May 25, 2024
Recovering the Cultural Narrative with Dr. Richard Kurin

Recovering the Cultural Narrative with Dr. Richard Kurin

Recovering the Cultural Narrative with Dr. Richard Kurin

Author: Smithsonian Education via YouTube
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Recovering the Cultural Narrative with Dr. Richard Kurin

Presenter: Dr. Richard Kurin, Distinguished Scholar and Ambassador-at-Large
Welcoming Remarks: Dr. Monique M. Chism, Under Secretary for Education

Dr. Richard Kurin gives this keynote address, “Recovering the Cultural Narrative,” to open the Smithsonian-based third day of the 11th International Digital Storytelling Conference, “Radical Listening: Story Work for a Just Future.” Dr. Kurin founded the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative (https://culturalrescue.si.edu/) after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake and has worked to save cultural heritage endangered by natural disasters and human conflict. Dr. Monique Chism gives welcoming remarks.

This four-day conference, hosted by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Day 1), Montgomery College (Day 2), the Smithsonian Institution (Day 3), and StoryCenter (Day 4), featured four uniquely different experiences of engaging talks, inspiring presenters, receptions, and storytelling tours. The Smithsonian day included a variety of gallery tours and workshops at several museums and study centers to explore how the Smithsonian uses stories to increase and diffuse knowledge, amplify voices, build community, and catalyze important conversations on issues affecting our nation and the world. For more information on the conference, see the conference website (https://www.montgomerycollege.edu/events/digital-storytelling-conference-2023/index.html) and this Learning Lab collection (https://learninglab.si.edu/q/ll-c/b3togQYFVs67a8Nv).

Dr. Richard Kurin is the Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar and Ambassador-at-Large. He served as Under Secretary for a decade, overseeing all the Smithsonian’s national museums, scientific research institutes, cultural and educational centers. For decades he directed the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage with its acclaimed Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. A U.S. National Commissioner for UNESCO, he helped draft an international treaty to safeguard cultural heritage, now ratified by 180 nations. He’s led cultural recovery efforts in Haiti, Iraq, Ukraine and elsewhere, is a founding member of the U.S. Cultural Heritage Coordinating Committee, joined with the U.S. Army to reconstitute the monuments men and women,” co-chairs with FEMA the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, and serves on the Federal Interagency Panel for World Heritage. Earning his PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago, Kurin taught at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and authored six books. He has written and hosted two Great Courses’ series, oversees Smithsonian Channel content, and has overseen Grammy, Emmy and Academy award winning productions. He is a fellow of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences, and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He serves on the boards of the Aliph Foundation and National History Day, and has served as liaison to the White House Historical Association and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

Dr. Monique M. Chism is the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for Education, responsible for defining the Institution’s educational priorities. She oversees the Smithsonian’s collective initiatives, communication strategies and funding for programs that benefit learners of all ages. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Dr. Chism was the vice president for education policy and strategic initiatives at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), working to bridge the divide between education research and practice at the local, state and federal levels. Before AIR, Dr. Chism was a member of the Senior Executive Service at the U.S. Department of Education. She is committed to the expansion of academic access and equity to ensure that every learner has a well-rounded education.

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