Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Gwyneira Isaac

Curator of North American Indigenous Culture
Department / Division
  • M.Phil., Oxford University
  • B.F.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Ph.D., Oxford University
Research Interests

Anthropology, Zuni and Southwest Pueblos, knowledge systems, material culture, photography.

Journal Article
  • Isaac, Gwyneira. 2011. "Whose Idea Was This? Museums, Replicas and the Reproduction of Knowledge." Current Anthropology, 52, (2) 211–233.
  • Isaac, Gwyneira. 2010. "Anthropology and its Embodiments: 19th Century Museum Ethnography and the Re-enactment of Indigenous Knowledge." Etnofoor, 22, (1) 11–29.
  • Isaac, Gwyneira. 2008. "Technology Becomes the Object: Art, Artifact and Digital Media at the National Museum of the American Indian." Journal of Material Culture, 13, (3) 287–210.
  • Isaac, Gwyneira. 2006. "What Are Our Expectations Telling Us? Encounters with the National Museum of the American Indian." American Indian Quarterly, 30, (4) 547–596.
  • Isaac, Gwyneira. 2005. "Mediating Knowledges: Zuni Negotiations for a Culturally Relevant Museum." Museum Anthropology, 28, (1) 3–18.
  • Isaac, Gwyneira. 2005. "Re-observation and the Recognition of Change: The Photographs of Matilda Coxe Stevenson (1879-1915)." Journal of the Southwest, 47, (3) 411–455.
  • Isaac, Gwyneira. 1997. "Louis Agassiz's Photographs in Brazil: Separate Creations." History of Photography, 21, (1) 3–11.
  • Isaac, Gwyneira, Fontenelle, Wendy, and Kennedy, Tom. 1997. "A:shiwi A:wan: 'Belonging to the Zuni People': Interviews from the A:shiwi A:wan museum and Heritage Center in Zuni, NM." Cultural Survival Quarterly, 21, (1) 41–46.

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Book Chapter
  • Isaac, Gwyneira. 2018. "Collecting." In The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. 1–10. London, England: Wiley.
  • McChesney, Lea and Isaac, Gwyneira. 2018. "Paying Back: The Hopi Pottery Oral History Project." In Giving Back: Research and Reciprocity in Indigenous Settings. Herman, R. Douglas K., editor. Oregon State University Press.
  • Isaac, Gwyneira. 2015. "'Get to Know Your World': An Interview with Jim Enote, Director of the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center in Zuni New Mexico." In Museum Transformations. International Handbook of Museums. Phillips, Ruth and Coombes, Annie, editors. Oxford: Blackwell Press.
  • Isaac, Gwyneira. 2014. "The Price of Knowledge and the Economies of Heritage in Zuni." In Museums as Process: Translating Local and Global Knowledges. Silverman, Raymond, editor. 152–168. London: Routledge.
  • Isaac, Gwyneira. 2013. "We'Wha Goes to Washington." In Reassembling the Collection. Harrison, Rodney, Byrne, Sarah, and Clark, Anne, editors. 143–170. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press.
  • Isaac, Gwyneira and Bell, Joshua A. 2013. "Smithsonian Institution." In Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology: An Encyclopedia. McGee, R. Jon and Warms, Richard L., editors. 781–785. London: Sage Publications, Inc..
  • Isaac, Gwyneira. 2009. "Digital Enchantments: The Use of Electronic Media at the National Museum of the American Indian." In Visual Currencies: Reflections on Native American Photography. Henrietta Lidchi and Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie, editors. 77–89. Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland.
  • Isaac, Gwyneira. 2008. "Responsibility Towards Knowledge: The Zuni Museum as a Mediator between Anglo-American and Zuni Knowledge Systems." In Contesting Knowledge: Museums and Indigenous Perspectives. Sleeper-Smith, Susan, editor. 241–266. University of Nebraska Press.
  • Isaac, Gwyneira. 2008. "What Are Our Expectations Telling Us? Encounters with the National Museum of the American Indian." In The National Museum of the American Indian: Critical Conversations. Lonetree, Amy and Cobb, Amanda, editors. 241–266. University of Nebraska.
  • Isaac, Gwyneir. 2008. Mediating Knowledges : Origins of a Museum for the Zuni People. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.