2010 Field School Resource Persons
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.
Dr. Rasmi Shooocongdej (B.A.-Archaeology), Silpakorn University; Ph.D. (Anthropology, University of Michigan) is an associate professor of archaeology and a former chair of the Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Archaeology, Bangkok, Thailand.
Rasmi’s areas of interest include late-to post-Pleistocene forager in the tropics, Southeast Asian prehistory, cave archaeology, and archaeology and ethnic education. Her areas of specialization are Mae Hong Son and Kanchanaburi. Her field experiences include northern, western, central, and southern Thailand; Cambodia, southwestern USA, and southeastern Turkey.
She is a co-founder and co-editor (with Dr Elisabeth Bacus) of Southeast Asian Archaeology International Newsletter (1992-present). She is an advisory board on Southeast Asian Archaeology for World Archaeology Journal (UK), Asian Perspectives (University of Hawaii, USA), Bulletin of Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association (IPPA, Australian National University, Australia), Archaeologies (World Archaeological Congress).
Rasmi actively involves in archaeological developments and activities in Thailand and Southeast Asia. For instance, she has been elected as a senior representative for the Southeast Asian and the Pacific Region in the World Archaeological Congress Council (1998-2012) and an executive member of Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association (2006-2010) as well as Southeast Asian Prehistorian Association. Apart than professional services, she has also been intensively worked with the local communities and Thai general public on heritage protections and archaeological educations.
Dr. Kate Hennessyis an Assistant Professor specializing in Media at Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology in Surrey, British Columbia. Her ethnographic research explores the transformative role of new media in the documentation and safeguarding of cultural heritage and indigenous cultural property. In 2006, she was awarded a Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship to carry out research with the Doig River First Nation (Dane-zaa) in northeastern British Columbia, in which she engaged methods of participatory ethnography while facilitating collaborative community media projects
as videographer, media skills trainer, and multimedia producer. Her video and multimedia works investigate documentary methodologies to address indigenous and settler histories of place and space. Dr.Hennessy received her Masters of Arts in the Anthropology of Media from the University of London, SOAS, and her PhD in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia. As assistant editor of the journal Visual Anthropology Review, she designed its first multimedia volume. Her work has been published in journals such as American Indian Quarterly, Museum Anthropology Review, and Visual Anthropology Review.
Dr. Michelle L. Stefano
Michelle is in the final stages of her doctoral studies within the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies at Newcastle University, which have been funded in large part through the Overseas Research Student Awards Scheme of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Her research has focused on examining the applicability of the ecomuseum ideal in safeguarding three intangible cultural expressions within the North East of England. This research has also identified key limitations facing museums of the region in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. In 2004, she was awarded with distinction an MA in International Museum Studies from Gothenburg University in Sweden. She also holds a BA in the History of Art and Architecture, and another in the Visual Arts, from Brown University in Providence, USA. Michelle has worked in several museums within the New York area.
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.
Tara Gujadhur is the Co-Director of the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre a private, non-profit ethnology museum in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. She has been based in Luang Prabang for 6 years, first as an advisor to the government on sustainable tourism development, before founding TAEC with Thongkhoun Soutthivilay in 2006. Tara has a BA in Anthropology and an MSc in Tourism, Environment, and Development, and 10 years experience in sustainable tourism development, indigenous knowledge management, and community development throughout Southern Africa and Southeast Asia. She has worked with the Khasi in northeast India, the San in Botswana, and numerous minority groups in Laos. For the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre, Tara leads the research and community development objectives, including co-curating 10 exhibitions on living cultural heritage, facilitating cultural mapping exercises, and developing community fair trade handicrafts.
Cai Yunci is completing her Masters of Arts in Museum Studies at University College London (UK) on a National Heritage Board of Singapore Postgraduate Sponsorship 2009. Over the last three years, Yunci has worked in the policy and research capacity at the National Heritage Board of Singapore, the national agency operating national museums and overseeing the cultural and heritage policies in Singapore. Yunci is currently on study leave from the Board, where she is a Manager (Policy and Research). Her key portfolio involves studying trends of museum developments overseas and making policy recommendations to improve Singapore’s heritage and museum scene. Yunci has a very deep interest in heritage and culture, and has embarked on many research projects on heritage and museological issues. She has published in books and journals including The International Journal of Inclusive Museum, Essays in Singapore?s Legal History: In Memory of Professor Geoffrey Wilson Bartholomew (edited by Kevin Tan) and BeMuse.
In 2005, Yunci earned a First Class Honours in Geography from the National University of Singapore (NUS) where she was designated a University Scholar under NUS’s premier University Scholars Programme and was placed on Vice-Chancellor’s List for her outstanding intellectual and leadership achievements. Yunci also believes in the values of community activism, and has participated in community development projects in Asia such as Tibet, China (2001), Cambodia (2001) and Sri Lanka (2005) through various humanitarian organisations such as Raleigh Society (Singapore), All China Youth Federation (ACYF) and Singapore International Foundation (SIF).
Eleni Protopapa is currently completing her Masters Degree in Cultural Heritage Studies in University College London (UCL). For her dissertation she has concentrated on the Cypriot dialect as Intangible Cultural Heritage. She aims to present the characteristics of the dialect as heritage, and thus, encourage the significance of safeguarding, promoting and respecting it. She has studied History and History of Art and Architecture in the University of Reading, graduating in 2009. Eleni is interested in the concept of national identity and how cultural heritage may be focused around it, but also, how at times, national identity may be problematic because of this. These issues can be strongly felt in Cyprus and there are not many chances for a plethora of artistic display apart from national and private galleries. Hence, she is currently organizing an art exhibition for Cypriot artists in order to showcase the creativity and innovation that may be stifled in a small community that centres its national identity on its archaeology and relations with Greece. The exhibition aims to provide contradictions and a re-assessment of the cultural and social life in Cyprus. Currently she is an intern at the Science Museum in London, undertaking a summative evaluation of the 1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in our World exhibition.
Tiamsoon Sirisrisak teaches at King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL), Bangkok. Trained as an architectural and urban conservator, he also serves as a member of the ICOMOS/IFLA International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes (2009 – 2012), and the ICOMOS Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage. Over the past decade, he has been involved in researching cultural heritage, with a particular emphasis on international concepts and practices
in the context of Thailand and the Asian region.
Ms. Natsuko Akagawa is affiliated with Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific (CHCAP) at Deakin University and was a co-editor of the book entitled “Intangible Heritage” published in 2009 from Routledge. Ms. Akagawa has studied, taught, undertaken heritage workshops, field schools and research projects in Australia, the United States, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Portugal, France and elsewhere. As heritage being interdisciplinary field, research interests are: heritage conservation in general, intangible heritage, cultural landscape, history,tourism,policy, political science etc. She earned Master of Business Administration (HD Honours), Master of Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies (HD), Postgraduate Diploma of Education,
Diploma of Portuguese Language and Culture.