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Amy King

  • Amy KingResearch Student
  • Region of Interest Africa
  • Research Interests The art of Central Africa; colonial histories of the DR Congo; histories of Christianity; ethnography, collecting and early photographic practices; missionary projects in Central Africa, materiality and exchange; museum collections and archives
  • PhD Thesis Collecting the Congo: Histories of exchange in Baptist Missions c.1885 – 1915
  • Doctoral Research

    • This research explores ethnographic, photographic and archival collections produced by the Baptist Missionary Society in northern Congo in the late nineteenth century. It asks what they can reveal about historical Congolese experiences of conversion to Christianity and seeks to examine material exchange as constitutive of meaning as ideas were adopted and contested within nascent Christian communities.
      The contexts of ethnographic collecting in Central Africa at the turn of the twentieth-century have primarily been addressed in terms of western reception in the development of an African ‘curio’, and later, ‘art’ market. Emphasis has been given to the effects of market forces on the production of artefacts, positioning Africans as producers in a globalised market, responding to those shifting aesthetic values and European constructs of authenticity (Schildkrout & Keim 1998) (Corbey 2000). Collections and collecting relationships have predominantly been used to analyse the intended objectifications of western collector-consumers but far less the African people who were equally motivated by taste, trade and curiosity in these events. European trade items, people and ideas were remade in the Belgian colonial state according to Congolese regimes of value. This research aims to reorient attention towards the dialogic nature of that exchange and understand the processes involved in the creation of Congolese modernities.
      The research will further understanding of the nature of historical colonial relationships in the Congo and the process through which societies underwent cultural change. It will also contribute to existing scholarship on the globalisation of Christianity and its transmission in Africa.
  • Education

    • 2011: BA (Hons) History of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art
      2013: MSc Visual, Material and Museum Anthropology, University of Oxford
  • Assistant - Intern

    • 2012: Collections Intern in Anthropology, Gilcrease Museum of the Americas, Tulsa
      2017: CHASE Doctoral Placement at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol