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College of Arts & Sciences
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Cory Willmott

Title: Associate Professor
Phone: 650-2748
Office: PH 0407A
Degree : PhD McMaster University
Advising: Cultural Anthropology

Teaching Interests

At the introductory level, I enjoy teaching a Freshman Seminar on SIUE history and culture (ANTH 170-FR2). Students in this class have the opportunity to explore archival texts and photographs of SIUE's past, as well as SIUE's contemporary culture through interviews and digital photography. I also teach ANTH 205 Introduction to Native American Studies, the core course for a new minor housed in the anthropology department.

At the intermediate level, I teach one of our anthropology core courses, ANTH 301 Ethnographic Analysis, in which anthropology majors and minors learn how to analyze quantitative and qualitative data, as well as to polish their fieldwork report and ethnographic writing skills. I also teach courses on Native North Americans (Anth 305, Anth 312) and Asian peoples (Anth 306), as well as thematic courses such as Anth 304 Symbols and Culture and Anth 314 Family and Household, in which I employ ethnographies, oral traditions, films and artifacts in order to provide a hands-on learning environment. At the senior level, I concentrate on the Anthropology of Religion (Anth 410) and anthropological approaches to Museum Studies (Anth 404 Anthropology and the Arts; Anth 420 Museum Anthropology; Anth 435 American Material Culture). Anthropology Teaching Museum.

I am interested in supervising Senior Projects in a wide variety of areas including anything to do with arts and artifacts (a fancy word for "things") and/or images (moving or still) - from any area of the world including your own backyard (literally) - or from any angle including symbolic, economic, political, etc. Religion is another area of specialty. I will very happily mentor students in projects focusing on oral histories and/or narratives. I also enjoy supervising any and all projects relative to Native Americans past and present, as well as some themes related to China, India or Indonesia. I especially welcome projects that utilize museum collections and/or visual data, but there are few ethnographic enterprises that would fail to capture my interest.

As a member of the graduate faculty in connection with the Museum Studies Program, I am also interested in supervising graduate student research on any of the above mentioned topics.

Courses Taught

ANTH 170b Introductory Topics in Anthropology

ANTH 205 Introduction to Native American Studies

ANTH 301 Ethnographic Analysis

ANTH 304: Symbols and Culture

ANTH 305: Peoples and Cultures of Native North America

ANTH 312: Contemporary Native Americans

ANTH/WMST 315: Family and Household in Cross-Cultural Perspective

ANTH/MST 404: Anthropology of the Arts

ANTH/RLST 410: Anthropology of Religion

ANTH/MST 420: Museum Anthropology

ANTH/MST 435: American Material Culture

ANTH 483: Individual Study in Anthropology

ANTH 490: Senior Assignment

ANTH 491: Senior Project

ANTH 586: Advanced Readings in Anthropology

Research Activities

I received a BA in Religious Studies from York University in Toronto, ON, Canada, followed by an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies - What's that? Anything you make it! I combined Religious Studies with Cultural Anthropology and Art History in my study of the spiritual aspects of Native women's arts. Among other things, during my fieldwork I studied (and eventually taught) beadwork and leatherwork among Native Americans in Toronto. I finally settled into Anthropology to undertake my Phd at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada. At this point I took an historical turn in order to study the roles of clothing and textiles in the relations between Great Lakes Native peoples and colonizers from 1760 to the present. After I received my Phd in 2000, I was granted a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Department of History at University of Winnipeg. During this time I studied several projects including fur trade textiles and changing attitudes towards fur fashion in the 20th century.
You guessed it - I'm from Canada, eh?

Current Research Projects

Clothed Encounters

Dressing for the Homeward Journey

Hiawatha Produced in Life

Chinese Cross Stitch Textiles

Great Lakes Research Alliance for the
Study of Aboritonal Culture (GRASAC)

Contemporary Native Canadian
Fashion Design



2008 - Visitors' Voices: Lessons from Conversations in the Royal Ontario Museum's Gallery of Canada: First Peoples. Material Culture Review 67(1):45-55.

2005a - The Lens of Science: Anthropometric Photography and the Chippewa, 1890-1920.

Visual Anthropology 18(4):309-37.

2005b - From Stroud to Strouds: The Hidden History of a British Fur Trade Textile. Textile

History 36(2):196-234 (Refereed). Best Essay 2005: Textile History Journal - $500

2003 - An Ojibway Artifact Unraveled: The Case of the Bag with the Snake Skin Strap.

Textile History 34(1):74-81.

2000 - with Zeek Cywink. From Fireside to TV Screen: Self-Determination and Anishnaabe Storytelling Traditions. The Canadian Journal of Native Studies 20(1):35-66.

1998 - "'That's just the kind of thing this lake does': Anishnaabe reflections on knowledge, experience and the power of words." In Papers of the 28 th Algonquian Conference. David Pentland, ed. Pp.354-64. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press.

