UCL Anthropocene


Dr Colin Sterling

Academic position: AHRC Research Fellow

Department: Institute of Archaeology

Email: c.sterling@ucl.ac.uk

Websites: Colin Sterling, Heritage Research and Experience Design


My research focuses on critical-creative approaches to heritage, memory and museums. I am interested in how artists, designers, curators, architects, writers and other creative practitioners engage with museums and heritage as spaces of critical enquiry. My current research (funded by the AHRC) asks how emerging approaches to immersive and experiential design might contribute towards critical heritage thinking and practice. Here I am particularly interested in recent immersive work that engages with questions of climate change and the Anthropocene as sites of contested heritage. From 2017 to 2019 I held a post-doctoral position on the AHRC Heritage Priority Area project, working on the implications of posthumanist thinking and the Anthropocene for the heritage field. An edited volume on these themes is now forthcoming, titled Deterritorializing the Future: Heritage in, of and after the Anthropocene. This will be followed by a short book co-authored with Rodney Harrison provisionally titled Heritage in More-than-human Worlds. In May 2020 we also launched an international design and ideas competition called Reimagining Museums for Climate Action to help push forward speculative and creative thinking on these issues.

Research Projects:


I have co-coordinated the Cultural Memory MA module (ARCL0121) at UCL Institute of Archaeology for the past four years, and have made the Anthropocene a central part of my contribution to this course. I have also lectured on the Anthropocene for Introduction to Archaeology (ARCL0010) and Critical Perspectives on Cultural Heritage (ARCL0149).