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Announcing the new co-editor of Museum Anthropology: Dr Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp

The Council for Museum Anthropology is delighted to welcome Dr. Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp to the editorial team of Museum Anthropology, joining Dr. Alice Stevenson as co-editor.

About Dr. Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp

May be an image of 1 person, bangs and studying

Dr. Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp is Associate Professor in Heritage Studies at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology. Prior to coming to UCL in 2022, Johanna worked as Senior Curator of Anthropology at the Horniman Museum in South London, where she has worked for over a decade, and as Lecturer in Anthropology at Goldsmiths, London. The focus of her museum practice is community-led research and creative partnerships as a means of building more equitable, relevant and useful futures for colonial-era collections. Johanna’s research focuses on the different ways in which nations, institutions and individuals navigate the ways in which colonialism is both remembered and structurally embedded in the present. This includes the colonial history and inheritance of museum practice in the 1970s-90s, with a particular interest in the limits of good intentions and the liberal self-definitions of anti-racism and collaborative practice that operated during this time. She is also researching the colonial history and inheritance of dairy, focusing on the UK, Kenya and Southern Africa. Johanna is former Chair of the UK Museum Ethnographers Group and co-editor of Museum Anthropology.

Some personal reflections from Dr. Zetterstrom-Sharp

When I was Chair of the Museum Ethnographers Group (a UK Equivalent to CMA) I became fascinated by the way that the organisation had historically grappled with its own ethical crisis, in particular with respect to Britains colonial history and the structural inheritances of this. Looking back, it’s easy to see how much of this discourse circumvented vocal and visible demands for recognition, justice and equality emanating at the time from Global Majority artists, activists and community representatives in the UK and abroad. I am thinking a lot right now about what unhearing the sector is engaging with today, what it means to feel ethically confident, and those moments where structures of practice are reinscribed and left unquestioned. For me, it is within the moments where inherited praxis is challenged, resisted, refused or negotiated that genuinely creative, relevant and truthful work happens, but this work can be emotionally laborious and challenging. Being appointed as co-editor of Museum Anthropology is enormously exciting for me. I see this as an opportunity to engage with and support work that brings vital global and indigenous perspectives and expertise, is self-critical and self-aware, and is underpinned by creative, experimental and emotionally engaged thinking and doing.

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