Staff profile - Jonathan Sweet

Dr Jonathan Sweet

Position: Senior Lecturer In Cultural Heritage And Museum Studies
role description
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Arts and Education
Department: SHSS Arts & Ed
Campus: Melbourne Burwood Campus
Phone: +61 3 925 17056 +61 3 925 17056


Awards and prizes

In 2010 Dr Sweet shared the 'ICOM Award for International Relations' in recognition of the significance of the 'Lampang Temples Project'.


Research interests

Cultural heritage and development in the Asia-Pacific region.
Dr Sweet researches the relationships between heritage and development in the Asia-Pacific region. Of special interest is the contribution that heritage conservation and museology can make to building mutual understanding, regional stability and economic prosperity. He has undertaken research in the field in Australia, China, India, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, the Pacific and Tunisia. This builds on his role as a Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council project entitled, Cultural Heritage Site Significance, Management and Interpretation in China and Australia: A Comparative Analysis in a Cross-Cultural Framework.

Contemporary museum and heritage theory and practice
Dr Sweet researches capacity building in museums and cultural heritage organisations. He has contributed research based solutions to collecting organisations in Australia and abroad. These include local organisations with specialist and diverse collecting interests, and the international agency UNESCO, for whom he has been a specialist advisor in the development of a regional museums capacity building strategy. In line with this, he was the Chief Investigator of the 'Lampang Temples Project', 2009-11. This included research into cross-culural pedagogy in South-East Asia, through a case study focused on capacity building for Buddhist monks in northern Thailand.

The history of museums and museology.
Dr Sweet researches the history of museums and museology. He has written extensively on colonial exhibition design and representation. Most recently he has focused on the relationships between colonial museums in the British world, and the development of post-colonial museums in the Asia-Pacific region.

Cross-cultural museology.
Dr Sweet has a strong interest in the cross-cultural, cosmopolitan and transnational characteristics of museums and museology. Of particular interest are the roles that significant individuals and professional museological networks have played in facilitating change. In line with this interest, in 2008 he served on the academic advisory board of the 'International Committee of the History of Art 32nd Congress' and organised the 'Museums across cultures' stream of the conference.



Recently published:

Jonathan Sweet and Jo Wills, 'Cultural heritage and development in South East Asia', Handbook of Research on Development and Religion, Edward Elgar, UK, 2013, pp.338-355.

Currently in press:

Jonathan Sweet and Fengqi Qian, 'History, Heritage, and the Representation of Ethnic Diversity: Cultural Tourism in China', Oxford Public History Handbook, Oxford University Press, due 2013/4.

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