Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

MA Museum Professions


Communication and the Arts


Gregory Stevens, M.A.T.

Committee Member

Renee Robinson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

McKenna Schray, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ruth Tsuria,Ph.D.


museum, anthropology museums, activism, decolonization, race, community engagement


Museums are under increasing pressure to become more activist. The literature revealed that museum activism can benefit society, though a gap appeared pertaining to anthropology museums. Historically, anthropology museums were tied to colonialism and even racism, and thus need to evolve to become more socially responsible. Through a qualitative case study of four anthropology museums in the United States – the Museum of Us, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, the Penn Museum and the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology – this study examined how anthropology museums can change and engage with activism. A series of recommendations were created, emphasizing the importance of transparency, transformative leadership, enhanced policies, community engagement, and utilization of online resources to grow activism within anthropology museums.