Dr JC Niala, Head of Research, Teaching and Collections

Research summary

JD Niala Head of Research, Teaching & Collections

Dr JC Niala, Head of Research, Teaching & Collections at the History of Science Museum

I am interested in how our imaginations of nature affect how we treat it.

My doctoral research combined traditional anthropology methodology with public engagement with research to examine the relationship between urban gardeners in Oxford and the spaces which they materialise. 

My current research in museology and archaeological practice, traces histories of producing communities through pre and colonial-era collections held in European museums.

I have also worked with different communities to develop Community Action Research a methodology for transformative collections based research.

In the growing season of 2021, I recreated an allotment in the style of the year 1918. This project was a collaboration with an Oxford-based community, arts and horticulture project called Fig, supported by The Humanities Cultural Programme at TORCH. In 2022, our project was awarded the Social History Society's Public History Prize.



JC Niala became Head of Research, Teaching and Collections at the History of Science Museum in 2022.

She previously worked at the Horniman Museum and Gardens in London and most recently at Cambridge University Libraries as Head of World Collections.

She studied Social Anthropology at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography at the University of Oxford.


Recent publications

  • Niala, J.C. (2019, March) Reconstructing Relationships: An autoethnographic account of post-colonial museum encounters. Journal of Museum Ethnography.

Website: www.jcniala.com
Twitter  : @jcniala