- MSc, PhD
- Honorary Visiting Professor
- Member of Council and Chair of Education Commitee, Royal Anthropological Institute
Editorial Board, Journal of Material Culture, World Art
- Series Editor, Routledge Studies in Culture and Development
- Anthropological perspectives on cultural heritage and memory
- Anthropology and archaeology of landscape
- Spatial history, spatial practice, 'sites of memory'
- Museum anthropology, history of ethnographic collecting and display
- Exhibition practice, visual anthropology, multimedia installation
- Museums and development, cultural heritage and civil society strengthening
- Colonial and postcolonial heritage ideology and legislation
- Material culture and migration, homelands and the diasporic imagination
- Regional expertise: West Africa (especially Sierra Leone), Scotland and the Scottish diaspora
Current & Recent Projects
- Lead Consultant, Review of Heritage Legislation in Sierra Leone, Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs & Monuments and Relics Commission, Sierra Leone.
- Leverhulme Research Fellow, 2014-15 - 'Reassembling N.W. Thomas's Anthropological Mission to Sierra Leone, 1914-15'
- British Academy Mid-Career Fellow, 2013-14 - 'Archives, Histories, Landscapes: Surveying Sierra Leone's Cultural Memoryscape'.
- Co-Investigator, EC-funded collaborative I-Treasures project.
- Co-Investigator, AHRC-funded 'Utopian Archives: Excavating Pasts for Postcolonial Futures' Research Network.
- Core participant, AHRC-funded 'Museum Ethics' Research Network.
- Curator, Sowei mask: spirit of Sierra Leone - Asahi Shimbun Objects in Focus display at the British Museum. Collaboration with the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. Exhibition and associated events programme, 2013.
- Palimpsest Memoryscapes - a book project exploring the multiple 'regimes of memory' that coexist in the Sierra Leonean cultural landscape.
- Critical Conversations in Culture and Development workshop series - collaboration with the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam (the first workshop, Museums, Heritage and International Development, took place at the Tropenmuseum in 2011).
- Reanimating Cultural Heritage: digital repatriation, knowledge networks and civil society strengthening in post-conflict Sierra Leone - 3 year project funded under the AHRC's Beyond Text programme. Partners include the British Museum, British Library Sound Archive, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Glasgow Museums, World Museum Liverpool, the National Museum of Sierra Leone, and University of Sussex Informatics Department. A major output of the project is the digital heritage resource www.sierraleoneheritage.org.
- British Museum Africa Programme - lead consultant on capacity building at Sierra Leone National Museum since 2007.
- Object Diasporas, Resourcing Communities - British Academy funded survey of Sierra Leonean collections in the global museumscape.
- Heritage Laws, Colonial Legacies - comparative history and study of heritage legislation in British Commonwealth states.
- Discovering Anthropology through Museum Collections - museum learning resource, partners include Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, C-SAP, the Royal Anthropological Institute, and University of Sussex Anthropology Department.
Selected recent publications
- Basu, P. (ed.) (2016) The Inbetweenness of Things. London: Bloomsbury.
- Basu, P. and F. de Jong (eds) Utopian Archives, Decolonial Affordances, special issue of Social Anthropology 24 (1).
- Basu, P. (2016) N. W. Thomas and Colonial Anthropology in British West Africa. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 22(1).
- Basu, P. and V. Damodaran (2015) Colonial Histories of Heritage: Legislative Migrations and the Politics of Preservation. Past and Present 226: 240-271.
- Basu, P. and W. Modest (eds) (2015) Museums, Heritage and International Development. New York: Routledge.
- Basu, P. (2015) Reanimating Cultural Heritage: Digital Curatorship, Knowledge Networks and Social Transformation in Sierra Leone. In A. E. Coombes and R. B. Phillips (eds), International Handbook of Museum Studies, Volume IV: Museum Transformations. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Basu, P. (2013) Recasting the National Narrative: Postcolonial Pastiche and the New Sierra Leone Peace and Cultural Monument. African Arts 46(3): 10-25.
- Basu, P. (2013) Material Culture: Ancestries and Trajectories in Material Culture Studies. In J. G. Carrier and D. B. Gewertz (eds), Handbook of Sociocultural Anthropology. London: Bloomsbury.
- Basu, P. (2013) Memoryscapes and Multi-sited Methods: Researching Cultural Memory in Sierra Leone. In E. Keightley and M. Pickering (eds), Research Methods for Memory Studies. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Macdonald, S. and P. Basu (eds) (2007) Exhibition Experiments. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Basu, P. (2007) Highland Homecomings: Genealogy and Heritage-Tourism in the Scottish Diaspora. London: Routledge.