22 Apr 2024 - 31 May 2024 09:00 - 19:00 on weekdays Alison Richard Building & Department of Social Anthropology


This exhibition, curated and researched by Paula López Caballero, displays photographs and ethnographic fieldnotes produced by Cambridge-based anthropologist Susan Drucker-Brown (1936-2023) in the Mixtec-speaking village of Jamiltepec (Oaxaca, Mexico) in 1957 and 1958. It is displayed at the Alison Richard Building and the Department of Social Anthropology.

Drucker-Brown was one of the first women anthropologists in Mexico, and a pioneer in the study of women’s clothing and the changes it was undergoing, with the replacement of handmade (loom) clothing by industrial ones. The exhibition not only presents this little-known aspect of Drucker-Brown’s work. It also invites us to reflect on three aspects: Firstly, the processes of mestizaje, indigeneity and modernisation experienced in Mexico in the mid-twentieth century at an indigenous and rural locality. Secondly, the everyday life of ethnographic research and, in particular, the role of women in fieldwork. And thirdly, the afterlives of the materials produced during fieldwork, either as collections in museums or archives, or as part of restitution processes to the villages where the anthropologists worked.

All images: Susan Drucker-Brown, © Biblioteca de Investigación Juan de Córdova

With the support of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Biblioteca de Investigación Juan de Córdova, Fundación Harp Helú, Centre for Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge, Department of Social Anthropology, CRASSH, University of Cambridge, Brown Family

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