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Indiana University Bloomington
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Department of Anthropology College of Arts and Sciences
One Discipline, Four Fields

Paula Girshick

Paula Girshick

Professor, Anthropology Department
Professor, African Studies
Affiliate, Center for Archaeology in the Public Interest

  • Ph.D. in Anthropology & African Studies, Indiana University
  • B.A. in Philosophy, Stanford University

Geographical Areas of Specialization: Africa , especially Nigeria and South Africa

Topical Interests: Monuments, museums, and national identity, history and memory, politics of representation, the art market - collecting, selling, and exhibiting.


After working for a number of years in the Benin Kingdom , Nigeria on the history and political role of royal art, I have recently begun research in South Africa . I am currently involved in two projects: the first deals with post-apartheid monuments and national identity and the second focuses on the history of the South African market in "traditional" African art.

I regularly teach courses on "Art and Commodity," "Exhibiting Cultures: Museums, Exhibitions and Worlds' Fairs," "Theories of Material Culture," "The Anthropology of Tourism," and "The Arts and Anthropology", occasionally taught as "Public Art: Monuments and Memorials".

Selected Publications

2004 Ncome Museum/Monument: From Reconciliation to Resistance. Museum Anthropology 27 (1-2): 2536

2002 Civil War in the Kingdom of Benin 1690-1750: Continuity or Political Change? (with John Thornton), Journal of African History, 42,3

2002 Omada at the Crossroads of Colonialisms in Images and Empires, (eds) Paul Landau and Deborah Caspin. University of California Press