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Lynn Meskell
Professor, Department of Anthropology, School of Humanities & Sciences
Clayman Institute Faculty Voice and Influence Fellow, 2011-2012

 

Lynn's Meskell's current research and teaching interests include a broad range of fields, including ethnography in South African, Egyptian archaeology, identity and sociopolitics, gender and feminism, and heritage ethics. Lynn views contemporary archaeology as an anthropology of the past, a contextual and nuanced engagement with ancient culture that mirrors the ethnographic project. Her fieldwork has examined 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. Another field project is focused on the social constitution of the figurine worlds at Çatalhöyük, Turkey. Her new research focuses on the role of UNESCO in terms of heritage rights, sovereignty and international politics.

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.

Selected Publications: 

2012 The Nature of Culture: The New South Africa. Blackwells: Oxford.

2009 Cosmopolitan Archaeologies. Duke University Press: Durham (editor).

2005 Archaeologies of Materiality. Blackwell: Oxford (editor).

2005 Embedding Ethics. Berg: Oxford (edited with Peter Pels).

2004 Object Worlds in Ancient Egypt: Material Biographies Past and Present. Berg: Oxford.

2004 Companion to Social Archaeology. Blackwell: Oxford (edited with Bob Preucel).

2003 Embodied Lives: Figuring Ancient Maya and Egyptian Experience. Routledge: London (authored with Rosemary Joyce).

2002 Private Life in New Kingdom Egypt. Princeton University Press: Princeton.

1999 Archaeologies of Social Life: Age, Sex, Class Etcetera in Ancient Egypt. Social Archaeology Series. Blackwell: Oxford.

1998 Archaeology under Fire: Nationalism, Politics and Heritage in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Routledge: London (Editor).