“Cutting-edge. Builds on innovative fieldwork across three continents to offer a sophisticated take on the political and cultural complexities of landscapes exploited by resource-extraction industries.”—Laurajane Smith, author of Uses of Heritage. 

“An engaging overview of how large multinational companies use the concept of heritage to reposition their work within discourses about environmental sustainability and resilience.”—Paul Lane, coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology 

This book explores the sociopolitical contexts of heritage landscapes, paying special attention to sites with deep indigenous histories—Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and the Burrup Peninsula along the Pilbara Coast in Australia, the Altai Mountains of northwestern Mongolia, and Prince William Sound in Alaska. For many communities, landscapes such as these have long been associated with cultural identity and memories of important and difficult events, as well as political struggles related to nation-state boundaries, sovereignty, and knowledge claims.

Drawing on the emerging field of critical heritage theory and the concept of “resource frontiers,” Melissa Baird shows how these landscapes are sites of power and control and are increasingly used in development and extractive projects. As a result, heritage landscapes face social and ecological crises such as environmental degradation, ecological disasters, and structural violence. She describes how heritage experts, industries, government representatives, and descendant groups negotiate the contours and boundaries of these contested sites and recommends ways such conversations can better incorporate a critical engagement with indigenous knowledge and agency.

A volume in the series Cultural Heritage Studies, edited by Paul A. Shackel


2017   Baird, Melissa F. Critical Theory and the Anthropology of Heritage     Landscapes. Cultural Heritage Series. Gainesville: University Press Florida.

Peer-reviewed journal articles & chapters

n.d.   Baird, Melissa F. “Heritage Work in Extractive Zones” (in review).

n.d.  Baird, Melissa F. “Forensic Heritage.” (in prep)

n.d.  Baird, Melissa F. and Larissa Juip. “Convergence in the Time of Covid”

n.d.  Baird, Melissa F. “Embracing the Shadow Side of Higher Ed.”

n.d.  Baird, Melissa F. “Transforming the Culture of Graduate Programs through Cross-Generational Mentoring.

2022    Baird, Melissa F. “Waste Sits in Places: Post-Industrial Landscapes as Heritage” in Landscapes as Heritage: Critical Perspectives, Routledge.

2022    Baird, Melissa F., Madonna Moss, Sebastien Perrot-Minnot, and Jason S. Rogers,

“The Archaeology of Clam Cove (49-SEL-006), Lake Clark National Park and  Preserve, Southcentral, Alaska.

2017   Baird, Melissa F. “Extractive Industries, Corporate Discourse and Indigenous  Heritage.” In Archaeologies of “Us” and “Them”: Debating History, Heritage and Indigeneity, International Library of Essays on Rights. Routledge

2015    Baird, Melissa F. “Natural Heritage: Heritage Ecologies and the Rhetoric of Nature.” In Heritage Keywords, Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels and Trinidad Rico (eds.). Boulder:  University Press of Colorado Press.

2015   Coombe, Rosemary and Melissa F. Baird. “The Limits of Heritage: Rights-Based Struggles on Resource Frontiers.” In A Companion to Heritage Studies,  William Logan, Ulrich Kockel and Máiréad Nic Craith (eds.). Wiley Blackwell.

2015   Baird, Melissa F. “Aboriginal Country and the New Heritage Landscapes of the Pilbara.” Hot Spots. Cultural Anthropology Online.

2015   Baird, Melissa F., and Jane Lydon “The Pilbara Crisis: Resource Frontiers in Western Australia.” Hot Spots. Cultural Anthropology Online.

2015   Baird, Melissa F. and Jane Lydon “Resource Frontiers in Western Australia.” Hot Spots. Cultural Anthropology Online (co-editor Jane Lydon).

2015   Baird, Melissa F. “Indigenous Cultural Landscapes and the Politics of Heritage.” In Cultural Heritage Rights, International Library of Essays on Rights. Anthony J. Connolly (ed.). London: Ashgate.

2014   Baird, Melissa F. “Heritage, Human Rights, and Social Justice.” Heritage & Society 7 (2):139-155.

2012   Baird, Melissa F. “The Breath of the Mountain is my Heart”: Indigenous Cultural Landscapes and the Politics of Heritage. International Journal of Heritage Studies. 19 (4): 327-340.

2008   Baird, Melissa F., and Ruthann Knudson. “In the Spirit of Old Friends: Reflections on Repatriation at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument.” Heritage of the Great Plains XLI (2).

2006   Baird, Melissa F. “Frederica de Laguna and the Study of Pre-Contact Pictographs from Coastal Sites in Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound, Alaska. Arctic Anthropology 43 (2): 136-147.

2004   Baird, Melissa F. “Whales, Boats and Anthropomorphs: Iconographic and Contextual Analyses of Two Pictograph Sites in Lake Clark National Park Alaska. Journal of Northwest Anthropology 38(2):179-194.

Associate Dean of STEM Equity and Associate Professor of Anthropology