Anita Herle (BA, M.Phil, PhD, FRAI) is Senior Curator for World Anthropology, with particular responsibility for the Pacific and the Americas. She has regional interests in Torres Strait, Vanuatu, Fiji and Canada. Her research topics include museum anthropology, the early history of British anthropology, art and aesthetics, and visual histories. She teaches for the MPhil in Social Anthropology and Museums, lectures in the anthropology of art and visual media, and supervises undergraduate, MPhil and doctoral students.
Her research is concerned with a range of ethnographic and disciplinary contexts for MAA’s collections and their many contemporary resonances. Within the history of British anthropology, she has explored the intersection between different knowledge systems, the complex relations that develop in the anthropological field and the potency of objects and photographs in relational encounters. Much of her research is linked with the production of collaborative exhibitions at MAA and elsewhere.
Dr Herle is overseeing the ‘Pacific Currents’ Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, to redisplay the Museum’s Oceanic collections and develop an innovative programme of public engagement (2017-2019). She is working with Dr Jude Philp (University of Sydney), in consultation with Torres Strait Islanders, to publish an edited volume of Alfred Haddon’s personal journals from his expeditions to the Torres Strait in 1888 and 1898. She is also the lead investigator for a multidisciplinary project on COLOUR, which will result in an exhibition at MAA in early 2020.
A. Herle (2018) ‘Displaying Colonial Relations: from Government House in Fiji to the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’. Museum & Society, 16 (2) pp. 279 – 297.
A. Herle (2016) ‘Anthropology Museums and Museum Anthropology’. Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Anthropology, Department of Social Anthropology <https://www.socanth.cam.ac.uk>
A. Herle, J. Philp and J. Dudding (2015). ‘Reactivating Visual Histories: Haddon’s photographs from Mabuyag 1888, 1898’. In Ian McNiven and Garrick Hitchcock (ed) Goemulgaw Lagal: Cultural and Natural Histories of the Island of Mabuyag, Torres Strait. Brisbane: Memoirs of the Queensland Museum Volume 8 (1) pp. 253-288.
A. Herle (2013) Exhibitions as Research: Displaying the Technologies that Make Bodies Visible. In S. Dudley and K. Message (eds.) Museum Worlds: Advances in Research. (Berghahn, Vol. 1, pp. 113 – 135)
A. Herle and Lucie Carreau (2013) Chiefs & Governors: Art and Power in Fiji. (MAA)
A. Herle (2012) Creating the Anthropological Field in the Pacific. In Kate Fullagar (ed.) The Atlantic World in the Antipodes: Effects and Transformation since the eighteenth century. (Cambridge Scholars Publishing pp. 185-218)
A. Herle and H. Geismar (2010) Moving Images: John Layard, Fieldwork and Photography in Malakula Since 1914 (Crawford House Press/University of Hawaii Press)
A. Herle (2009) John Layard long Malakula 1914–1915: the Potency of Field Photography. In Christopher Morton and Elizabeth Edwards (eds.). Photography, Anthropology and History: Expanding the Frame. (Ashgate)
A. Herle, M. Elliott and R. Empson (2009) Assembling Bodies: Art Science and Imagination. (MAA)
A. Herle (2008) Relational Objects: Connecting People and Things through Pasifika Styles. International Journal of Cultural Property. (Vol. 15 (2): 159-179.)
A. Herle, J. Philp, and L. Bin Juda (2007) The Journey of the Stars: Gab Titui a Cultural Centre for the Torres Strait. In N. Stanley (ed.). The Future of Indigenous Museums (Berg pp. 93-116).
A. Herle (2006) Transforming Things: art and politics on the Northwest Coast. In Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel (eds.) Making Things Public (Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie)
A. Herle and A. Moutu (2004) Paired Brothers: Concealment and Revelation. Iatmul Ritual Art from the Sepik, Papua New Guinea(MAA)
A. Herle (2004) Objects, Agency and Museums: Continuing dialogues between the Torres Strait and Cambridge. In Laura Peers and Alison Brown (eds.) Museums and Source Communities. (Routledge pp. 194-207)
A. Herle and J. Philp (1998)
Torres Strait Islanders: an Exhibition Marking the Centenary of the 1898 Cambridge Anthropological Expedition (MAA)
A. Herle and S. Rouse (1998) Cambridge and the Torres Strait: Centenary Essays on the 1898 Anthropological Expedition. (Cambridge University Press).