I am Professor of Heritage Studies at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, University College London; from 2017-2021 I was AHRC Heritage Priority Area Leadership Fellow;from 2015-2019 I was Principal Investigator on the AHRC-funded Heritage Futures Research Programme, and from 2016-2021 I led the Work Package on “Theorizing heritage futures in Europe: heritage scenarios” as part of the European Commission funded Marie Sklodowska-Curie action [MSCA] Doctoral Training Network CHEurope: Critical Heritage Studies and the Future of Europe. I am the founding editor of the Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, a former Chair of the Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory (CHAT) group and was a founding executive committee member of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS). I am a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Heritage Studies, Museum History Journal, and Australian Archaeology Journal. At UCL I am joint Director of the UCL Centre for Critical Heritage Studies. I am (co)author or (co)editor of 18 books and guest edited journal volumes and around 100 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Some of these have been translated into Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Polish and Portuguese language versions. In addition to the AHRC my research has been funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund, British Academy, Wenner-Gren Foundation, Australian Research Council, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and the European Commission. In 2020 I was Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS) 2020 Biennial International Conference (“ACHS 2020: Futures”) Chair.
I joined the UCL Institute of Archaeology in 2012 after working as a Lecturer in Heritage Studies at the Open University from 2007-2012, where I led, and contributed to the development of teaching on global critical heritage studies and material culture studies. I have previously held teaching and research positions at the Centre for Cross Cultural Research at the Australian National University, the Centre for Archaeology at the University of Western Australia, and as an honorary visiting research fellow in the Department of Anthropology, University College London. I also previously worked as Historical Archaeologist and Regional Aboriginal Heritage Studies Coordinator in the Cultural Heritage Research Unit of the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service in Sydney. During the period from 1997-2007 I also worked as an archaeological heritage consultant, conducting and leading on field surveys, excavations, and contributing to and overseeing the production of a range of conservation management planning reports for different kinds of cultural and natural heritage sites and landscapes in both remote and urban contexts in Australia, as well as undertaking research and preparing expert witness reports in relation to Indigenous Native Title claims.
A range of foundational collaborative research undertaken with Indigenous colleagues and mentors in the early part of my academic career in Australia continues to inform my work in a number of different ways, including an ongoing focus on concepts of colonialism, power/inequality, material agency, the interconnections of natural and cultural heritage, posthumanism, ontological perspectivism, and world-making. My 2017 Inaugural Lecture on Heritage Futures and Future Heritages explores the influences of this collaborative work with Indigenous colleagues on my thinking about international heritage institutions in detail.