Professor Graeme R Were

BA Hons(Keele), MSc(Lond.), PhD(Lond.)

  • BS8 1UU

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Personal profile

Research interests

Graeme Were is the chair and professor of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Bristol. He has held positions at the University of Queensland, University College London, the British Museum, and Goldsmiths College London, and joined Bristol in 2018. His research interests include museum anthropology, digital heritage and material culture studies, and he has a regional specialism in Papua New Guinea and Vietnam. 

Graeme's most recent monograph is titled 'How Materials Matter: Design, Innovation, and Materiality in the Pacific', published by Berghahn Books in April 2019. The book examines the role materials play in shaping people's lives in the Pacific, drawing on case studies of design projects to critically engage with scholarly literature in new materialism.

He is currently writing a new monograph on the memory politics of museums and heritage in Vietnam, having worked on a number of projects with the Vietnam Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism. In 2019, Graeme worked with the Museum of Danang in central Vietnam to co-produce the stories of a displaced fishing community. In 2016, he collaborated with curatorial staff at the Vietnam National Museum of History to curate a temporary exhibition 'Doi Moi: Journey of Dreams' which explored the post-reform period from 1986 in Vietnam. He received a national achievement gold medal from the Vietnamese government for his contribution to museums in 2016.

His work investigates issues relating to museums, material culture and heritage in the context of Vietnam and Papua New Guinea, with a particular focus on knowledge practices and innovation. The results of his research have been published in 'Extreme Collecting' (with J C H King), 'Lines that Connect' and 'Pacific Pattern' (with S Kuechler).


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