ECCE Speaker Series: Decolonizing our Museums
From Cody Pope
Co-Sponsored by UIS Campus Senate Committee on Diversity, Equal Rights, Opportunity, and Access (ROAD), UIS Committee on Sustainability, UIS Sangamon Experience
Historically, museums are intimately tied with colonization practices; this persists today. A large part of Catlin-Legutko’s and Edginton’s work in museums has focused on giving voice and power to the people whose culture and heritage are represented in the museum, advocating, through practice, for decolonizing the museum space. During their talk, they will explore what decolonization practices look like, and how to incorporate these practices in museums and other cultural institutions. Catlin-Legutko and Edginton will talk about the importance of the decolonization process and the future of the Illinois State Museum. They will challenge us to think about what we can learn from museums that can help us to decolonize other institutions, including universities.
Working in museums for more than 25 years, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko has served as a museum leader since 2001. Prior to joining the Illinois State Museum as director in 2019, Cinnamon was the director of the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum where she led the organization to the National Medal for Museum Service in 2008. She then served as president and CEO of the Abbe Museum where she co-led their decolonization initiative and co-developed practices to ensure collaboration and cooperation with Wabanaki people. Cinnamon has served on numerous national and local boards including the American Association for State and Local History and the American Alliance of Museums. Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko is the author of Museum Administration 2.0 (2016), The Art of Healing: The Wishard Art Collection (2004), and co-editor of the Small Museum Toolkit (2012). In 2016, she gave her first TEDx talk, We Must Decolonize Our Museums, (www.tedxdirigo.com). Her latest publication is The Inclusive Museum Leader (2021), a compilation of essays she co-edited with Chris Taylor and published by the American Alliance of Museums.
Jennifer Edginton is Director of Interpretation at the Illinois State Museum. Previously, she worked at the Kenosha Museum Campus working on decolonization efforts in education. Edginton holds degrees in anthropology and education from Michigan State University and the University of Kansas. She is currently working toward her Ed.D in First Nations Education at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.