coulibaly: Contemporary Malian Artist and Puppeteer" Unima-United States
1997 "Herbert Ward's "Ethnographic Sculptures" of Africans" Exhibiting Dilemmas: Issues
of Representation at the Smithsonian edited by A.Henderson and A. Kaeppler,
Smithsonian Institution Press. pp. 70-91. (book republished in Japanese in 1998)
1997 "Masks and Masquerades" In Encyclopedia of Sub-Saharan Africa. John Middleton, ed.
Vol 3. New York: Charles Scribner and Sons. Pp 125-129.
1996 "The Exhibition of the Herbert Ward collection at the Smithsonian" Tribal Arts Journal.
1996 "African Puberty Rituals." In The Dictionary of Art London and New York: Macmillian
and Co. Vol I, 254-57.
1996 African Material Culture ed. Arnoldi, Geary and Hardin.
Introductory Essay, Hardin and Arnoldi "Efficacy and Objects - An Introduction" pp.
Chapter 8, Arnoldi, " Negotiating Identities Through Objects:The Youth Association
Masquerades in Mali" pp. 167-187.
1995 Playing with Time: Art and Performance in Central Mali Bloomington, IN: Indiana
1995 Crowning Achievements: African Arts of Dressing the Head co-authored with Christine
M. Kreamer with contributions by Michael Oladejo Afolayan and Betty Wass, Elizabeth
Cameron and Patricia Darish and David Binkley. Los Angeles, Fowler Museum of
1994 "Political and Social Commentary in Sogobò Masquerades in Mali." Africa Today. 2nd
Quarter. pp. 39-49.
1993 "Samaba: the Elephant in Malian Art" co-authored with Kate Ezra. The Elephant and His
Ivory in African Art. Los Angeles: Fowler Museum of Cultural History, UCLA.
1992 "A Distorted Mirror: The Exhibition of the Herbert Ward Collection of Africana" Museums
and their Communities eds. Ivan Karp and Steven Lavine. Smithsonian Institution
Press. pp. 428-457.
1989 Proceedings of the May 1988 Conference and Workshop on African Material Culture
edited with Introduction by Arnoldi, Geary and Hardin. New York: ACLS/SSRC.
1989 "Reconstructing the History and Development of Puppetry in the Segou Region, Mali"
Man Does Not Go Naked. Basel: Ethnologisches Seminar der Universitat und
Museum fur Volkerkunde. pp. 221-234.
1988 "Playing the Puppets: Innovation and Rivalry in BamanaYouth Theatre in Mali" TDR 32
no 2 (Summer) pp.65-82. (republished in a reader on African Performance ed. By Frances
Harding, SOAS, 1997)
1988 "Performance, Style, and the Assertion of Identity in Malian Puppet Drama" Journal of
Folklore Research 25, nos. 1-2 pp. 87-100.
1988 Celebration of African Puppetry Atlanta, GA: Center for Puppetry Arts, [catalogue of an
1987 "Rethinking definitions of African traditional and popular arts" African Studies Review
30, no 3, pp. 79-83.
1987 "The Legacy of A Name Among the Bamana of Mali" Generations: A Universal Family
Album New York and Washington: Pantheon and Smithsonian Traveling
Exhibition Service. pp. 157-59.
1986 "Segu Puppet Theatre - Form and Ideology in Bamana Performances"Empirical Studies
of the Arts 4 no.2 pp.131-150.
1986 "The Artistic Heritage of Somalia" Somalia in Word and Image Bloomington: Indiana
l984 "The Artistic Heritage of Somalia" African Arts Journal 7 no 4 pp. 24-33, 93.
l981 "Segou Region Puppet Theatre" The Puppetry Journal. 32 no 4 (January-February)
l978 "Art in Achebe's Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God" (co-authored with M. Anderson)
African Studies Program, Indiana University.
1977 Bamana and Bozo Puppetry of the Segou Region Youth Societies Lafayette, Indiana:
Department of Creative Arts, Purdue University.
l975 "Benin Bronze Statuary in the MSU Collection." Kresge Art Center Bulletin 8 no. 9.
2006 – present Center for Puppetry Arts. Atlanta, Georgia. Curatorial team for NEH funded
Planning Project for the permanent exhibit.
2002-present External scientific committee for the renovation of the permanent exhibits at the
Musee royale de l’Afrique, Tervuren, Belgium
2006 Museum for African Art, New York. Content consultant and label writer for the
exhibition, At Arm’s Length: The Art of African Puppetry
2006 NMNH, Visual Griots, Empowering Youth Through Photography in Mali, Nov 06,
2006-April 07, 2007. Curatorial consultant. Wrote and edited main labels. Exhibit organized by
Academy for Educational Development, Washington, D.C.
