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Dana Phelps

dana phelps

Dana Phelps

Dissertation Writer
Research Interests: 
cultural heritage, marginalized communities, narratives of development, nature-culture-human interactions, post-conflict societies, UNESCO World Heritage sites and politics, and traditional knowledge and livelihoods.


My doctoral research explores the enmeshment of development, heritage, and marginalized communities in post-conflict Albania. Focusing upon the two UNESCO World Heritage sites of Butrint National Park and Gjirokastra, my research seeks to understand how narratives and projects of development are contested, permitted, or upheld by the sites' connected communities. In the same vein, I question in what ways the potential success of the projects and possible acceptance by the communities is hinged upon the providers' understanding and sensitivity to the complex nature-culture-human entanglement that exists at the sites, as well as to the providers' acceptance and support for community lifeways, heritage, and traditional knowledge. Prior to coming to Stanford, I worked in Evaluations for a USAID contractor in Washington, DC, as well as for UNESCO at its headquarters in Paris. I have over 6 years years of experience in ethnographic research, participatory planning, qualitative and quantitative evaluations, project design and implementation, and proposal writing.