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Mariana Pinto Leitão Pereira
Postdoctoral Research Associate



Mariana Pinto Leitão Pereira is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Heritage for Global Challenges Research Centre, where she looks at how migration between waterscapes and landscapes shapes cultural heritage, belonging and ways of knowing the world. Her aim is to document and understand how heritage is harnessed by communities in contexts of displacement. Mariana was based for her PhD research at the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre, University of Cambridge, where she focused on the ways diaspora communities use cultural heritage to construct and navigate identity. Her PhD was funded by Portugal’s Foundation for Science and Technology and her case study sites were two cultural events organised by the Macanese in Portugal and Portuguese-speaking communities in Macau (China); Mariana comes from the Portuguese-descendant community of Macau, the Macanese.

Find Mariana at the Heritage for Global Challenges Research Centre, room K/207, King’s Manor, or at (see also LinkedIn; OrcID).


Mariana holds an MPhil in Archaeological Heritage and Museums (University of Cambridge, 2017-2018), an MA in World Heritage Studies (BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany, 2012-2014) and an MA in Archaeology (University of Porto, Portugal, 2008-2010). Before embarking on her PhD, Mariana worked as an archaeologist and heritage professional for the Cultural Heritage Department of the Cultural Affairs Bureau in her hometown Macau SAR (China).



Key research interests: intangible cultural heritage, diaspora and migration, cultural festivities and celebrations, uses of heritage in post-displacement settings, endangered language safeguarding, chronotope, critical cosmopolitan imagination, more-than-human approaches, mobilities paradigm.

Publications and Projects

  • Pinto Leitão Pereira, M. ‘Introduction. Situating Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development: A Challenging Partnership?’. In de Silva Jayasuriya, S.; Pinto Leitão Pereira, M., Hansen, G. (ed.) Sustaining Support for Intangible Cultural Heritage. United Kingdom: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Pp. xvii-xxxv.
  • Santikarn, A., Doğan, E., Antczak, O., Ruf, E. R., Pereira, M. P. L. (ed.) ‘Rethinking the Archaeology-Heritage Divide’. Archaeological Review from Cambridge. Volume 37.1. ISSN 0261-4332 (*editors contributed equally and co-authored ‘Editorial’).
  • Doğan, E., Pereira, M. P. L., Antczak, O., Lin M., Thompson, P., Alday, C. (ed.) ‘Diversity in Archaeology’. 2020/2021 Cambridge Annual Student Archaeology Conference Proceedings of the. Oxford: Access Archaeology (*editors contributed equally). Available at:
  • Co-founder and co-editor with Ashley Mehra of ‘ROMR. The Cambridge Review of Movement and Risk’
  • Booklet. ‘The Macanese Encontros: Remembrance in Diaspora «Homecomings»’. Macau SAR China: Instituto Internacional de Macau. Moscaico, vol. LVI.
  • Documentary Scripts for ‘Macaenses, An Odyssey’ - Part One and Part Two (available on Youtube).
  • Pinto Leitão Pereira, Mariana; Caballero, Gabriel. ‘Challenges of the Casino and Historic City of Macau: Preserving Heritage Amidst the Creation of Stage-set Townscapes’. International Federation of Landscape Architects (*authors contributed equally).
  • Chapter. ‘Safeguarding Endangered Languages in Diaspora’s Virtual World’. In Vekemans, T.; Miletic, N. (ed.) Discovering Diaspora: A Multidisciplinary Approach. United Kingdom: Inter-Disciplinary Press. Pp. 79-98.

Research group(s)

Heritage for Global Challenges Research Centre


PhD Research Fellowship (2020-2023; ranked 1st out of 153 candidates) awarded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Government of Portugal.

External activities


  • Board member (2023-2026) of ICOMOS, International Council on Monuments and Sites
  • Member and newsletter guest-editor of the Intangible Heritage Researchers Network, Association of Critical Heritage Studies

Invited talks and conferences

  • May 19-20. Conference co-organiserConfronting Uncertainty: Heritage Pasts and Presents in Flux’. Annual Conference of the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre. University of Cambridge.
  • April 7. Conference co-organiser Heritage(s): Past, Present, Future. University of Coimbra, Portugal. Partnership between Cambridge Heritage Research Centre, Cambridge University and University of Coimbra.
  • Guest speaker in ‘Cultural policies in heritage, technical aspects and the role of new generations towards a more inclusive conservation’. Webinar. Emerging Professional for the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) of Portugal, organised by ICOMOS Mexico.
  • Guest speaker in ‘Looking Forward: The Future of Heritage Policy and the SDGs’. Webinar. ICOMOS - MONDIACULT 2022 Culture Forum, Culture & Heritage Policies & Practice for Sustainable Development: Past, Present and Future
  • Co-presented ‘Heritage as a framework for governance and decision-making: components and guiding principles’ with Isabel Coimbra, Daniel Sampaio Tavares and Fernando Brandão Alves. Research Centre for Territory, Transports and Environments. 13th Annual Conference on Planning Research. University of Porto, Portugal.
  • Co-organised and convened webinar with 3 guest speakers on ‘Language & Colonialism: Indigenous Identity & Safeguarding in Focus’, hosted by the Indigenous Studies Discussion Group.
  • Conference Co-organiser Diversity in Archaeology. Cambridge Annual Student Archaeology Conference 4 (13 session organisers). Chaired and co-organised Keynote panel (4-member work team, 5 keynote speakers).
  • 2020. Invited discussant. ‘Intersecting Intangible Heritage and Sustainable Development’. Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development Conference. Institute of Commonwealth Studies.

Media coverage

  • 2015. Interviewed for the National Geographic Documentary ‘Exploring Macau with Julian Davison’, aired on TV.

Mariana Pinto Leitao Pereira sat on a boat

Contact details

Miss Mariana Pinto Leitao Pereira
Postdoctoral Research Associate (Materials and Mobilities)
University of York
King's Manor Exhibition Square
North Yorkshire