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Lynn Meskell's current research and teaching interests include a broad range of fields, such as archaeology and heritage, ethnography in South African, identity and sociopolitics, gender and feminism, and ethics. Meskell views contemporary archaeology as an anthropology of the past, a contextual and nuanced engagement with ancient culture that mirrors the ethnographic project.
Meskell, a Professor of Anthropology, came to Stanford from Columbia University. Her current fieldwork and writing examines the constructs of natural and cultural heritage and the related discourses of empowerment around the Kruger National Park, ten years after democracy in South Africa. She is interested in the specific national understanding of biodiversity and its relationship to development initiatives, democracy, historic claims and land restitution. Another project is focused on the social constitution of the figurine worlds at Çatalhöyük, Turkey. As founding editor of the Journal of Social Archaeology, she has attempted to forge a vehicle for interdisciplinary dialogue, bringing together a wide range of scholars from diverse fields to constitute the editorial panel (feminists, historians, social theorists, and ethnographers). Additionally, Meskell founded Stanford Heritage Ethics, an inter-disciplinary group that aims to situate their treatment of heritage firmly within the issues of ethics, politics, memory, nationalism, internationalism, materiality, conservation, development, aid, governmentality, tourism, repatriation, cultural property, intellectual property, collaborations, indigenous archaeology, restitution, codes and declarations from which they are inseparable.
Meskell was a Faculty Research Fellow at the Clayman Institute during the 2008-09 academic year.
Further information about Meskell is available from her website.