W. Warner (Bill) Wood
Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
My research is focused on the cultural politics of heritage in global context. To date my work has centered mostly on ecotourism and cultural tourism sites in Oaxaca, Mexico and the United States, although I am also interested in museums as important sites for the production of meaning. My interest is in the differing interpretations of material culture items and the environment that are constructed/contested by various stakeholders. I focus on the material culture of the people who visit, live, and work in such localities in order to better understand the transnational articulations in which they are embedded.
My first book, Made in Mexico: Zapotec Weavers and the Global Ethnic Art Market (Indiana U. Press, 2008) is an ethnographic account that follows weavers, designs, wool, and finished textiles primarily between Oaxaca, Mexico and the American Southwest. Following weavers and textiles between Oaxaca and the Southwest required a multi-sited approach and enabled me to understand how the lives and careers of Zapotec weavers (and their textiles) are produced and negotiated through the practices of a host of actors—a transnational “community of practice.” I’m currently extending this research into Northern India where similar textiles are now being produced for markets in the American Southwest.
My research efforts are now also focused on the Pacific Coast of Oaxaca, Mexico and on community museum development at an ecotourism site. In this project I am employing a participatory action research methodology to work together with a community coop focused on mangrove conservation. I am in the early stages of this project and it will require me (and my students) to travel to Oaxaca for the next several years and will culminate in the opening of a museum and traveling exhibit as well as the publication of an exhibition catalog chronicling the lives and work of the members of the cooperative.
Other Relevant Activities
Coordinator, Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program
Adjunct Curator, Milwaukee Public Museum
Anthro 102: Introduction to Anthropology- Culture and Society
Anthro 723: Museum Curation and Interpretation
Selected Publications and Exhibitions:
2012. Regional Background. In Run! The Super-Athletes of the Sierra Madre, by Diana Molina. P. 8. El Paso: Guynes. Exhibition Catalog Entry.
2012. Nuestra Casa, the Exhibition. Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX. Co-curated with Lucia Dura, Eva Moya, Guillermina Núñez-Mchiri, Damien Schumann, and Arvind Singhal. January-December 2012. Exhibition.
2011. A River Interrupted: Making the Case for Changing Our Management of the Rio Grande. Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX. Co-curated with Scott Culter, Judith Rios Aranas, John Sproul, and Elizabeth Walsh. May-December 2011. Exhibition.
2010. Guns, Furs, and Steel: Alexander Ross at the Crossroads. Museum of Culture and Environment, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA. Co-Curated with Patrick McCutcheon. March-January 2010. Exhibition.
2008. Harnessing the Wind’s Power, Tracking the Wild Horse Wind Facility Story. Puget Sound Energy Wild Horse Wind Facility Visitor Center, Ellensburg, WA. Co-curated with Kathleen Barlow, Morris Eubelacker, Andy Granitto, James Huckabay, Karl Lilquist, Patrick McCutcheon, and Naomi Jeffery Petersen. 1 April 2008-current. Exhibition.
2008. Made In Mexico: Zapotec Weavers and the Global Ethnic Art Market. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
2006. Bound and Gagged Curator’s Statement. In See/Hear: Museums and Imagination, ed. K. Jacobson, p. 46. Los Angeles: NHMLAC. Exhibition Catalog Entry.
2006. Co-authored with D. Ayers, et al. Harmful Algal Research and Response: A Human Dimensions Strategy. Washington, D.C.: National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
2005. Conversations. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA. Co-curated with Margaret Hardin, Gordon Hendler, Joel Martin, Johnathan Spaulding, and Ángel Valdés. 20 February-19 June 2005. Exhibition.
2004. What is Mexican Folk Art? Natural History Museum of Los Angels County, Los Angeles, CA. Co-curated with Daniel Danzig.19 October 2003-4 January 2004. Exhibition.
2003. Textiles oaxaqueños, el arte indígena ‘falso’, y la ‘invasión’ mexicana de la Tierra del Encanto. Cuadernos del Sur 9(19): 19-33.
2001. Rapport is Overrated: Southwestern Ethnic Art Dealers and Ethnographers in the “Field.” Qualitative Inquiry 7(4): 484-503.
2000. Stories from the Field, Handicraft Production, and Mexican National Patrimony: A Lesson in Translocality From B. Traven. Ethnology 39(3): 183-203.
2000. Flexible Production, Households, and Fieldwork: Multisited Zapotec Weavers in the Era of Late Capitalism. Ethnology 39(2): 133-148.