Date of Award

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

William W Wood

Committee Members

Dawn Thomae, Erica L Bornstein


Co-Curation, Collaboration, Community, Field Museum, Museum, Philippines


Over the last decade, Field Museum staff have worked to build enduring partnerships with local Filipinx-American community members. These partnerships engage participants in the stewardship of the collection, reinterpreting entangled object meanings and connecting the Museum’s collection to the lived experiences of modern communities. Through collaborative digitization efforts and events the Philippine Co-Curation partnership works to confront a colonial past while offering a gathering space for local Filipinx-Americans. As an emerging approach to collections management, it aims to embody the ideals of modern museology, bringing both partners and staff into uncertain territory and inspiring important questions about how collaborative relationships negotiate authority, recognize expertise, and navigate the institutional contexts shaping their execution. In this way, the Field Museum’s Philippine Co-Curation partnership represents an important case study into the potential and pitfalls of long-term collaborative partnerships, and their ability to make museums more accessible, locally relevant, and respectful of diverse traditions.