Lynn Meskell is Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She is Richard D. Green Professor of Anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences, Professor in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at the Weitzman School of Design, and curator in the Middle East and Asia sections at the Penn Museum. Currently she serves as AD White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University (2019-2025). She holds Honorary Professorships at Oxford and Liverpool in the UK, Shiv Nadar in India and Johannesburg, South Africa. Previously Lynn was the Shirley and Leonard Ely Professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Over the past twenty years she has been awarded grants and fellowships including those from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Australian Research Council, the American Academy in Rome, the School of American Research, Oxford University and Cambridge University. She is the founding editor of the Journal of Social Archaeology.
Over the last decade Lynn has conducted an institutional ethnography of UNESCO World Heritage, tracing the politics of governance and sovereignty and the subsequent implications for multilateral diplomacy, international conservation, and heritage rights. Employing archival and ethnographic analysis, her award-winning book A Future in Ruins: UNESCO, World Heritage, and the Dream of Peace (OUP, 2018) reveals UNESCO’s early forays into one-world archaeology and its later commitments to global heritage. Building on this research, she is currently examining the entwined histories of colonialism, internationalism, espionage and archaeology in the Middle East coupled with a new largescale survey project in Syria and Iraq to assess public opinion on heritage destruction and reconstruction. Other recent fieldwork explores monumental regimes of research and preservation around World Heritage sites in India and how diverse actors and agencies address the needs of living communities.
Archaeological Theory, Ethnography, UNESCO World Heritage, Middle East, India, South Africa, Egypt, Identity, Politics, Embodiment, Postcolonial and Feminist theory, Ethics.
Global Engagement Fund, Business, World Heritage and Conflict Risk: Investing for Profit, Preservation and Peace, University of Pennsylvania, (with Vit Henisz, Wharton) ($32,800)
Australian Research Council Grant, After Islamic State: Local-State-Global Heritage Dynamics in Syria and Iraq (PI Ben Isakhan and L. Meskell) (AUS $460,000)
Thomas Spencer Jerome Lecturer: The Ethics of Heritage and Archaeology in Global Perspective, American Academy in Rome, Italy and Michigan University, USA.
Visiting Scholar, American Academy in Rome, Italy
Perry World House Fellow (3 years), University of Pennsylvania
PIK Professor and Richard Perry University Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Honorary Professor, Institute of Archaeology, Oxford University, UK
Honorary Professor, Archaeology Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool, UK
International Advisory Board, Archaeology Department, University of Durham, UK.
International Advisory Board, Shiv Nadar University, India
Shirley R. and Leonard W. Ely, Jr. Professor of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University.
A.D. White Professor-at-Large, Cornell University, USA (6 years)
Patty Jo Watson Distinguished Lecture, American Anthropology Association, USA
Society for American Archaeology Book Award for A Future in Ruins: UNESCO, World Heritage and the Dream of Peace (OUP: New York)
Elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, Australia
Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS) Faculty Fellow, Stanford, USA
Honorary Doctorate, American University of Rome, Italy.
Visiting Fellow, New College, Oxford University, UK
Visiting Professor, Pantheon Sorbonne, Paris, France
GIAN Fellow, Global Initiative of Academic Networks, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Senior Scholar in Residence, American Academy in Rome, Italy
Senior Research Visitor, Keble College, Oxford University, UK
Willem Willems Chair, Leiden University, Netherlands
Thinker in Residence, Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia
Australian Research Council Grant for South East Asian Heritage and UNESCO (PIs T. Winter, B. Bennett, L. Meskell) (AUS $331,676)