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Dr. C. (Chiara) de Cesari

Modern European History
Faculty of Humanities
Capaciteitsgroep Europese studies
Photographer: Eduard Lampe

Visiting address
  • Kloveniersburgwal 48
  • Room number:D2.10A
Postal address
  • Postbus 1619
    1000 BP Amsterdam
  • Profile

    Chiara De Cesari is Associate Professor in European Studies and Cultural Studies at the University of Amsterdam.

    Trained in socio-cultural anthropology (Ph.D. Stanford 2009), Chiara is an internationally significant voice in debates over the geopolitical trajectories of contemporary culture. Her wide-ranging research explores how institutional manifestations of memory, heritage, art, and cultural politics are shifting under conditions of globalization and ongoing transformations of the nation-state. In particular, it concerns the ways in which colonial legacies live on today, especially in museums. Against that backdrop, Chiara’s work shows how countercultures, arts practices, and decolonial struggles can drive change within public institutions and cultural discourses around heritage and identity more generally.

    Within that overarching remit, her work has three principal interconnected strands.

    One attends to emerging forms of creative institutionalism and statecraft. As part of this research, Chiara leads the NWO-funded Vidi project Imagining Institutions Otherwise: Art, Politics, and State Transformation (2020–2025). In exploring how artists and activists are reclaiming public cultural institutions such as museums, this project examines a range of experiments with institutions in crisis, both across and beyond Europe. As part of this line of work, Chiara developed the concept of “anticipatory representation” to grasp how arts practices creatively project and instantiate future institutions in the present (elaborated in this article and a chapter in this volume).

    Another concerns legacies of colonialism and cultural racism in contemporary Europe. In collaboration with Wayne Modest, Head of Research at Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum, Chiara is writing a monograph, provisionally titled Curating the Colonial as part of HERA's en/counter/points project. Also with the Tropenmuseum, she is developing a multidisciplinary academy of workshops and seminars as part of the Trans-Atlantic Platform for Social Innovation’s Worlding Public Cultures network, which involves universities and museums in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Together, these two projects explore how various museums are reframing colonial histories and collections in response to the emergence of post- and decolonial perspectives.

    Both of these strands build on a body of work on the transnational politics of memory and cultural heritage. With regard to the Middle East, in particular the West Bank, Chiara’s monograph, Heritage and the Cultural Struggle for Palestine (Stanford UP, 2019) shows how Palestinian civil society has enrolled museums and urban regeneration initiatives to assert its distinct cultural heritage and reimagine future institutions amid the enduring Israeli occupation. In a journal special issue on Heritage, Gentrification, Participation (co-edited with Rozita Dimova), together with a group of marvelous researchers Chiara brings these reflections to bear on various urban landscapes at a global scale.

    With regard to European memory, Chiara has led recent attempts to update and reconceptualize memory studies by co-editing two major interdisciplinary volumes: European Memory in Populism (Routledge, 2019, with Ayhan Kaya), and Transnational Memory (de Gruyter, 2014, with Ann Rigney) What is more, she co-curated the exhibition What We Forget (Amsterdam 2018); through the work of contemporary artists, it explored the continuing significance of Europe’s colonial pasts, which are so often repressed in dominant cultural discourses. In her work on European memory, Chiara has been involved in several other major international research projects, including the Horizon2020 CoHERE - Critical Heritages: performing and representing identities in Europe and the Marie Curie Innovative Training Network CHEurope.

    Committed to international and interdisciplinary collaboration, Chiara has reaped the benefits of living and working in a variety of places across three continents. Before coming to the University of Amsterdam, she received her BA and MA at the Free University of Berlin, undertook doctoral research at Stanford University, postdoctoral research at Utrecht University and the Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry, and taught in the University of Cambridge’s Department of Archaeology and Anthropology.

    In addition to the monographs and edited volumes indicated above, Chiara has published numerous articles and chapters, in not just English, but German, Arabic, Italian, French, and Spanish too. They have appeared in top-tier refereed journals, such as Current Anthropology, American Anthropologist, Anthropology Today, Memory Studies, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, and the International Journal of Middle East Studies.

    Selected Publications

    2020

    Heritage Beyond the Nation-State? Nongovernmental Organizations, Changing Cultural Policies, and the Discourse of Heritage as Development. Current Anthropology 61/1: 30-56.

