Dr Emma Poulter (completed in 2008)

PhD research

My doctoral research is based on the West African collections at the Manchester Museum, examining the biographies of objects in these collections in order to investigate the processes which enabled them to become dislocated from West Africa and situated in Manchester. I am particularly interested in unravelling object connections to institutions and individuals as well as to histories of trade, industry and colonialism.


I trained as an archaeologist at Southampton University (1997-2000) where I developed an interest in representation, identity and object biographies. This developed during my Masters in Art Gallery and Museum Studies at the University of Manchester (2002-2004) where I became particularly interested in the representation of non-western objects in the museum environment. I have worked at several institutions including the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston and Manchester Art Gallery.


  • Connecting Histories: Gelede masks at the Manchester Museum Conference Proceedings, Material Culture, Identities and Inclusion Conference, University of Leicester, forthcoming 2007.
  • Revealing Histories: Remembering Slavery research report. 2006. Unpublished report, Manchester Revealing Histories Consortium.