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Sarah Morton

Sarah Morton

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Personal statement 

As a museum professional, I have worked across a variety of roles including conservation, collections management, exhibition curation and project management. As a Lecturer in Heritage, I am interested in developing and researching university and heritage sector collaborations.

On joining Bath Spa University in 2017, I took over the management of the heritage placement modules and am currently working with sector partners on developing best practice standards for student placements within heritage organisations. 

My academic research interests focus on how heritage is socially and materially constructed and the meanings and associations it can hold for different stakeholders. My current work examines the legacies of the repatriation of ancestral human remains from UK museums, the meaning and social role of human remains within museum spaces, and the geographies of the human remains store.

Academic qualifications

  • DPhil - University of Oxford (2018)
  • MSc, Conservation for Archaeology and Museums - University College London (2007)
  • MA, Principles of Conservation - University College London (2005)
  • BA (Hons), Archaeology - University of Nottingham (2002)

Professional qualifications

  • Accredited Conservator Restorer (ACR)

Professional memberships

  • Accredited member - Institute for Conservation (ICON) 
  • Member - Museum Association 

Teaching specialisms

  • Material evidence and the social role of material culture
  • Professional practice and work placements within the UK heritage sector
  • Management, interpretation and conservation of museum collections and heritage sites
  • Human remains in museums, repatriation and restitution 
  • Research ethics and methodologies 

Other external roles

  • Member - ICON Archaeology Group Committee 
  • ICON Representative - Archaeological Archives Forum 

Grants and awards 

  • Museums Universities Partnership Initiative Match Grant - ‘Student Placements in Museums: Exploring Models of Good Practice’ (2017-18) 
  • Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Small Grant - 'Corpses Cadavers and Catalogues: The Mobilities of Dead Bodies and Body Parts, Past and Present' (2015-16) 
  • Royal Geographical Society Henrietta Hutton Research Grant - 'Legacies of the Repatriation of Human Remains Fieldwork' (2015-16)
  • Keble Association Gordon Smith Research Award - 'Legacies of the Repatriation of Human Remains Fieldwork' (2015-16)
  • Arts Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctoral Award - 'The Legacies of the Repatriation of Human Remains' in collaboration with The Royal College of Surgeons of England (2013-17).

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Inside the human remains store: the impact of repatriation on museum practice in the United Kingdom
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Morton, S (2018) 'Inside the human remains store: the impact of repatriation on museum practice in the United Kingdom.' In: Fforde, C, Keeler, H and McKeown, T, eds. The Routledge companion to indigenous repatriation. Routledge, Abingdon. (Forthcoming)


Life after death: the post excavation biography of the Lowbury Hill skeleton
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Morton, S and Plumbe, R (2018) Life after death: the post excavation biography of the Lowbury Hill skeleton. In: Object Biographies: II International Artefacta Conference, 2 - 3 March 2018, House of Science and Letters, Helsinki, Finland.


Place, practice and meaning: the museum as a deathscape
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Morton, S (2018) Place, practice and meaning: the museum as a deathscape. In: Skeletons, Stories and Social Bodies Conference, 20 - 22 March 2018, University of Southampton, UK.


Travelling bones: understating the process of repatriation
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Morton, S (2017) Travelling bones: understating the process of repatriation. In: Nordic Geographers Meeting: Geographies of Inequalities, 18 - 21 June 2017, University of Stockholm, Sweden.


Museums deathscapes: geographies of the human remains store
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Morton, S (2016) Museums deathscapes: geographies of the human remains store. In: RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, 30 August - 2 September 2016, Royal Geographical Society, London, UK.


Practicing respect: the display of foetal and infant remains at Royal College of Surgeons of England
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Morton, S (2016) Practicing respect: the display of foetal and infant remains at Royal College of Surgeons of England. In: The Ethics of Display: Exhibiting Vulnerable Bodies, 21 March 2016, University of Warwick, UK.


The legacies of the repatriation of human remains from the Royal College of Surgeons of England
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Morton, S (2018) The legacies of the repatriation of human remains from the Royal College of Surgeons of England. PhD thesis, University of Oxford.


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