2009 Field School Resource Persons
The 2009 Field School had a total of 20 resource persons, comprised of 6 international resource persons and 14 resource persons (including guest lecturers and working group facilitators from SAC) from Thailand. Resource persons were selected on the basis of their expertise and experience in the areas of museology, intangible cultural heritage, heritage management and cultural anthropology. Key resource persons are listed below.
Dr. Paritta Chalermpow Koanantakool is Director of the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. Dr. Paritta received her PhD in Anthropology from Cambridge University in 1981. Her dissertation research examined transformations of Nang Talung shadow puppet theatre in Southern Thailand. Since becoming the Director of the Princess Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre, Dr. Paritta has spearheaded research and capacity-building projects with Thailand’s community-based museums. Findings from her work with monastery museums were published in an article entitled “Contextualising objects in Monastery Museums in Thailand,” in Buddhist Legacies in Mainland Southeast Asia : Mentalities, Interpretations and Practices (2006). Dr. Paritta has also initiated and collaborated on numerous Centre projects dealing with the transmission and documentation of cultural heritage. For instance, in 2007, SAC joined the Smithsonian Institute in organizing the Mekong River: Connecting Cultures program for the 2007 Folklife Festival, held in Washington D.C. Her research interests include traditional performance, art and crafts, anthropology of museums, cultural identity, cultural history, biography and ethnography and practical knowledge.
Dr. Alexandra Denes is a Research Associate at the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre in Bangkok, Thailand where she is the Director of the ICH and Museums Field School and the Culture and Rights in Thailand Research Program. An anthropologist specializing in Southeast Asian Studies, Alexandra has spent over fifteen years living, working and researching in the region. As an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, she spent one year at Chiang Mai University where she undertook research on Thai classical dance in the construction of national identity. For her Masters in International Studies (University of Oregon 1998), she undertook participatory action research on the role of wild foods in household food security in Salavan Province, Lao PDR, as part of a ten-month internship with the NGO, World Education.
In 2002, Alexandra received a Fulbright scholarship to conduct field research on the revival of Khmer heritage and Khmer ethnic identity in Surin, Thailand. The research culminated in her doctoral dissertation, entitled “Recovering Khmer Ethnic Identity from the Thai National Past: An Ethnography of the Localism Movement in Thailand.” She received her PhD in Anthropology from Cornell University in 2006. She is broadly interested in issues of ethnic identity, ritual, memory, and the politics of cultural heritage revitalization within the context of nationalism.
Professor Peter Davis Professor Peter Davis is Professor of Museology at the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, Newcastle University, UK. Professor Davis has research interests in community museology, new museology and ecomuseums. His book, ‘Ecomuseums, a sense of place’ (1999), was the first text in English to document this global museological phenomenon from French, Spanish and Portuguese sources, so making the concepts and ideologies of ecomuseums more widely available.
Peter has published extensively on ecomuseum theory and practice since 1999, particularly in relation to developments in Canada, Italy, Japan and China. He is currently revising the text of ‘Ecomuseums’ for a second edition which should be available in October 2010.
Peter Davis’ current research deals primarily with contemporary approaches to museology, in particular how museums deal with questions relating to communities, sustainability, biocultural conservation, place and ‘sense of place’, local distinctiveness and cultural identity. He has a worldwide network of contacts involved in ecomuseum theory and practice and is working with colleagues in England, Italy, Japan, India, China and Portugal to assess the impact of community-based approaches to heritage conservation. Emerging strands within this research are the relationship between ecomuseums and the formation of capital; between ecomuseums, tourism and community sustainability; and the ways in which ecomuseums might bridge the nature-culture divide.
Dr. Christina Kreps is an Associate Professor at Denver University, Director of Museum Studies and Director of the DU Museum of Anthropology. Dr. Kreps’ research, teaching, and applied work crosses a number of disciplines and concerns, including anthropology, museology, art, international cultural policy and development. She has been studying the museum as a cultural phenomenon and cross-cultural approaches to museums, curation, and heritage preservation for nearly twenty years. In 2005, she was awarded a Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship through the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage to study the 2003 Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and how indigenous curation and concepts of heritage preservation are examples of intangible cultural heritage. More recently, Dr. Kreps has been investigating “cultural humanitarianism,” or the integration of cultural concerns into humanitarian aid and efforts, focusing on the effects of the 2004 tsunami and 2005 earthquake on the Museum Pusaka Nias on the island of Nias (Indonesia). Currently, Dr. Kreps is working with a group of museums in Italy on a European Union wide project called Museums as Places for Intercultural Dialogue (MAPforID), focusing specifically on how museums and other cultural institutions can help immigrants and refugees better integrate into local communities.
Ms. Kate Hennessy is a Doctoral Candidate in Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, and a Trudeau Scholar. She received her Masters of Arts in the Anthropology of Media from the University of London, SOAS. As assistant editor of the journal Visual Anthropology Review, she designed its first multimedia volume. Her current work with Aboriginal communities in northern British Columbia, Alberta, and the Yukon uses methods of participatory ethnography while facilitating collaborative community media projects as videographer, media skills trainer, and multimedia producer. Her doctoral research is grounded in the history and trajectory of museum repatriation, and explores the transformative role of new media in museum and academic practice. She connects this concept to issues of ethnographic representation, language revitalization, and the relations of power between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
Dr. Tim Curtis is the head of the Culture Unit in UNESCO Bangkok office, and is responsible for the coordination and implementation of UNESCO’s Culture Programme in South East Asia. He received his PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, where he wrote a thesis entitled ‘Talking about Place’ on the relationship between oral history and place amongst the Na’hai speakers of Malakula in the Republic of Vanuatu. From March 2000 until December 2002 he worked as a consultant for UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Section at UNESCO Headquarters, primarily on the design and implementation of intangible heritage projects in Asia and the Pacific as well as on the launching of the UNESCO Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2001. In January 2003 he joined the Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) Project in the UNESCO Science Sector, before moving to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in December 2004, where as programme specialist for Culture, he oversaw UNESCO culture sector programme in Tanzania, Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles.
In June 2009, Dr. Curtis moved to UNESCO Bangkok office. He has worked with community museums and intangible heritage since 1995. Firstly in Melanesia in the context of his PhD research where he was closely involved in the development of a community-based cultural centre in Vanuatu, and then in East Africa where he implemented Community Museum projects for Intangible Heritage, notably with the Sukuma people of Western Tanzania, as well as along the Swahili coast of Kenya. He has assisted with the preparation of National Inventories of Intangible Cultural heritage in Madagascar, Seychelles and Mauritius as well as attended numerous UNESCO conferences and meetings on the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Dr. Marilena Alivizatou is Teaching Fellow in museum studies at the Institute of Archaeology,University College London. Marilena lectures on museum history and theory and co-ordinates courses on collections care and management, collections curatorship and cultural heritage and development.In July 2009 Marilena obtained her PhD from UCL. For her doctoral studies, which were funded by the Greek Scholarships Foundation (IKY), the University of London Central Research Fund and UCL,she conducted fieldwork in museums in New Zealand, Vanuatu, USA, UK and France, researching the negotiations of intangible heritage in the local complexities of heritage work. Prior to that, she worked at the Intangible Heritage Sector of UNESCO and ICOM in Paris. In 2004 she was awarded with distinction the MA in cultural heritage studies from UCL. In 2002 she was awarded with distinction the undergraduate degree in performance and theatre studies from the University of Athens. She has worked in the Benaki Museum in Athens and the British Museum in London. Her research interests are in critical heritage and museum theory, participatory museology, culture and development,intangible heritage.