Dr Jennie Morgan
Research Fellow

Profile

Biography

  • PhD (Manchester)
  • MA (Auckland)
  • BA (Canterbury, New Zealand)

Jennie graduated with a BA in Art History and Social Anthropology (2001), and a MA in Social Anthropology (2004), before working for several years as a museum Curator of Pictorial Collections. In 2012 she graduated with a PhD in Social Anthropology, funded through the Overseas Research Students Award Scheme and a University of Manchester School of Social Sciences studentship. Her doctoral research was an ethnographic study of change, everyday practice, and professional identity in the museum context. After her PhD, Jennie extended her skills in workplace ethnography and organisational anthropology by collaborating as a Research Associate on two interdisciplinary safety-research projects at Loughborough University. She joined the Department of Sociology in April 2015 to work with Professor Sharon Macdonald on the Profusion theme in the AHRC-funded Heritage Futures project. Jennie is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI), and a member of the Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA), Museums Association (MA), Museum Ethnographers Group (MEG), and the Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS) including UK and Australia/New Zealand Chapters. Jennie has designed and teaches the postgraduate Museum collecting: histories, theories, practice skills module in the Department of Archaeology, University of York. She is an honorary lecturer in the Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy at The University of Stirling and has links to CARMAH, the Centre for Anthroplogical Research on Museums and Heritage (Berlin).

Research

Overview

Jennie is an organisational anthropologist and work-based ethnographer. She has conducted research in a range of workplace settings (healthcare facilities, building sites, and logistics warehouses), and is especially interested in the practice of contemporary museums. She has undertaken a project looking at the relationships between Pacific Islands communities and a museum in New Zealand,  and for her PhD research produced an in-depth ethnographic account of museological change and everyday practice at a Scottish museum. Throughout her research, Jennie has explored professional work, identity, and knowledge by focusing on the ‘invisible’ (or typically overlooked and mundane) elements of organisational practice. Her PhD research revealed how core issues in critical museum theory and policy play out through routine activities (like cleaning, auditing, tour-guiding, and micro-curating), while her postdoctoral work constructed ethnographic accounts of tacit (embodied, sensory, material, and affective) ways of knowing how to work safely. 

Jennie’s current research on the Profusion theme in the Heritage Futures project builds on these interests by examining the everyday future-keeping practices of householders and smaller museums faced with material and digital abundance, and the complex yet subtle values, emotions, and judgements that shape these selections. Additionally, it connects with her interests in:  

  • new museological and critical heritage studies
  • materiality and material culture
  • non-representational anthropological approaches
  • futures anthropology
  • ethnographic methodologies (including short-term, sensory, and visual)
  • applied and interdisciplinary research

Publications

Selected publications

  • Macdonald, S. and Morgan, J. (forthcoming, 2018) How can we know the future? Uncertainty, transformation, and magical techniques of significance assessment in museum collecting. In: Jesse, D. and Falkenberg, R. (eds) Assessment of Significance (Conference Proceedings). Berlin: Deutsches Historisches Museum
  • Macdonald, S. and Morgan, J. (forthcoming, 2018) What not to collect: Post-connoisseurial dystopia and the profusion of things. In Schorch, P. and McCarthy, C. (eds) Curatopia: Museums and the Future of Curatorship. Manchester: Manchester University Press
  • Morgan, J. and S. Pink. (2017) Researcher safety? Ethnography in the interdiscplinary world of audit cultures. Cultural Studies: Critical Methodologies (SI 'A marriage on the rocks? Transdisciplinary travels of ethnography'). Online first 1 December. (available at https://doi.org/10.1177/1532708617745094)
  • Pink, S., Morgan, J. and Dainty, A. (2017) Making theory, making interventions: Doing applied scholarship at the inbetween. In Pink, S., Fors, V. and O’Dell, T. (eds.) Theoretical Scholarship and Applied Practice. Berghahn
  • Pinder, J., Gibb, A., Dainty. A., Jones, W., Fray, M., Hartley, R., Cheyne, A., Finneran, A., Glover, J., Haslam, R., Morgan, J., Pink, S., Waterson, R., Gosling, E., Bust, P. (2017) Engagement of smaller organisations in occupational safety and health. In: R. Dingwall and S. Frost (eds), Health and Safety in a Changing World. Routledge: London, pp.101-114

  • Pink, S., Waterson, P., Dainty, A., Cheyne, A., Haslam, R., Gibb, A., Morgan, J., Hartley, R., Finneran, A., Bust, P., (2016) Interdisciplinary research for occupational safety and health knowledge. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety 14(1):22-33
  • Pink, S., Morgan, J. and Dainty, A. (2015) Other people’s homes as sites of uncertainty: ways of knowing and being safe. Environment and Planning A 47(2):450-464
  • Pink, S., Morgan, J. and Dainty, A. (2014) The safe hand: gels, gloves and the materiality of tactile knowing. Journal of Material Culture 19(4):425-44
  • Pink, S., Morgan, J. and Dainty, A. (2014) Safety in movement: mobile workers, mobile media. Mobile Media & Communication 2(3):335-351
  • Morgan, J. (2013) Examining the flexible museum: exhibition process, a project-approach, and the creative element. Museum and Society 11(2):158-171
  • Pink, S. and Morgan, J. (2013) Short-term ethnography: intense routes to knowing. Symbolic Interaction 36(3):353-363
  • Morgan, J. (2012) The cleaning cupboard: an ethnographic look at the production of newness at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. In von Bose, F., Poehls K., Schneider F., and Schulze A. (eds.) Museum-X. Panama Verlag: Berlin, pp.56-64
  • Morgan, J. (2011) The multi-sensory museum. The Journal of the Ethnographic Institute (Serbia). SAAS 60(1): 65-77
  • Morgan, J. (2007) Zones of negotiation: the Auckland Museum’s relationships with Pacific Islands communities. BAR International Series 1698:117-122

Conference, website/media contributions, public activities, and short-films are detailed in the York Research Database.

Dr Jenny Morgan

Contact details

Dr Jennie Morgan
Research Fellow
Department of Sociology
University of York
Heslington
YORK
North Yorkshire
YO10 5DD

http://www.york.ac.uk/sociology/research/current-research/macdonald-curating-profusion/