Skip to main content

Ms Anouk Lafortune-Bernard

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Member of the Department of Archaeology  


After finishing my BA in Archaeology at Durham University, I was among the first cohort to graduate from the Department new MA in International Cultural Heritage Management (ICHM) in 2014. My research interest back then was already centred around South Asian heritage and I participated in various field projects in Nepal as part of both my undergraduate and masters’ dissertations.

I then left Durham to join a Masters course in Tourism Management at Natural and Cultural Heritage Sites, at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, only to return to Durham to start my doctoral research in 2016.

Research Topic

Mastering the Master Plan at the World Heritage Site of Lumbini (Nepal): An evaluation of the economic and social impacts of the site development on local communities.


The aim of this thesis is to examine the development of Lumbini World Heritage Site since the late 1970s and assess its social and economic impact on local communities. Using a broad framework combining indicators from multiple ‘toolkits’, this evaluation will be based on a variety of sources, including first-hand data collected through surveys and interviews with different local stakeholders. The conclusions of this research will be used to provide recommendations for the Government of Nepal and UNESCO to strengthen the economic and social benefits for local communities in the next phases of development while also preserving the archaeological remains and their cultural and religious significance at both local and international level.


AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Scholarship (2016-Present): PhD award from the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership, Arts and Humanities Research Council UK (AHRC) standard RCUK Studentship c. £55000.

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Durham University (2017): Organisation of aworkshop on the social and economic impact of heritage in Jaffna (Sri Lanka), 21st July 2017 (£600)

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Durham University (2017-2018): Organisation of a one-day workshop on addressing the evidence-gap in evaluating the social and economic contribution of archaeological/heritage sites in the Northeast, in March 2018. (£700)

Research Postgraduate ‘Research Dialogues’, Department of Archaeology, Durham University (2017-2018): Organisation of the workshop ‘Mind the gap: Addressing the evidence-gap in evaluating the social and economic contribution of archaeological/heritage sites’ (£500)

Research Training Support Grant Funding (AHRC NBDTP) (2016-2017): Primary Data Collection in Nepal, 02/01/2017-31/03/2017 (£2005.90)

Conference/Workshop Contributions

2017: “Pilgrimage and Tourism in the Greater Lumbini Area”. Presented at the Asian Cultural Heritage Workshop, 23rd November 2017.

2017: “Beyond the Buddhist Circuit: Archaeology and Community Engagement in Nepal's Western”. Presented at the Archaeology Seminar Series, University of Edinburgh, 2nd November 2017.

2017: “Top down to Bottom Up: developing and piloting new approaches to community engagement for the protection and management of archaeological sites in Nepal’s Western Terai”. Presented at Durham Castle Inaugural Conference, 26th July 2017.

2016: “Visitor and Pilgrim Survey Data from the Sacred Garden of Lumbini” Presented at AHRC-sponsored project Promoting the Protection of Heritage Sites in Nepal’s Western Terai in the Face of Accelerated Development: Lumbini Scoping Workshop, 7th December 2016.

2016: “Modern pilgrimage activities in the Sacred Garden of Lumbini (Nepal), birthplace of the Buddha” Presented at the Asian Cultural Heritage Workshop, 3rd November 2016, Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre.

2015: “Archaeological Sites as Tourism Destinations: a Case study from the Nepali Terai” Presented at: Third Annual Allchin Symposium on South Asian Archaeology, 4th-6th December 2015, Durham University.

2015: “Social and Economic Impact of World Heritage: Lumbini World Heritage Site as a Case Study”. Presented at: IAS Workshop: Revisiting Durham’s World Heritage, 12th March 2015, Senate Room, Durham Castle.

Research Projects

  • Promoting the Protection of Heritage Sites in Nepal


Chapter in book

  • Lafortune-Bernard, A., Coningham, R.A.E. & Acharya, K.P. (2018). Recording the social and economic contribution of local heritage at Tilaurakot: a pilot study. In The Cultural Heritage of Nepal, before, during and after the 2015 Earthquakes: Current and Future Challenges. The Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance (OCHSPA). Kathmandu: Vajra Publications. 170-179.
  • Coningham, R.A.E., Acharya, K.P., Davis, C.E., Kunwar, R.B., LaFortune-Bernard, A., Tremblay-Fitton, J., Schmidt, A. & Simpson, I.A. (2018). Apres le Deluge: observations and recommendations from a post-disaster mission to the Kathmandu Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site in October and November 2015. In The Cultural Heritage of Nepal, Before, During and After the 2015 Earthquakes: current and future challenges. Richon, M. Vajra Books. 92-103.
  • Coningham, R.A.E., Acharya, K.P., Kunwar, R.B., Manuel. M.J., Davis, C.E. & Lafortune-Bernard, A. (2017). Promoting the Protection, Preservation and Presentation of the Natal Landscape of the Buddha in Nepal. In Buddha Rashmi Vesak Volume: Essays in Buddhism and Buddhist Monastic Archaeology. Gunawardhana, P., Coningham, R.A.E. & Nampoothiri, K. Central Cultural Fund of Sri Lanka. 13-26.

Journal Article