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All courses and programmes

Doctoral Programme in Cultural Heritage

Co-developed by

Martina A. Bruno

Thesis title: Easy Language and Machine Translation in Museum Accessibility – Professional, Theoretical and Social Repercussions

Co-supervision: UNIBO & UP1

Biography: Martina A. Bruno, MA, is a PhD candidate at the University of Bologna with a research proposal on museum accessibility through Easy-to-Read language and Machine Translation. She has been collaborating with FIADDA ROMA APS, the Italian association of deaf people and their families, since January 2023 on the Erasmus+ project “Capito! Compris! Understood! Verstanden!”. She is a professional respeaker and trained conference interpreter. She graduated from the University of Bologna with a thesis on the quality assessment of live subtitles produced through respeaking for French deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences. Her research interests cover cultural heritage, comparative linguistics, diamesic translation, accessibility studies, and live subtitling.

Marianna Vanessa Buoni Pineda

Thesis title: A Comparative Analysis of Musical Heritage and Digital Transformation in the Creative Industries of Emilia-Romagna and Scotland

Co-supervision: UNIBO & UoE

Biography: Marianna is a young and intellectual researcher in the field of digital transformation in creative industries. Her research focuses on the comparative analysis of musical heritage and how it has evolved under the influence of digital technologies in the two regions: Emilia-Romagna in Italy and Scotland in the UK. She examines how music heritage evolves and preserves values with the integration of advanced digital technologies and its impact on cultural management, as well as economic aspects.

Of course, her approach is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, using elements of cultural, technological, and economic studies to achieve a deep understanding of the creative aspects of cultural heritage through scientific analysis. Additionally, she seeks to highlight effective practices, business model development strategies, and policy formulation in the digital age to demonstrate that creative industries are leading the way in cultural preservation with extensive use of innovation.

Carlos Burgos Tartera

Thesis title: Transnational Heritage Governance in European Mountain Regions

Co-supervision: UCM & UNIBO

Biography: Graduated in Tourism from Lleida University and with a Master’s in Cultural Tourism from Girona University with a speciality in Tourism management of World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO Chair. In 2021 I had the fortune to participate in the Ilucidare Summer School, where I not only learned from some of the best professionals in the field of heritage-led innovation but, also met the team who would become the HERITAGEEKS and with whom I would get involved in Charter and UNESCO projects, furthermore lectured in Porto and Oviedo Universities. I have recently published an article on participatory governance of intangible heritage. Over the last two years, I have been working as an Operations Executive in a Destination Management Company called Abbey where I have led teams and helped to reestablish a network of suppliers.

On this new project, the PhD, I am planning to discover new perspectives from local communities on the heritage field that may lead to social innovation and lead mountain regions across Europe to a new rural renaissance.

Madeleine Daste

Thesis title: Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Times of Armed Conflict: A study of damage caused by military weapons on ceramic heritage objects and the contribution of new technologies to optimize sorting debris and enabling the work of conservators-restorers

Co-supervision: UP1 & UNIBO

Biography: Through a bachelor and a first Master of research in History of Art, I acquired solid knowledge in art and archaeology. My specialization, in preservation and conservation of cultural goods, led me to carry out several internships in the field of culture and museums, particularly regarding preservation of heritage in time of conflict. During my second Master in conservation-restoration of cultural goods, I worked on the implementation of a restoration protocol for ceramic objects destroyed in contexts of armed conflicts. This led me to the subject of my thesis: based on the study of two corpora of objects destroyed during the Second World War, one at the National Ceramic Museum in Sèvres in the Paris region, and the other at the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche (MIC) in Faenza in Emilia-Romagna, I study the types of damage that bombings can cause on different ceramic materials. To that purpose I compare the effects of the force of blast, the shock, the heat caused by a fire, or sometimes the three combined, on different ceramic objects (porcelain, stoneware, earthenware, archaeological terracotta). The better knowledge of these degradations will enable the development of appropriate restoration protocols aimed in particular at facilitating and optimizing the work of conservation-restoration professionals in sorting post-conflict debris.

Anna Demetriou

Thesis title: UNESCO and Heritage in conflic. Dispersal, restitution, and protection of cultural property in Cyprus (19th-21st century)

Co-supervision: UP1 & UNIBO

Biography: Fascinated by the restitution and protection of cultural heritage, I am currently a PhD student enrolled in the program of Cultural Heritage with a scholarship from the University Paris 1. I studied History of Art and Archaeology at the University of Western Britany in Quimper. I recently obtained my master’s degree in the History of Museums and cultural studies at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne. With the overarching aim to broaden my cultural knowledge, my first year’s postgraduate dissertation investigated the restitution and the protection of Cypriot cultural property after the catastrophic events of 1974. In particular, I focused on the examination and the in-depth analysis of the repatriation process of three religious’ artefacts. During my second year’s dissertation, I was engaged into the examination of the effectiveness of the “Return and Restitution” Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to the origin countries or its Restitution in case of Illicit Appropriation (1970 Convention). More specifically, I was interested in two cases. The first case concerns the Bogaskoy sphinx, which had been on the Committee’s agenda since 1987 and has been resolved in 2011 through a mutually acceptable solution between Turkey and Germany. The second case was about the ongoing discussions related to the Parthenon Sculptures. Furthermore, in order to gain more professional experience, through the years, I performed various internships in multiple museums in Cyprus (eg. CVAR, Leventis gallery). Most recently, I did an internship for one year (2020-2021) and then I worked as an attaché for two years (2021-2023) to the Permanent Delegation of Cyprus to UNESCO.

Emma Dhondt

Thesis title: A layered approach to World Heritage: regulatory opportunities for regional actors

Co-supervision: KUL & UoE

Biography: Emma Dhondt is a PhD Researcher in International Law at KU Leuven. She focuses on international cultural heritage law, and its interdisciplinary scope. With her research project, Emma studies the international legal protection of cultural and natural heritage, both within and outside the UNESCO World Heritage framework, and particularly the role sub-national actors, such as Flanders and Scotland, play in this field.

At KU Leuven, Emma obtained her Master in Laws, specializing in public, international and European law, and her Master in History, with a focus on cultural heritage. Her previous projects include studies of the World Heritage nomination processes in Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria between 1978 and 1988, and an analysis of the portrayal of women in contested colonial monuments. During her studies, Emma worked as a teaching assistant at the Institute for International Law, where she coached the University’s teams for the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court and the Model United Nations conference organized by the United Nations Association Flanders. Previously, Emma studied at United World College Costa Rica and spent a year at the University of Edinburgh.

Maria Goretti Tai

Thesis title: Digital Cultural Heritage Law for Museums in the Era of Web3 & AI

Co-supervision: UP1 & UNIBO

Biography: Trained in art history, cultural management, and law, Maria Goretti Tai holds a Master of Laws from UCLA (USA), a Master in Arts from Domus Academy (Italy), a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Hong Kong. She is a New York attorney, having worked on copyright infringement litigations, trademark registrations, and advocacy for collective compensation of artists.

She writes on art law, cultural heritage law, and fashion law. With the American Bar Association, she has published articles and organized webinars on NFT, blockchain, art, cultural heritage, and intellectual property.

As public-speaking engagements, she had presented on NFT and museums at the Art and Cultural Heritage Law Committee of the American Bar Association. She was invited to speak on the legacy of the Treaties of Rome for Europe by the Italian Cultural Institute of Hong Kong, and on art crimes in the metaverse at the Annual Art Crime Conference Association for Research into Crimes against Art in Rome.

Matthew Hamilton

Thesis title: Haptic Enabled Hardware Interface Design For Advanced Physical Models

Co-supervision: UNIBO & UoE

Biography: Matthew is a twice graduate from the University of Edinburgh, First for a BMus. in Music Technology (2010) and second for a MSc. in Acoustics and Music Technology (2017). Matthew’s Master’s thesis was on the topic of coupling Finite Difference Time Domain string and plate models. In between his degrees, Matthew apprenticed as a luthier in London. He specialised in the repair and refurbishment of acoustic and electric guitars.

In 2018 Matthew undertook the role of Digital Development technician at the Edinburgh College of Art where he specialised in teaching artists how to incorporate computer programming and electronics within their work. In particular his role focused on fabricating custom interfaces for digital music creation and authoring audio software in C / C++. In 2022 he began his PhD as part of the NEMUS Project at the University of Bologna looking at digital conservation of historic musical instruments and hardware interface design for musical interaction with these instruments.

Maria Jukna

Thesis title: Emigrated Heritage. The Difficult Heritage of Comfort Women in the Korean Diaspora

Co-supervision: JAG & KUL

Biography: I am a doctoral candidate from Poland, and my academic journey began with the attainment of a Bachelor of Arts degree in special pedagogy. Subsequently, I dedicated several years to working with youth in Poland. Following this, I embarked on a period of extensive travel, volunteering, and professional engagements in the United States, Israel, and Iceland. This diverse experience cultivated my interest in themes related to tourism, mobility, and migration.

My academic journey further evolved as I pursued a Master of Arts degree in Intercultural Relations and the exchange program with Korea University in Seoul. This program culminated in the completion of my master’s thesis, which centered on the exploration of dissonant heritage and the memory of comfort women, and its interpretation in museums.

This particular research endeavor served as an inspiration for a deeper examination of the topic, prompting me to focus my doctoral studies on exploring how migrant communities cultivate and revise their heritage in order to establish their own identities within complex cultural reality.

Francesca Modica

Thesis title: New World between Rome and Bologna. Centre and periphery in the circulation of scientific discoveries

Co-supervision: UNIBO & UCM

Biography: After the bachelor’s degree in History and Cultural Heritage at the University of Siena, I moved to Bologna where I attended the courses of the faculty of History and I graduated in History and Oriental Studies in 2021. During my master’s degree in Bologna, I took the diploma of Archivistics, Palaeography and Diplomatics at the State Archives of Bologna, and I also had the opportunity to participate to the Erasmus project and to study at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

I am currently occupied in the PhD course in Cultural and Environmental Heritage at the University of Bologna, with a research project entitled Ulisse Aldrovandi and the New World between Rome and Bologna. Centre and periphery in the circulation of scientific discoveries which aims to deepen the network of coeval information through the correspondence between the Bolognese protoscientist and other naturalists, botanists, and scientists. The research wants to give an account of Italian scientific culture and the connections that existed between Bologna and the European courts, which were also interested in new scientific, human and geographical discoveries.

Arianna Moretti

Thesis title: Workflow for schema crosswalk between data models for semantic enhancement of cultural heritage and computational history data

Co-supervision: UNIBO & UH

Biography: My academic background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, Religions, and Oriental Civilizations (2019) and a Master’s degree in Digital Humanities and Digital Knowledge (2022), both earned from the University of Bologna, where I also held a position as a Research Fellow from April 2022 to February 2023. Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Cultural Heritage in the Digital Ecosystem, I also work as a teaching tutor for Basic Informatics in the Bachelor’s program in Humanities, and as a software developer at OpenCitations, an open science infrastructure dedicated to bibliographic and citation data.

My research revolves around automating metadata crosswalks for diverse data models in the cultural heritage domain, emphasizing RDF formats and Semantic Web Technologies. Consequently, I developed Python software plugins for OpenCitations to facilitate the conversion of source datasets towards the OpenCitations’ data model. Additionally, I am curating the transformation of tabular data to RDF in the National-funded project Cultural Heritage Active Innovation for Sustainable Society (CHANGES).

Beyond academia, my interests encompass science, medicine, roller skating, digital drawing, and embroidery. Despite this, most of my free time is dedicated to caring for my cats.

David Antonio Torres Castro

Thesis title: Comprehensive assessment of the vulnerability of cultural heritage to the effects of climate change as a tool for sustainable conservation and management in Latin America and the Caribbean

Co-supervision: UCM & UP1

Biography: David has an MSc in Risk, Disaster and Resilience from University College London, UK, and a BA in Restoration of Cultural Property from the National School of Conservation, Restoration and Museography, Mexico. He’s part of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (Mexico) since 2010, where he took part in the emergency response for cultural heritage after the 2017 earthquakes. David has been lecturer in the National School of Conservation (ENCRyM) and visiting lecturer in the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH) teaching DRM for cultural heritage and wall painting conservation. He has published in academic journals and magazines, and presented papers in International and national conferences, seminars and symposiums. He is currently a doctorate student in the geography programme at the Complutense University of Madrid.

Keyi Yin

Thesis working title: Representations of the People’s Republic of China (1949-Present) in Chinese Museums

Co-supervision: UH & UNIBO

Biography: Keyi Yin is in her first year of the Ph.D. program in history and cultural heritage at the University of Helsinki. She has two master’s degrees from Durham University and Jilin University. Her research interests are contemporary collecting, everyday life collecting, and social history museums. Her dissertation examines how museums in China represent the rapidly changing contemporary society and what factors contribute to representations of China.