    2019

    Heritage and the Cultural Struggle for Palestine. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

    2019

    European Memory in Populism: Representations of Self and Other. London: Routledge.

    2019

    Heritage, Gentrification, Participation: Remaking Urban Landscapes in the Name of Culture and Historic Preservation. Co-edited with Rozita Dimova. Special issue of the International Journal of Heritage Studies 25(9). Published online September 2018.

    2019

    Anticipatory Representation: Thinking Art and Museums as Platforms of Resourceful Statecraft. In Reimagining the State: Theoretical Challenges and Transformative Possibilities, edited by Davina Cooper, Nikita Dhawan, and Janet Newman, 153-170. London: Routledge.

    2018

    Memory as Border Device: The 2008 Italy–Libya Friendship Treaty and the Reassembling of Fortress Europe. In The Political Materialities of Borders: New Theoretical Directions, edited by Olga Demetriou and Rozita Dimova. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

    2017  

    Museums of Europe: Tangles of Memory, Borders, and Race. Museum Anthropology 40(1): 19–37. https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/muan.12128

    2016

    Ottonostalgias and Urban Apartheid. International Journal of Islamic Architecture 5(2): 339-357. http://ingentaconnect.com/contentone/intellect/ijia/2016/00000005/00000002/art00005

    2015 

    Post-Colonial Ruins: Archaeologies of Political Violence and IS. Anthropology Today 31(6): 22-26. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-8322.12214/abstract

    2015 

    Urban Heritage and Social Movements. (With Michael Herzfeld.) In Global Heritage: A Reader, edited by Lynn Meskell, 171-195. Oxford:Blackwell. http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118768868.html

    2014

    World Heritage and the Nation-State. In Transnational Memory: Circulation, Articulation, Scales, edited by Chiara De Cesari and Ann Rigney, 247-270. Berlin: de Gruyter. http://www.degruyter.com/view/product/428514

    2014

    Transnational Memory: Circulation, Articulation, Scales, co-edited with Ann Rigney. Berlin: de Gruyter, Media and Cultural Memory series. http://www.degruyter.com/view/product/428514

    2012

    Thinking Through Heritage Regimes. In Heritage Regimes and the State, edited by Regina F. Bendix, Aditya Eggert and Arnika Peselmann. Pp. 399-413. Göttingen: Universitätsverlag. http://univerlag.uni-goettingen.de/handle/3/isbn-978-3-86395-122-1

    2012

    Colonialism Contained. Photography & Culture 5(3): 343-346. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2752/175145212X13415789393045?journalCode=rfpc20

    2012

    The Paradoxes of Colonial Reparation: Foreclosing memory and the 2008 Italy-Libya Friendship Treaty. Memory Studies 5(3): 316-326. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1750698012443888

    2012

    Anticipatory Representation: Building the Palestinian Nation(-State) through Artistic Performance. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism 12(1): 82-100.

    Translated into German as 'Antizipatorische Repräsentation: Der Aufbau des palästinensischen Nationalstaats durch künstlerische Aktionen'. In Figurationen des Politischen, vol. 1: Die Phänomenalität der Politik in der Gegenwart, edited by Martin Doll and Oliver Kohns. Pp. 443-471. Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink, 2016.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1754-9469.2012.01157.x/abstract

    2011

    Cultural Governmentality: Government through Heritage Conservation in Old Hebron. Conflict in Cities Working Papers Series n. 23. http://www.urbanconflicts.arct.cam.ac.uk/publications/working-papers

    2010 

    Creative Heritage: Palestinian Heritage NGOs and Defiant Arts of Government. American Anthropologist 112(4) : 625-637.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1548-1433.2010.01280.x/abstract

    2010

    World Heritage and Mosaic Universalism: A View from Palestine. Journal of Social Archaeology 10(3) : 299-324. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1469605310378336

    2010

    Hebron, or Heritage as Technology of Life. Jerusalem Quarterly 41 : 6-28. http://www.palestine-studies.org/jq/fulltext/78346

     

     

  • Publications

    2020

    • De Cesari, C., Barravecchia, I., Pyankova, O. V., Vezza, M., Germani, M. M., Scebba, F., ... Angeloni, D. (2020). Hypergravity activates a pro-angiogenic homeostatic response by human capillary endothelial cells. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(7), [2354]. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072354

    2019

    • de Cesari, C. (2019). Heritage and the Cultural Struggle for Palestine. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    • de Cesari, C., & Kaya, A. (Eds.) (2019). European Memory in Populism: Representations of Self and Other. London: Routledge.

