My project is a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership between the National Maritime Museum and the Sainsbury Research Unit. The genesis of the project is the desire to contextualize a collection of artifacts that the London Missionary Society donated to the National Maritime Museum in 2012, which have yet to be thoroughly researched.
The collection will be contextualized by an exhaustive review and analysis of the collection itself and related primary and secondary sources, using an interdisciplinary approach comprising elements from, but not limited to, history, anthropology and art history. Fieldwork will be conducted in the NMM, allowing the in-depth examination of the collection and associated records.
The central aim of my research shall be to examine the relationships between missionary texts, artefacts and imagery and ‘the degree to which exposure to missionary propaganda from a young age profoundly shaped the political, cultural and social attitudes adopted by many children in later life’ (text from project brief) with a particular emphasis on how this worldview related to conceptions of Empire, national identity and Britain’s place in the world spanning from 1700 to the early 20th Century.