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John J. Bodinger de Uriarte

Department: Sociology/Anthropology

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Department Head of Sociology and Anthropology

Program Director of GO Galapagos-Ecuador

  • Education
  • PHD, University of Texas at Austin
  • MA, University of Texas at Austin
  • BA, Vassar College
John Bodinger de Uriarte

I never wanted to be an academic. Both my mother and sister are academics and, in our three-person household, I figured two out of three was plenty. Upon completing my BA at Vassar College, I moved to San Francisco instead. I soon began printing in a custom black-and-white lab, then went on to work in commercial and advertising photography for about 10 years. I became increasingly interested in not only how to make photographs, but how photographs worked to tell compelling (and often seductive) stories about objects and people. It was this central question-how images (or representations) tell stories, often about unknown or unknowable others-that led me back to school. I did my graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin, combining photography with cultural anthropology.

I am fascinated by the ways in which images and objects are deployed in representational spaces. While I pay particular attention to museums and cultural centers in Native America, I realize that casinos and other Native-owned resort spaces also represent Native America to a large, and largely non-Native, public audience. My doctoral research and book, Casino and Museum, focus on the relationships between the casino resort and the museum and research center of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in Mashantucket, Conn. I have built on this research to explore questions of Native self-representation as a critical aspect of tribal sovereignty on a national level.

My other research and coursework explores family and kinship, public culture, museum studies, war and organized violence, and race and ethnicity. I am a Program Director for both GalapaGOs and Go Ísland/Iceland. In addition to chairing the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, I also direct the Diversity Studies and Museum Studies programs (and serve as the faculty adviser for our Ultimate Frisbee team).

EDUCATION

Ph.D., Social Anthropology, 2003, The University of Texas at Austin.

Dissertation title: The Museum and the Casino: Imagining the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in Representational Space. Dissertation Committee Chair: Pauline Turner Strong.

M.A., Social Anthropology, 1995, The University of Texas at Austin.

Master's Report: Fantastic Narrative, Material Strategy: Foxwoods Casino and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

B.A., Anthropology/Sociology and English, 1981, Vassar College.

Thesis with honors: The Nez Percé: Narrative Fiction and Narrative Ethnography.

ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

2015-PRESENT: Chair, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Susquehanna University.

2015-PRESENT: Director of Museum Studies, Susquehanna University.

2009-PRESENT: Associate Professor of Anthropology, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Susquehanna University. (See complete course list below.)

2007-PRESENT: Director of Diversity Studies, Susquehanna University.

2003-2009: Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Susquehanna University.

FALL 2002: Assistant Instructor, Department of Anthropology, The University of Texas at Austin. "Introduction to Cultural Anthropology."

SPRING 2002: Teaching Assistant, Department of Anthropology, The University of Texas at Austin. "American Indian Cultures North of Mexico," under Pauline Turner Strong.

FALL 2001: Webmaster, Department of Anthropology, The University of Texas at Austin: for the department's site and to instruct faculty, students, and staff.

FALL 2001: Teaching Assistant, for ConneXus (an inter-disciplinary program for entering first-year students). "Peace and Conflict."

1994-97: Research Assistant/Editorial assistant, CMAS Books, the Center for Mexican American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Article manuscript: "Gambling on History: Shaping Narratives in Native Public Spaces," (with Melissa Biggs) for proceedings for the Tenth Native American Symposium-"Native Ground: Protecting and Preserving History, Culture, and Customs," forthcoming.

Research project: "Service, Disrupting Citizenship, and the Neoliberal Academy," (with Shari Jacobson).

Chair and Organizer: "Elsewhere: Tourisms and Referencing the Real," sponsored by the Council on Anthropology and Education, for the 2015 annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association.

Panel Presentation: "The College Experience as Carnival: Service, Fetish, and Inversions," (with Shari Jacobson) as part of the panel "The Value of a (Neo)-Liberal Arts Experience," sponsored by the American Ethnological Society, for the 2015 annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association.

CURATORIAL AND OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

1999-2001: Grants Writer and Special Projects Officer, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, Miami Beach, Florida.

1998-99: Curator, The Connecticut River Museum, Essex, Connecticut.

1997-98: Contract Photographer, Researcher, and Writer, Design Division, Inc. (Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center).

1997-98: Contract Grants Writer, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

1984-97: Editorial and Advertising Photographer, San Francisco, California.

PUBLICATIONS

2015: "Encased: Plotting Attentions through Distraction," (with Melissa Biggs) for the series The Ethnographic Case in the electronic, peer-reviewed journal Somatosphere.net.

2015: Review of Phallogical Museum by Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson for Museum Anthropology Review 9(2).

2014: Review of Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native America in National and Tribal Museums by Amy Lonetree for the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 38(2).

2013: "Wag(er)ing Histories, Staking Territories: Exhibiting Sovereignty in Native America," Museum and Society, 11(2).

2012: Review of Phantom Past: Indigenous Present, Colleen E. Boyd and Coll Thrush, editors, for the Journal of Anthropological Research, 68(2).

2011: "Gaming and Self-Representation in Native America," report for the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming at San Diego State University (sdsu.edu/sycuan/reports.html).

2010: Review of Everything You Know about Indians Is Wrong by Paul Chaat Smith for the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 34(4).

2009: Review of High Stakes: Florida Seminole Gaming and Sovereignty by Jessica R. Cattelino for the Journal of Anthropological Research, 65(4).

2008: Review of Public Native America by Mary Lawlor for Museum Anthropology 32(1).

2007: Casino and Museum: Representing Mashantucket Pequot Identity, The University of Arizona Press, May 3, 2007.

2005: "Casinos & Museums: Changing the Public Face of Native America," cover article for Tribal Government Gaming, a yearly special edition of Global Gaming Business publications.

2004: Review of Gambling and Survival in Native North America by Paul Pasquaretta for Journal of Anthropological Research 60(3).

2003: "Imagining the Nation with House Odds: Representing American Indian Identity at Mashantucket," Ethnohistory 50(3).

2001: "About Face: Approaching a Dialogue of Images and Display," Museum Anthropology 25(1).

2000: "Taking Chances in Mashantucket: Tradition and Nation as Representational Strategies," indiangaming.org/library/events/speaker_05-00B.html, National Indian Gaming Association.

1997: Review of A Space on the Side of the Road by Kathleen Stewart for Visual Anthropology Review (12)2.

INVITED PRESENTATIONS

2015: Invited speaker: "Vernacular Spaces, Museal Sensibilities," for the Department of Anthropology at California State University Chico.

2014: Invited speaker: "Breaking Glass Boxes: Exhibiting Native America," for the Thomas T. Taber Museum in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

2013: Invited panelist: "Tribal Gaming: Twenty-five Years of IGRA," for the Fifteenth International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking.

2011: "Teaching Anthropology, and its Role in the Liberal Arts" presentation for Oxford College, Emory University.

2007: "Seeing Red: Photography, the American Indian Subject, and the Museum at Mashantucket" presentation for the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, Bloomington.

2006: "Where is Now-When is Here? (Navigating time and space in Mashantucket)," presentation for the Department of History at the University of Delaware.

2006: "Turning Inside Outside: Locating the Place(s) of Exhibition," presentation for the New York State Museum in Albany.

2006: "The Casino and the Museum: Locating Mashantucket Pequot Representations," presentation for the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma.

2006: "Inside Outside: Exploring the Space/Place of Exhibition," presentation for the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

2003: "Betting on Identity at Mashantucket: Representational Strategies for Tribal Museums and Casinos," presentation for Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, as part of "DiversityFest III."

2003: "Museums, Casinos, and Authenticity: Venues for Native American Self-Representation," presentation for the University of Texas Anthropological Society and Lambda Alpha, the National Collegiate Honors Society for Anthropology, Austin, TX.

2000: "Taking Chances in Mashantucket: Tradition and Nation as Representational Strategies," paper for, "Self-Representation and Self-Determination: Indian Museums and Indian Casinos as Political Strategies," the inaugural presentation for the National Indian Gaming Association's Speakers Series, Washington, D.C.

2000: "Edward S. Curtis: Ethnology and the (Negative) Romantic," (co-author with Pauline Turner Strong). Thornton F. Bradshaw Seminar in the Humanities, "Visual Representation and Cultural History: The Edward S. Curtis Photographs of North American Indians," Claremont Graduate University.

1999: Invited critic for "Presence and Persistence: Nipmuc Indians in New England," exhibition at the Worcester Historical Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts. (A session at the annual meetings of the New England Museum Association.)

1997: "Toward a Dialogics of Image, Text, and Display Practice," paper for "Museums for the 21st Century: Experimenting with Anthropology in the Public Sphere" panel presented by the Council for Museum Anthropology, at the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

2015: SUSQUEHANNA UNIVERSITY, Faculty Development and Research Grant.

2012: SUSQUEHANNA UNIVERSITY, Faculty Development and Research Grant.

2009: SYCUAN INSTITUTE ON TRIBAL GAMING AT SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY, Research funding grant for "Gaming and Self-Representation-Post-IGRA Gains in Native America."

2007: SUSQUEHANNA UNIVERSITY, Faculty Development and Research Grant.

2006: SUSQUEHANNA UNIVERSITY, Faculty Development and Research Grant.

