Angelea Selleck at Penn Cultural Heritage Center

My internship at the Penn Cultural Heritage Center (Penn CHC) at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was an excellent way to build upon the theoretical knowledge I acquired in my courses at University College Utrecht. The Penn CHC is a research, outreach, and educational center at the Penn Museum whose aim is develop long term and sustainable programs for the preservation and promotion of community-based cultural heritage. My first project consisted of conducting legal research for an upcoming conference at the University of Pennsylvania concerning the 1970 and 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Conventions. The project strengthened my research skills and provided in-depth insight into the complications that may arise with the interpretation and implementation of the UNESCO Conventions. My second project examined the circulation of Greek and Cypriote coins from different time periods throughout the Mediterranean. The research I presented contributed to a developing U.S. policy concerning the import of Greek coins.

In addition, the Penn Museum offered weekly seminars for all the interns, which focused on museum practice and theory. Each week staff members from a department gave a lecture and then gave the intern group a tour of their department. I enjoyed this aspect as it provided a unique opportunity to discuss various topics with museum professionals directly as well as get to know other interns at the museum. Another great advantage of conducting an internship at an Ivy League institution is the access to their libraries. Essentially, I had every source ever published about topics concerning cultural heritage at my fingertips, which helped me provide the museum with thorough work. Finally, with a major in social sciences (cultural anthropology, international law, politics) and a minor in humanities (art history/museum studies) the research-oriented work I did for Penn CHC added a valuable, practical application of my broad knowledge and interests. I would highly recommend an internship at Penn CHC to students with a similar profile and are interested in gaining more experience in research as well as deepening their knowledge in cultural heritage issues.

Angelea Selleck (BA 2011, SSC Major/ HUM Minor.) MSC in Law, Anthropology and Society, London School of Economics, 2012+.

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