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Ms Summer Austin
31-34 Gordon Square
London
WC1H 0PY
Ms Summer Austin profile picture
Appointment
  • Student
  • Institute of Archaeology
  • Faculty of S&HS
Biography
I am an archaeologist focused on cultural heritage crimes, the (il)licit antiquities trade, transnational crime and the art and antiquities market. I also work on the ethics of ownership, access, and display, the roles of cultural heritage in modern discourse and the commodification of cultural heritage. My current research investigates the role of museums blockbuster exhibitions in the creation, enhancement and normalization of demand for antiquities and what the consequences are for such demand. My areas of interest include the art and antiquities market, looting and trafficking of cultural and natural resources, museums and the market, art crime, restitution and repatriation, fossils and wildlife trafficking, archaeology and heritage law, crimes involving musical instruments, and discussions around cultural heritage and climate change.
Research Summary
My doctoral thesis is titled "Tut on Tour: 60 years of Demand Creation through Exhibition", a multidisciplinary investigation into influences that create, enhance and normalise demand for acquiring antiquities. Using the ‘original museum blockbuster’ — Tutankhamun — as the case study, this research investigates the antiquity markets' reaction to blockbuster exhibitions by gathering and quantifying 60-years of exhibition history, collecting trends, price fluctuation, profit margins, marketing techniques and results. The objective of this study is to introduce reliable data to the crucial debate concerning the relationship between museum exhibitions, end-market demand and the il/licit antiquities market. The illicit market for Egyptian antiquities is a demand-driven economic system predicated on collectors and museums acquiring antiquities. This research explores how Tut blockbusters exhibitions function as active agents in generating demand for Egyptian antiquities.
Teaching Summary
I am the PGTA for:


ARCL0199 Heritage Ethics & Archaeology Practice in the Middle East & Mediterranean

Masters of Archaeology 


I have designed and instructed UG level seminars on:

Open access data sources

Public Speaking & Conferences

Auction Catalogues as Research Sources

Academic Background
    MSc Collecting & Provenance In An International Context  
    MSc Archaeology  
    Antiquities Trafficking & Art Crime  
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