2001: THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, CENTER FOR EDUCATION AND MUSEUM STUDIES, Fellowship to attend week-long Diversity, Leadership, and Museums Seminar, Washington, D.C.

2001: THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, Professional Development Award, College of Liberal Arts.

2000-01: THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, Department of Anthropology, Departmental Scholarship.

1999-2000: THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, Thematic Dissertation Fellowship.

1995-97: THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, Graduate Opportunity Continuing Fellowship.

1995-97: THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, Tuition Scholarship, College of Liberal Arts.

1996: THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, Graduate Opportunity Summer Research Fellowship.

1995: THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, Summer Research Assistantship with Dr. Pauline Turner Strong, Department of Anthropology.

CHAIR, ORGANIZER, OR DISCUSSANT FOR CONFERENCE PANELS

2015: Chair: "Spirit Knowledge and Material Culture," for the annual meeting of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association.

2012: Chair: "Crossing Museum Borders: Telling Museum Stories in Unmuseum Places," for the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association.

2008: Discussant: "Indian Gaming and Casinos in America: A Twenty Year Anthropological Retrospective on the Impact of the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act." Invited session (by the AAA Committee on Minority Issues in Anthropology) for the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association.

2006: Discussant: "Negotiating Critical Terrains: Museums, Exhibitions, and Commemorations at the Crossroads of Culture, History, and Memory," for the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association.

2005: Organizer: "Museum Resonance: Representing the Past of the Present and Future." Invited session (by the Council for Museum Anthropology) for the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association.

CONFERENCE PAPERS

2015: "Exhibition Sovereignty: Representing Native Histories in Public Spaces," paper for the Thirteenth International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities.
2015: "Who Gave What to Whom? ‘Giving Back' and the Market Logic of Service," paper (with Shari Jacobson) for the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology.

2014: "Places, Publics, Sovereignties: Siting Multiple Pasts in Shared Spaces," paper (with Melissa Biggs) for the annual meeting of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association.

2014: "Æffects of Service Learning," paper (with Shari Jacobson) for the annual meetings of the Society for Cultural Anthropology.

2013: "Gambling on History: Shaping Narratives in Public Spaces," paper (with Melissa Biggs) for the Tenth Native American Symposium-"Native Ground: Protecting and Preserving History, Culture, and Customs."

2012: "Wag(er)ing Histories, Staking Territories: Crossing Museal Borders," for the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association.

2012: "Staking Inheritance: Wager and Territory," for The New School for Social Research 2012 Anthropology Conference.

2010: "Contemplating Spectacle: Ethnography in Exhibitionary Spaces," paper (with Melissa Biggs) for the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association.

2009: "The End(s) of Sovereignty: Anthropologies, Native Identities, Museums, and Casinos," paper (with Melissa Biggs) for the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association.

2008: "Mutual Indication, the Saturations of Self-Representation, and A Question of Domestic, Dependent Economies" paper for the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association.

2007: "Crazing the Glass Boxes-Indigeneity, Museums, and the Politics of Representation," paper for the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association.

2006: "Re: History and Landscape-Critical Mashantucket Intersections," paper for the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association.

2005: "Mapping the Past in the Present-Locating Mashantucket Pequot Representations," paper for the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association.

2001: "Face the Nation: Photo Portraits from the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center," paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association.

2000: "Through the Looking Glass: Representational Interstices at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center," paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association.

2000: "Future Traditions in Present Practice: Odds-on Representations in Native Casinos and Museums," paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Ethnological Society.

2000: "Edward S. Curtis: Ethnology and the (Negative) Romantic," paper (with Pauline Turner Strong) presented at the Thornton F. Bradshaw Seminar in the Humanities.

1999: "The Rainmaker: Narrating Indigenous History in Public Space," paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Society for Ethnohistory.

1997: "Photographic Memory: The Unfixing of Subjects and Objects," paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Folklore Society.

1997:  "About Face: Approaching a Dialogue of Images and Display," paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Ethnological Society.

1996: "Passing White Tests: Figuring Identity at Mashantucket," paper presented for PASS*ING, a graduate student conference at Columbia University. 

EXHIBITIONS

2015: "(Re)Collections: Pasts, Discoveries, Affirmations," Fisher Hall, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. (Final class project for ANTH 237, Museums and Anthropology.)

2013: "Do Objects Really Matter? (DORM)," Fisher Hall, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. (Final class project for ANTH 237, Museums and Anthropology.)

2012: "The Bare Necessities," Fisher Hall, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. (Final class project for ANTH 237, Museums and Anthropology.)

2009: "SHIT (An Exhibition)," Cunningham Center for Music and Art, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. (Final class project for ANTH 200, Museums and Anthropology.)

