Annalisa Bolin is a PhD candidate in anthropology at Stanford. Her research examines how states employ heritage for development and nation-building, especially in post-conflict contexts. Bolin’s dissertation uses ethnographic methods and archival analysis to study heritage production by the Rwandan giovernment after genocide. She holds an MA in cultural heritage management from the University of York and a BA in archaeology and French Studies from Wesleyan University.
"A Country without Culture is Destroyed: Making Rwanda and Rwandans through Heritage" investigates how the Rwandan government mobilizes heritage as a mechanism of national rebuilding after genocide. The dissertation argues that the Rwandan state deploys heritage to develop the nation and its new identity; prevent the recurrence of violence; and re-situate the country in international contexts of power. Simultaneously, heritage production is subject to political pressures that affect its ability to achieve these goals. Through ethnographic and archival research, the dissertation reveals the internal power dynamics that shape heritage as a force of governance in the process of developing a post-conflict nation.