Personal profile

Academic Background

PhD in Public Archaeology, UCL (2009) MA in Cultural Resources Studies, University of Tokyo (2003) MA in Cultural Heritage Studies, UCL (2002) BA in European History, University of Tokyo (1997)  


Akira Matsuda joined the School in 2010. He was previously the Handa Japanese Archaeology Fellow at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, following the completion of his PhD at University College London in 2009. He has served as a consultant to UNESCO's Division of Cultural Heritage.

His teaching and research focus on the meaning, (re)presentation, and use of the artistic and material past in contemporary Japanese culture, considered from anthropological and sociological points of view.

Key Research Interests

The meaning, (re)presentation, use and consumption of the artistic and material past in contemporary Japanese culture. Public archaeology. Heritage and museum studies.

Current Research Projects

  • Comparative study of cultural heritage in East Asia
  • Cultural biography of burial mounds in Japan
  • Reconstruction of archaeological sites in East Asia
  • How the social memory of disasters turns into cultural heritage in Japan
  • Representation of Japan in museums
  • Public archaeology at the Roman archaeological site 'Villa Augustea' in Somma Vesuviana, Italy

Teaching Interests

Art and archaeology in Japan. Cultural Heritage Studies. Public Archaeology. Museum Studies.