1995 - Ojibwa Thunderbirds: Persons of Power. L'uomo Societa, Tradizione, Sviluppo



2010a - "Dressing for the Homeward Journey: Western Anishnaabe Leadership Roles Viewed Through Two Nineteenth Century Burials." With Kevin Brownlee. In Gathering Places:

Essays on Aboriginal Histories , Laura Peers and Carolyn Podruchny, Eds. Pp.48-89. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. (Invited)

2010b - "Designing, Producing and Enacting Nationalisms: Contemporary Amerindian Fashion

in Canada." In The Force of Fashion in Politics and Society: Global Perspectives from Early Modern to Modern Times. Beverly Lemire, Ed. Pp.167-190. London: Ashgate Publishers. (Invited)

2007 - "Aboriginal Labour and the Garment Industry in Winnipeg." With Raymond Wiest. In Doing Community Economic Development. John Loxley, Jim Silver and Kathleen Sexsmith, eds. Pp.142-55. Winnipeg MB and Black Point NS: Fernwood Publishing


2006 - "The Historical Praxis of Museum Anthropology: A Canada/US Comparison." In Historicizing Canadian Anthropology. Julia Harrison and Regna Darnell, eds. Pp.212-225. Vancouver: UBC Press (Refereed).

2003 - "Men or Monkeys?: The Politics of Clothing and Land Among Ontario First Nations

Leaders, 1830-1900." In Native Voices in Research. Jill Oakes et al, eds. Pp.127-140. Winnipeg: Native Studies Press (Refereed).

1999 - "Beyond Selves and Others: Embodying and Enacting Meta-Narratives with a

Difference." In Feminist Fields: Ethnographic Insights. Rae Bridgeman, Sally Cole and Heather Howard Bobiwash, eds. Pp.70-85. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press (Refereed).


n/d - Review of Thomas Vennum, 2008. Just Too Much of an Indian: Bill Baker; Stalwart in a Fading Culture. Lapointe, WI: Just Too Much of an Indian Press. American Indian Culture and Research Journal (forthcoming)

2010 - Review of Patricia Hayes, ed. 2006. Visual Genders; Visual Histories. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Visual Anthropology Review 26(1):44-46.

2003a - Review of Sandra Flood. 2001. Canadian Craft and Museum Practice, 1900-1950. In Anthropologica 45(1):180-182.

2003b - Review of Judy Thompson, Judy Hall and Leslie Tepper, in collaboration with Dorothy Burnham. 2001. Fascinating Challenges: Studying Material Culture with Dorothy Burnham. In "Letters in Canada 2001" University of Toronto Quarterly 72(1):365-366.

1998 - Review of Arthur J. Ray. 'I Have Lived Here Since the World Began': An Illustrated History of Canada's Native People. In Material History Review 47:117-120.


2010 - "Shape, Rattle and Roll: Forms and Functions of Metal in Anishnaabe Aesthetic Traditions." Papers of the Rupert's Land Colloquium, Winnipeg, 2010. David Malaher and Anne Lindsay, eds. Winnipeg: Centre for Rupert's Land Studies (forthcoming)

2007 - "White Snake; Black Snake: Folk Narrative Meets Master Narrative in Qing Dynasty Sichuanese Cross-stitch Medallions" Textile Society of America Tenth Biannual Symposium 2006, Carol Bier and Ann Svenson Perlman, eds. Pp.449-455. Earleville MD: Textile Society of America.

2002 - "From Stroud to Strouds: Tracing the Routes of Woollen Textiles in the British Fur

Trade." Selected Papers of the Rupert's Land Colloquium, 2002. David Malaher, ed. Pp.227-43. Winnipeg: Centre for the Study of Rupert's Land.


2009 - "Route 66: Myth and Historical Memory" (Website)

- research for website produced under my direction by students in ANTH 435 (S08)

- website design collaboration among Brian Kumpf, Tong Wu and Cory Willmott

2008- present Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Culture (GRASAC) Knowledge Sharing tool (GKS)

- Core member and Board member of GRASAC

- the GKS is an interactive online searchable database of heritage items from multiple sources, of multiple types of data and in multimedia formats:

2008 - "Skull Cast Website" Mentored Senior Project by Brian Kumpf

2007 - "Divine Design: Sacred Art of Africa and Asia" (Museum exhibit and website)

- research for the museum exhibit produced under my direction by students in ANTH

404/586-006 (S06), ANTH 300 (F07), museum interns and International Students.

- website design collaboration between Sheraz Naz and Cory Willmott

2006 - 2009 "SIUE Anthropology Department Website"

- website design collaboration between Sheraz Naz and Cory Willmott; currently maintained by Greg Vogel

Student Opportunities

Working in close association with the Friends of the Stephenson House, I am supervising a number of projects related to the development of Edwardsville's new historic site, the Benjamin Stephenson House, opposite the Dairy Queen on S. Buchanan. Stephenson was one of Edwardsville's earliest residents - the house was built in 1820 - and certainly one of its most wealthy at the time. The site is becoming a living history museum with costumed interpreters going about business and pleasure as was practiced in the 1820s. For any students who are looking for good Senior Project topics, there are many opportunities for interesting research projects to help the Friends present a first-rate historic site to the world.

There are always Senior Projects available for students who wish to create a museum exhibit. The department has several free-standing cases in the basement of Peck Hall that are ideally suited for this purpose, and just waiting for new exhibits. We also have one cabinet designed as "open storage" with numerous small drawers covered with plexiglass in order to display a large number of small artifacts. This would be ideal to show off our substantial prehistoric and/or New World lithic collection.

I also have a wide variety of research assistantship and museum internship
opportunities available through the URCA Program and the Anthropology
Teaching Museum

Under my mentorship, museum internships may also be individually designed with museum
professional from any museum. For a list of internship opportunities, click here Student Opportunities

To see some of the ongoing research projects open for student participation, check
out the projects outlined above.

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