Skip to Main Content

Contested Collections: Grappling With History and Forging Pathways for Repatriation

A virtual symposium to examine the complicated histories of cultural heritage collections, the expropriation of artifacts through colonialism and looting, the ethics of ownership and restitution, and decolonization in libraries, archives, and museums.


Leila A. Amineddoleh

Founding Partner, Amineddoleh & Associates, LLC; Adjunct Professor of Law, New York University

Leila A. Amineddoleh (she/her) is a leading expert in art, cultural heritage, and intellectual property law. She represents collectors, museums, galleries, dealers, non-profits, artists, estates, foundations and foreign governments. She has been involved in high-profile contractual disputes, cultural heritage law violations, the recovery of stolen art and antiquities, complex fraud schemes, authentication disputes, art-backed loans, and the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars of art and collectibles. Leila regularly lectures internationally and publishes on a wide variety of legal topics, and she teaches International Art & Cultural Heritage Law at Fordham University School of Law, in addition to Art Crime and the Law at New York University.


Panggah Ardiyansyah

PhD candidate, History of Art and Archaeology Department, SOAS University of London

Panggah Ardiyansyah (he/him) is a PhD candidate of History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS University of London. His main interests are the afterlives and knowledge production of Hindu-Buddhist materials in Indonesia, which brought him to research colonial collecting practices and object restitution, as well as the historiography of modern Indonesia. He recently co-edited Returning Southeast Asia's Past: Objects, Museums, and Restitution (2021) and published a blog post, “Object Repatriation and Knowledge Co-Production for Indonesia’s Cultural Artefacts” (2021).


Michal Bušek

Jewish Studies researcher, Jewish Museum in Prague

Michal Bušek (he/him) works as a Jewish Studies researcher in the Jewish Museum in Prague (JMP). He studied at Charles University in Prague in the Faculty of Hussite Theology, where he obtained a Master of Arts degree in Biblical and Jewish Studies and wrote a thesis on Problems of Shoah in Judaism. Since 2001, he has been working in the JMP's Library Department, where he he has been researching the provenance of the books. He oversees the agenda and database of 'original owners of the books’ and researches Library history. As a curator, he has prepared three exhibitions and cooperated on preparing JMP´s permanent exhibitions. He is a member of the Expert Panel for Property Transfer from the Collections of the JMP.


Camille Callison (Tahltan Nation)

University Librarian, University of the Fraser Valley; Co-Lead, National Indigenous Knowledge and Language Alliance

Camille Callison (she/her), Tahltan Nation member, is the University Librarian at the University of the Fraser Valley and a cultural activist pursuing a PhD in Anthropology at the University of Manitoba. Her research critically examines the role of cultural memory institutions and their relationships with Indigenous peoples and their diverse knowledge, languages, and cultures by examining best practices related to recovery, revitalization, appropriate access, and repatriation. She is committed to improving equity, diversity, and inclusivity in the cultural memory professions. Currently, she is: co-Lead, National Indigenous Knowledge and Language Alliance; Chair, IFLA Professional Division H; Board of Directors, Canadian Research Knowledge Network; Indigenous Caucus Coordinator, IEEE P2980 Recommended Practice for Provenance of Indigenous People's Data; and co-Lead, NISO Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility Committee Standards Subcommittee.


Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll

Professor of History, Central European University Vienna

Dr. Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll is an artist and historian currently leading the project REPATRIATES: Artistic Research in Museums and Communities in the Process of Repatriation from Europe. She is Professor of History at the Central European University in Vienna and Honorary Professor and Chair of Global Art at the University of Birmingham. She is the author of: Art in the Time of Colony (2014), The Importance of Being Anachronistic (2016), Botanical Drift (2017), Bordered Lives (2020), Mit Fremden Federn (2022), and The Contested Crown: Repatriation Politics Between Mexico and Europe (2022).


Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba 

Françoise Billion Richardson Curator of African Art, New Orleans Museum of Art

Dr. Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba (he/him) is the Françoise Billion Richardson Curator of African Art at the New Orleans Museum of Art. He holds a PhD in art history from the University of Florida, Gainesville and specializes in the visual cultures of Olokun shrines. While at UF, he served as a research assistant at the Harn Museum of Art for the Kongo Across the Waters exhibition. Later Dr. Ezeluomba was the Andrew W. Mellon research specialist in African Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on a project that studied the African collection at the museum. Recently, he has become active in the conversation for the repatriation of African cultural patrimony and has delivered lectures and contributed book chapters and articles on the topic.


Renata Fuchs

Lecturer, Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies and Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, UCLA

Dr. Renata Fuchs (she/her) is a lecturer of German language and literature in the Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies at UCLA and a freelance translator, writer, and editor. Her research areas include German-Jewish literature, Holocaust studies, and intellectual history of German Romanticism along with its relevance for today. Her most recent publication appeared this year in The Oxford Handbook of Women Philosophers in the Nineteenth Century, and her book of translation about the last survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is available at the Special Collections of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  



Mishuana Goeman (Tonawanda Band of Seneca)

Professor of Gender Studies and American Indian Studies, Special Advisor to the Chancellor on Native American and Indigenous Affairs, UCLA

Dr. Mishuana Goeman (she/her), Tonawanda Band of Seneca, is a Professor of Gender Studies and American Indian Studies and affiliated faculty in Community Engagements and Critical Race Studies in the Law School, UCLA. She is also the inaugural Special Advisor to the Chancellor on Native American and Indigenous Affairs and Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Women. In 2020-2021 she was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar with the Center for Diversity Innovation at the University of Buffalo located in her home Seneca territories. Along with journal and book chapters, she is also the author of Mark My Words: Native Women Mapping Our Nations (2013), co-editor for Keywords in Gender and Sexuality Studies (2021), and a Co-PI on community-based digital projects, Mapping Indigenous L.A (2015)Carrying Our Ancestors Home (2019) and California Native Hub.


Russell A. Johnson

Curator for History of Medicine and the Sciences, UCLA Library Special Collections

Russell A. Johnson (he/him) has been Curator for History of Medicine and the Sciences at UCLA Library Special Collections since 2008. He holds Masters degrees in Physiological Psychology (now known as Behavioral Neuroscience) and Library & Information Studies. Russell was honored twice as UCLA Librarian of the Year: in 2009, for building a collection of baby record books, which opened up a new area in historical childhood studies; and in 2019, for mentorship and outreach, including noteworthy teaching with rare and unique materials.


Lisa Leff

Professor of History, American University and Director of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Dr. Lisa Leff  (she/her) is a historian of European and Jewish history, specializing in the history of Jews in modern France. She is the author of Sacred Bonds of Solidarity: The Rise of Jewish Internationalism in Nineteenth Century France (2006), Colonialism and the Jews (2017), and The Archive Thief: the Man Who Salvaged French Jewish History in the Wake of the Holocaust (2015), which received the 2016 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish literature. She also directs the Mandel Center at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a research institute dedicated to advancing the field of Holocaust Studies around the world.


Chief Mutáwi Mutáhash (Many Hearts) Lynn Malerba (Mohegan Tribe)

Lifetime Chief

Chief Mutáwi Mutáhash  (Many Hearts) Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba (she/her) is the 18th Chief of the Mohegan Tribe, the first female Chief in the tribe’s modern history. She follows her mother, Loretta Roberge, who served on Tribal Council and her Great Grandfather Chief Matagha in tribal leadership. Prior to becoming Chief, she served as Chairwoman of the Tribal Council and served in Tribal Government as Executive Director of Health and Human Services. Lynn had a lengthy career as a registered nurse, ultimately serving as the Director of Cardiology and Pulmonary Services at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital. She earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice at Yale University and was named a Jonas Scholar. She was awarded an honorary Doctoral degree in Science from Eastern Connecticut State University and an honorary Doctoral degree in Humane Letters from the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, CT.

She chairs the Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee of the federal Indian Health Service and is a member of: the Justice Department’s Tribal Nations Leadership Council, the Tribal Advisory Committee for the National Institute of Health, and the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee. She serves as the United South and Eastern Tribes Board of Directors Secretary.


