We are seeking a cohort of enthusiastic and intellectually curious students who will help re-catalog and/or re-describe Philippine archives and museum materials at the University’s Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) and U-M Museum of Anthropological Archaeology (UMMAA).
The ReConnect/ReCollect: Reparative Connections to Philippine Collections at the University of Michigan is seeking a cohort of enthusiastic and intellectually curious students who will help re-catalog and/or re-describe Philippine archives and museum materials at the University’s Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) and U-M Museum of Anthropological Archaeology (UMMAA). The primary goal of this effort is to apply reparative description approaches in evaluating and repairing offensive, insensitive, or harmful language that may be present in the University’s descriptive tools.
Reparative description is an emerging area of practice. Thus, ideal candidates for this position should have the desire to learn about new approaches to collections description (and apply them in real-world archives/museum context); understand the value of working collaboratively with an interdisciplinary team; be open to honest conversations around the description of culturally sensitive items; and be highly motivated to contribute in developing paths towards reparative descriptive practice. Prior archives and museum experience, including metadata, cataloging, or description work, is welcome, but not required.
While the students will work closely as a cohort to discuss and exchange ideas, students will be assigned to specific collections. Two students will be primarily working with UMMAA collections and three will be assigned to SCRC. Please indicate your preference in your application (cover) letter.
We are looking to hire five hourly research assistants for Fall/Winter 2022. The students will work no more than 20 hours a week and will be collaboratively supervised by project co-PIs, primarily Ricky Punzalan and project partners, Martha O’Hara Conway (SCRC) and Jim Moss (UMMAA).
This appointment requires working on site (UMMAA or SCRC) and regular consultation/exchange meetings as a cohort. Work is expected to be between Mondays to Fridays, from 9:00 am and 4:30 pm. The research assistants will help the ReConnect/ReCollect team in:
- Analyzing existing archival finding aids or museum catalogs of Philippine materials to identify harmful, offensive, or incorrect language;
- Creating archival finding aids or museum catalog records, if none exist;
- Documenting and understanding descriptive workflows; and
- Sharing perspectives on harmful descriptive metadata and the potential of reparative description to better represent Philippine items in archives and museum collections.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Excellent organizational skills
- Ability to work independently and with sustained attention to detail
- Proactive in asking for help and direction as needed
- Sensitivity to and aptitude for handling rare and fragile collection material
- Availability to attend research meetings
- Knowledge or interest in any of the following:
- Archives and digital curation
- Museum studies
- Museum anthropology
- Reparative description
- Archival description
- Cataloging and descriptive metadata
- Awareness of Philippine Indigenous communities
- $25/hour (graduate) pay rate
- $15/hour (undergrad) pay rate
- 20 hours a week (max)
- Preferred start date: September 19, 2022.
How to Apply
Please email your cover letter and CV/resume to Dr. Ricky Punzalan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline to Apply
Preference given to applications submitted by September 2, 2022. Please apply before the closing date as we will evaluate applications as they arrive.