Lynn Meskell's research and teaching interests encompass a broad range of fields, including an ethnography of UNESCO, heritage in South African identity and sociopolitics, gender and feminism, and heritage ethics. Meskell views contemporary archaeology as an anthropology of the past, a contextual and nuanced engagement with ancient culture that mirrors the ethnographic project.
A Professor of Anthropology, Meskell came to Stanford from Columbia University. In her fieldwork she 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 focuses on the social constitution of the figurine worlds at Çatalhöyük, Turkey.
Her current research investigates the role of UNESCO in terms of heritage rights, sovereignty, and international politics. 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 interdisciplinary group that aims to situate their treatment of heritage firmly within the issues of ethics, politics, internationalism, conservation, development, human rights, collaborations, and indigenous issues.
The Nature of Heritage: The New South Africa. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012
Cosmopolitan Archaeologies. Editor. Duke University Press, 2009
Archaeologies of Materiality. Wiley-Blackwell, 2005
Embedding Ethics. Co-edited with Peter Pels. Berg Publishing, 2005
Object Worlds in Ancient Egypt: Material Biographies Past and Present. Berg Publishers, 2004
Companion to Social Archaeology. Co-edited with Robert Preucel. Wiley-Blackwell, 2004
Embodied Lives: Figuring Ancient Maya and Egyptian Experience. With Rosemary Joyce. Routledge Publishers, 2003
Private Life in New Kingdom Egypt. Princeton University Press, 2002
Archaeologies of Social Life: Age, Sex, Class Etcetera in Ancient Egypt. Social Archaeology Series. Wiley-Blackwell, 1999
Archaeology under Fire: Nationalism, Politics and Heritage in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Routledge Publishers, 1998
Prof. Meskell in the News
- Archaeological Theory
- çatalhöyük Figurines
- Egyptian Archaeology
- Gender, Feminism and Embodiment
- Heritage Ethics and Rights
- Identity and Politics
- South African Heritage
- UNESCO and World Heritage