Dr Giovanna Vitelli is the Director of the University Engagement Programme, an Ashmolean Museum initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Giovanna received her PhD in Archaeology from the University of Reading, and her BA in Anthropology from Harvard University. She was a postgraduate Tavella-Stewart Scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the CELAT Humanities Institute of Université Laval in Québec.
In recent years, Giovanna has taught and undertaken research in Canada and in the US, at Université Laval in Québec, and at St Mary’s College of Maryland. She has also contracted as an archaeologist to organisations such as UNESCO in North Africa as a specialist in Islamic archaeology, to private heritage foundations in the UK, and to the Québec Ministry of Culture in Canada.
Giovanna has an extensive record of survey, excavation and research in Europe, North Africa, and North America, in particular researching the spread of culture through colonialism, tourism, and expansion, and their effects on belief and knowledge systems. Arising out of this work, she has published thematically across cultures, looking at cultural interaction, coexistence and knowledge exchange, in particular between Indigenous and Colonial people. Her research interests range from Early Modern archaeology and ethnohistory of North America, to the effects of 19th-century popular literature on archaeological interpretation. Her most recent publications focus on the archaeology of 19th century tourism, 17th-century colonial archaeology, and specialist archaeological reports on early New World sites.
Extra-academic career experience includes a decade in the UK financial sector, a founder and Partner of an investment banking boutique firm, starting up the Development Office for the British Museum, and Head of Individual Giving for the first Campaign for Oxford.
Giovanna is currently co-Chair of the North American Consortium on Collections Management, and is involved in cross-border dialogues on the ethics and politics of de-accessioning. In this role, her focus is on the stewardship of archaeological collections, and on the development of programmes designed to increase the use of collections in teaching and learning.
T: +44 (0)1865 288287