Amy Shakespeare



College: College of Humanities
Discipline: History
Department: Museology and Heritage Studies
Research Centre/Unit: Penryn Campus

I am a PhD student funded by the AHRC South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership.

The aim of my work is to explore how UK museums can take a more proactive and anticolonial approach to repatriation, and ultimately to enable more UK museums to undertake this work.

My work utilises an anticolonial feminist methodology to look at how museums interpret repatriation for the public, the spaces left by repatriated items, the ethics and conditions of exchanges and relationships between museums and source communities, and the long-term impacts on museum practice. My case studies focus on returns from UK museums to North American Indigenous Nations. My project is being supervised by Professor Bryony Onciul, Dr Sarah Morton, and Professor Caitlin Desilvey.

I have a decade's worth of experience working in museums and heritage having previously worked for the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, the National Trust, Cornwall Museums Partnership, and the Royal Cornwall Museum. I am currently a freelance consultant as well as a RoSS Digital Heritage Consultant for the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

I completed my BA (Hons) in History at the University of Exeter, Penryn Campus in 2014, then had a short break from academia before completing my MA in Heritage and Interpretation at the University of Leicester whilst working full-time in January 2020. During my MA I was awarded the School of Museum Studies' Professor Susan Pearce Prize for the highest marked dissertation relating to museum and gallery objects for my dissertation What If We Want To Give It Back? The Potential of Democratising the Repatriation Process in Britain.