Lynn Meskell conducts research and teaches across a broad range of interests: ethnography in South Africa, Egyptian archaeology, identity and sociopolitics, gender and feminism, and heritage ethics. In March 2015, she was a key panelist at the Academy-sponsored public discussion “Public-Private Partnerships for Supporting Culture” as part of the Academy’s Conversations | Conversazioni series, launched in 2014. The two-session panel convened a variety of officials to debate the role of public and private partnerships and their potential in Italy. Participants—including Giovanna Melandri (President MAXXI, Rome), Andrew Hetherington (Business to Arts, Ireland), Rena De Sisto (Bank of America Foundation), and Carla Fendi (Fondazione Carla Fendi), among several others—reviewed the possibilities, but also the responsibilities, of such partnerships.
Meskell is conducting an institutional ethnography of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization and the founder and managing editor of the Journal of Social Archaeology, which promotes interdisciplinary research focused on social approaches in archaeology. She is also the author of the book The Nature of Heritage: The New South Africa (2011), which examines the conflicts inherent in natural versus cultural heritage. Meskell brings to the Academy a deep commitment to mentoring and her global experience with the politics of culture.