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Courtney Cottrell

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Courtney Cottrell earned her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Michigan, where she also received a certificate in Museum Studies. Her dissertation analyzes common museological practices ethnographic museums employ in the representation of American Indians. Though the practices she identifies appear to be liberal and transformative from the museums’ origins as a colonial institution, they reinscribe dominant Euro-American ideologies of superiority and misrecognize tribal sovereignty. She is currently working on a project that explores the political upheaval NAGPRA creates between related tribal nations who are attempting to repatriate a single artifact. Her analysis of the strained relationship between her own tribe (Brothertown Indian Nation) and a cousin nation points to the clandestine identity politics federal legislation creates and maintains that circumvent self-determination efforts.