Dr Sandra Dudley
Senior Lecturer, Programme Director (Heritage & Interpretation), Director of Exhibitions and Collections
+44 (0) 116 252 3970
My work is concerned with things and with people's engagement with the physical world of which they are a part, especially, but not only, in refugee and museum settings (see Research). It has developed out of an interdisciplinary background that prior to my doctorate ranged as broadly as biological sciences and aesthetics.
I was awarded my DPhil in social anthropology in 2001, at the University of Oxford, where I was Old Members' Scholar at Jesus College and recipient of the Association of Social Anthropologists' Sutasoma Starred Award. My doctoral and later work has involved ethnographic field research with Karenni refugees (from Burma) living in camps on the northwestern border of Thailand - a community with whom I have worked since 1996. I have held postdoctoral positions at the Pitt Rivers Museum and in the University of Oxford's Department for International Development, and temporary lectureships in Oxford's School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography and at the University of East Anglia; I also taught on southeast Asian art at the School of Oriental and African Studies. I worked for over ten years in various curatorial and collections management capacities at the Pitt Rivers Museum, and am a former Graduate Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. I have made major field collections of contemporary textiles from Thailand and Burma for the Pitt Rivers Museum and Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, and consulted on a range of refugee and museum projects. I collaborate with museums and galleries in the UK and internationally, and am currently working with the National Museum Institute (New Delhi) and other museums in India, amongst others. Recent work includes a major edited volume on materiality, sensory experience and emotional engagement in the museum and a monograph on the materiality of forced migration.
I am Programme Director of the distance learning Masters course in Heritage & Interpretation, the School's Director of Exhibitions and Collections, Chair of the School's Exhibitions Committee and Deputy Chair of the Research Committee.
I am also Chief Co-Editor of Berghahn's new international annual journal in museum studies, Museum Worlds: Advances in Research, frequent peer reviewer for journals, book publishers and grant giving bodies in the UK and abroad, regular PhD examiner internally and externally, a commissioning editor for the Journal of Museum Ethnography, and currently Advisory Board member of the EU-funded Material Encounters with Digital Cultural Heritage project.
I teach on the School's campus-based Masters in Museum Studies and Art Museum and Gallery Studies on material culture, approaches to objects, interpretation, and sensory and emotional engagement. I have also written extensive content for the distance learning programmes on these areas. In addition, I teach on the Masters in Urban Conservation (delivered by the School of Historical Studies) on material cultural and sensorial approaches to urban heritage. I also developed the special option module, World Arts/Museum Ethnography, available to campus MA students.