Honorary Degree recipients 2017
This year AUR honored two individuals outstanding in their respective fields:
Journalist & politician Laura Boldrini was awarded anHonorary Degree for her bold stance on immigration, sexual and racial discrimination and violence, and for her efforts to to bring transparency and value to Italian politics.
Dr. Lynn Meskell received her Honorary Degree for her contribution to Heritage Studies, Anthropology and Archaeology, bringing together the best empirical research about heritage in different cultural environments
Laura Boldrini is an Italian journalist and politician who has been President of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies since 16 March 2013. She was elected in the 2013 parliamentary election as an independent candidate, receiving 327 votes out of a possible 618. She is the third woman, after Nilde Iotti (1979 to 1992) and Irene Pivetti (1994–1996), to fill this role. The position is, according to the Italian Constitution, the third most senior in the country, behind only the President and the Speaker of the Senate.
Born in Macerata, Marche region , Boldrini graduated in Law from the Sapienza University of Rome in 1985. She was then employed by the Italian public service broadcasting corporation RAI, working both for television and radio. In 1989 she was employed for four years at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), where she was active in video and radio production.
From 1993 until 1998 she worked at the World Food Programme (WFP) as Italy’s spokesperson. From 1998 to 2012 she was spokesperson for the United Nations Refugee Agency in southern Europe (UNHCR).
In recent years she has specifically dealt with the influx of migrants and refugees in the Mediterranean. She has taken part in numerous missions to crisis locations, including former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Caucasus, Angola and Rwanda.
Boldrini is also known for forcing gender-based issues on to Italy's agenda. Under her guidance, the Chambe voted unanimously to ratify the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe treaty aimed at fighting violence against women.
Lynn Meskell is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Archeology center at Stanford University.
She received her BA (Hons) First Class and the University Medal from the University of Sydney in 1994. She was awarded the Kings College Scholarship from Cambridge University for her PhD in Archaeology (1994-1997). She also received the Salvesen Junior Research Fellowship at New College, Oxford University. She has also been awarded several grants and fellowships, including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Australian Research Council, and the American Academy in Rome.
In 1999, Dr. Meskell founded the Journal of Social Archaeology, for which she also served as Editor, to forge interdisciplinary dialogue by bringing together scholars from diverse fields into the editorial panel, including feminists, historians, social theorists and ethnographers.
She also founded the Stanford Heritage Ethics, and interdisciplinary group that aims to place the treatment of heritage within the issues of ethics, politics, memory, nationalism, internationalism, materiality, conservation, development, aid, governmentality, tourism, repatriation, cultural property, intellectual property, collaborations, indigenous archaeology, restitution, codes and declarations from which they are inseparable.
In 2005, she accepted a position at Columbia University. Since then, she has been Honorary Professor at the University of Witwatersrand, and Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University.
Dr. Meskell’s research has focused on a broad range of fields; from ethnography is South Africa, Egyptian archaeology, identity and sociopolitics, gender and feminism, and heritage ethics. She considers archaeology to be an anthropology of the past, a nuanced engagement with ancient cultures that mirrors the ethnographic project.
Through her fieldwork, she has studied the constructs of natural and cultural heritage and the related discourses on empowerment and the Kruger National Park, ten years after democracy in South Africa. Another one of her projects examines the social constitution of the figurine worlds of Çatalhöyük, Turkey.
Her current research focuses on the role of UNESCO and heritage rights, sovereignty and international politics.