2003 -2005 Curatorial team for the “Representation” section. Le Temps Colonial, Musée
royale de l’Afrique, Tervuren, Belgium
2003 co-Curator with (John Franklin and Samuel Sidibe) “From Timbucktu to Washington:
Mali on the Mall” 37th Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Mali program (150
artisans and musicians) June 25-July 6.
2002 Curatorial consultant. Renovation of the permanent African galleries at the Nelson-Atkins
Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO.
2001-2002 Co-Curator (with Neal Sobania and Daniel BerhaneMeskel )From Monastery to
Marketplace: Highland Ethiopia Painting: Focus Gallery, African Voices. NMNH.
1999 -present Co-Curator (with Kreamer, Fee and Geary) Gifts and Blessings, The Textile Arts
of Madagascar National Museum of African Art, opening November 2002.
1992-1999 Lead Curator, African Voices. A new permanent exhibition of African History and
Cultures National Museum of Natural History. Opened December 1999.
1998-1999 Curator. Lamidi Olonade Fakeye: Master Yoruba Sculptor Focus Gallery, African
1997 Curatorial consultant, Amisted Exhibition, Connecticut Historical Society.
1997 Curatorial consultant, Beauty and the Blade: Throwing Knives of Central Africa. UMKC
Gallery of Art.
1997 Curatorial Consultant, Patterns of Everyday Life: West African Factory Cloth. UMKC
Gallery of Art.
1995 Curatorial Committee, America's Smithsonian. 150th Traveling Exhibition.
1994 Curator (with Kreamer) Crowning Achievements African Arts of Dressing the Head .
Traveling exhibition. UCLA's Fowler Museum of Cultural History; Smithsonian,Museum
of African Art, Hood Museum, Dartmouth; High Museum, Atlanta.
1994 Curatorial Consultant. A Live Well Lived: Fantasy Coffins by Kane Kweh UMKC
Gallery of Art.
1992 Curatorial Advisory Committee. The Art of The Baga. Museum for African Art, New York
1988 Curator, Celebration of African Puppetry Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta, Georgia
1988 Curator, Decorating the Head More Than a Matter of Taste African headwear exhibition.
UMKC Gallery of Art. February - March.
1988 Curator in charge of partial reinstallation of Africa Hall, Museum of Natural History,
1987-86 Curatorial Committee. Generations. Inaugural exhibition, International Gallery,
1984-83 Curator, Reinstallation of Permanent Collection, Africa, Oceania and the Americas.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
1984 Curator, Southwest Pottery: Selections from the Permanent Collection Nelson-Atkins
Museum of Art. April- June.
1983-82 Associate Curator. Somalia in Word and Image Traveling exhibition from FCUU and
1981 Curator. Bamana Puppetry and Life Photographs by Lynn Forsdale, Text by Mary Jo
Arnoldi. Indiana University, Mathers Museum of Anthropology.
1976 Curator. Bambara and Dogon Door Locks. Indiana University Art Museum.
Research Grants 2008-1985
2008 Smithsonian Women’s Committee Grant. Electronic Guide to the Smithsonian’s
Central African Pygmy Collections.
2005 Scholary Studies Program –Humanities “Contemporary Civic Monuments: Art,
Memory, and Nation Building in Urban Mali,.
2002 Research Opportunity Fund. Smithsonian Institution. archival research on Herbert
2000 Research Opportunity Fund. Smithsonian Institution. research on
public monuments in Mali
1999 Collections Based Research Grant. Smithsonian Institution. Research on
the Ward collection of Central African materials.
1998 Research Opportunity Fund. Smithsonian Institution. Research on public
monuments in Mali.
1997 Research Opportunity Fund. research on National Youth arts and sports
festivals and public monuments in Mali.
1996 Research Opportunity Fund. Research on National Arts Festivals in Mali
1995-96 Research Initiative: Collections as World Resources. "A catalogue of African collectors
and collections at the Smithsonian, 1846-1930."
1994 Danish Fund, International Center, SI. Research on the History of Museum,
1993 Scholarly Studies Grant for Research on Style and Technology in Central African
Weapons (with Dr. S.Terry Childs) Smithsonian Institution.
