Van den Akker, M.L. (Marlous) MA

  • PhD candidate
  • African nature & Wildlife conservation
  • UNESCO World Heritage
  • Kenya

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2727
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen, Instituut CA/Ontwikkelingssociologie
Office Address: Pieter de la Court gebouw
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 3A13

Marlous van den Akker completed both her bachelor and master studies at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University. In 2010, she started her current PhD project 'Conservation Bureaucracies: World Heritage in the Making'  on the Mt. Kenya UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The PhD project 'Conservation Bureaucracies: World Heritage in the Making' focuses on Mt. Kenya’s designation as a Natural World Heritage Site in 1997. It explores the complexities of UNESCO’s state centered heritage practices, it and tries to identify the significance of the UNESCO label in the contemporary Kenyan context. In doing so, it pays particular attention to conservation and heritage bureaucracies.

The project has come to embrace a diverse range of informants (including, among others, conservation NGOs, guides and porters, farmers, state conservation agencies, and professional conservationists) as well as numerous documents like archival records, management plans, project proposals or policy texts. Through such an eclectic approach the project aims to develop a better understanding of the intricate and transnational social field that complicates Mt. Kenya’s heritage status, and tries to build a bridge between cultural heritage studies and nature conservation studies.

The project is funded through the Leiden Global Interactions Research Profile and is included in the Leiden-Stanford Heritage Network.

Relevant links


Prof. P.J. Pels