Ferdinand de Jong is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of East Anglia who is interested in art and cultural heritage. His work on masquerading in Senegal resulted in the monograph Masquerades of Modernity: Power and Secrecy in Casamance, Senegal (2007, Indiana UP) situating performances in a context of globalisation. When one of these performances was recognised as UNESCO Intangible Heritage, De Jong shifted his interest to cultural heritage. With Michael Rowlands, he co-edited Reclaiming Heritage: Alternative Imaginaries of Memory in West Africa (2016, Routledge). Continuing his interest in decolonisation, he co-edited (with Paul Basu) a special issue of Social Anthropology (2016) on utopian archives. He also co-edited special issues of African Arts (with Elizabeth Harney, 2015) and World Art (2016) on the archive and its decolonisation. His ongoing work in Senegal examines how the postcolonial state and its citizens appropriate memorials and colonial ruins in a bid to decolonization. His monograph on this subject is forthcoming.
As part of the HERA-funding HERILIGION project (www.heriligion.eu), Ferdinand has examined the process of heritagisation of the ruins of the former Benedictine Abbey in Bury St Edmunds (UK), focussing on the anticipated exhumation of the bones of Saint Edmund. His work on the secular and sacred temporalities of religious heritage should result in an edited volume with Routledge.