1993 Research Opportunity Grant for research on urban aesthetics in Bamako
1992 Baird Fund. Field research in Mali on National arts festivals 1962 - 1992. May -November.
1992 American Council of Learned Society/Social Science Research Council. Post Doctoral
Research Fellowship. Field research in Mali on National arts festivals 1962 -1992. May –
November 1991 Research Opportunity Fund and Museum of Man Funds Research at the
British Library and selected archives in London. Herbert Ward Project. December.
1991 Museum of Man Funds Research in archives and Museum collections at the Royal Museum
for Central Africa, Brussels and Museum fur Volkerkunde, Basel, Vatican Museum, Rome.
June -July 1991. 1989 Museum of Man and Research Opportunity Fund. Archival research
in Senegal and Mali. Field research in Mali on youth puppet theatre. September - October.
1988 Museum of Man Funds. Research on Herbert Ward Africana project in London. June
1987 Rockefeller Foundation grant. Planning and implementation of an International
interdisciplinary Conference on African Material Culture sponsored by the Social
Science Research Council and the Smithsonian Bellagio, Italy. May 1988.
Co-organized with I. Karp, K. Hardin and C. Geary.
1987 Museum of Man Funds, Department of Anthropology for field research in Mali on youth
drama. February - July.
1987 Research Opportunity Fund for field research in Mali on youth drama. February and July.
1986 Research Opportunity Fund. research on Mande collections at the Fowler Museum of
Cultural History, Los Angeles.
1985 Research Opportunity Fund. research on African textiles at the British Museum.
Review Essays, Book and Exhibition Reviews
2005 Book Review Louise M. Bourgault: Playing for Life: Performance in Africa in the
Age of AIDS Research in African Literatures.
2005 Book Review. Barbara Hoffman: Griots at War: Conflict, conciliation and caste in
Mande African Arts Journal
2000 Book Review. Bernth Lindfors, ed. Africans on Stage. In Research in African
2000 Book Review. Olenka Darkowska-Nidzgorski and Denis Nidzgorski Marionnettes et
Masques: Au Coeur du Theatre Africain In Anthropos and African Arts Journal.
2000 “Thinking through and with African Objects: Current Perspectives on the Study of African
Material Culture" In Reviews in Anthropology 29, pp.31-53.
1999 Book Review. Karin Barber, John Collins, Alain Ricard, West African Popular Theatre
and Karin Barber, editor, Readings in African Popular Culture. In African Arts Journal.
1999 Book Review. Z.S. Strother. Inventing Masks: Agency and History in the Art of the
Central Pende. In African Studies Quarterly
1998 Book Review Barbara Frank. Mande Potters and Leatherworkers: Art and Heritage in
West Africa . In History in Africa.
1997 Book Review. Jean Paul Bourgeois. Drawn from African Dwellings. In Traditional
Dwelling and Settlements
1996 Book Review. David Conrad and Barbara Frank, Status and Identity in West Africa:
Nyamakalaw of the Mande. In International Journal of African History.
1995 Book Review of Flora Kaplan, ed., Museums and the Making of Ourselves: the Role of
Objects in National Identity. In African Arts Journal.
1993 Exhibition Review: Iron Master of Them All. In African Arts Journal.
1991 Book Review. Bogumil Jewsiewicki, ed. Art et politiques en Afrique Noire/Art and
Politics in Black Africa. In Canadian Journal of African Studies.
1991 Book Review. P. Girshick Ben-Amos "African Visual Arts from a Social Perspective"
and M.Adams "African Visual Arts from an Art Historical Perspective" In African Arts
1990 Book Review. Karl-Ferdinand Schaedler. Weaving in Africa South of the Sahara. In
African Studies Review.
1988 Exhibition Review "La Trahison des Images (Ceci n'est pas une pipe)" review of Likeness
and Beyond: Portraits from Africa and Beyond In African Arts Journal.
1987 Book Review. George Stocking, ed, Objects and others: Essays on Museums and
Material Culture. In American Journal of Sociology.
1986 Book Review of Marie Tollerson, Mythology and Cosmology in the Narrative of Bernard
Dadie and Birago Diop and Michael Jackson, Allegories of the Wilderness. In
International Journal of Oral Traditions.
1986 Book Review. Kate Ezra, The Human Ideal in African Art Bamana Figurative Sculpture
In African Arts Journal.
l985 Review essay: Robert.F. Thompson's Flash of the Spirit (with Ivan Karp) Art in
l985 Book Review. Christopher Roy ed. Iowa Studies in African Art. In African Arts Journal
l981 Book Review. Robert Brain Art and Society. In African Studies Review.
