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Published November 02, 2020
University of Wyoming College of Law Professor Darrell D. Jackson, Nicole M. Crawford, Director of the UW Art Museum, and former law student Toni E. Hartzel have co-authored a chapter in an important new book, Critical Race Theory in the Academy.
Critical Race Theory in the Academy, edited by the late Dr. Vernon Lee Farmer and Dr. Evelyn Shepherd Wynn Farmer of Grambling State University, was published by Information Age Publishing in 2020. The book explores the effects of race and culture on the expanse of the American social fabric. It brings together chapters authored by educators and scholars who challenge the narrative in education and in society through the application of critical race theory with a goal to alleviating institutionalized racism.
Jackson, Crawford, and Hartzel contribute to the discussion with their chapter, “Stealing Culture: The Internationalization of Critical Race Theory Through the Intersection of Criminal Law and Museum Studies.” The chapter highlights the importance that art and artifacts play in shaping cultural narratives and identities and the impact and responsibility borne by museums for their direct or indirect role in removing these artifacts from their communities of origin. It is an outgrowth of work that Jackson and Crawford have been exploring for the past few years rooted in discussions as part of the UW in Scotland Program in 2017. Their research evaluates the legality, morality, and social responsibilities of the institutions for acquiring and housing these items and for reporting suspected thefts, and it goes on to explore the criminal and cultural challenges of dealing with objects that may have questionable provenance. Their work has coalesced into the Stealing Culture Project through which they advise collectors and museums, develop university courses, and engage communities around the world with presentations and discussions.
Professor Jackson is the faculty director of the UW College of Law’s Prosecution Assistance Program. In addition to his JD from George Mason University School of Law (GMUSL), he has a PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder, School of Education. He has experience both in academic administration, where he served as an Assistant Dean and Director of Diversity Services at GMUSL, and as a practicing attorney, serving as an Assistant United States Attorney in Washington, D.C. and as an Assistant County Attorney in Fairfax County, Virginia. His research focuses on the intersection of law, education, and race, primarily utilizing critical race theory.
Nicole Crawford is the Director and Chief Curator of the UW Art Museum. She has a dual MA in Art History and Museum Studies and is currently enrolled in a PhD program at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in Visual Arts. She has worked in both academic and commercial art fields and has extensive experience in cultural reconciliation and contemporary art. She was previously a Vice President and Director at the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her research focuses on the role of the collector in the acquisition, care, and display of museum objects.
Toni Hartzel is a recent UW graduate working with the Cheyenne law firm of Lance & Hall, LLP. She began law school after her military service in the Army. A West Point graduate, she was commissioned as a military police officer. She worked with Professor Jackson as a research assistant exploring the laws surrounding the theft of art and, consequently, the theft of culture.