Diane Mizrachi

Librarian for Jewish, Israel Studies, and Social Sciences

Dr. Diane Mizrachi (she/her) completed her Master of Library Science at Bar Ilan University in Israel where her thesis explored the concept of library anxiety. She began working at UCLA in 2002 and is currently the social sciences librarian and librarian for Jewish and Israel studies. Diane completed her Ph.D. in information studies at UCLA in 2011. Most of her research and publications focus on information literacy and students’ print and electronic reading behaviors, but she is currently immersed in the history and impact of Nazi-looted books on academic libraries. 


Jennifer R. O'Neal (The Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde)

Assistant Professor, Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies, University of Oregon

Dr. Jennifer R. O'Neal (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon and a Co-Director of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Academic Residential Community. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching focus on Native American and international relations history, with an emphasis on sovereignty, self-determination, cultural heritage, global Indigenous rights, activism, and legal issues. Her work is dedicated to centering Indigenous traditional knowledge, developing place-based education, and implementing guidelines for the ethical research of Native American communities and management of cultural heritage collections. Over the past fifteen years she has led the implementation of best practices for Native American archival materials in non-tribal repositories in the United States through the collective development and sharing of the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials (2006). She is an enrolled member of The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde in Oregon.


Alice Procter

Art historian and writer

Alice Procter (she/her) is an art historian and writer working on colonial memory in museums. She is the author of The Whole Picture: The Colonial Story of the Art in Our Museums & Why We Need to Talk About It (2020) and ran the Uncomfortable Art Tours project from 2017-2020.






T-Kay Sangwand

Librarian for Digital Library Program, UCLA

T-Kay Sangwand is a Certified Archivist, librarian, and DJ. Over the past thirteen years she has worked with UCLA and UT Austin to build preservation partnerships for human rights documentation and cultural heritage materials in the US, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. She holds a MLIS and MA in Latin American Studies from UCLA. In 2017, she was named a Fulbright Specialist in Library and Information Science and in 2018-2019, she was a Fulbright Scholar with Mexico’s Ministry of Culture. Since 2001, T-Kay has worked in community radio and currently hosts the program “The Archive of Feelings” on


Susan Slyomovics

Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages & Cultures, UCLA

Dr. Susan Slyomovics (she/her) is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages & Cultures at UCLA. Her publications include The Merchant of Art: An Egyptian Hilali Epic Poet in Performance (1988); The Object of Memory: Arab and Jew Narrate the Palestinian Village (1998); The Walled Arab City in Literature, Architecture and History: The Living Medina in the Maghrib (editor, 2001); The Performance of Human Rights in Morocco (2005); Clifford Geertz in Morocco (editor, 2010); How to Accept German Reparations (2014); Race, Trace and Place: Essays in Honor of Patrick Wolfe (co-editor, 2022). Her research interests, focusing on the Middle East and North Africa, are concerned with reparations, truth commissions, economic anthropology, human rights, visual anthropology, preservation, and heritage. Her current research project is on French colonial statues, monuments and heritage in Algeria.


Wendy Giddens Teeter

Cultural Resources Archaeologist, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians

Dr. Wendy Giddens Teeter is the cultural resources archaeologist for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and soon-to-be-retiring Senior Curator of Archaeology for the Fowler Museum, UCLA Repatriation Coordinator, and Lecturer in UCLA American Indian Studies. She is a co-PI on two community based digital projects, Mapping Indigenous Los Angeles (2015) and Carrying our Ancestors Home (2019), and co-director of the Pimu Catalina Island Archaeology Project (2007). She serves on several boards and committees, including the UC President’s Native American Advisory Council, the Indigenous Archaeology Collective, Chair of the Society for California Archaeology Curation Committee and as a founder and advisory board member for the UCLA Tribal Learning Community & Educational Exchange Program.


Damien Webb (Palawa)

Manager, Indigenous Engagement Branch, State Library of New South Wales

Damien Webb (he/his) is a Queer Palawa man (from South-East Tasmania) who has worked in a number of roles at both the Western Australian and New South Wales state libraries. He previously coordinated the State Library of Western Australia’s Storylines Project and has a passion for decolonising archives and library collections. In his current role, he works with a small team of dedicated Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff to Indigenise colonial institutional collections and practices.