Scrutiny


Uncatalogued

Amid an ongoing lawsuit contesting the Peabody Museum’s possession of a series of daguerreotypes that depict two enslaved people, scholars and activists have focused their attention on the museum’s collection and acquisition practices. But the daguerreotypes central to the lawsuit were only discovered in the Peabody’s collection in 1976 — a discovery that raises questions about what other objects may languish uncatalogued and anonymous in the boxes, racks, and milk crates the museum secrets away.


Volume XXXI, Issue II

Dear Reader, It is mid-February, which means love is in the air. No matter your Valentine's Day plans, make sure to take some time to read FM's 2020 "Contemporary Romance" feature. RLL explores her love of the beloved food chain Waffle House. AKEC writes about the challenge of showing and accepting gestures of physical affection. And I grapple with my younger sister growing up. We also have a great mix of hard-hitting reporting and humorous takes to keep you entertained before your (romantic) evening. SSL spends an afternoon honing her thrusts and parries at a sword fighting workshop for women. MVE witnesses some incredible staff art at the Smith Campus Center. I profile Suraj Yengde, an inspiring Dalit intellectual and activist. And APK answers a question that has long stumped FM writers: What are sports? In our cover story for this week, MHM and GWO write about the history and the future of the artifacts of the Harvard Peabody Museum, parsing the museum's responsibility to repatriate and exhibit objects whose presence in their collection is inextricable from colonialism. We end with KKC's lovely endpaper, which turns the scrumptious process of gnawing on chicken feet into a thoughtful investigation of the difficulties of pinpointing "Chinese-America." Curious? Dare I say, titillated? Begin a life-long affair with FM, and read on! MNW


Peabody staff

Director Reynolds and the Peabody Staff in 1930 during the peak collection era of the Peabody. © Museum Collection. Courtesy of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, PM2004.1.324.38


The Alimentary Rules of Building a Cookbook Collection

Though many initially disputed the cookbook collection’s academic merits, it now seems emblematic of the way the academy has changed in recent decades; it is a testament to many fields’ fights for legitimacy.


Who Does the Celebration of Scholarships Celebrate?

First generation and lower-income students benefit enormously from financial aid; they are also the only students asked to attend the Celebration of Scholarships and navigate the potentially uncomfortable social situations within.


Celebration of Scholarships Graphic

The annual Celebration of Scholarships Dinner invites financial aid recipients to meet their respective donors.


With a Degree of Uncertainty

Neither professors, nor parents, nor Faust could help the class of 2009 answer that question in the midst of an unprecedented and unpredictable economic climate. So they went into the world and figured it out.


cover-image

Cover image for With a Degree of Uncertainty


How to Build a Concentration

In 1981, Colker was asked to donate her thesis to a women’s studies library that students were curating to convince Harvard to create a women’s studies concentration. By then, both students and the University had an increased understanding of the field as legitimate and deserving of attention.


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