Meredith Diane Mantooth

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Critical museology, applied museum studies
Faculty of Arts
Dr. John Barker and Dr. Jennifer Kramer
Purcell, Oklahoma
United States

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

During my undergraduate career I began researching the textile traditions of Highland Guatemala Maya, the role of museology in the creation of identity, and the role of museums in the surrounding community. I wanted to further my research in all of these areas and a graduate degree is the best way to continue. I’ve also planned on getting a graduate degree most of my life. My mother went to college when I was in elementary school and I remember occasionally going to class with her. She inspired me to follow in her academic footsteps and to pursue my master's degree.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

The Anthropology Department is highly renowned throughout the world, especially for museum anthropology. There are many opportunities to contribute to the anthropological community, at UBC and around the world. During the second term we plan a graduate student conference. This is an excellent opportunity for practical, professional training that will help you throughout your career. Furthermore, the small cohort and supportive faculty foster an environment ideal for a gradate student’s intellectual and professional growth. I could not imagine a better fit for myself or other young anthropologists. The fellow graduate students are also remarkably supportive and helpful. There is truly a community that helps students coming to the department from around the world feel at comfortable far away from home.

What do you hope to accomplish with your research?

During my anthropological career and graduate studies I plan to increase the inclusion of and the collaboration with groups studied. This is important because of the museum's role in representing anthropology to a wide cross section of the public. The methods and theories of applied anthropology, founded in collaboration and sustainability, are appropriate to the type of research I would like to pursue. These methods will help restructure museum ideology and alleviate the problems of relevancy and legitimacy facing museums today.

What are your future career goals?

I hope to eventually continue my work and research in a PhD program. After that, I would like to teach at the university level and work in the museum community curating exhibitions.

What has been your most memorable Vancouver experience so far?

I haven’t been in Vancouver for long so I expect to make more memorable moments. At this point, my most memorable experience in Vancouver has been the public market in Granville Island. I never imagined food and groceries could be so awe-inspiring. The market buzzes with energy from shoppers and merchants alike. You can get almost anything you can imagine and the setting on False Creek between the Granville and Burrard Bridges is one of the most scenic in the city.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

If you're coming from the United States - save the money and don’t bring your car! The public transit is great here, you can get anywhere you need and with the UPass it’s economically viable. Also, the cycling in the city is wonderful, so get out on your bicycle to see the city with greater freedom.

Personal Interests / Hobbies

Cycling, travel