Ruins of the Temple of Apollo in the ancient city of Side, Side, Antalya, Turkey.

Heritage, History and Memory

Heritage, History and Memory

This cluster examines how people, cultural practices and events are remembered, represented and memorialized (or forgotten) both cross-culturally and across time and space.


Researchers investigate the oftentimes contested meanings of heritage-making practices (e.g. museums, archaeological heritage sites, modern nationalist spectacles), and how particular sociocultural identities, such as nationalism, ethnicity, gender and race, among others, are produced and destabilized.


Ellen Badone

Professor, Religious Studies 

University Hall (UH) 130 


Tel: (905) 525-9140, ext. 23395 


Through her work on the anthropology of Catholicism and popular faith in France, primarily in Brittany but also in the Camargue region, Ellen Badone has addressed the interplay between history, heritage and memory in the construction of local and regional identity.  Her work on pilgrimage in Brittany shows how religious heritage sites (shrines) continue to perform sacred – although not necessarily Roman Catholic – roles as sites anchoring collective memory and materializing community persistence through time.

Tristan Carter


Chester New Hall, Room 507 


Tel: (905) 525-9140, ext. 23910 


Tristan Carter has been involved in ‘public archaeology’ since the 1980s, through taught classes, guest lectures, plus site and museum tours as means of engaging non-academic audiences. Since he initiated his own fieldwork projects at Stelida (Greece), and Freston (UK), this relationship has been far more dialogical, recognizing the many stakeholder communities whose interests coalesce at these ‘sites’. These projects thus involve research questions and products – such as exhibitions – that stem from local interests and concerns, resulting in a more ethically aware and inclusive cultural heritage.

John Colarusso


Chester New Hall (CNH), Room 532 


Tel: (905) 525-9140, ext. 23902 


I work on comparative linguistics and comparative mythology. By following strict techniques and protocols I try to reconstruct lost “proto-Languages” and proto-myths, that is dead belief systems and their mode of expression. With care I’m now able to reconstruct aspects of lost cultures of Eurasia back to roughly 7,000 BPE. Most recently my work has received support from archaeology and genetics.

Basit Iqbal

Assistant Professor 

CNH 530 


Tel: (905) 525-9140, ext. 24283 


A key theme of my research is the difficult question of inheritance, that is, the disclosure and inhabitation of forms of life under postcolonial terms of recognition. I thus approach the topics of heritage, history, and memory with a view to the ambivalence of loss, the work of repair, and the life of tradition. In the sites of my ethnographic fieldwork, with Syrian refugees and aid workers in Jordan and Canada, these aspects are articulated through the complex theological figure of “tribulation” whose temporal variations cannot be adequately analyzed through recourse to secular historicism.

Karen McGarry

Associate Professor / Undergraduate Chair 

Chester New Hall, Room 531 


Tel: (905) 525-9140, ext. 23901 


Karen McGarry is a socio-cultural anthropologist with an interest in the ways in which mediated representations of mass spectacles (like large sporting events) align with nostalgia for an imagined and idealized national history. Some of her fieldwork, for example, has focused upon an analysis of how high performance Canadian figure skating has functioned to simultaneously remember and exclude particular bodies and identities surrounding class, race, sexuality and gender, among others. She also explores how the global circulation and positive international reception of various forms of material culture (like costumes or awards) within the context of mass media, social media, or museum exhibits cultivates a sense of nationalism. Karen has recently begun a project on scuba diving tourism, national heritage and narratives of piracy in St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Shanti Morell-Hart

Associate Professor 

Chester New Hall, Room 534 


Tel: (905) 525-9140, ext. 23909 


Shanti Morell-Hart studies the interplay between tangible and intangible heritage, and examines the intersections between archaeology, history, cuisine and patrimony. Her research tracks how archaeological studies are mobilized in contemporary trade policies, cultural resilience, sustainability efforts, haute cuisine, and health initiatives.  She is completing a book project titled Gastronomic Heritage: Stakes in Antiquity.

Tracy Prowse

(she/her); Associate Professor; Associate Dean Academic, Faculty of Social Sciences; Associate Editor, American Journal of Biological Anthropology 

Chester New Hall, Room 514 


Tel: (905) 525-9140, ext. 20191 (ADA Office) 


My research explores diet, health and mobility in past populations, using palaeopathological and isotopic analyses of human bones and teeth. My approach is interdisciplinary, combining skeletal, isotopic, and archaeological evidence embedded within the historical and archaeological context of the people I study.  

My ongoing research project is a bioarchaeological investigation of a rural Roman cemetery on an Imperial estate at Vagnari, south Italy.

