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The Australian National University

Dr Laurajane Smith


Position: ARC Future Fellow


Phone: ( 02 ) 6125 8612


B.A.(hons), PhD Sydney; GradDip. HEd. UNSW.

Short biography:

Laurajane is an ARC Future Fellow. She works in the area of heritage studies, and is editor of the International Journal of Heritage Studies and series general editor with Professor William Logan of Key Issues in Cultural Heritage (Routledge). Prior to arriving at the ANU in 2010, she held the position of Reader in heritage studies at the University of York, UK, where she directed the MA in Cultural Heritage Management for nine years. Originally from Sydney, she taught Indigenous Studies at the University of New South Wales (1995-2000), and heritage and archaeology at Charles Sturt University (1990-1995). She also worked as a heritage consultant in south-eastern Australia for a number of years.

Research interests:

Key to Laurajane's interests is the understanding of heritage studies as an area of policy analysis and as a cultural process worthy of critical examination. Her work challenges the idea of heritage as primarily or simply an ‘object' or ‘site', and re-theorises heritage as a cultural process of meaning and memory making. More particularly, her research interests include understanding the way heritage is used as a cultural tool in the process of remembering, forgetting and identity construction; the re-theorisation of heritage; the politics of heritage; the interplay between class and heritage; multiculturalism and heritage representation; community heritage; heritage tourism and heritage public policy and the cultural politics of identity.

Current projects:

Cultural heritage and the mediation of identity, memory and historical narratives (ARC Future Fellowship). The aim of this work is to document the way museum exhibitions and heritage sites are used to construct and negotiate social and cultural values and meanings. It is accepted that museum and heritage site audiences are not simply passive receptors of the curator's or interpreter's messages, but how audiences actually engage with exhibitions and heritages and what they do with the messages they take away is neither documented or understood. By charting and comparing the way heritage is used by heritage professionals, community groups and audiences in Australia, USA and England, the project will reveal the cultural and social ‘work' that heritage does in society.

Recently completed/completing projects:

1807 Commemorated 2007-9 (AHRC Knowledge Transfer Fellowship, UK). The central aim of the 1807 Commemorated project was to both map and analyse the responses of museums and their audiences to the 2007 bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade act of 1807. Publications from this project are still underway, up dates and outcomes from this project can be found on the project's main web site and the resource website funded by the Museums Libraries and Archive Council (MLA), UK.

Heritage and memory in Castleford, West Yorkshire (British Academy funded). This project documented the ways in which collective memories of work and place were renegotiated using discourses of 'heritage' in the context of deindustrialization and community regeneration. Laurajane is in the process of writing up aspects of this research. For more information about Castleford heritage, see Castleford Heritage Trust web site.

Selected publications:

Books and Monographs

2009 with E. Waterton Heritage, Communities and Archaeology, London: Duckworth.

2006 Uses of Heritage. London: Routledge

2004 Archaeological Theory and the Politics of Cultural Heritage. London: Routledge.

Edited volumes

2012 with  E. Waterton and S. Watson (eds) The Cultural Moment of Tourism, London: Routledge.

2011 with Paul Shackel and Gary Campbell Heritage, Labour and the Working Class, London: Routledge.

2011 with G. Cubitt, R. Wilson and K. Fouseki Representing Enslavement and Abolition in Museums: Ambiguous Engagements. New York: Routledge.

2009 with E. Waterton Taking Archaeology out of Heritage, Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

2009 with N. Akagawa Intangible Heritage, London: Routledge

2007 Cultural Heritage: Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies. London: Routledge, Four Volumes: History and Concepts; Critical Concepts in Cultural Heritage; Heritage as an Industry; Interpretation and Community.

1996 with A. Clarke Issues in Management Archaeology. Tempus Publications, University of Queensland, St Lucia

1993 with H. du Cros (eds) Women in Archaeology: A Feminist Critique. ANU, Canberra.

1992 with J. Birckhead, T. Delacy and L. Smith Aboriginal Involvement in Parks and Protected Areas. Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra.

Chapters in books

2013 (in press) Changing views? Emotional intelligence, registers of engagement and the museum visit. In V. Gosselin and P. Livingstone (eds) Museums as Sites of Historical Consciousness, Canada: The History Education Network.

2012 (in press) Taking the Children: Children, Childhood and heritage making. In K. Darian-Smith and C. Pascoe (eds) Children, Childhood and Cultural heritage, London: Routledge.

