skip to content

Department of Archaeology



My research interests lie at the nexus between cultural heritage and the politics of the past. At the moment my work focuses on violence - including dynamics threat, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and risk. I am especially interested in how cultural heritage is used, and abused, during armed conflicts to divide, exclude, and intimidate. The motivation behind this line of questioning is to try and discover potential mechanisms for ‘disarming’ heritage so that it can be a tool for constructive dialogue, dignity, and respect.

Coming out of, and feeding into, this main line of my research are others such as trying to understand how developments in the neuroscience of memory might be applied to heritage studies, and the relationship between cultural and natural heritage.

Until now, the study of the destruction of cultural heritage during wars has focused on the material damage suffered by sites or on the looting of objects. This focus on material destruction has overlooked what might be underlying this form of violence. The proposed research project will further develop the theory of ‘cultural violence’, applying it to violent acts against cultural heritage. It is hoped that the insights gained from this work will help inform national policies more likely to strengthen plural societies. On an international level this research could help develop practical tools for agencies working on post-conflict reconstruction projects and strengthen measures for protecting heritage sites during conflicts.




Information for Prospective Postgraduate Students

Before making a speculative approach to me about your PhD project, please think about the following: 

1. Why do you want to work with me in particular as your supervisor? It is important that we are excited about the same sorts of questions and that you clearly lay out why you are actively interested in working with me specifically. 

2. What will you bring to the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre? I am keen on working with people who can bring unusual skills and creative approaches to takling questions about heritage, not just an interesting case study. A strong academic trajectory, a long-standing passion for heritage, and some practical experience in the field are the minimum expectations, not qualifications in themselves. 

3. How will you fund your research? Funding in the Humanities is notoriously difficult to come by so you need to have a realistic plan for covering expenses related to field-work. 

4. Why do you want to do a PhD? A PhD is difficult, intensive and all-consuming requiring serious dedication. Most PhD graduates do not end up working in academica and post-doctoral research posts are very hard to come by so you need to have realistic expectations and a clear reason for doing one. 


Key publications: 
[1] 2019             “The Ecotones and Edge Effects of Heritage Borders” in Anna Källén (ed) Heritage and Borders. Stockholm: Swedish Royal Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities.
[2] 2019         Moffett, L., D. Viejo Rose & R. Hickey. “Shifting the paradigm on cultural property and heritage in international law and armed conflict: time to talk about reparations? ”, International Journal of Heritage Studies, DOI: 10.1080/13527258.2019.1666295
[3] 2016  “Eternal, Impossible, Returns: Variations on the Theme of Dislocation” in Carroll, Khadija von Zinnenburg (ed), The importance of being anachronistic: contemporary Aboriginal art and museum reparations, published by Discipline in association with Third Text Publications: Melbourne, Victoria; pp.103-130. 
[4] 2015    Cultural heritage and memory: untangling the ties that bind”, in Culture & History. Digital Journal, vol. 4, no 2, doi: 
[5] 2015    (ed. with M.L.S.Sørensen) War and Cultural Heritage: Biographies of Place.  Cambridge: CUP. And chapters therein: Introduction: the impact of conflict on cultural heritage: a biographical lens (with M.L.S.Sørensen), 1-17; The materiality of tradition and power in the post-civil war reconstruction of Gernika’s Foru Plaza, 69-97.
[6] 2014    “Identité et mémoire d’après-guerre: la destruction et la reconstruction du patrimoine culturel en Espagne et en Bosnie” in V. Négri (eds.), Le Patrimoine culturel, cible des conflits armés. De la guerre civile espagnole aux guerres du 21e siècle. Bruxelles: Bruylant, pp. 101-118.
[7] 2013    “Patrimonio cultural armado : La violencia cultural y simbólica” in C. Ortíz (ed) Lugares de represión, paisajes de la memoria. Aspectos materiales y simbólicos de la cárcel de Carabanchel. Madrid : Catarata, pp. 21-27.
[8] 2013    “Reconstructing Heritage in the Aftermath of Civil War: Re-visioning the Nation and the Implications of International Involvement” in the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, vol. 7/ issue 2, 2013, pp.125-48. DOI: 10.1080/17502977.2012.714241
[9] 2011    “Memorial Functions: Intent, Impact and the Right to Remember” in Memory Studies, October, issue 4.4. DOI : 10.1177/1750698011411367
[10] 2011    Reconstructing Spain: Cultural Heritage and Memory after Civil War. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press.
[11] 2011    “Destruction and Reconstruction of Heritage: Impacts on Memory and Identity” in Y.R. Isar, H. Anheier & D. Viejo-Rose (eds), Cultures and Globalization Series, vol. 4, Heritage, Memory and Identity. London: Sage, pp. 53-69.  
[12] 2007    “Conflict and the Deliberate Destruction of Cultural Heritage” in Y.R. Isar and H. Anheier (eds), Cultures and Globalization Series, vol.1, Conflicts and Tensions. London: Sage, pp. 102-116. DOI: 10.4135/9781446214671.n9


