Dr Charlotte Joy

Staff details

Position Lecturer
Department Anthropology
Email c.joy (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7780
Dr Charlotte Joy

Dr Charlotte Joy specialises in the politics of heritage management. She did her PhD at University College London and her postdoctoral research at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge.

Teaching and Supervision

Research interests

Charlotte’s fieldwork in Djenné, Mali and at UNESCO in Paris was published as ‘The Politics of Heritage Management in Mali: from UNESCO to Djenné” (Routledge). The book argues for a critical re-examination of the uses of the material past in the present. It examines the distance between heritage policy and everyday lives, the creation of ‘heritage elites’ and the unintended consequences of heritage logics.

Her on-going research is concerned with the destruction and displacement of cultural heritage and the responses of bodies such as UNESCO, museums and the International Criminal Court. Her new book 'Heritage Justice' explores the link between repatriation claims and the work to protect cultural property undertaken by UNESCO and the International Criminal Court.



Joy, Charlotte . 2020. Heritage Justice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781108900669

Joy, Charlotte . 2012. The Politics of Heritage Management in Mali From UNESCO to Djenné. California: Left Coast Press. ISBN 978-1-61132-094-7

Book Section

Joy, Charlotte . 2016. 'UNESCO is What? World Heritage, Militant Islam and the Search for a Common Humanity in Mali'. In: Christoph Brumann and David Berliner, eds. World Heritage on the Ground: Ethnographic Perspectives. 28 London: Berghahn, pp. 60-77. ISBN 978-1-78533-091-9

Joy, Charlotte . 2016. Cultural Landscapes in Mali: Historical Antecedents and Future Trajectories. In: John Beardsley, ed. Cultural Landscape Heritage in Sub-Saharan Africa. 37 Harvard: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, pp. 63-89. ISBN 978-0-88402-410-1

Joy, Charlotte . 2015. Community and Ethics in Heritage Debates. In: Lynn Meskell, ed. Global Heritage: A Reader. New Jersey: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 112-130. ISBN 9781118768860

Joy, Charlotte . 2010. ‘Heritage and Tourism: contested discourses in Djenné, a World Heritage Site’. In: D Macleod and J Carrier, eds. Tourism, Power and Culture: Anthropological Insights. Channel View Publications, pp. 47-63. ISBN 978-1845411251

Joy, Charlotte . 2009. ‘Enchanting Town of Mud: Djenné, a World Heritage Site in Mali’. In: Ferdinand De Jong and M Rowlands, eds. Reclaiming Heritage: Alternative Imaginaries of Memory in West Africa. London: UCL Institute of Archaeology Publications: Left Coast Press, pp. 145-160. ISBN 978-1598743081


Joy, Charlotte and MacDonald, Kevin. 2020. The Ethics of Publishing Plunder (Dialogue). African Arts, 53(4), pp. 22-23. ISSN 0001-9933

Joy, Charlotte . 2019. African art in Western museums: it's patrimony, not heritage. Aeon,

Joy, Charlotte . 2018. The International Criminal Court and Crimes Against Cultural Heritage in Timbuktu. Anthropology Today, 34(1), pp. 15-17. ISSN 0268-540X

Joy, Charlotte . 2017. What next for UNESCO? Apollo Magazine,

Joy, Charlotte . 2017. Book Review of UNESCO on the Ground: Local Perspectives on Intangible Cultural Heritage. Michael Dylan Foster and Lisa Gilman, eds. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015,. Journal of Anthropological Research, 73(2), pp. 304-305. ISSN 0091-7710

Joy, Charlotte . 2016. The Mali cultural destruction trial at the ICC poses a moral dilemma. Apollo,

Joy, Charlotte . 2011. ‘Negotiating Material Identities: Young men and Modernity in Djenné’. Journal of Material Culture, 16(4), pp. 389-400. ISSN 1359-1835

Further profile content

Professional projects

Charlotte has been appointed to the UK’s National Commission for UNESCO in the role of Non-Executive Director with responsibility for leading on heritage and culture for the United Kingdom.

To contact her about UNESCO related enquiries, please use: cjoy@unesco.org.uk

Media engagements

Goldsmiths Research Questions: How can we protect cultural heritage?
Watch a video highlighting her research

2018: Front Row - Marlon James, Mercury Prize shortlist
Decolonising museum collections on BBCradio4

Articles related to Dr Charlotte Joy