Conference, Symposia and Colloquia Papers
2007 “Mali Monuments In and of the City.” On the panel. Reading the Visual City, Part 1.
14th Triennial Symposium on African Art, March 2007. University of Florida,
Gainesville, FL April.
2006 “Monuments, Museums, and Memory: Constructing History in Contemporary Mali” Harn
Museum of Art Eminent Scholar Lecture. Harn Museum, University of Florida,
Gainesville, FL. October.
2005 “Fashioning a National Identity: Youth Arts Festivals in Mali, 1962-1968 on the panel,
Envisioning the Body Politic. African Studies Association Meeting. October
2005 “De Tombouctou à Washington, le Mali s’installe à Washington, D.C./From
Timbucktu to Washington, Mali on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. “
International Mande Studies Conference, Kankan, Guinee. June
2005 “Locating Histories in Bronze and Concrete: Late 20th century Monuments in Urban
Mali “Ohio University Symposium on the African City. Athens, Ohio. April.
2004 Discussant for double panel “Documenting Change: Returning to the Field” 13th
Triennial symposium of African and Diasporan Art. March.
2002 Public Culture in the Service of Nationalism: Festivals, Museums and Monuments in
postcolonial Mali. International Mande Conference, Leiden, the Netherlands, June.
2002 Objects, Ideas and People on the Move-Rethinking the Presentation of African Arts in
Museums. College Art Association Annual Meeting. Baltimore.
2001 “African Voices: Representing Africa in the United States” Symposium Africa -2001.
Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan. October.
2001 “Symbolically Inscribing the City: New Public Monuments and Civic Spaces in the Third
Republic of Mali. Department of Anthropology Colloquium, October.
2001 “A man without a wife is a man without a house: Exhibiting Domestic Spaces” Material
Culture Forum, Houses and Homes. Smithsonian Institution.
2001 " African Voices" at the Smithsonian: Reflections on the Development Process and
Exhibit Strategies " on the panel, Expositions permamentes de musée, quel rapport au
présent ? Canadian Association of African Studies, Quebec City, Canada. May.
2001 "Representing Contemporary African Life: Challenges and Strategies" On the panel
Reconceptualizing African/African Diasporan Exhibits in the 21st century 12th Triennial
symposium of African Art. April.
2000 "Negotiating Memory: the History Wall in Bamako, Mali" African Studies Association
Annual Meetings; Nashville, November.
1998 "Symbolically Inscribing the City: Public Monuments in Bamako, Mali" International
Mande Studies Association Conference, Banjul, The Gambia.
1997 "Herbert Ward's Sculptures of Africans" History Roundtable, Smithsonian Institution.
1996 From Diaroma to Dialogic: Exhibits on Africa at the Smithsonian. 150 years of
Anthropology at the Smithsonian American Anthropological Association Meeting, San
1996 “The New National Museum of Mali: Beyond the Colonial Legacy”. African
Studies Association Meeting, San Francisco.
1996 "The Intersection of Official, Mass and Popular Arts in urban Bamako" Conference on
the Aesthetics of Urban Africa, International Studies, University of Iowa.
1995" The View from across the Divide: the Humanities and Social Sciences in African Art
Studies” African Studies Meetings, Orlando.
1995 "Bamana Definitions of Tradition and Innovation in the Performing Arts" Triennial
Symposium on African Art New York.
1994 "Concealing or Revealing: Different Notions of Secrecy in Bamana Masquerading"
Symposium on The Role of Secrecy in African Masquerades. National Museum of
African Art, Smithsonian.
1993 "Tradition and Innovation in the Sogobò Masquerade Theatre in Segou." Paper presented
at the International Mande Studies Conference. Bamako, Mali.
1992 "The Problems of Contextualizing Historical Exhibit Design: Case study of the Herbert
Ward collection". Triennial Symposium on African Art. Iowa City, IA
1991 "Where Art and Ethnography Met: Herbert Ward and the Smithsonian" Paper delivered
at the Ethnohistory Workshop. University of Pennsylvania.
1991 “Konyo minanw [Bride's wealth] and the Woloma: the Invention of a Tradition" paper
delivered at the Yale/ Smithsonian Seminar. The Gift as Material Culture.
1990 "The 1921 Exhibition of Herbert Ward's collection of Central African materials at the
Smithsonian" paper delivered at the symposium, Tradition, Innovation, and
Interpretation: Issues in the Collection and Display of Arts of Zaire in Historical
Perspectives. American Museum of Natural History.
