Lillia McEnaney ’17

While some students are spending their summers working at one internship, Lillia McEnaney ’17 is engaging in five summer job opportunities, including two part-time internships that, while different, complement each other as they both focus on distinct aspects of museology.  Her internship is supported by Summer 2016 Internship funding, managed by the Career Center.

McEnaney is working as a part-time collections management intern with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Her specific work in this department is authoring a formulaic tour guide for museum staff to use when the public or Native representatives come to visit collections. Once she finishes this project, she will begin reviewing and editing the museum’s collections management policies. Besides these two main roles, McEnaney often photographs daily collections activities and develops an interview-based blog post.

As for her second main internship, she is a part-time intern for Saving Antiquities for Everyone (SAFE), which is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about art crime and antiquities trafficking throughout the world. Here, she generates content for their blog by authoring posts about events and legislation, as well as through interviewing leaders in the field. She is also in the process of developing a web page that focuses on Ethiopian cultural heritage policies and at-risk sites in the country. Additionally, she manages the monthly newsletter and their social media accounts.

McEnaney commented on the overlap between the two internships, saying, “I have been interested in museum anthropology in the Native American context since early high school. I have also recently become interested in the legal side of museology, which brought me to the antiquities market. Working with SAFE has been an ideal introduction into the field, and has also allowed me to work with my background in Native American materials through a new lens.”

The variety found in two part-time internships is undeniably advantageous for McEnaney. At NMAI, she is surrounded by the top people in Native museology, which she views as “extremely inspirational and stimulating.” SAFE, however, is comprised of a small team of volunteers, which provides access for more opportunities to contribute to the content of the company in a significant way.

The different experiences cater to McEnaney’s multiple interests. “At NMAI, I hope to expand upon my experiences in collections policy writing. At SAFE, I am looking to gain the research strategies needed for the interdisciplinary study of the antiquities market. I look to then apply this to the Native American contexts of repatriation and archaeological site looting in the United States.” She continued, “The Smithsonian and SAFE have provided me with different, but equally important skills for the field that I want to continue in.”

After Hamilton, McEnaney plans on continuing pursuing her education and interests in a Ph.D. program in anthropological archaeology.

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