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Maria Persson


Department of Historical
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Maria Persson

Current position

Researcher in the projects "Knowledge tourism as attraction and resource" and "Exploring European Cultural Heritage for fostering academic teaching and social responsibility in Higher Education".

My main areas of research are Archaeology of the Recent Past, Modern Conflict Archaeology, War Heritage, and Heritage Studies and Public Archaeology.

Doctoral Degree

Dissertation: Memories of our time. Archaeology, Materiality and Contemporary History

I completed my PhD at the University of Gothenburg in 2014. The scope of my doctoral thesis was to problematise archaeology of the recent past as a field of research with emphasis on the development of methodology and the public potential that is inherent in this perspective (Persson 2014).

My doctoral thesis (with an English summary) can be found here:

Research Projects

Knowledge tourism as attraction and resourse

The project is conducted during 2020 and 2021 by researchers from Business administration, Historical studies, Law as well as Fine & applied arts, in close partnership with the tourism industry and public actors. A simple description of knowledge tourism is that it, in various ways, has knowledge and learning as purpose. Knowledge can be about, for instance, food, nature or cultural history and it is offered by a wide range of actors, from museums, aquariums and science centres to individual, small-scale entrepreneurs. For example, it may be about a research station conducting guided tours of their operations and offering participation in research excursions. In some cases, the visitor can also contribute to research and development through his or her participation (so-called citizen science). In the project, the starting point is that knowledge should be seen both as an attraction and as a resource for sustainable place and destination development. Knowledge can change human behavior and views on life and thereby influence the development of society in a sustainable way. A clearer focus on the potential to develop knowledge tourism consciously and systematically can benefit the tourism industry as well as other societal actors. Knowledge can also be an important resource for regional development and socio-economic growth.

More information can be found here:


I am currently working as a reseacher in the ERASMUS+ project "Exploring European Cultural Heritage for fostering academic teaching and social responsibility in Higher Education" (2018-2021). The aim of the project is to indicate how higher education can more effectively use the resources of cultural heritage, to promote its educational and social value and to implement its own mission of a socially engaged and responsible institution.

The consortium consists of five universities: University of Lower Silesian - Poland (leader), University of Gothenburg - Sweden, University of Malaga - Spain, Open University of Cyprus - Cyprus, and University of Leiden - the Netherlands.

More information can be found here:

In my post doc project (2016-2017) Neutral heritage? Materiality of World War Two in Sweden I investigated how World War II was manifested and materialised in the Swedish landscape. The remains of this manifestation was considered from both an archaeological and a critical heritage perspective. This study includes both an investigation of how people relate to these remains today and an assessment of the heritage values that are inherent in these kinds of remains, for the present and the future. The study is based on interdisciplinary methods and the theoretical concept of materiality.


During 2020-2021 I am the course coordinator for the following courses:

  • Contemporary Archaeology
  • Children, youth and archaeology
  • Archaeological field-course, focusing public archaeology
  • Conflict Archaeology
  • Cultural communication, the case of museums
  • Practice of guide knowledge
  • Death, graves and Archaeology
  • Introduction to Archaeology
  • Military Cultural heritage in Western Sweden