1990 "Re-presenting Africa: The History and Exhibition of the Smithsonian's Herbert Ward
Collection of Africana" paper delivered at the Conference on Museums and
Communities. Smithsonian Institution.
1989 "The Age of Museums and the Blanche du Bois Approach to Acquisitions" paper
delivered at the Eighth Triennial Symposium on African Art. Washington, D.C.
1989 "Segou Puppet Theatre - 1910-1940" paper presented at Symposium on African
Expressions of the Colonial Experience. Boston University, African Studies Center.
1989 "Power and Play in Mande Theatre" paper presented at the Symposium on Power and
the Arts, Anthropology Department, College of William and Mary.
1988 "Re-presenting the Other: the History and Exhibition of the Herbert Ward Collection at
the Smithsonian" paper presented at the African Studies Association Annual Meetings,
1988 "Puppet Masquerade and the Construction of Identity in Youth drama in Mali" paper
presented at the African Material Culture Conference, Rockefeller Study Center,
1988 "Material Culture in the Presentation of Self and Society" paper presented at the College
Art Association Annual Meetings" Houston, TX.
1986 "Becoming a Performer: Childrens' Play and Aesthetic Experience among the Bamana of
Mali" paper presented at Seventh Trienniel of African Art. UCLA.
1986 "Sculpture of the Western Sudan- Multiple Contexts and Shared Sensibilities" paper
presented at Symposium on African Art. Nelson Atkins Museum of Art.
1986 "Interpreting Dramatic Personae: The Relationship between Sculpture and Song Text in
Malian Puppet Theatre." paper presented at the College Art Association Annual Meeting.
1985 "Style in the Construction of Social Identity" paper presented at the Symposium: Open
Borders: Movements of People and Ideas in the Ivory Coast and Beyond. University of
Illinois, African Studies Program.
1985 "Who are we? Who are they? Constructing Regional Ethnic Identity in Puppet
Performances." paper presented at the Rockefeller Conference on Contemporary African
Performance. Wingspread, Racine, WI.
1983 "The Relationship between Form and Ideology in Mande Art - Men's Association
Masquerade and Youth Puppet Theatre" African Studies Association Annual Meeting,
1980 "Bamana Puppetry: Verbal and Visual Components in Segu Theatre" Symposium on The
Verbal and Visual Arts in Africa. SSRC sponsored Conference. Philadelphia.
1980 "Bamana Puppet Theater" Symposium on African Theater. Vassar College.
1980 "Bamana and Bozo Puppetry in the Segu Region, Mali" International Interdisciplinary
Conference on World Traditions of Puppetry and Performing Objects Smithsonian
Institution, Washington. D.C.
Seminars, Roundtables, and Workshops
2008 Lecturer in Seminar “The Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge: Revisiting the Mission”
SI/Montgomery College Professional Seminar. April.
2006 “Exhibiting Africa; Issues in Museum Studies” Museum Studies seminar, Department of
Art and Art History, University of Florida. October 20, 2006.
2006 Lecturer: Community Collaborations. SI/Montgomery College Professional Seminar.
2006 Lecturer: “Ethics of Collecting and Exhibiting African Objects “ Michigan State
University, Study Abroad Program, Bamako, Mali June 2006.
2001 "Memory and Nationalism: Urban Murals in Bamako, Mali" Rodney Young Lecture.
African Studies Center, Boston University. Invited Lecture
1998 "The History of African Exhibits at the Smithsonian" Michigan State University
Department of Art. Invited Lecture.
1997 "African Arts of Dressing the Head" Surface Design Conference, University
of Kansas. Invited Lecture.
1996 "Herbert Ward's Ethnographic sculptures of Africans" Smithsonian History
1996 "Majesty, Trepidation and Potency: Imagining Women in Bamana Masquerades"
Burke Lecturer. Henry Hope School of Art, Indiana University. Invited Lecture.
1995 "More Thoughts on Time and Masquerades" Department of Anthropology, University of
Delaware. Invited Lecture.
1994 "Notions of Play and Time in Mande masking" Department of Anthropology, University
of Delaware. Invited Lecture.
1987 Participant in workshop "Representing non-Western and American minority arts and
cultures in Museums" Rockefeller Foundation, November.
1983 "Yan ka Di - This Place is Good: Reconstructing the History of the Segu Puppet Theatre"
Lilly Lecture Series. Indiana University Art Museum.
Conference Panels and Symposium organized
2008 Discussant Panel on
2008 Discussant. Panel on Cultural Heritage. American Anthropological Association Annual
2008 Panel organizer Global Collaborations in the Arts International Mande Studies
Association Conference Lisbon, Portugal June.
