Maria Fernanda Escallón is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University and a 2015-2016 Dissertation Fellow in the Department of Black Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. Her work examines the consequences of heritage declarations and draws attention to the political and economic marginalization of minority groups that occurs as a result of recognition. Her dissertation evaluates whether heritage proclamations are useful instruments to attend to broader issues of economic inequality, territorial rights, and political participation for descendant groups. Maria Fernanda holds a BA in Anthropology, a MA in Archaeology from the Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia and a MA in Anthropology from Stanford University. She has worked in sustainable development and heritage policy-making for non-governmental organizations and Colombian public entities, including the Ministry of Culture and the District Secretary of Culture and Tourism. Her recent work
will be published in the forthcoming book Heritage in Action: Making the Past in the Present edited by Helaine Silverman, Emma Waterton, and Steve Watson. She also co-edited a thematic number of Antípoda, a peer-reviewed academic journal, showcasing innovative research from the Americas, Spain, and the United States on the political uses of heritage. She has published a book and a book chapter on her previous research on archaeological assemblages of the Colombian Cundiboyacense Plateau. She is currently preparing a journal article on Cultural Diplomacy, UNESCO, and the politics of language.