Chiara De Cesari is an anthropologist and an NGO assistant professor in European Studies and Cultural Studies at the University of Amsterdam.
She completed her PhD in Socio-Cultural Anthropology on Palestinian heritage and memory politics at Stanford University in 2009. Before moving to Amsterdam, she was a lecturer in heritage studies in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University.
She is currently completing a book titled Heritage Beyond the Nation-State: Palestine and the Politics of Culture, and is co-editor of a forthcoming collection on transnational memories.
Her research focuses on heritage, memory and broader cultural politics and the ways in which these change under conditions of globalization, particularly the intersection of cultural memory, transnationalism and current transformations of the nation-state.
Her most recent project explores the making of a new European collective memory and heritage in relation to its blind spots, with particular reference to the carceral heritage of Italian colonialism in Libya. She is especially interested in the ways in which the EU imagines itself through its cultural and, more specifically, its memory and heritage policies – and, in turn, in the image of Europe that these policies slowly institutionalize. Her work in this area examines the multiple, uneven and often exclusionary effects of this process. She is also interested in the place of Islam in current imaginings and ideas of Europe.
Areas of research include heritage and museums, memory and contemporary art, transnationalism, governmentality, anthropology of development and globalization, politics of space and architecture, postcolonialism, the idea of Europe, Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
2012 Thinking Through Heritage Regimes. In Heritage Regimes and the State, edited by Regina F. Bendix, Aditya Eggert and Arnika Peselmann. Pp. 399-413. Göttingen: Universitätsverlag.
2012 Colonialism Contained. Photography & Culture 5(3): 343-346.
2012 The Paradoxes of Colonial Reparation: Foreclosing memory and the 2008 Italy-Libya Friendship Treaty. Memory Studies 5(3): 316-326.
2012 Anticipatory Representation: Building the Palestinian Nation(-State) through Artistic Performance. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism 12(1): 82-100.
2012 Memory Voids and the New European Heritage: A Proposal for Studying Transnational Memory. Journal of Museum Ethnography 25: 152-162 .
2012 Review of Between Art and Anthropology: Contemporary Ethnographic Practice, edited by Arndt Schneider and Christopher Wright. Journal of Museum Ethnography 25: 195-204.
2011 World Heritage and National Sovereignty: On Palestine’s UNESCO Bid. Leiden-Stanford Heritage Network, 6 December 2011. Available at http://www.networkedheritage.org/2011/12/06/world-heritage-and-national-sovereignty-on-palestine%E2%80%99s-unesco-bid/ .
2011 Cultural Governmentality: Government through Heritage Conservation in Old Hebron. Conflict in Cities Working Papers Series n. 23 (Peer-reviewed publication). Available at: http://www.arct.cam.ac.uk/conflictincities/workingpapers.html .
2011 Review of Controlling the Past, Owning the Future. The Political Use of Archaeology in the Middle East, edited by Ran Boytner et al. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 21(3): 473-4.
2011 Heritage by NGOs: Why Heritage Restoration Makes Sense under Occupation. Anthropology News, October 2011. Available at http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2011/10/25/heritage-by-ngos/ .
2011 Il terreno della cultura (The terrain of culture). In Terza cultura: idee per un futuro sostenibile (On Third Culture), edited by Nicla Vassallo and Vittorio Lingiardi. Milano: ilSaggiatore.
2010 Creative Heritage: Palestinian Heritage NGOs and Defiant Arts of Government. American Anthropologist 112(4) : 625-637.
2010 World Heritage and Mosaic Universalism: A View from Palestine. Journal of Social Archaeology 10(3) : 299-324.
2010 Hebron, or Heritage as Technology of Life. Jerusalem Quarterly 41 : 6-28.
2009 Cultural Heritage Beyond the ‘State:’ Palestinian Heritage Between Nationalism and Transnationalism. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology, Stanford University.
2007 Gerico: storia, siti archeologici e religiosi-Valle del Giordano e Mar Morto. With Adel Yahya. PACE Palestine Guidebook Series. Ramallah: PACE.
2002 Graves as Public Space? Some questions about possible ‘public’ aspects of graves and cemeteriesin Ancient Mesopotamia. Altorientalische Forschungen 29(2): 355-366.