Qian Gao

Assistant Professor (Durham University)

Short biography

I joined Durham University in summer 2021 as an Assitant Professor in Museums and Heritage. I am an early-career researcher with research experience that combines archaeology, museum and heritage studies. I worked at the University of Stirling (UK) between 2017 and 2021, first as a postdoctoral research fellow, and from 2018 as an Anniversary Fellow (full-time postdoctoral position). Before this, I completed a PhD, MA and BA at the University of Barcelona (Spain), Durham University (UK), and the Communication University of China, respectively. 

Research interests

I specialise in Chinese/Asian heritage and rock art studies, and my research interests include:

  • The inter-relationships between the understanding, use, conservation and management of heritage and museums.
  • The dynamics between “Eastern” and “Western” heritage expertise in international cooperation.
  • The integration between “humanistic” and “scientific” approaches in heritage and museum studies.
  • Social value and authenticity in heritage.
  • Cultural heritage for inclusive growth in China and beyond.
  • Community participation in heritage and museums.
  • UNESCO World Heritage.
  • Heritage tourism.
  • Rock art and rock carvings in southwest China.

I worked with INHERIT, the York Archaeological Trust’s Institute for Heritage & Sustainable Human Development, on the British Council’s “Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth (CH4IG)” programme. We developed research to inform the decision of extending the programme to China, and working on a detailed project development plan for the “CH4IG in China” programme. Specifically, I worked on assessing selected pilot project areas, which involved planning with local stakeholders and partners to design and implement place-based CH4IG projects in the programme’s subsequent phases.

Selected publications