I am an archaeologist and PhD candidate studying the digital methods through which the public encounters the historic environment. I received my Bachelor’s degree in archaeology from the University of Sheffield and my Master’s degree in prehistoric archaeology from Durham University. I have previously worked as a field archaeologist and historic environment officer in the UK and have also collaborated in both a research and a pedagogical context with a bioarchaeological field school in Romania. My research interests include the prehistory of the Balkans and Northern Europe, digital applications in heritage and cultural studies, as well as public archaeology.

Heritage in the Digital Making. The case of Gothenburg

As part of the CHEurope project, I will be completing my PhD in the Department for Literature, History of Ideas and Religion at the University of Gothenburg under the supervision of Mats Malm. My project will take the form of a compilation thesis critiquing the accessibility of the digital mechanisms involved in exhibiting the historic environment. This majority of this will be formed by two case studies centred on the Swedish West Coast – an enquiry into Gothenburg’s urban historic environment and its digital reconstruction with the Gothenburg City Museum; and an exploration of the social interaction and emotive response to the Swedish Rock Art Research Archives and its impact on contemporary Swedish narratives. This will be supplemented with comparative assessment of Swedish and English historic environment records and an analysis of the sociology of historic environment records utilising Bruno Latour’s actor network theory.

Contact: william.illsley@lir.gu.se

Useful links:



William R. Illsley, Problematising the Historic Environment Record: Comments on Persistent Issues in England and Sweden, Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, vol.21, 2019

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