Cate Morley

Anthropology Graduate Student

Cate Morley is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities (IHUM). Her research concerns forced disappearance and humanitarian forensic intervention, and is shaped, in particular, by attention to the various cultural domains—theology, ecology, law and literature—that influence forensic practice. Her dissertation will be informed by ethnographic research alongside forensic anthropologists and civilian activists working to recover and identify the remains of Mexico’s desaparecidos.

In a parallel project, she is examining the ongoing forensic investigation of, and public controversy surrounding, a mass grave discovered on the site of an institution that incarcerated unmarried mothers and their children in Ireland. Across her two field sites, she explores the way survivors and relatives of those disappeared profess distrust in both the word of the church and the word of the law, while appealing to notions of divine and democratic justice.

Interdisciplinary study has also led to her present collaboration on a technical guide to the care and conservation of the textile remains of mass atrocity.

Cate came to Princeton by way of two Master’s degree programs in Global Health & Social Justice at King’s College London, and Refugee & Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford. Her doctoral research is supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation.