Image bar

Dr Charlotte Joy

Position held:

+44 (0)20 7919 7800

Email: (

Department of Anthropology
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross
SE14 6NW

Office hours:
Thursday 11:00am-12:00pm

I am a social anthropologist with a background in material culture. I did my PhD at University College London and my postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge. I carried out my fieldwork in Djenné, Mali and at UNESCO in Paris and I’m concerned with developing an ethnographic approach to understanding the politics of cultural heritage and the links between cultural heritage, rights and development.


Dr Charlotte Joy teaches the following courses:

Research interests

I have been carrying out research in Mali since 2004. My doctoral research was an investigation of the impact of UNESCO's World Heritage Status on the residents of Djenné, a mud-brick town in Mali. I carried out long-term fieldwork in Djenné and an internship at UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage Department in Paris. In particular, I focus on the efficacy of heritage legislation to address issues of development and poverty alleviation. The results of this original research, together with some further post-doctoral fieldwork, were published in 2012 as a monograph by Left Coast Press with the title ‘The Politics of Heritage Management in Mali: from UNESCO to Djenné’.

I am continuing to explore the theme of development and cultural heritage in three inter-related ways. First, I am looking at institutional approaches to the protection and promotion of cultural heritage in Africa through co-operating with a network of anthropologists working on UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world. My second focus is cultural tourism and economic development. My third focus is concerned with the relationship between contemporary populations in Mali and pre-Islamic material culture. Theoretically, I am interested in debates about cultural heritage and human rights and the conceptualisation of the individual in relation to the material heritage that surrounds them. 

Selected publications


2012    The Politics of Heritage Management in Mali: from UNESCO to Djenné, Institute    of Archaeology Publications: Left Coast Press

Journal Articles

2011     ‘Negotiating Material Identities: Young men and Modernity in Djenné’ in Journal of Material Culture Special Issue Volume16, Issue 4: Materializing Identities

Book Chapters

2010    ‘Heritage and Tourism: contested discourses in Djenné, a World Heritage Site’ in Macleod, D and Carrier, J (eds.) Tourism, Power and Culture: Anthropological Insights Channel View Publications pp.47-63          

 2007               ‘Enchanting Town of Mud: Djenné, a World Heritage Site in Mali’ in De Jong, F & Rowlands, M (eds.)  Reclaiming Heritage: Alternative Imaginaries of Memory in West Africa UCL Institute of Archaeology Publications: Left Coast Press pp.145-160

Content last modified: 13 Jan 2015

Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW, UK
Telephone: + 44 (0)20 7919 7171

Goldsmiths has charitable status

© 2000- Goldsmiths, University of London. Copyright, Disclaimer and Company information | Statement on the use of cookies by Goldsmiths