ANTH 418 Syllabus

This is a hands-on course in which students collaborate with community organizations and institutions, primarily Nanaimo Museum to develop and produce research for a virtual exhibit.  The working title is Researching Racism in the Community: Bridging the Past to the Present.  A variety of research techniques will be incorporated into the projects that individuals or groups choose.

The objectives of this course are:

  • To learn about research issues,
  • To learn how to conduct research,
  • To meet and collaborate with community, and
  • To produce usable research or projects for community organizations and institutions.

Given the nature of the topic, the class will be run as a seminar.  Field trips will be scheduled, with an optional one to Vancouver.  Evaluation will be based on attendance and participation (20%), opinion piece (5%), discussion forum (10%), HeritageBC webinars (15%); sharing story (20%), and research project (30%).  There is no final exam.

Not submitting an assignment will result in an “F”;
your final grade is based on completing ALL course work.

NO Required Texts

Readings will be available online, posted to VIULearn.  They will be articles and/or materials from selected websites.

Please read assigned items prior to the week’s class to facilitate discussion.

Lectures and Readings
Sep 7 Introduction and genesis of the course
 9 DISCUSSION: Racism on the Island/BC/Canada.
 14 Perspectives on Racism
Racism: Do Not Let the Forgetting Prevail (five perspectives, all are short essays)
16 Subjectivity: Museums & Archives
Sophia Maher, General Manager, Nanaimo Museum, and Christine Meutzner, Archives Manager, Nanaimo Community Archives.
READ:  Erasure 2.0: Gatekeepers (Lim 2021)
VIEW:  #MuseumsAreNotNeutral: White Supremacy in Museums and Calls to Immediate Action (Sandhra 2020).
21 Historic documents
B.C. property titles bear reminders of a time when race-based covenants kept neighbourhoods white (Hopper 2014); LTSA Historic Records: Discriminating Covenants in the Land Title Register (MacDonald 2020)
23 The Laurier Institution’s In Conversation #2: Racist Restrictive Covenants, 5:00-6:30pm
28 ‘Othering’ as part of the everyday (Popular Culture)
READ:  Cheung 2021; Krishna 2021.
30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (VIU closed)
VIEW:  Doctrine of Discovery: Stolen lands, Strong Hearts
(2019, 1:06:19).  View if you have not already seen this to mark the day.
As well, consider participating in the activities mentioned on VIULearn.
Nanaimo Museum/Nanaimo Community Archives Field Trip: Oct 2.  Meet at 9:50am.
Oct 5 Online Historic Sources
Conversation on what we learned at NCA and NM.
7 No class, due to field trip
Cowichan Valley/Chemainus Field Trip: Oct 9.  Depart at 9am.
 12 No class, due to field trip
 14 Challenging the role of museums in an era of reconciliation.  2021 Sterling Prize: S’dahl K’awaas (Lucy Bell)
19 Brainstorming!
Sophia Maher, Nanaimo Museum, and Kathryn Gagnon, Qualicum Beach Museum & independent heritage and museum consultant.
 21 “Uncomfortable” Social Issues & Museums
see list of five museums, VIULearn
 26 Brainstorming actualized
Defining research to be undertaken and assigned.
 28 Problematic exhibits
READ:  Li 2020Paybarah 2019Stacy 2017.
Nov 2 Progress report: Projects
Checking in to ensure that everyone knows what they are doing; to raise issues that may have arisen.
 4 Research Time
During this times, I will be available to consult with individuals/groups on their respective projects.
STUDY WEEK – No Classes, Nov 8-12
16 Progress report: Projects
18 Research Time
This also allows those attending virtually the AAA Conference, Nov 17-21, which is a hybrid meeting.
23 Research time
25 Progress report: Projects
30 No class, in lieu of earlier field trip
Dec  2 No class, in lieu of earlier field trip
7 Presentations: Showcasing research
 9 Presentations: Showcasing research
DUE: Projects, Dec 15


  • Use of technology: Recording is only permitted by request as authorized by Accessability Services. Please contact Accessability Services if you are in need of academic support and accommodation.
  • If there are exceptional and/or extenuating circumstances, such as illness or a death in the family, that prevents you from meeting an assignment deadline or being present for an exam, please notify me as soon as possible so that other arrangements can be made.  (See VIU General Regulations.)
  • Should you need counselling at any time during the semester, contact Student Affairs.  Drop-in counselling is available.  If immediate support is needed after hours, call the Crisis & Information Line: 1-888-494-3888.  As well, you can contact Cowichan Valley Mental Health and Substance Use Services Intake, 3088 Gibbins Road, Duncan: 250.709.3040.  In Nanaimo, there is a Walk-in Counselling Clinic, Brooks Landing (203-2000 Island Highway North), Nanaimo: 250-739-5710.  For general health and wellness queries, go to bc211 or dial 211; it’s free and confidential.
  • If you appear to be experiencing difficulties, you might be identified to VIU Student Affairs through the Early Alert System (EAS).  EAS is a campus-wide program to connect students with resources that may help their success.
  • Withdrawing from any VIU course MUST be done formally, that is, by applying at the Registration Centre.
  • All in-coming mail is spam-filtered. Identify the course name in the “Subject” box when emailing your instructor. Also, add your instructor to your “accepted” email address file and ensure that VIU has your correct email address.

Final grade assignment:
Grades will be assigned according to the following scale:

90-100 A+ 64-67 C+
85-89 A 60-63 C
80-84 A- 55-59 C-
76-79 B+ 50-54 D
72-75 B <49 F
68-71 B-

Created 2012-08-15; last updated 2021-10-24