2005 Panel organizer Cultural Heritage and the Mande World. Triennial MANSA conference
Conakry and Kankan, Guinee
2001 Panel organizer, Reconceptualizing African/African Diasporan Exhibits in the 21st
century 12th Triennial symposium of African Art. April.
1994 Organizer of roundtable on the New Hall of African Cultures at the Smithsonian.
African Studies Association Meetings, Toronto
1993 Organizer and Co-Chair of "A Code of Ethics for ACASA" ACASA Board Panel,
African Studies Association Meetings, Boston.
1992 Organizer and Chair of "Ethics and Restudies of Africanist Scholarship" ACASA Board
panel, African Studies Association Meeting, Seattle.
1992 Organizer and Chair of "Ethics and Photography in and about Africa" with Doran Ross.
ACASA Board panel, Triennial Symposium on African Art. Iowa City, IA
1990 Organizer and Chair of "Material Culture: Its About Time" Material Culture Forum.
1990 Organizer and Chair of "Colleagues, Research Assistants and Informants: The Ethics the
Ownership of Ideas and Words" ACASA sponsored panel, African Studies Association
1989 Organizer and Chair of "Ethics and Objects" Roundtable Eighth Triennial
Symposium on African Art. Washington D.C.
1988 Co-organizer of the SSRC International Interdisciplinary Conference on African Material
Culture(with Geary, Hardin and Karp) at the Rockefeller Center, Bellagio, Italy.
1987 Chair and organizer of two panels "Space, Form and Social Relationships" African
Studies Association, Annual Meetings. Denver.
1984 Organizer. Symposium. "Mimbres Arts and Culture." Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
1981 Local Arrangements Coordinator and Program Assistant to the National Program Chair,
African Studies Association Annual Meeting, Bloomington, Indiana.
2009 Invited Lecture. Sogobò Puppet Masquerades in Mali: Embracing the New for Over a
Century. Sweet Briar College, Lynchburg, VA February
2009 Study Leader for Smithsonian Journeys expedition to Mali, Senegal, and Gambia
2008 Presenter. Rountable on Global Arts. Panelist. “Traditional Malian Arts as a Source for
Contemporary Malian Arts” Saturday September 27, 2008 University of Missouri-
Kansas City. Monday September 30, 2008 University of Missouri –Columbia
2006 Series of four lectures on Malian culture. Art Institute of Chicago. Lectures given in
2003 “Malian Puppet Masquerades”. Mali Today. SI Associates
2002 Wild Animals and Beautiful Women: Puppet Masquerades in Mali. Museum for African
Art, New York.
2001 African Voices at NMNH. Baird Auditorium, NMNH
1999 "Whose voices, African Voices" Bailly Art Museum, University of Virginia.
1998 Presentation on Contemporary Malian puppetry. International Marionette conference,
1998 “Malian masquerades” Seattle Art Museum
1998 “Contemporary Africa and Its Global Connections” Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
1997 "Crowns, Headwraps and Hairstyles" High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
1996 Nine public lectures and workshops on Malian masquerades and African Headwear to
general audiences, university audiences, high school and elementary schools as part of
the Smithsonian's Voices of Discovery Lecture Series, in conjunction with the America's
Smithsonian exhibit. Kansas City, MO.
1996 "African Arts of Dressing the Head" Detroit Institute for the Arts.
1995 "Play, Power, and Masquerades in Mali" Department of Art History, University of
1995 "Crowning Achievements: Hats, Caps and Hairstyles in Africa" Des Moines Art Center,
Des Moines, IA.
1995 "African Arts of Dressing the Head" Fowler Museum of Cultural History, Los Angeles.
1994 "Bamana Puppetry in Mali" New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Lincoln
1991 "Exhibiting Africa" Lecture at the Division of Public Programs, National Endowment
for the Humanities. Washington D.C.
1991 "Culture and Society in Senegal and Mali" Foreign Service Institute.
1990 "Decorating the Head: More than a Matter of Taste in Africa" National Museum of
Natural History, Smithsonian, Public Lecture Series.
1988 "The Artistic and Social Dimensions of Decorating the Head in Africa" UMKC Gallery
of Art, Kansas City.
1987 "Performance arts in Mali" and "Yan ka di: this place is good for you" Lecture series
Museum of Anthropology Wake Forest University, N.C.
1987 "Our Mothers, Witches, Sisters and Lovers. Images of Women in Bamana arts"
Metropolitan Museum of Art.
1986 "Exploring non-Western Arts" Series of three lectures on arts of the Americas, Oceania
and Africa. Corcoran School of Art.
1986 "Creating Generations: Female imagery in Bamana Art" in conjunction with the
exhibition The Human Ideal in Bamana Art. Museum of African Art. Smithsonian.
1985 "Bringing Sculpture to Life: Malian Puppetry in the useum and in Performance" in
conjunction with the exhibition, African Masterpieces from the Musee de l'Homme.
National Museum of African Art.
1985 "The Creative Process - Men and Women Artists in Africa." National Associates
Program, Smithsonian Institution.
1985 "Visual and Verbal Arts in Somalia" in conjunction with the exhibition Somalia in Word
and Image. Gallery of Art, University of Missouri, Kansas City.
1985 "Cultural Continuity and Change in Africa" Foreign Service Institute.
1984 "African Art in Performance" in conjunction with the exhibition African Art from
Kansas Collections, Mulvane Art Museum, Topeka, Kansas.
1984 "Journey to Four Continents - Selections from the Ethnographic Art Collections"
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
1984 "Mimbres in the History of Southwest Pottery" in conjunction with the exhibition Ancient
Art from the Southwest, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
1984 "African Art in the Permanent Collection" Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
1982 "Bamana and Bozo Puppetry" in conjunction with the exhibition African Puppetry.
Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta, Georgia.
Outreach, Museum Workshops, and Docent Training
2008 Tour and discussion of the African Voices exhibit. Society of Women Geographers.
2007 Cultural Heritage and the African Voices exhibit. Tour and discussion with 10
Cultural Heritage Professionals from India and Pakistan
2007 Tour and seminar on African Voices Museum Studies Program, University of Michigan
2007 Malian archeology program Discovery Center, National Museum of Natural History
2006 Docent training on Africa National Museum of Natural History
2006 Tour and seminar on African Voices Museum Studies Program, University of Florida
2005 Tour and seminar on African Voices. Museum Studies Program, University of Michigan.
2005 Tour and seminar on African Voices. Museums seminar, Department of Anthropology,
Johns Hopkins University
2004 High School Teachers workshop on Africa -NEH Summer Institute, University of
2004 “Tour and seminar on African Voices exhibit development process. George Washington
University Museum Studies course on “Museums and Communities”
2003 “Mali: History, Culture and Arts” AnthroNotes vol 24, no 2. Fall. Department of
Anthropology, NMNH, pp. 1-10 Educational Resources on Mali pp. 10, 15-16.
2003 “Mali from Timbuktu to Washington” (with John Franklin) 37th Annual Smithsonian
Folklife Festival: Appalachia, Mali and Scotland. Pp. 40-42.
2002 Tour and seminar on African Voices with students from Appalachia State University
2002 Tour and seminar on African Voices with students from the US War College
2002 Tour and seminar on African Voices with students from Kentucky State University
2001 Electronic Field Trips to African Voices NMNH/Ball State University 2 broadcasts to
high schools nationally.
2001 Workshop on African Voices in the classroom with Middle and High School teachers
Schenectady, NY school district. Follow-up with video conferencing on project planning.
2000 High School Art Teachers Greater Washington region -High School Art Teachers
workshop on African Voices
2000 High School Teachers workshop on Africa -NEH Summer Institute, University of
1999 "African Voices" docent workshop on exhibiting Africa with Baltimore Museum of Art.
1999 "Challenging assumptions about Africa" Teachers Workshop, Kansas City, MO.
held at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
1998 Docent Training, "Western Sudanic Arts" National Museum of African Art. Smithsonian.
1997 Docent Training, "Arts of Mali", National Museum of Natural History.
1996 Docent Training, Discovery Room, National Museum of Natural History.
1996 Docent Training for the exhibition "Crowning Achievements: African Arts of Dressing
the Head" National Museum of African Art.
1995 "The Bamana Arts of Mali" Docent Training Lecture.National Museum of African Art,
1994 "Collecting and Documenting Material Culture" African Immigrant Project Training.
Center for Folklife and Cultural Hertiage. Smithsonian.
1988 "New Research Findings: Reconstructing the History of a Malian Art Form" Docent
Training Lecture. National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of
1986 "Youth Drama and Men's Masquerades in Mali" Docent Training. National Museum of
1985 "African art in Performance" Docent Training. National Museum of African Art.
1985 "Interpreting Performative Sculpture in the Africa Hall at NMNH. Docent Training.
National Museum of Natural History.
