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Stéphanie Leclerc-Caffarel



2014: Phd in Art History, Sainsbury Research Unit, UEA (UK)

2008 M.A. in Research in History of Art applied to the museum's collections, Ecole du Louvre (Paris, France)

2007 M.A in Museology, Ecole du Louvre (Paris, France)

2006 B.A. in Art History, Ecole du Louvre (Paris, France)

Research Interests

Arts, history and anthropology of the Pacific. Fiji. Museum collections. New technologies and applied anthropology.

Current focus: Early exchange relations between Pacific Islanders and Westerners, including early explorers, traders, whalers, missionaries and planters.

PhD Thesis

Current research (Started October 2008)

My doctoral research focuses on early exchanges between Fijians and Euro-Americans. Before Fiji became a British protectorate (October 1874), Fijian people were in relation with Europeans and Americans, notably for trade. From those early encounters resulted significant museum collections.

I study early museum objects to better understand Fiji-West pre-colonial interactions. Because they relate to a two-way process of exchange, early museum collections help me to nuance written sources, which emanate from the Western side.

Through comparisons, this interdisciplinary research allows me to sequence Fijian early material culture and to shed light on cultural evolutions in Fiji along a 100-year period (1770s-1870s).

First results

My research tends to prove that early interactions between Fijians and Euro-Americans should be thought in terms of exchange, reciprocity and circulation.

Consequently, I suggest that museum objects resulting from those transactions should be primarily regarded as exchanged objects and as the agents of a shared history between Fiji and the West. 

Further Project

One of the main outcomes of this research is a database that virtually gathers early objects and archives for comparison purposes.

In a close future, I hope to transform this research tool into an online interface that will favour knowledge dissemination and exchanges about Fijian early material culture and museum collections.

Research history

My interests were, first, on Fijian collections in France. My first M.A. thesis focused on the early Fijian collection of the Musée du Quai Branly, in Paris. The second looked at several French collections related to the two explorations of Dumont d’Urville in Fiji (1827 and 1838). 

My PhD thesis enlarged this, by looking at collections in Europe, the U.S.A. and the Pacific.

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