Historical Archaeology

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 135–151 | Cite as

Civic Engagements in Museum Anthropology: A Prolegomenon for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

  • Stephen E. Nash
  • Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh
  • Steven Holen


Over the course of the 20th century, advocates and activists have sporadically argued that museums provide an ideal platform for engagements of civic life. Into the 21st century, the social roles and responsibilities of museums are actively being renegotiated, particularly with the blossoming of new collaborative and community-based programs and projects, from local tribally run ecomuseums to the National Museum of the American Indian. Through this case study of work at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science—focusing on two new enterprises, the Collections Synthesis Project and the Indigenous Inclusiveness Initiative—the challenges and opportunities for museum anthropology to contribute to the agenda of civic engagement are examined.


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Copyright information

© Society for Historical Archaeology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen E. Nash
    • 1
  • Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh
    • 1
  • Steven Holen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyDenver Museum of Nature and ScienceDenverUSA

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