2012 (in press) with K. Fouseki, Community consultation in the museum: the 2007 bicentenary of Britain’s abolition of the slave trade. In V. Golding and W. Modest (eds) Museums and Communities: Curators, Collections and Collaboration. London: Berg.

2012 The cultural ‘work’ of tourism. In Smith, L., E. Waterton, and S. Watson (eds) The Cultural Moment of Tourism, London: Routledge.

2012 with S. Watston and E. Waterton, Moments, instances and experiences. In Smith, L., E. Waterton, and S. Watson (eds) The Cultural Moment of Tourism, London: Routledge.

2012 with E. Waterton, Constrained by common sense: the Authorised Heritage Discourse in contemporary debates. In John Carman, R. Skeats, and C. McDavid (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2011  with G. Campbell, Don’t mourn organize: heritage, recognition and memory in Castleford, West Yorkshire. In L. Smith, P. Shackel and G. Campbell, (eds) Heritage, Labour and the Working Class, London: Routledge.

2011 with P. A. Shackel and G. Campbell, Class still matters. In L. Smith, P. Shackel and G. Campbell (eds) Heritage, Labour and the Working Classes, London, Routledge.

2011 Affect and Registers of Engagement: Navigating emotional responses to dissonant heritage.  In Smith, L., G. Cubitt, R. Wilson and K. Fouseki, (eds) Representing Enslavement and Abolition in Museums: Ambiguous Engagements, New York: Routledge.

2011 with K. Fouseki, The role of museums as ‘places of social justice’: community consultation and the 1807 Bicentenary. In Smith, L., G. Cubitt, R. Wilson and K. Fouseki, (eds) Representing Enslavement and Abolition in Museums: Ambiguous Engagements, New York: Routledge.

2011  with G. Cubitt and R. Wilson, Anxiety and ambiguity in the representation of dissonant history. In Smith, L., G. Cubitt, R. Wilson and K. Fouseki, (eds) Representing Enslavement and Abolition in Museums: Ambiguous Engagements, New York: Routledge.

2011 Heritage and its immateriality. In Ahmed Skounti and Ouidad Tebbaa (eds) De l’immatérialité de patrimoine culturel, Marrakech: UNESCO.

2010 The 'Doing' of Heritage: Heritage as performance, in A. Jackson and J. Kidd (eds) Performing Heritage: Research, Practice and Development in Museum Theatre and Live Interpretation, Manchester: Manchester University Press.

2009 Deference and humility - the social values of the Country House. In L. Gibson and J.R. Pendlebury (eds) Valuing Historic Environments, Ashgate.

2009 Theorising heritage: Legislators, Interpreters and Facilitators. In L. Mortensen and J. Hollowell-Zimmer (eds.) Archaeologies and Ethnographies: Iterations of the Past, Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

2009 with E. Waterton, 'The envy of the world?': Intangible heritage in England. In L. Smith and N. Akagawa (eds) Intangible Heritage, London: Routledge.

2009 with E. Waterton, There is no such thing as heritage. In Waterton, E. and L. Smith (eds) Taking Archaeology out of Heritage, Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

2008 Governing Kennewick. In H. Burke, C. Smith, D. Lippert, J. Watkins and L. Zimmerman (eds) Kennewick Man: Perspectives on the Ancient One. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.

2008 Heritage, gender and identity. In B. Graham and P. Howard (eds) Ashgate Research Companion to Heritage and Identity, Ashgate Publishing.

2007 Empty Gestures? Heritage and the Politics of Recognition. In H. Silberman and D.R. Fairchild (eds) Cultural Heritage and Human Rights, New York: Springer.

2005 Archaeological significance and the governance of identity in Cultural Heritage Management. In C. Mathers, T. Darvill, and B. Little (eds.) Heritage of Value, Archaeology of Renown. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

2003 with A. Morgan and A. van der Meer, The Waanyi Women's History Project: A Community Partnership Project, Queensland, Australia. In L. Derry and M. Malloy (eds), Archaeologists and Local Communities: Partners in Exploring the Past. Washington: Society for American Archaeology.

2001 with A. van der Meer, Landscape and the Negotiation of Identity - A Case Study from Riversliegh, North-West Queensland. In M. Cotter, B. Boyd, J. Gardiner (eds) Heritage Landscapes: Understanding Place and Communities, Southern Cross University Press, Lismore, pp. 51-63.

1998 Sand in our thongs: Feminism, theory and shoelaces. In J. Hope et al. (eds.) Feminist Archaeologies. Canberra: ANU

1998 with Gary Campbell, Governing material culture. In M. Dean and B. Hindess (eds.) Governing Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

1995 Gender as 'other' in postprocessual archaeology. In J. Balme and W. Beck (eds.) Gendered Archaeology. Canberra: ANU.

1995 with H. du Cros, Reflections on Women in Archaeology. In J. Balme and W. Beck (eds.) Gendered Archaeology. Canberra: ANU.

1994 with H. du Cros Equity and gender in Australian archaeology: A survey of the Women in Archaeology Conference, 1991. In M.C. Nelson, S.M. Nelson and A. Wylie (eds.) Equity Issues for Women in Archaeology. Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association.

Journal articles

2012 Discourses of heritage: implications for archaeological community practice. Nuevos Mundos/Mundos Nuevos [En línea], puesto en línea el 05 octubre 2012. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/nuevomundo.64148

2012 A Pilgrimage of Masculinity: The Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre, Australian Historical Studies, 43(3):472-482.

2011 with E. Waterton, Heritage, recognition and social exclusion, Current Swedish Archaeology, 19: 53-7.

2011 El ‘espejo patrimonial’. ¿ilusión narcisista o reflexiones múltiples? Antipoda 12: 39-63.

2011 Look! There’s rocks in that field! Norwegian Archaeological Review, 44(1):71-74.

2010 ‘Man’s inhumanity to man’ and other platitudes of avoidance and misrecognition: an analysis of visitor responses to exhibitions marking the 1807 bicentenary, Museum and Society, 8(3): 193-213.

2010 with G. Cubitt and E. Waterton, Museums and the bicentenary of the abolition of the British slave trade, Museum and Society, 8(3): 122-127.

2010 Ethics or social justice? Heritage and the politics of recognition. Australian Aboriginal Studies, 2010/2.

2010 with E. Waterton R. Wilson and K. Fouseki, Forgetting to heal: Remembering the Abolition
Act of 1807. European Journal of English Studies. 14(1): 23-36.

2010 with E. Waterton, The Recognition and misrecognition of community heritage. International Journal of Heritage Studies, special issue, 16(1-2):4-15.

2008 with E. Waterton, Grey Literature Review: Heritage Protection for the 21st Century, Cultural Trends 17(3):197-203.

2006 with E. Waterton and G. Campbell, The Utility of Discourse Analysis to Heritage Studies: The Burra Charter and Social Inclusion. International Journal of Heritage Studies 12(4):339-355.

2005 Comment on 'Dwelling in the Margins, Action at the Intersection? Feminist and Indigenous Archaeologies, 2005'. Archaeologies 1(1):60-62.

2004 The repatriation of human remains - problem or opportunity? Antiquity 78, pp404-413.

2003 with A. Morgan and A. van der Meer, Community Driven Research in Cultural Heritage Management: The Waanyi Women's History Project. International Journal of Heritage Studies 9(1):65-80.

2001 Archaeology and the Governance of Material Culture: A case study from south-eastern Australia. Norwegian Archaeological Review 34(2):97-105.

2000 'Doing Archaeology': Cultural Heritage Management and its role in identifying the link between archaeological practice and theory, International Journal of Heritage Studies 6(4):309-316.

2000 A history of Aboriginal heritage legislation in south-eastern Australia. Australian Archaeology, 50:109-118.

1999 The last archaeologist? Material culture and contested identities. Aboriginal Studies, 1999/2:25-34.

1995 Cultural resource management and feminist expression in Australian archaeology. Norwegian Archaeological Review 28(1):55-63.

1995 What is this thing called post-processual archaeology ... and what is its relevance to Australian Archaeology? Australian Archaeology 40:28-32.

1994 Heritage as postprocessual archaeology? Antiquity 68:300-309.

1992 with A. Clarke and A. Alcock Teaching cultural tourism: Some comments from the classroom. Australian Archaeology, 34:43-47.

Digital Media

2009 with G. Cubbitt, R. Wilson and K. Fouseki, 1807 Commemorated Resource web site for the MLA, UK

2007 with G. Cubbitt, R. Wilson and K. Fouseki, 1807 Commemorated. Web site.


Heritage and Museum Studies


Laurajane has supervised PhD students in heritage and in tourism studies. She has also supervised over 90 Masters students in heritage studies. At the University of York, she directed the MA in Cultural Heritage Management from 2000-2009.


Editor – International Journal of Heritage Studies.

Series Co-General Editor (with Prof. William Logan) Key Issues in Cultural Heritage, Routledge.

Updated: 9 October 2012/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher