Wonderful Women Wednesday: Dr. Gwyneira Isaac

Each week, the Archives features a woman who has been a groundbreaker at the Smithsonian, past or present, in a series titled Wonderful Women Wednesday. 

Dr. Gwyneira Isaac has been a research anthropologist and curator for North American Ethnology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History since 2010. 

Isaac studies how Native American communities tell their own stories. At the Museum, she directs the Recovering Voices program, which supports communities in accessing collections in order to revitalize endangered languages and knowledge. 

In 2016, she helped organize and host the National Science Foundation-funded iWise workshop and conference held in partnership between the National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of the American Indian. The goal was to provide outreach and educational programming for federal program officers, indigenous scholars, and educators to look at the intersection of indigenous knowledge and science. 

Isaac is the author of Mediating Knowledges (2007), in which she explored the origin story of a tribal museum in Zuni, New Mexico. 

She has earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a Master of Philosophy and Ph.D. from Oxford University.  

Isaac speaks at a podium.

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