Beverley Butler

Research Interests

  • the theorisation and re-conceptualisation of cultural heritage studies
  • museum historiography and critical museological theory
  • the application of intellectual history, philosophy, psychoanalysis, literary theory, postcolonial theory, deconstruction and memory-studies to cultural heritage/ museum studies
  • the application of ethnographic methods and anthropological theory to cultural heritage / museum studies
  • themes of cultural loss and revivalism; critical studies of the archive; postcolonial politics of memory-work; cosmopolitanism and ethnicity; maritime heritage; cultural / human rights and marginalised histories
  • heritage and wellbeing
  • specialist focus upon North Africa and Eastern Mediterranean and upon Alexandrian / Egyptian and Palestinian cultural heritage and cultural politics.

Research Directory Records

Organisations, Publications, Other Projects

  • Series editor of the ‘Critical Heritages’ publications with Left Coast Press/UCL.
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Museum History [2005-to date]
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Museum Management [2007-to date]
  • External Assessor, Cultural Heritage Learning and Research, Open University, UK [2007-to date]
  • Lecturer, Cultural Memory Studies, IGRS, London University [2003-to date]
  • Steering Group, Centre for Museums, Heritage and Material Culture, UCL.
  • Specialist Advisory Committee, AHRC, Community Archives and Identities [2007-to date]
  • UNESCO, Observer Status, Memory of the World Programme – see http://www.org/webworld/memory [Sept 2002-to date]
  • UNESCO-Ramallah, Consultancy/Publication with Sally MacDonald (Director of UCL Museums and Collections), Keys to the Past, Keys to the Future: Developing a National Policy for Museums in Palestine [2007- 2008].
  • Project management board, Community Archives and Identity, at SLAIS, UCL, funded by the (AHRC) for 20 months (2008-2009) see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/slais/research/icarus/community-archives/ - Developing ‘Heritage and Wellbeing’ research group UCL.
  • Developing ‘Collections in Exile, Persons in Exile’ research project.
  • Butler, B. (2011), Heritage as Pharmakon and the Muses as Deconstruction: Problematising Curative Museologies and Heritage Healing, in The Thing About Museums, [ed], S, Dudley: Leicester University Press. Ashgate Publishers, Surrey.
  • Butler, B. (2010), Palestinian Heritage “To the Moment”: Archival Memory and the Representation of Heritage in Conflict, in [eds], D, Perring et al, Journal of Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites.
  • Butler, B. (2010), ‘Keys to the Past, Keys to the Future’: An analysis of the development of a National Policy for Museums in Palestine, in [eds] B. Hole et al, Present Pasts.
  • Butler, B. (2009), ‘Othering’ the Archive – From Exile, to Inclusion and Heritage Dignity: The Case of Palestinian Archival Memory, in Archival Science, [eds], J, Sassoon and T, Burrows, Minority reports: indigenous and community voices in archives. Papers from the 4th International Conference on the History of Records and Archives (ICHORA4), Perth, Western Australia, August 2008, Vol 9, No 1-2: 57-69.
  • Butler, B. and MacDonald, S., (2008), Keys to the Past, Keys to the Future: Developing a National Policy for Museums in Palestine. Consultancy paper commissioned by Palestinian Authorities/ UNESCO.
  • Butler, B. (2007), Return to Alexandria: An Ethnography of Cultural Heritage Revivalism and Museum Memory. Left Coast Press.
  • Butler, B. (2007). Taking on the Tradition: African Heritage and the Testimony of Memory, Heritage and Memory in Africa. in DeJong, F., Rowlands, M. (ed.) Reclaiming Heritage: Alternative Imaginaries of Memory in West Africa. 31-69, Critical Heritages series (Left Coast Press).
  • Butler, B. (2007). Heritage Pilgrimage: Ancestors, Amulets and Olive Branches, In (ed) Sparks R.T., A Future for the Past: Petrie’s Palestinian Collection: Essays and Exhibition Catalogue. 47-64. Institute of Archaeology. UCL.
  • Butler,B. (2006). Heritage and the Present Past. in Tilley,C., Keuchler,S., Rowlands., (ed.) In the Handbook of Material Culture.. Sage Publications, 463-479
  • Butler, B. (2006). 'Three Concepts' - Hospitality, Cosmopolitanism and Human Dignity: Re-conceptualising Heritage Futures. Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress
  • Butler, B., Rowlands,M. (2006). 'The Man who would be Moses' Chapter 11 in Layton,R., Shennan,S.J., Stone,P. (ed.) A Future for Archaeology: The Past in the Present. UCL Press: London, 97-105. ISBN: 1-84472-126-4
  • Butler, B. (2003). ‘Egyptianizing’ the Alexandrina: The Contemporary Revival of the Ancient Mouseion/Library. In C. Price and J-M. Humbert (ed), Imotep Today: Egyptianizing Architecture. London: University College London Press.
  • Butler, B. (2001). Egypt: Constructed Exiles of the Imagination, in Bender, B and Winer, M, (eds), Contested Landscapes: Movement, Exile and Place, 303-318. Oxford: Berg.
  • Butler, B. (2001). Return to Alexandria: Conflict and Contradiction in Discourses of Origins and Heritage Revivalism in Alexandria, Egypt. In R. Layton and J. Thomas (eds), The Destruction and Conservation of Cultural Property, 55-75. London: Routledge.
  • Butler, B. and Littlewood, K, (1999), Of Ships and Stars: A History of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Commissioned by the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, Athlone Press
  • Butler, B, and Littlewood, K, (1999, The Implacable: From Ship to Symbol, National Maritime Museum Pub.
  • Butler, B. (1996), Salvaging the Titanic Story: Public Histories of Fascination and Loss, in MacManus, P, (ed), Public Audiences and Archaeological Display, Institute of Archaeology Occasional Paper Series
  • Butler, B. (1996). The Tree, the Tower and the Shamen: Protests of Resistance against road-building schemes in the Leytonstone and Wanstead areas of London. In D. Miller and C. Tilley (eds), Material Culture Journal, 2 (3): 75-89. London: Sage.


Current Students

  • Nicole Deufel Delivering public benefit through heritage management and interpretation in England and Germany (second supervisor Rodney Harrison)
  • Iain Shearer An investigation of cultural heritage and ethnicity at three Ghurid Central Asian Sites - Jam/Firuzkoh, Nishapur and Merv (second supervisor Dominic Perring)

Second Supervisor

 Recently submitted students

  • Paul Harrison Profane Egyptologists: Linegae, Lecay, and Cultural Incorporation (second supervisor Stephen Quirke)
  • Jane Sarre Communities of memory: An analysis of the influence of participation and trust on the visual culture of diversity in city history galleries (second supervisor Sally MacDonald)
  • Johanna Zetterstrom Sharp Cultural heritage, digital curatorship, and civil society strengthening in post-conflict Sierra Leone’ (principal supervisor Paul Basu)

Bookmark and Share