Fijian Art logo
UEA logo

Project Personnel Biographies

Professor Steven Hooper

Specialises in the arts of the Pacific region and North America. His main interests cover the relationship between Polynesian material culture, chiefship, valuables and exchange, ethnohistory, cultural property, ethnographical museums, the art market, publishing, book production and design. He completed his doctorate in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge (1982), having conducted fieldwork in Fiji. He was Principal Investogator of the AHRC-funded Polynesian Visual Arts project (2003-2006) and curator of its associated exhibition Pacific Encounters (2006).

Dr Anita Herle

Regional interests are in Canada (Northwest Coast), Torres Strait (Australia), Vanuatu and more generally in the Pacific. Her research topics include the anthropology of museums, collaborative anthropology, the early history of British anthropology, art and aesthetics, and visual anthropology. She has coordinated the MPhil course in Social Anthropology and Museums for the Department of Social Anthropology for over fifteen years, and also teaches in the anthropology of art and visual media. She is committed to the anthropological museum as a crucial site for scholarly and artistic research and expression, a place that brings together contemporary anthropological research with the concerns of originating communities and a range of specialist interests. Much of her research has resulted in the production of collaborative innovative exhibitions, both at MAA and elsewhere.

Dr Karen Jacobs

General Research interests include collecting and history of collections, representation and museum ethnography, auctions and the art market, cultural festivals, politics of clothing, contemporary Pacific art. Her research in the Kamoro region in West Papua focuses broadly on the dynamic processes by which persons and objects are interrelated. More specifically it focuses on cross-cultural encounters to expose the diversity of ways in which Kamoro culture has been communicated and constituted through the analysis of cultural representation. Particular emphasis is given to the creative and pragmatic adaptation by the Kamoro people to different forms of contact. She was Research Associate of the AHRC-funded Polynesian Visual Arts project (2003-2006) and its associated exhibition Pacific Encounters (2006).

Dr Lucie Carreau

Wider research interests include the history of ethnographic collections, public and private collecting practices from 1850 onwards, and minor figures in Pacific voyaging such as traders and beachcombers. In addition to her doctoral research on the Pacific collections of British private collector Harry Beasley (1882–1939), entitled 'Collecting the Collector: Being an Exploration of Harry Geoffrey Beasley's Collection of Pacific Artefacts Made in the Years 1895-1939' (Sainsbury Research Unit, 2009), she has also worked on the collections formed by early European voyagers in Polynesia (1765-1840) as part of the ESRC-funded Artefacts of Encounter project (2010-2013).

Dr Andrew Mills

General research areas include the cultural history of Western Polynesia, Tongan art history, arms and armour, carving and interdisciplinary research methods that unify qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Specifically, he is interested in the art history of carved Tongan artefacts across the 18th and 19th centuries, with specific reference to the transnational activities of Tongan carvers (tufunga) in Fiji and Samoa. Using the knowledge gained from his doctoral research, entitled 'Tufunga Tongi 'Akau: Tongan Club Carvers & Their Arts' (Sainsbury Research Unit, 2008), he intends to expand his analytical approaches to explore the changing stylistic relationship between Fijian and Tongan weapons from a Fiji-centred perspective, as well as exploring the stylistic relationships between Fijian and Tongan bowls, headrests, figures and other sculptural art works.

Katrina Talei Igglesden

General interests include collaborative anthropology and the relationship between museums and source communities, particularly how indigenous cultures are represented by and in museums. The relationship between Fijian art and culture are at the centre of her research interests as she is a kailoma of indigenous Fijian and British descent, having been raised within the large diasporic Fijian community in Vancouver, Canada. Her upbringing has led her to focus her upcoming doctoral research on the social biographies of Fijian objects, mainly masi, in diasporic communities, while using the historical collections found throughout the UK as a means of grounding present cultural practices.

Stéphanie Leclerc-Caffarel

As a PhD candidate, she focuses on pre-cession Fijian collections (1774-1874), which she considers as primary evidence of early exchange relations between Fijians, Europeans and Americans. Her pluri-cultural background and multi-disciplinary education in history, art history and anthropology led her to an interdisciplinary approach of early museum collections from Fiji. As a Research Associate at the Fiji Museum, she is interested in how art-historical and anthropological research can be applied to museums and new technologies, in order to increase the knowledge of, and exchanges about, Fijian pre-colonial culture and early Fiji-West relations.

Site designed by Katrina Talei Igglesden, Jeremy Bartholomew, Karen Jacobs and Steven Hooper at the Sainsbury Research Unit