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Department of Archaeology



I am a PhD candidate and Gates Cambridge Scholar in the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre, Department of Archaeology.  My research interrogates the difficult cultural heritage of colonial and military oppression in post-junta Myanmar. The PhD inquiry builds on my Cambridge MPhil dissertation on the use of strategic ambiguity in museum interpretation to manipulate political outcomes. Believing in general that engagement is more effective than embargo for achieving positive change, I worked in Myanmar between 2001 and 2010 when the country was under military rule and international political and economic sanctions. Working for the American Museum of Natural history in collaboration with the United Nations Office of the Secretary-General, I consulted on the protection of cultural and natural heritage and the promotion of civilian diplomacy through educational tourism amid international isolation.

Nearly two decades of senior-level museum experience - at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City - and museum-related travel to 100+ countries, inform my work at Cambridge and my fieldwork in Myanmar.

Previous academic experience includes an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge, an M.Sc. from Columbia University, and a BA from the University of Michigan. 


  • Post-conflict heritage studies
  • Political anthropology
  • Public remembrance of difficult heritage
  • Museum studies and museum development

Key Publications

Key publications: 

Stevens, A.V. (2016). International Partnerships for Museum Education. In: M. Seth and C. Reed, ed., Issues in Indian Museum Education: National Perspective, International Trends. Delhi: Agam Kala Prakashan, pp.111-131.

Stevens, A.V. (2022 - upcoming).  Heritage investment in Myanmar.  In: Asia’s Heritage Trend, Seoul: Seoul National University Asia Centre and Humanities Korea.

Teaching and Supervisions


G31: Management of Archaeological Heritage, session: Conducting fieldwork in a politically uncertain context: post-junta Myanmar

Research supervision: 

Supervisors: Dr. Dacia Viejo-Rose

Advisors: Dr. Mark Elliot

Other Professional Activities

Executive Council, Gates Cambridge/Rhodes (Oxford) sponsored Global Scholars Symposium

Emeritus Advisory Council, Educational Travel Consortium

Emeritus member Board of Directors, Explorers Club

Member, Oxford Cambridge Club, London

Job Titles

PhD student in Archaeology

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Museum Studies
Material Culture
Built Environment
Cultural Evolution
Field Methods
Heritage Management
Cultural Heritage

Contact Details

Avs43 [at]


Person keywords: 
Post-conflict heritage
Political uncertainty
Political liminality
Ambiguous heritage
Heritage Studies
Geographical areas: 
Southeast Asia