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Office: 303C

Areas of Interest:

Cultural heritage preservation, museum anthropology, illicit antiquities trade, repatriation, tourism, Cambodia, international development.


MSc Social Anthropology, University of Oxford, 2020

BS International Development, Ohio State University, 2016


I am a sociocultural anthropologist interested in cultural heritage preservation in Southeast Asia with a focus on the illicit antiquities trade. I specifically look at temple looting in Cambodia in the context of museums and post-colonial heritage repatriation.

This focus stems from my experience at the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute facilitating the repatriation of looted Iraqi artifacts to the Baghdad Museum in 2019; it enabled me to examine the intersection of anthropology with international relations and development.

I received my BS in International Development from Ohio State in 2016 following the completion of a research project focused on tourism, heritage, and nationalism in Java, Indonesia. In 2020, I received my MSc in Social Anthropology from Oxford University.

Recent publications:

Scolaro, Emily K. “New approaches to protecting religious freedom: Cultural heritage protection as a framework for IRF advocacy.” LSE Religion and Global Society. December 18, 2018.

Scolaro, Emily K. “China is Widening its Crackdown on Tibetan Culture.” Global Dispatches, September 29, 2023.  culture/.

Thames, Knox, and Scolaro, Emily. “Freedom of Religion or Belief and Cultural Heritage

Protection: Synergistic not Competitive,” Review of Faith and International Affairs 20, no. 2 (2022).

Thames, Knox, Mandaville, Peter, and Scolaro, Emily. “Finding Common Ground on U.S.

International Religious Freedom Policy.” United States Institute of Peace, May 20, 2021.