Petra Rethmann

Professor | Director/Graduate Advisor of IGHC 

L.R. Wilson Hall, Room 2020 


Tel: (905) 525-9140, ext. 26259 


Petra Rethmann’s interests lie at the intersection of cultural anthropology, politics, history, philosophy and art. In drawing on a number of ethnographic/experimental methodologies and theoretical approaches, she explores – for example – the ways in which experiences of historical grievances and injuries shape political imaginations. Through SSHRC-funded research she concretely examines this issue through the global entanglements of Germany, Russia and Kazakhstan. In regards to her interests in philosophy and art, Petra is very interested in understanding how the former both act in and expand our understanding of the world. In this regard, she is currently working on two book-length projects, asking about art as a form of becoming and as a putative source of political and economic redemption in especially post-industrial societies. Petra is also deeply invested in questions of writing. She teaches seminars and classes on the interconnection between politics, activism, futurity and hope; history and memory; and ethnographic and other forms of writing, Petra has provided logistic and research support for a number of politically progressive movements and NGOs, and considers ethics and commitment as integral to the research process and to working towards a better world.

Andy Roddick

Andy Roddick

Associate Professor / Graduate Chair 

Chester New Hall, Room 509 


Tel: (905) 525-9140, ext. 23913 


Andy Roddick’s focus on the itineraries of Andean objects, as they travel in the deep past and through present social and political contexts, including through museums. He has used a variety of analytical techniques to juxtapose ancient and contemporary pottery, to examine their production and movement through particular communities. His work is grounded in an effort to understand Andean ontologies and landscapes, and the things that archaeologists use to define change through time, themes reflected in his undergraduate and graduate teaching.

Kee Yong

Associate Professor 

Chester New Hall, Room 535 


Tel: (905) 525-9140, ext. 23907 


Kee Yong’s background is on the ethnography of the nation-state, with an emphasis on the memory literature, conflict, migration, and the legality and legitimation of the modern state. Drawing on these complementary theoretical currents, Kee has done research on communism and the sacrificed of the Chinese Hakkas in Cold and post-Cold War Sarawak and on the recurring conflict in Muslim majority provinces in Thailand’s far south. His research on Sarawak and Thailand’s far south focuses on the relationship between the construction of minorities – and thus majority – and on issues on violence, history, memory, forgetting, silencing, economics, and political formations. Kee Yong is currently working on a collaborative project, one that seeks to understand analytically the potential geopolitical and economic realignment under China’s Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI) across the World Of Ocean Shores, referring here to Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean that encompasses parts of East Africa and the Middle East.

Affiliated Courses

1AB3: Race, Religion, and Violence

2BB3: Ancient Mesoamerica 

2DO3: DNA Meets Anthropology 

2FO3: Intro to Cultural Anthropology 

2HE3: Heritage, Economy, and Ethics 

2HH3: Science, Technology, and Society 

2OO3: Themes in the Archaeological History of North America 

2PA3: Intro to Anthropological Archaeology 

2PC3: Aliens, Curses, and Nazis 

2RO3: Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft 

2RP3: Religion and Power in the Past 

2UO3: Plagues and Peoples 

2WA3: Neanderthals to Pyramids

3AS3: Archaeology and Society 

3BF3: Bioarchaeological Field School 

3DD3: Archaeology of Death 

3EM3: Current Debates in Eastern Mediterranean Prehistory 

3FO3: Anthropology and the Other(ed) 

3GG3: Anthropology of Europe 

3LA3: Lithics Analysis 

3PH3: Dissent, Power and History 

3PP3: Paleopathology 

3KO3: Archaeological Interpretation

4DN3: Diet and Nutrition 

4DO3: Zombies and the Undead 

4EE3: Archaeology In (And Of) the Present 

4GS3: Genetics and Society 

4RO3: Advanced Skeletal Biology 

4AA3: Materiality 

4AH3: Archaeology & Heritage: Ethics, Politics & Practice

720: Politics of Desire 

733: Archaeologies of Identity 

734: Indigenous Knowledge 

738: Archaeology as History 

743: Anthropology of Space, Place, and Landscape 

744: Ancient Biomolecules 

749: Gastronomic Heritage 

780: Approaches to Islam 

786: Global Futures 

787: Object Worlds

Research Programs

Research Clusters

While the department covers four main Research Programs (sub-fields) in Anthropology, we also integrate these Research Programs in six key areas of expertise and investigation: Art and New Materialisms; Ecologies, Resilience and Change; Embodiment, Health and Wellbeing; Foodways, Diet and Nutrition; Heritage, History and Memory; and Migrations, Displacements and Violence. 


Art and New Materialisms 

Ecologies, Resilience and Change 

Embodiment, Health and Wellbeing 

Foodways, Diet and Nutrition 

Migrations, Displacements and Violence