Prof Dr Laura Van Broekhoven

Research summary

Laura's current research interests include repatriation and redress, with a focus on the importance of collaboration, inclusivity and reflexive inquiry. Her regional academic research has focused on collaborative collection research with Amazonian (Surinam and Brazil) indigenous peoples, Yokot’an (Maya) oral history, Mixtec indigenous market systems, and Nicaraguan indigenous resistance in colonial times. She has curated numerous exhibitions, and authored dozens of books, articles and papers.


Laura is the Director of the Pitt Rivers Museum and Professor of Museum Studies, Ethics and Material Culture at the University of Oxford. A fellow of Linacre College, Laura is also associated with the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, Oxford. Previously, Laura led the curatorial department of the National Museum of World Cultures (Amsterdam, Leiden and Berg en Dal) and was a lecturer in archaeology, museum studies and indigenous heritage at the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University. Laura currently serves on numerous advisory boards and panels, is a member of the Women Leaders in Museums Network (WLMN) and sits on the European Ethnographic Museum Directors Group. She was a participant in the Getty’s Museum Leadership Institute, co-chair of the Oxford and Colonialism Network, and a founding member of Wayeb.  

In 2022 Laura received the Kenneth Hudson Award for Institutional Courage and Professional Integrity as part of the European Museum of the Year Award scheme alongside Wayne Modest (Dutch National Museum of World Cultures), Nanette Snoep (Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum) and Léontine Meijer-Van Mensch (State Ethnographic Collections of Saxony). The European Museum Forum recognised these four Museum directors for their 'personal courage and professional integrity in their continuous contributions to developing a new global ethics for museums, addressing the urgent and contentious issues of decolonisation, restitution, reparation and repatriation’.

A full copy of Laura's CV can be found here.