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About Matthew J. Hill

I am a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Heritage and Society at UMass Amherst, a multidisciplinary research, teaching and policy initiative to craft new approaches to cultural heritage conservation and communication internationally. My research examines the use of cultural heritage as a political resource for nation-building, economic development, and urban revitalization in the Caribbean and Latin America as well as North America. I have published and conducted extensive research on UNESCO World Heritage sites in Cuba and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, and teach courses on international heritage policy and urban heritage, as well as the Caribbean and social theory at UMass Amherst.
I also conduct applied work for the National Park Service on contested cultural landscapes in U.S. National Parks. One project explores the creation of Mt. Rushmore as a national icon and ‘Shrine of Democracy’ in the context of early 20th century Westward expansion. In it, I explore how the site functions as a ‘contact zone’, in which Anglo-European settler visions compete with indigenous perspectives that seek to reclaim the Black Hills as part of a sacred cultural landscape.
As an applied anthropologist, I have also worked with city governments on the sustainable redevelopment of historic park systems and downtowns. My clients have included cities, public parks, including Phildelphia's Center City District and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.
I graduated from the University of Chicago and hold a Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology.


Present Senior Research Fellow, University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Heritage & Society

Curriculum Vitae

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Contact Information

Gordon Hall Room 222
418 North Pleasant St.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst MA 01003


Articles (1)

Books (1)

Contributions to Books (3)

Presentations (5)