Other publications: 


[1] 2018    Book Review: White, Geoffrey M. Memorializing Pearl Harbor: unfinished histories and the work of remembrance, in Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 24(1): 208-209, March 2018. DOI :
[2] 2017. “Cultural Heritage and Politics of the Past: An Interview with Dacia Viejo-Rose”, in EuropeNow, April 2017 issue. Columbia University: New York.
[3] 2017    Book Review: Heritage and Peacebuilding, in Heritage & Society, vol. 7, Issue 2, pp.:193-197. DOI : 10.1080/2159032X.2017.1367488
[4] 2014  “Cultural Heritage Management and Armed Conflict ” in C. Smith (Editor-in-Chief). Encyclopaedia of Global Archaeology. New York: Springer Reference, pp. 1870-1875.
[5] 2014    “Entrevista: Dacia Viejo-rose: ‘El patrimonio cultural: ¿potenciador de diálogo y sentido unificador o de desencuentro y violencia?’” in revista ph, n. 85 of the Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Histórico, April 2014, 232-236.
[6] 2013    “Review of Exhuming Loss” in Cambridge Archaeological Journal, vol. 23, issue 1, February pp. 129-130.
[7] 2013    “Review of A European Memory? Contested Histories and Politics of Remembrance”, in the journal of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, vol. 13, issue 1.
[8] 2012    “Cultural Destruction” in H. Anheier, M. Juergensmeyer, V. Faessel (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Global Studies. London: Sage, pp. 322-325.
[9] 2003    “Issues of Evaluation in Humanitarian Arts Projects”, in Y.R. Isar (ed.) Artistic Activism: Towards an evaluation of the use of cultural activities in situations of conflict.  Brussels: IETM, pp. 38-50.

Co-authored work

[1] 2015    D. Viejo-Rose and M.L.S. Sørensen, “Cultural Heritage and Conflict: new questions for an old relationship“ in E. Waterton and S. Watson (eds) A Companion to Contemporary Heritage Research.  Basingstoke & NY: Palgrave McMillan.
[2] 2011    Isar, Y.R., D. Viejo-Rose and H.K. Anheier, “Introduction” in Isar, Anheier and Viejo-Rose (eds), Cultures and Globalization Series, vol. 4, Heritage, Memory and Identity. London: Sage, pp. 1-20.

Teaching and Supervisions



  • Coordinating and teaching on module G23 (Management of the Archaeological Heritage)
  • Coordinating and teaching on module G22 (Sociopolitics of the Past)
  • Coordinating and teaching on module A13 (The Past in the Present)
  • Occasional lecturing on modules G02 (Core Archaeology) and ARC6 (ARC6 Archaeological Theory and Practice I)



Research supervision: 


Pablo Alonso González, “Nation-building and cultural heritage in post-colonial Cuba, 1898-2014” (2011-2015)

Mathilde Leloup, "Défendre l'humanitéen protégeant son patromoine. Un nouveau mandat pour les opérations de pais onusiennes" (Sciences Po Paris, 2016 - 2020)

Currently supervising the following PhDs:

  • Thomas Crowley, Working title:  “Heritage on the Margins: Brokerage and Enchantment on Pakistan’s Northern Frontier” (2016 - )
  • Alicia Stevens, Working title: “Fractured heritagescapes and the peace process in Myanmar” (2017 - )
  • Alisa Santikarn, Working title: “Locating Conflicts in Conservation Values: The Heritage of Elephants in Thailand“ (2018 -)
  • Mariana Pinto Leitao Pereira, Working title: “Heritage of (be)longing, (be)longing as heritage? Expressions of inclusion and exclusion in the Macanese diasporic communities” (2018 - )
  • Oliver Antczak, Working tittle: "Comparing Colonial Experiences: Indigenous Identitites in the Southern Caribbean", (2019- )

Other Professional Activities

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board (SABI) of the Institute of Heritage Sciences (Incipit), part of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Member of the Advisory Panel of Spain NOW! ( an annual season of contemporary art and culture from Spain that takes place in London.

Job Titles

Senior Lecturer in Heritage and the Politics of the Past
Deputy Director, Cambridge Heritage Research Centre
Director of Studies, Selwyn College
Director of Studies, Downing College

General Info

Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Cultural Heritage

Contact Details

G3, Courtyard Building
McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Downing Street
01223 (3)33500


Person keywords: 
Material Culture
Migration and Mobility
The Mediterranean
Cognition and Culture
Heritage Studies
Material Culture
Geographical areas: