• The University of Western Australia (M259), 35 Stirling Highway, Rm 218, School of Social Sciences

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


As an interdisciplinary scholar, my work addresses current trends in cultural internationalism, and how the past is (re)constructed for public audiences and for diplomatic and nationalistic purposes. My recent book Geocultural Power: China’s Quest to Revive the Silk Roads for the Twenty First Century (University of Chicago Press 2019) introduced the concept of geocultural power to the analysis of international affairs, an area that is further developed in the forthcoming The Silk Road: geocultural pasts, geostrategic futures (Oxford University Press, 2022).

Over the past decade I have been at the forefront in the conceptual development of heritage diplomacy, with much of this work characterised by critical perspectives towards the issues facing developing, postcolonial or post-conflict societies. 

My current interests lie in the future of cultural internationalism and the role of culture, history and heritage in such contexts. By looking at the re-emergence of civilizational discourses from rising and middle powers across Eurasia, this work speaks to current debates about a shifting world order. I am also leading projects that examine maritime heritage as an emerging platform of international cultural policy and diplomatic strategy. 

I currently hold an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship, and am a Fellow of The Australia Academy of the Humanities. 

Roles and responsibilities

Australian Research Council Future Fellow, 2018-21

President, Association of Critical Heritage Studies, 2014 - 2017

ICOMOS Australia, Executive Committee Member, 2013-6

Production Editor: Historic Environment, 2008-15

Funding overview

$26,500 War heritage in Southeast Asia: towards the intangible, Research and Networking Consultancy for UNESCO, Southeast Asia

$24,500 Maritime Shared Heritage: Networking the museums of Southeast Asia, Research and Networking Consultancy for UNESCO, Southeast Asia

£299,838.59 Living with Violent Heritage: Contests and coexistence in post-war Sri Lanka, British Academy - Heritage, Dignity and Violence 2019 Programme (2019-2021)

$26,183 The Maritime Silk Road: Historicizing connected pasts across the Indian Ocean and East Asia, UWA Research Collaboration Award 2019

$1,002,574 Heritage diplomacy and One Belt One Road, ARC Future Fellowship 2017 (2018-21)

$1,220,000 Cool living heritage in Qatar: sustainable alternatives to air-conditioned urban development, Qatar National Research Foundation 7th Round, 2015-17 (Lead CI) 2014

$332,000 The Crisis in International Heritage Conservation in an Age of Shifting Global Power, Australian Research Council Discovery 2014-6 (Lead CI) 2013

$195,000 Cool living heritage in Southeast Asia: sustainable alternatives to air-conditioned cities, Australian Research Council Discovery 2012-4 (Lead CI) 2011

$25,000 Shanghai Expo: the world in a city, University of Western Sydney Project Funding (Sole CI) 2010

$81,000 Cultural Heritage in Conflict Transformation Societies, Australian Research Council Discovery, 2010-12 (Sole CI) 2009


Critical heritage studies, Belt and Road, Asia, cultural politics, internationalism, heritage diplomacy, cultural diplomacy.

Industry keywords

  • Built Environment
  • Oceans
  • Communications

Research expertise keywords

  • Heritage studies
  • Critical Heritage
  • Internationalisation
  • Geopolitics
  • Belt and Road
  • Heritage Diplomacy
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Heritage Conservation
  • Asia
  • Indian Ocean Region
  • Cultural Politics


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