Ms Joy Slappnig

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My research considers the significance of “Indigenous maps” as sources of geographical information, as ethnographic objects, and as artefacts of encounter. For my PhD thesis, I looked at Indigenous maps in the collections of the Royal Geographical Society and explored some of the wider questions these maps raise for histories of empire, mapping and Indigenous agency. I focussed on three case studies of maps from South Asia: a Gujarati chart of the Red Sea; a set of maps co-produced by Burmese and Shan traders and a British judge in colonial Burma; and a printed version of a Tibetan map of Sikkim looted by the British army in 1888.

My PhD was funded by AHRC through a Collaborative Doctoral Award with the Royal Geographical Society and was co-supervised by Felix Driver and Catherine Souch. Prior to starting my PhD, I completed an MSc in Visual, Material and Museum Anthropology at the University of Oxford and a BA (Hons) in History at King's College London. I have experience in working with museum collections through curatorial research internships at the Brooklyn Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and through a curatorial placement at the Weltmuseum Wien. 

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