Philip Leverhulme Prize

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Through a unique combination of disciplinary knowledge and high-level expertise in the methods of big data analysis, Chiara Bonacchi has established herself at the forefront not only of current approaches to understanding heritage and nationalism but also of methodological and theoretical advances in how to approach these topics. She has pioneered the development of research that combines ethnography and big data from social media to examine contemporary populism, ideas of what makes a nation, and the economic sustainability of heritage ecologies. She was co-founder of the award-winning MicroPasts project, which involved over 2,500 people in crowdsourcing the collection and analysis of archaeological and heritage data. Dr Bonacchi’s recent book, Heritage and Nationalism: Understanding Populism through Big Data (UCL Press, 2022), is a groundbreaking treatment, essentially generating a sub-field that had not previously existed. Her future research aims to identify the specific factors underpinning divisive and undemocratic practices of production and communication of knowledge about the past, so that they can be counteracted.

Philip Leverhulme Trust, 2022
Degree of recognitionInternational
Granting OrganisationsLeverhulme Trust