Meskell, Lynn

Lynn Meskell's photo
Ph.D. Cambridge, 1997

Lynn Meskell is a Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Archaeology Center. Lynn's research and teaching interests include UNESCO and its World Heritage program, South African heritage and conservation, Egyptian archaeology, identity and sociopolitics, materiality and feminist theory. 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 current research focuses on the role of UNESCO in terms of world citizenship, heritage rights, sovereignty and international politics. This entails research at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters as well as analyzing the political economy of expertise and decision making processes within the World Heritage Committee. Her study also incorporates ethnographic work at numerous field sites across Asia, Europe and the Middle East to examine the political impacts of global conservation for those on the ground. Her book project attempts to capture the paradoxes and consequences that emerge from the entanglements and obligations that international agencies place on nations of the world and their citizens to save the past for the future.

Selected Publications: 

2015 Global Heritage: A Reader. Blackwells: Oxford.

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).