Marilena Alivizatou

  • MA, PhD
  • Research Associate, EU-funded i-Treasures Project
  • Honorary Research Associate, UCL Institute of Archaeology

Research Interests

  • Cultural heritage and critical museology: cultural preservation; politics of recognition and representation; museum and heritage ethics; cultural property ownership
  • Intangible heritage: UNESCO and the international framework; cultural performance as heritage and identity-work
  • Participatory and relational museology: museums and Indigenous communities; bottom-up museum-work; community museology; alternative approaches to collections curatorship
  • Museum and heritage ethnography: exhibition analysis and interpretation; examination of ethnographic displays and collections
  • Heritage and development: cultural dimensions of development; local and traditional knowledge in development
  • Qualitative research methods; multi-sited ethnography; interviews and oral history
  • Fieldwork expertise: National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Vanuatu Cultural Centre, National Museum of the American Indian, Horniman Museum and Musée du Quai Branly.

Research Directory


  • Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre and UNESCO Bangkok, Museums and Intangible Heritage Fieldschool, Lamphun, Thailand
  • Heritage Academy fieldschool
  • National Museum of Qatar (Oral History and Intangible Heritage)

Educational Background

  • PhD, Museum and Heritage Studies, UCL, 2009
  • MA, Cultural Heritage Studies, UCL, 2004
  • BA, Performance and Theatre Studies, University of Athens, 2002
  • Erasmus, History of Art, Utrecht University, 2001
  • Book
  • 2012. Intangible Heritage and the Museum: New Perspectives on Cultural Preservation. Critical Cultural Heritage Studies Series. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
  • Articles
  • 2013. with Denes, A., Chalermpow Koanantakool, P., Davis, P., Kreps, C., Hennessy, K., Stefano, M. Critical Reflections on Safeguarding Culture: The Intangible Cultural Heritage and Museums Field School in Lamphun, Thailand, Heritage and Society 6(1):4-23.
  • 2012. Debating Heritage Authenticity: Kastom and Development at the Vanuatu Cultural Centre, International Journal of Heritage Studies18(2):124-43.
  • 2012. The Paradoxes of Intangible Heritage. In: Stefano, M. et al. (eds.) Touching the Intangible. Heritage Matters Series. London: Boydell & Brewer, 9-22.
  • 2011. Intangible Heritage and Erasure: Rethinking Cultural Preservation and Contemporary Museum Practice, International Journal of Cultural Property 18(1): 37-60
  • 2010. Μουσείο και Άυλη Κληρονομιά: Μαθήματα από τον Νοτιο-Δυτικό Ειρηνικό, Τετράδια Μουσειολογίας 7: 30-37
  • 2010. Intangible Heritage: Dying Folklore or Contemporary Identities? In: Lira, S. and Amoeda, R. (eds.) Constructing Intangible Heritage. Barcelos; Po: Green Lines Institute for Sustainable Development.
  • 2010. Intangible Heritage and the Performance of Identity. In: Jackson, A. and Kidd, J. (eds) Performing Heritage. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 82-93.
  • 2008. The politics of ‘arts premiers’: Some thoughts on the Musée du Quai Branly, Museological Review 13: 44-56.
  • 2008. Contextualising Intangible Heritage in Heritage Studies and Museology, International Journal of Intangible Heritage 3: 44-54.
  • 2007. Intangible Cultural Heritage: A New Universal Museological Discourse? Humankind 3: 41-50.
  • 2007. The UNESCO Programme for the Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, Journal of Museum Ethnography 19: 34-42.
  • 2006. Museums and Intangible Heritage: The Dynamics of an Unconventional Relationship, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 17: 47-57.

Current students

  • Emma Ayling Participation, locality, belonging: Rethinking museum communities and community museums (principal supervisor Paul Basu)
  • Nicole Defeul Delivering public benefit through heritage management and interpretation in England and Germany (principal supervisor Beverley Butler)

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