Dr. Aaron Glass

Aaron focuses on various aspects of First Nations visual art and material culture, media, and performance on the Northwest Coast of North America, both historically and today. Themes recurring in his work include colonialism and indigenous modernities, cultural brokerage and translation, the politics of intercultural exchange and display, discourses of tradition and heritage management, history of anthropology and museums, and cultural and intellectual property. Previous research and film projects have examined the intercultural history of totem poles; ethnographic mediation of the Hamat’sa or “Cannibal Dance” of the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) of British Columbia; and Edward Curtis’s 1914 silent melodrama, In the Land of the Head Hunters. He has curated two exhibits for the Bard Graduate Center Focus Gallery: “Objects of Exchange: Social and Material Transformation on the Late Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast” (2011); and “The Story Box: Franz Boas, George Hunt and the Making of Anthropology” (2019), the latter in partnership with U’mista Cultural Centre. He is currently co-director of a major collaborative project to create a critical, annotated edition—in print and digital media—of Franz Boas’s landmark 1897 monograph on Kwakwaka’wakw culture.