Dr. Christopher Morton

Departmental Lecturer in Visual and Material Anthropology and Curator of Photograph and Manuscript Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum

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Research Activities and Interests

Christopher Morton (MA DPhil, Oxf) trained in history and social and cultural anthropology, carrying out fieldwork in the Okavango Delta region of northern Botswana in 1999-2000. Since then his research has focused on

  • the relationship between photography and anthropology
  • photographic collections and histories in Africa
  • the return of collections of photographs to indigenous communities in Africa and Australia. 

Besides being responsible for the Pitt Rivers Museum’s extensive photograph, manuscript, film and sound collections, Dr Morton teaches on the Visual, Material and Museum Anthropology MSc/MPhil, the MSc in African Studies, and supervises research students working on photographic topics. Dr Morton is a Fellow of Linacre College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, UK.

Publications

Books and special issues

2015 Morton, C. and Newbury, D. (eds) The African Photographic Archive: Research and Curatorial Strategies. London: Bloomsbury.

2015 Edwards, E. and Morton, C. (eds) Photographs, Museums, Collections: Between Art and Information. London: Bloomsbury.

2015 ‘Reasserting Presence, Reclamation and Desire’ (special issue of Photographies, edited by Haidy Geismar and Christopher Morton), Vol. 8, No. 3 (Sept).

2010 Morton, Christopher and Philip N. Grover (eds) Wilfred Thesiger in Africa. London: Harper Collins. 

2009 Morton, Christopher and Elizabeth Edwards (eds), Photography, Anthropology and History: Expanding the Frame. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing. 

Chapters/articles

2015 ‘The ancestral image in the present tense’, Photographies (Special Issue: ‘Reasserting Presence, Reclamation and Desire’ edited by Haidy Geismar and Christopher Morton), Vol. 8, No. 3 (Sept), 253-270.

2015 ‘Collecting portraits, exhibiting race: Augustus Pitt-Rivers’s cartes-de-visite at the South Kensington Museum’ in Elizabeth Edwards and Christopher Morton (eds) Photographs, Museums, Collections: Between Art and Information. London: Bloomsbury.

2015 ‘Richard Buchta and the visual representation of Equatoria in the later nineteenth century’, in Christopher Morton and Darren Newbury (eds) The African Photographic Archive: Research and Curatorial Strategies. London: Bloomsbury.

2015 (with Gilbert Oteyo) ‘The Paro Manene project: exhibiting and researching photographic histories in western Kenya’ in International Handbooks of Museum Studies (ed. Sharon Macdonald and Helen Rees Leahy), Vol. 4: Museum Transformations (ed. Annie E. Coombes and Ruth B. Phillips), pp 311-335.

2014 ‘Observations from the Interface: Photography, Ethnography, and Digital Projects at the Pitt Rivers Museum’, in Uncertain Images: Museums and the Work of Photographs, edited by Elizabeth Edwards and Sigrid Lien. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 243-260.

2012 'Photography and the comparative method: the construction if an anthropological archive', Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 18:2 (June).

2012 'Double alienation: Evans-Pritchard's Zande and Nuer photographs in comparative perspective', in Vokes, Richard (ed) Photography in Africa: Ethnographic Perspectives. Oxford: James Currey. 

2009 Edwards, Elizabeth and Christopher Morton, 'Introduction', in Morton, Christopher and Elizabeth Edwards (eds), Photography, Anthropology and History: Expanding the Frame. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 1-24. 

2009 'The initiation of Kamanga: visuality and textuality in Evans-Pritchard's Zande ethnography', in Morton, Christopher and Elizabeth Edwards (eds), Photography, Anthropology and History: Expanding the Frame. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 119-42. 

2009 (with G. Oteyo) 'Paro Manene: Exhibiting Photographic Histories in Western Kenya',Journal of Museum Ethnography, No. 22 (Dec.), 155-64. 

2009 'Fieldwork and the participant-photographer: E. E. Evans-Pritchard and the Nuer rite of gorot', Visual Anthropology, 22 (4), 252-74.

DPhil Students

Current

Ewa Majczak (Wolfson College)
Popular photography and personhood in Mbouda and Yaoundé, Cameroon

Jaanika Vider (St Cross College)
Identity and transition among the Evenkis of the Lower Yenisei: the 1914 Siberian expedition and the Marie A Czaplicka collection

Past

Noel Lobley (St Cross College)
The social biography of ethnomusicological field recordings (2010)