Cate Morley

Department of Anthropology

Cate Morley is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities. Her research concerns forced disappearance and humanitarian forensic intervention, and is shaped, in particular, by attention to the various imaginaries 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 into a mass grave discovered behind a former Mother and Baby Home in Ireland. By shifting the anthropological gaze to literature and theology, in which death finds alternate expression, she aims to chronicle the way individual actors navigate ethical grey zones of humanitarian practice without losing sight of how landscapes, bones and tools shape the way they “think death”.

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. 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.


Person Category
PhD Students