Dr Angela Stienne

I am a museum researcher and communicator, looking at ways to engage with museum collections through storytelling. I am the founder of Mummy Stories, the first participatory project on human remains in museums.

Honorary Research FellowAStienneImage

Email: as867@le.ac.uk

Website: www.mummystories.com

Twitter: @angela_stienne

My background is as a museologist and a cultural historian interested in cultures of collecting of human remains, with a particular focus on Egyptian mummies. I am particularly interested in engagements with Egyptian human remains in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, medical collections of mummified bodies, the notion of encounters with human remains in museums and the history of race studies of Egyptian Mummies.

I have just completed a 12-month fellowship at the Science Museum in London, looking at the translocation of human remains from the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum to the Science Museum. As part of my Medicine Galleries Research Fellowship, I developed public engagement events at the World Museum in Liverpool, New Walk Museum in Leicester and I organized and facilitated the first symposium on human remains at the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, with support from the Science Museum and the Wellcome Trust.

My doctoral thesis Encountering Egyptian Mummies, 1753-1858 was a cultural history of engagements with Egyptian mummies in Paris and London. It contends that museums are trying to resolve ethical issues surrounding their human remains in museums without knowledge of their collecting histories. The complete thesis may be accessed here (open access): https://lra.le.ac.uk/handle/2381/41263

My academic research is complemented by active engagement with the public on questions of narrative and storytelling in museums. Since 2016, I am the founder of Mummy Stories, the first online participatory project to invite individuals to share their stories of encounters with human remains (www.mummystories.com). I have been featured in numerous press and video interviews, which can be found here: https://www.mummystories.com/resources In 2018, I curated a series of relabeling of the World Art galleries at New Walk Museum in Leicester, working with local refugees and asylum seekers to write new labels for the museum. The catalogue can be accessed here: https://issuu.com/angelastienne/docs/museum_takeover_2018 I returned to New Walk Museum in the summer of 2019 to develop a day-long workshop looking at Egyptian human remains as displaced people.

I was awarded the University of Leicester Future Leader Award in March 2019 for Mummy Stories and the Leicester relabeling projects, and their overall contribution to the field of Museum Studies.

 

Qualifications

2014-2018: PhD Museum Studies, University of Leicester

2013-2014: MA Museum Studies (Distinction), University of Leicester

2010-2013: BA (Hons.) Ancient History and Egyptology, University College London (UCL)

2009-2010: BA (first year) Art History and Archaeology, La Sorbonne-Paris IV

 

Conference Papers, Public Lectures and Teaching

24 October 2019, 'Situated Bodies: Human remains from the Wellcome Collection at the Science Museum', Research Seminars, Science Museum, London

30 September 2019, 'Contested Bodies: Egyptian Mummies in the 21st century museum', Guest speaker, Human Remains. Ethics, Conservation, Display, Museo Egizio, Turin

19 September 2019, Human remains in the 21st century museum, Organizer and speaker, Science Museum and School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, Leicester

23 June 2019, 'Egyptian Mummies as displaced people', Workshop leader (public talks, workshops and relabeling), Refugee Week, New Walk Museum, Leicester

13 June 2019, 'Egyptian Mummies in museums: New perspectives', Guest speaker, School of Museum Studies Summer School, University of Leicester, Leicester

8 June 2019, 'Journeys to Leicester', guest speaker for the University of Leicester Open Days/ Alumni Weekend, Leicester

29 March 2019, ‘Encounters with Egyptian mummies at the Louvre’, Friends of the Petrie Museum Lecture, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

September 2018, ‘The Musée de l’Homme has lost touch with its history: rewriting colonial history in Paris’, Museums (em)Power, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester

July 2018, ‘The Controversial Mummy’, British Museum Egyptological Colloquium, British Museum, London

October 2017, ‘The controversial mummy’, Museum Hour (online)

July 2017, ‘Dominique Vivant Denon, Romantic impressions of mummy collecting’, ASTENE, University of East Anglia

October 2016, ‘Egyptian mummies in museums: rethinking narratives and display’, Think Tank, University of Leicester

September 2016, ‘Making the mummy: individual engagements and institutional responses to Egyptian mummies’ Tea with the Sphinx, Barber Institute of Fine Arts

September 2015, ‘Collection and display of Egyptian mummies in 18th century London’, West Midlands Egyptology Society, Birmingham

June 2015, ‘Egyptian mummies: A history unwrapped’, Research Week, University of Leicester

April 2015, ‘Movement of objects in museum context: issues related to the relocation of the Musée du Louvre stored collection’, Current Research in Egyptology XV, Ashmolean museum

 

Publications

Journal articles

Stienne, A. 2019 ‘“To turn round a dead”: Engagements with Egyptian mummies in London at the turn of the nineteenth century’, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology, 28(1), pp.1-28.

http://ojs.lib.ucl.ac.uk/index.php/PIA/article/view/2005

Stienne, A. 2017 ‘Think you know mummies, think again: Mummy Stories’, Frontier, pp.14-15. https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/doctoralcollege/frontier/frontier-issue-4

Stienne, A. 2016 ‘The Egyptian mummy in UK museums: Cultural histories and object biographies’, Techné44, pp.40-44.

Stienne, A. 2016 ‘Mummies unwrapped: From medical dissections to public performances’, Frontier(University of Leicester postgraduate journal), pp.4-7.

https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/doctoralcollege/frontier/issue-three

 

Exhibition reviews

Stienne, A. 2018 ‘Curating Heads at UCL: Rethinking human remains in museum collections’, Museum Worlds.

Stienne, A. 2017 ‘Musée de l’Homme: Untold stories’, ICOM ICME Newsletter, pp.6-7. http://icom.museum/uploads/tx_hpoindexbdd/ICME_News_81.pdf

 

Blogs

Stienne, A. 2019 ‘The medical body as spectacle: Body Worlds London’, Mummy Stories (https://www.mummystories.com/post/body-worlds-london)

Stienne, A. 2019 'Controversial bodies at the Musée de l'Homme in Paris', Mummy Stories (https://www.mummystories.com/post/musée-de-l-homme)

Stienne, A. 2019 ‘What next for human remains collections at the World Museum Liverpool?’, Liverpool Museums Blog(https://blog.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/2019/06/what-next-for-human-remains-collections-at-the-world-museum/)

Stienne, A. 2019 ‘Museum narratives and the refugee experience: relabelling at New Walk Museum in Leicester’, The Attic(http://attic-museumstudies.blogspot.com/2019/02/museum-narratives-and-refugee.html)

Stienne, A. 2019 ‘Egyptian mummies and their stories in museums’, Nile Scribes(https://nilescribes.org/2019/02/09/stories-egyptian-mummies/)

 

Professional Memberships

2019Member of the Museum Association

2019 – Research Associate, Observatory for the Mummified Heritage of Sicily

2017 – present: Member of ICOM UK

2015 2018: Member of the British Museum

2013 – present: Member of the Egypt Exploration Society (Local Ambassador for Leicester and the East Midlands)

2012 – present: Friend of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

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