2007: "Personal Æffects: What Everyday Objects Say About Us," Cunningham Center for Music and Art, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. (Final class project for ANTH 200, Museums and Anthropology.)

2004: "Re: Presenting Others-Portrait/Practice," Heilman Hall, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. Solo exhibition.

1998: The Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, Mashantucket, Connecticut. Wall-size panoramas and panel-text inset photos for galleries in the permanent exhibition.

1998: "Significant Others," group exhibition. Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, California.

1996: "About Face, " portrait exhibition. Photographer and curator for the group exhibit: "Display/ Displacement: An Experiment in Ethnographic Representation."

1996: "Rodeo" and "Selected Portraits," solo exhibition. Café Dance Gallery, Austin, Texas.

1994: "Face Value," group portraiture exhibition. PRO-JEX Gallery, Austin, Texas.

1992: "AIDS in Bay Area Photography," group exhibition. Vision Gallery, San Francisco, California.

1988-90: "Bearing Witness: Artists Respond to AIDS," group exhibition. Hera Gallery, Wakefield, Rhode Island and Mobius Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts.

OTHER PRESENTATIONS

2013: "Service, Disrupting Citizenship, and the Neoliberal Academy," (with Shari Jacobson) for the annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE

2015: Invited discussant for planning workshop for AAC&U's 2016 Diversity, Learning, and Student Success conference.

2015: Invited reviewer, journal article, American Indian Culture and Research Journal.

2012: Invited reviewer, journal article, American Indian Culture and Research Journal.

2012: Invited reviewer, book, Oxford University Press.

2012: Invited external reviewer for tenure and promotion, Colgate University.

2012: Invited reviewer, journal article, Museum Anthropology.

2012: Invited reviewer, journal article, International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology.

2011: Invited reviewer, journal article, AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples.

2010: Invited reviewer, journal article, American Indian Culture and Research Journal.

2010: Invited reviewer, book-length manuscript, The University of Arizona Press.

2008: Invited reviewer, journal article, Culture and Psychology.

COURSES TAUGHT

"Location, Location, Location: Space, Place, University" (PRDV 104)

"Galápagos-The Islands as Paradise: Sustainable Truth or Sustainable Fiction?" (OFFP:GLPGOS)

"History of Anthropological Theory" (ANTH:400)

"Life during Wartime" (as Senior Seminar ANTH:500, HONS:400, HONS:240, ANTH:222)

"Family & Kinship" (ANTH/SOCI:341)

"Race, Ethnicity, and Minorities" (ANTH/SOCI:413)

"Imagining the Other: Visual Anthropology" (ANTH:322)

"The Public Sphere" (HONS: 240)

"Writing & Thinking-Native America: Reading, Writing, Representing" (ENGL:100)

"Public Culture" (ANTH:152)

"Native America North of Mexico" (ANTH:227)

"Museums and Anthropology" (ANTH:237)

"Introduction to Cultural Anthropology" (ANTH:162)

"National, Transnational, and Diasporic Communities" (ANTH:310-co-taught)

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

American Anthropological Association
Council for Museum Anthropology
Association of Indigenous Anthropologists
American Alliance of Museums
Society for Cultural Anthropology
Society for Visual Anthropology
Native American and Indigenous Studies Association
Anthropology of Tourism Interest Group (AAA)

Courses taught:

  • ANTH-152 Public Culture
  • ANTH-162 Introduction to Anthropology
  • ANTH-222 Life During Wartime
  • ANTH-237 Museums and Anthropology
  • ANTH-322 Visual Anthropology
  • ANTH-341 Family and Kinship
  • ANTH-413 Race, Ethnicity & Minorities
  • ANTH-501 Independent Research
  • ANTH-502 Independent Study
  • ANTH-510 Internship in Anthropology
  • HONS-301 Family and Kinship
  • MSUM-400 Museum Studies Internship
  • OFFP-GLPGOS Galapagos: Sustainable Truth Or Fiction
  • OFFP-GLPGOS Galapagos: Sustainable Truth Or Fiction
  • OFFP-ICELAND GO Iceland: Nature, Culture, Identities
  • OFFR-310 Global Citizenship
  • OFFR-GLPGOS Galapagos: Sustainable Truth or Fiction
  • OFFR-GLPGOS Galapagos: Sustainable Truth or Fiction
  • OFFR-ICELAND GO Iceland: Nature, Culture, Identities
  • OFFS-GLPGOS Galapagos: Sustainable Truth Or Fiction
  • OFFS-GLPGOS Galapagos: Sustainable Truth Or Fiction
  • OFFS-ICELAND GO Iceland: Nature, Culture, Identities
  • PRDV-104 Perspectives
  • SOCI-341 Family and Kinship
  • SOCI-413 Race, Ethnicity & Minorities
  • SOCI-501 Independent Research