Summer 2021 Fellow: Haleigh Quinn, ‘22 (Public Policy)

Office Description

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

Potential Projects

The African American Popular Culture Internship resides in the Office of Curatorial Affairs (OCA) at The National Museum of African American History and Culture. OCA, including the Centers, facilitates the intellectual work of the Museum by collecting artifacts, ensuring collection preservation and stewardship, conducting research and scholarship, and sharing the rich history and culture of African Americans and all people of African descent with a diverse public in accessible, multifaceted ways including exhibition, digitization, and publication.
The African American Popular Culture Intern will serve as a research assistant for the forthcoming exhibit on Afrofuturism. The intern will research assorted topics, objects, and online archives for exhibit materials. The intern will be invited to take part in meetings with curators, researchers, and collections staff. The internship will provide and hands-on opportunity in developing exhibitions or programs for the newest Smithsonian Museum, one that takes as its mission to centrality of African American history and culture to the American experience. This internship is in partnership with Stanford in Government and designed for students to work closely with museum professionals to gain a broader knowledge of curatorial work at a national museum. The intern will engage with scholarly and archival materials and gain experience in exhibit building while attending all Smithsonian and NMAAHC enrichment activities (i.e.: seminars, workshops, etc.) using teleconference or video conference software.

Duties Include (but are not limited to):

  • Online and archival research
  • Research using The Museum System (TMS) software
  • Image research
  • Draft writing

Desired Skills

  • Strong research and writing skills and experience
  • Coursework on American and African American history and culture
  • Ability to creatively pursue research through a variety of online and physical archives
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently
  • Curious
  • Attentive to detail
  • Interested in African American history and culture, museums, public history, education

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