    2017

    2016

    2015

    2014

    • De Cesari, C. (2014). World Heritage and the Nation-State: a view from Palestine. In C. De Cesari, & A. Rigney (Eds.), Transnational memory: circulation, articulation, scales (pp. 247-270). (Media and cultural memory; No. 19). Berlin: De Gruyter. [details]
    • De Cesari, C., & Rigney, A. (2014). Introduction. In C. De Cesari, & A. Rigney (Eds.), Transnational memory: circulation, articulation, scales (pp. 1-25). (Media and cultural memory; No. 19). Berlin: De Gruyter. [details]

    2012

    2010

    2017

    • de Cesari, C. (2017). Against State Phobia, For Dis/Engagement. Mezosfera, 3. [details]

    2016

    • De Cesari, C. (2016). Antizipatorische Repräsentation: Der Aufbau des palästinensischen Nationalstaats durch künstlerische Aktionen. In M. Doll, & O. Kohns (Eds.), Figurationen des Politischen. - Vol. 1: Die Phänomenalität der Politik in der Gegenwart (pp. 441-470). (Texte zur politischen Ästhetik; Vol. 3). Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink. [details]
    • De Cesari, C. (2016). [Comment on: L. Meskell: World Heritage and WikiLeaks: Territory, Trade, and Temples on the Thai-Cambodian Border]. Current Anthropology, 57(1), 85-86. https://doi.org/10.1086/684643 [details]
    • de Cesari, C. (2016). Haunting Arts of Memory. In Memory Flows like the Tide at Dusk. Catalogue for Alexandra Sophia Handal’s exhibition Roskilde (Dk): Museet for Samtidskunst/Museum for Contemporary Art. .

    2015

    • De Cesari, C., & Herzfeld, M. (2015). Urban Heritage and Social Movements. In L. Meskell (Ed.), Global heritage: a reader (pp. 171-195). (Blackwell readers in anthropology; Vol. 12). Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. [details]
    • de Cesari, C. (2015). Heritage as Commons: A Paradigm Shift? In H. Benesch, F. Hammami, I. Holmberg, & E. Uzer (Eds.), Heritage as common(s): common(s) as heritage (pp. 265-275). (Curating the city; No. 1). Göteborg: Makadam. [details]
    • de Cesari, C. (2015). Le patrimoine et le droit à la ville: dans le contexte du conflit israélo-palestinien, le patrimoine est manipulé pour transformer des territoires contestés et pour revendiquer la souveraineté et le contrôle. Afkar Idées, 44, 64-67. [details]

    2014

    • De Cesari, C., & Rigney, A. (2014). Transnational memory: circulation, articulation, scales. (Media and cultural memory; No. 19). Berlin: De Gruyter. [details]

    2013

    • De Cesari, C. (2013). Thinking Through Heritage Regimes. In R. Bendix, A. Eggert, & A. Peselmann (Eds.), Heritage regimes and the state. - 2nd, revised edition (pp. 399-413). (Göttingen studies in cultural property; No. 6). Göttingen: Universitätsverlag Göttingen. [details]

    2012

    • De Cesari, C. (2012). Memory Voids and the New European Heritage: A Proposal for Studying Transnational Memory. Journal of Museum Ethnography, 25, 152-162. [details]

    2011

    2010

    • De Cesari, C. (2010). Hebron, or Heritage as Technology of Life. Jerusalem Quarterly, 41, 6-28.

    2014

    2012

    • De Cesari, C. (2012). [Review of: A. Schneider, C. Wright (2010) Between art and anthropology: contemporary ethnographic practice]. Journal of Museum Ethnography, 25, 195-198. [details]

    2011

    • De Cesari, C. (2011). [Review of: R. Boytner, et al. (2010) Controlling the past, owning the future: the political uses of archaeology in the Middle East]. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 21(3), 473-474. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959774311000473

    2009

    • De Cesari, C. (2009). Cultural Heritage Beyond the "State:" Palestinian Heritage Between Nationalism and Transnationalism.

    2011

    • De Cesari, C. (2011). Cultural Governmentality: Government through Heritage Conservation in Old Hebron. (Research Working Papers Series Centre for Urban Conflicts; No. 23). Cambridge: Centre for Urban Conflicts, University of Cambridge.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities