School of Humanities and Sciences
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Professor of Anthropology
BioLiisa H. Malkki is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University. Her research interests include: the politics of nationalism, internationalism, cosmopolitanism, and human rights discourses as transnational cultural forms; the social production of historical memory and the uses of history; political violence, exile, and displacement; the ethics and politics of humanitarian aid; child research; and visual culture. Her field research in Tanzania exlored the ways in which political violence and exile may produce transformations of historical consciousness and national identity among displaced people. This project resulted in Purity and Exile: Violence, Memory, and National Cosmology Among Hutu Refugees in Tanzania (University of Chicago Press, 1995). In another project, Malkki explored how Hutu exiles from Burundi and Rwanda, who found asylum in Montreal, Canada, imagined scenarios of the future for themselves and their countries in the aftermath of genocide in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Malkki’s most recent book, Improvising Theory: Process and Temporality in Ethnographic Fieldwork (with Allaine Cerwonka) was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2007. Her most recent book-length project (based on fieldwork from 1995 to the present) examines the changing interrelationships among humanitarian interventions, internationalism, professionalism, affect, and neutrality in the work of the Finnish Red Cross in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Professor of Anthropology
BioLynn Meskell is Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University, former Director of the Stanford Archaeology Center, and Honorary Professor in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Over the past twenty years she has been awarded grants and fellowships including those from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Australian Research Council, the American Academy in Rome, the School of American Research, Oxford University and Cambridge University. She is the founding editor of the Journal of Social Archaeology. Lynn has broad theoretical interests including socio-politics, archaeological ethics, global heritage, materiality, as well as feminist and postcolonial theory. Lynn’s earlier research examined natural and cultural heritage in South Africa, the archaeology of figurines and burial in Neolithic Turkey and social life in New Kingdom Egypt.
Recently she conducted an institutional ethnography of UNESCO World Heritage, tracing the politics of governance and sovereignty and the subsequent implications for multilateral diplomacy, international conservation, and heritage rights. Employing archival and ethnographic analysis, her new book A Future in Ruins: UNESCO, World Heritage, and the Dream of Peace (2018, OUP New York), reveals UNESCO’s early forays into a one-world archaeology and its later commitments to global heritage. Some other recent books and edited collections include The Nature of Culture: The New South Africa (2011, Blackwells) and Global Heritage: A Reader (2015, Blackwells). Her new fieldwork explores monumental regimes of research and preservation around World Heritage sites in India and how diverse actors and agencies address the needs of living communities. Given the sheer scale and complexity of archaeological heritage in India, no nation presents a more fraught and compelling array of challenges to preserving its past.