My research focuses on the different ways in which nations, institutions and individuals navigate ethical borderlands surrounding the ways in which colonialism is both remembered and structurally embedded in the present. Museums as spaces in which these memories and legacies are played out publicly has provided a central thread, with a focus on museum work in Sierra Leone and the UK. More recently, I have been exploring archives and collections relating to the end of the British Empire in Africa where my research has focused on the intersections between fieldwork, collecting, and the imagining of decolonial futures by British missionaries, academics, technocrats, and colonial and military officials.
I am part-time at Goldsmiths, and also work as a senior curator in the Horniman Museum and Garden's anthropology department. Since May 2020 I have also been the Chair of the Museum Ethnographers Group.
- PhD in Museum and Heritage Studies, University College London. 2013
Teaching and Supervision
Publications and research outputs
Zetterstrom-Sharp, Johanna T. 2020. Imagining Future Agricultural Landscapes in a new Sudan: entitled expertise, cultural intransience and fine warm rain in the English wilds. History and Anthropology, 31(3), pp. 293-313. ISSN 0275-7206
Zetterstrom-Sharp, Johanna T and Wingfield, Chris. 2019. A 'safe space' to debate colonial legacy? The University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the campaign to return a looted Benin altarpiece to Nigeria. Museum Worlds, 7(1), pp. 1-22. ISSN 2049-6729
Zetterstrom-Sharp, Johanna T. 2017. 'I cover myself in the blood of Jesus': Born Again heritage making in Sierra Leone. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 23(3), pp. 486-502. ISSN 1359-0987
Zetterstrom-Sharp, Johanna T. 2015. Heritage as future-making: aspiration and common destiny in Sierra Leone. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 21(6), pp. 609-627. ISSN 1352-7258
Zetterstrom-Sharp, Johanna T and Basu, Paul. 2014. Complicating Culture for Development: Negotiating ‘Dysfunctional Heritage’ in Sierra Leone. In: Paul Basu and Wayne Modest, eds. Museums, Heritage and International Development. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 56-82. ISBN 9780415659512