1983 -85 Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. Docent Training. Nelson Atkins Museum
1983 "Malian Puppetry" Children's Workshop, Monroe County Library, Bloomington,
1981 "African Puppetry" Children's Workshop, Lakeview Museum Peoria, Illinois.
Smithsonian Professional Committees and Activities
Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History
2009 Acting Ethnology Division Head: Department of Anthropology Executive Committee
2002-present Public Programs Committee
2002 Interim Chair March to June.
2000-2004 Ethnology Division Head: Department of Anthropology Executive Committee
2000-2004 Department of Anthropology Collections Committee
1999-2003 Co-organizer of Department Seminar series.
1991 - 1993 Division Head: Ethnology
1990 - 91 Ethnology Division Advisory Council
1986 -1989 Chair of the Departmental Collections Committee
1988-1990 Fellowship Review Committee, Anthropology Office of Fellowships and Grants,
National Museum of Natural History
2007 PAEC (Performance Appraisal and Evaluation Committee)
2002 NMNH Science Committee
2003- 2002- Chairman NMNH Senate of Scientists
2002-2001, Chairman -elect, NMNH Senate of Scientists
2001 Electronic Museum Catalogue Committee
2001 Smithsonian Collections Survey -Natural History Committee
1993 -1995 Performance Appraisal and Evaluation Committee.
1991 - 1993 Permanent Exhibition Committee
2009 Co-Chair, Smithsonian Institution IRB Committee. Research on Human Subjects
2008 - Chairman, Content Review Committee, Visual and Material Culture Section,
Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press
2003 Strategic Planning Team for Science, Office of the Undersecretary for Science,
1998-2001 Provost's Exhibition Award Committee
1990 - 2004 Material Culture Forum Steering Committee.
1996 -1999 Co-Chairman, Material Culture Forum Steering Committee.
1993-1996 Scholarly Program Committee, 150th Anniversary of the Smithsonian Institution
1989-1990 Grant Review Board, Special Exhibition Fund, Office of the Assistant Secretary
External Professional Associations and Committees
2007 to present Distinguished Africanist Committee African Studies Association
2005-2007 IDRF selection committee (International Dissertation Research Fellowships)
Social Science Research Council/American Council of Learned Societies
2006 By-laws Revision Committee, Arts Council of the African Studies Association
2002-present Editorial Board, African Arts Journal
1998-present Advisory Board, PASALA, University of Iowa.
1998- present Editorial Board H-AfResearch. Michigan State University.
2002-2004 IDRF reviewer (International Dissertation Research Fellowships) Social Science
Research Council/American Council of Learned Societies
2002-2004 Roy Sieber Dissertation Award Committee. Arts Council of the African Studies
2002-2004 Graduate Student Paper Award Committee, African Studies Association
2002-2000 Board of Directors, International Mande Studies Association
2002 -2000 Screening Committee, International Dissertation Field Research Fellowships,
2000 Nominating Committee for the Board of Directors, African Studies Association
2000 National Program Committee, African Studies Association, Annual Meeting,
1998 Life Time Achievements Awards Committee, Arts Council of the African Studies
1994 - 1997 Editorial Board, Museum Anthropology, Journal of the Council for Museum
1993-1995 Distinguished Africanist Committee, African Studies Association.
1994 National Program Committee, African Studies Association, Annual Meetings,
1993 Program Committee for the International Mande Studies Association Conference,
1992-1994 Selection Committee for the Distinguished Africanist Award. African Studies
1986 -92 Board of Directors, Arts Council of the African Studies Association.
Newsletter Editor 1986-1988
President, 1988 -90
Past President 1990 -1992.
1992 National Program Committee, Ninth Triennial Symposium on African Art.
University of Iowa.
1992 Chairman of the Life Time Achievement Awards Committee. Arts Council of the
African Studies Association
1989 -91 Editorial Board, Canadian Journal of African Studies.
1990 NEH Museums Programs Grant Review Panel
1989 Co-Chair of the Program Committee, Eighth Triennial Symposium on African Art,
1987 Nominating Committee for Board of Directors, African Studies Association.
1988-86 Screening Committee, SSRC/ACLS Africa Program. Doctoral Dissertation
1988-86 Screening Committee, SSRC/ACLS pre-Dissertation Fellowships
1986 NEH Museum Programs. Grant Review Panel.
Professional Association Membership
African Studies Association
American Anthropological Association
Arts Council of the African Studies Association
College Arts Association
Council for Museum Anthropology
Mande Studies Association
Society of Women Geographers