The Peabody Museum is delighted to announce that Stephanie Mach has accepted the position of Curator of North American Ethnographic Collections and will be starting in early April 2022. Stephanie Mach (Diné) is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and an anthropologist. She has a decade of museum professional experience and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Museum Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She joins the Peabody Museum from the Penn Museum, where her work has focused on collections management specializing in access and engagement for university audiences as well as managing the summer internship program. She has served as the co-chair of the Penn Museum Diversity Committee since its founding in 2020. Mach has contributed to the Wampum Trail Research Project, a wide-ranging provenance research project on historic wampum belts that bridges archives, museum collections, and Indigenous communities. Mach’s dissertation project interrogates museum practices of care, highlighting the responsibilities that result from museum stewardship of Native American cultural items. Her research focuses on processes of decolonizing museum care practices and their broader implications for both Indigenous communities and the transformation of museums.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Peabody Museum and the growing community of Native American faculty and staff at Harvard,” says Mach. “The Peabody is committed to seeking meaningful changes in its relationships with tribal nations and in support of Native American and Indigenous students, scholars, artists, and communities. I look forward to supporting the work of the Peabody Museum during this critical time of transformation and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute toward healing and repair.”
Senior Curator Diana Loren said, “The Peabody cares for cultural heritage from across North America, much of which came to the museum in ways that ignored the wishes of families and communities. As we advance the vital work of confronting that legacy, I am so excited to have Stephanie join us. Her deep expertise in relationship-building and experience in community-based collaborative research will be critical as we strive to be ethical stewards and address the complex history of relationships between Native American communities and museum anthropologists.”
Learn more about North American collections stewarded by the Peabody Museum.
Photo credit: Brooke Sietinsons