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Durham University

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Dr Arwa Badran

Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology

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I read a BA in Archaeology at the University of Jordan and worked as a field archaeologist for several years before pursuing an MA in museum studies at Newcastle University, focusing on building connections between museums and the public. I returned to Jordan in 2001 as the first holder of an MA degree in museums in the country. Upon my return, I worked as Lecturer in Museum Studies at the Hashemite University, contributing to the establishment and development of the first BA degree in Cultural Resource Management and Museology in the region. My work involved designing and delivering five modules: Introduction to Museums, History of Museums, Museum Education, Museum Design and Museum Management.

In 2003, I returned to Newcastle University to study a PhD on the introduction of museums into school curricula. Upon completion, I continued lecturing at the Hashemite University and headed the Cultural Resource Management and Museology Department. I also worked as a consultant on heritage education and museum projects in the Arab region, with a particular interest in exploring heritage education opportunities available for school children in Jordan and creating educational resources to compliment the National Curriculum, as well as support professional development for effective education in museums. I have also worked as an evaluator for refugee projects linked to food heritage and connecting Syrian children with a positive image of their homeland. 

I have lectured on the MA International Cultural Heritage Management Programme within Durham’s Archaeology Department since 2015, and co-directed the programme with Dr. Mary Brooks in 2017-18. I am currently a Post-Doctoral Research Associate on the AHRC/Newton Khalidi funded Learning from Multicultural Amman: Engaging Jordan’s Youth project supervisor by Prof. Robin Skeates (UK PI) and Dr. Shatha Abu Khafajah (Jordan PI). I manage a collaboration of 6 partners in the UK and Jordan, working towards identifying good museum practice locally for engaging the young in learning about their multicultural past underlined by sustainable partnerships between museums, schools and universities.

Research Interests

  • Museum and heritage education
  • Children learning
  • Multiple interpretations
  • Presentation of the past in school curricula
  • The politics of the past
  • Community heritage
  • Decolonising theory and practice
  • Heritage shared management and multivocality


  • World Archaeological Congress - member of the Executive Committee and Council Member as Senior Representative of Western Asia
  • Museum Association, UK
  • Member of Friends of Archaeology and Heritage Society, Jordan

Selected Conference organization

  • Mentor for Student Organising Committee
    First Student Conference on Heritage Management and Tourism Development, 30 Apr 2013, Jordan. Organised by students at the Hashemite University
  • Deputy Academic Secretary
    Seventh World Archaeological Congress, 13-18 Jan 2013, Dead Sea, Jordan.
    Co-organised by CulTech and WAC
  • Academic Secretary
    Museums and Public Education: Rethinking Local Practice, 7-8 Apr 2010, Amman, Jordan
    Co-organised by the Hashemite University, Yarmouk University, University of Jordan, Jordan Museum and the Department of Antiquities

Selected Publications

  • Badran, A, Khafajah, S. and Elliott, S. (Expected 2020) Community Heritage in the Arab Region: Values and Practices. New York: Springer.
  • Badran, A. , Paolini, A, Nasser, N. (Expected 2020) ‘I am Jerash: An Educational Kit for School Children in Jordan.’ In Community Heritage in the Arab Region: Values and Practices. A. Badran, S. Abu Khafajah, S. Elliott (eds.). New York: Springer.
  • Goussous, K. and Badran, A. (expected 2020) ) ‘Who wants to be an Archaeologist?’ In Community Heritage in the Arab Region: Values and Practices. A. Badran, S. Abu Khafajah and S. Elliott (eds.). New York: Springer.
  • Badran, A. (2018) ‘Archaeology, Museums and the Public in Jordan: A 100 Years of Education.’ In The Social Archaeology of the Levant: From Prehistory to the Present. A. Yasur-Landau, Y. M. Rowan, and E. H. Cline (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bernbeck, R., Badran, A. and Pollock, S. (eds.) (2018) Reclaiming the Past for the Future: Oral History, Craft, and Archaeology. Adel Yahya in memoriam: Ex Oriente.
  • Abu Khafajah, S. and Badran, A. (2015) ‘From Heritage to Archaeology and Back Again: Evolvement and Development of Theories and Practices Concerned with Material of the Past.’ In The Palgrave Handbook of Contemporary Heritage Research. S. Watson and E. Waterton (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Badran, A. (2014) ‘Heritage Education in Jordanian Schools: For knowledge or profit?’ In Public Participation in Archaeology. S. Thomas and J. Lea (eds.). Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer Ltd :105-116.
  • Badran, A. (2011) ‘The Excluded Past in the Jordanian Formal Primary Education: Introducing Archaeology.’ In New Perspectives in Global Public Archaeology.  K. Oamura and A. Matsuda (eds.). New York: Springer Publishers: 197-216.

Selected Grants

  • 2019: AHRC/Newton Khalidi Fund (£250,000) for Learning from Multicultural Amman: Engaging Jordan’s Youth project. Played a key role in inception and concept of the project. Attended the funder’s scoping meeting as an invited speaker, bringing together a team of international partners to work on the project with Durham University with PIs Robin Skeates and Shatha Abu Khafajah.
  • 2011: UNESCO-Amman ($29,779) for Engaging Young People in their Tangible and Intangible Heritage in Jordan Project. Produced the project proposal for the Friends of Archaeology and Heritage Society, the fund awardee.
  • 2003: Hashemite University (£60,000) for Post-graduate Scholarship

Research Groups

Department of Archaeology