University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Anthropology

FB twitter

Dr. Helaine Silverman

ANTHROPOLOGY; Affiliated Faculty of Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Professor of LAS Global Studies
Center for Global Studies
European Union Center
Landscape Architecture
Recreation, Sport and Tourism

User Photo

Research Interests

cultural heritage, cultural politics, cultural governance, cultural rights

anthropology of tourism

critical museum studies

memory, identity, nationalism

historic urban environments

architecture and the built environment

spatial theory

anthropology of death

encounters with the past as popular culture

geographical areas: Peru, Southeast Asia, England


My research over the past ten years explores representations of the past in the construction and marketing of national identity; impact of tourism on historic built environments and their residents; cultural governance and cultural rights; community production of heritage; and reception/interpretation of the World Heritage brand. I amengaged in a long-term project in Cuzco, Peru that examines heritage conflicts in the UNESCO-designated district of the city. I have three smaller comparative projects on related World Heritage issues: (1) in a Thai town where daily life and the performance and valuation of local cultural heritage do not smoothly accommodate national tourism development plans [completed]; (2) at IronbridgeGorge in England where my concern is branding of the World Heritage site as “Birthplace of Industry” rather than WH and the project will be expanded in 2016 to the Durham, UK WH site; (3) in Collinsville, IL where, similarly, the WH status of Cahokia appears irrelevant to the surrounding community. England and Illinois are important as novel studies of the World Heritage brand in  developed countries. I also have studied the dissemination of Peru’s nation brand, la marca Perú, created by PromPerú [completed], which I hope to expand into an institutional ethnography of PromPerú itself.


  • PhD, Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin
  • MA, Anthropology, Columbia University
  • BA, Anthropology, Queens College of the City University of New York

External Links

Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy (CHAMP)



  • Encounters With Popular Pasts. Heritage and Popular Culture. Ed. Mike Robinson and Helaine Silverman. NY: Springer, 2015.
  • Cultural Heritage Politics in China. Ed. Tami Blumenfield and Helaine Silverman. NY: Springer, 2013.
  • Contested Cultural Heritage: Religion, Nationalism, Erasure and Exclusion in a Global World. Ed. Helaine Silverman. NY: Springer, 2011.
  • Intangible Heritage Embodied. Ed. D. Fairchild Ruggles and Helaine Silverman. NY: Springer, 2009.
  • Handbook of South American Archaeology. Ed. Helaine Silverman and William H. Isbell. NY: Springer, 2008.
  • Cultural Heritage and Human Rights. Ed. Helaine Silverman and D. Fairchild Ruggles. NY: Springer, 2007.
  • Archaeological Site Museums in Latin America. Ed. Helaine Silverman. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2006.
  • Andean Archaeology III: North and South. Ed. William H. Isbell and Helaine Silverman. NY: Springer, 2006.
  • Anthropology and Humanism, volume 30, number 2, Themed issue: “Performance, Tourism and Ethnographic Practice: An Exploration of the Work of Edward M. Bruner” . Ed. Helaine Silverman. 2005.
  • Andean Archaeology, Blackwell Global Archaeology Series. Ed. Helaine Silverman. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.
  • Andean Archaeology II: Art, Landscape, and Society. Ed. Helaine Silverman and William H. Isbell. NY: Plenum/Kluwer, 2002.
  • Andean Archaeology I: Variations in Sociopolitical Organization. Ed. William H. Isbell and Helaine Silverman. NY: Plenum/Kluwer, 2002.
  • Silverman, Helaine. Ancient Nasca Settlement and Society. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2002.
  • Silverman, Helaine, and Donald A. Proulx. The Nasca. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2002.
  • The Space and Place of Death. Ed. Helaine Silverman and David B. Small. Washington, D.C.: Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association, Number 11, 2002.
  • Silverman, Helaine. Ancient Peruvian Art. An Annotated Bibliography. NY: G. K. Hall/Simon & Schuster Macmillan, 1996.
  • Silverman, Helaine. Cahuachi in the Ancient Nasca World. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1993.