Dr Vanicka Arora

Lecturer in Heritage

History Stirling

Dr Vanicka Arora

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About me

About me

I teach undergraduate and post-graduate courses in heritage at University of Stirling. My doctoral work at Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University examines post-disaster reconstruction of built heritage in Bhaktapur, Nepal following the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake. I have over a decade of professional experience in India, where I specialised in areas of planning and policy for disaster risk reduction of heritage sites, conservation and adaptive re-use of built heritage, and urban regeneration. I am currently exploring temporalities of disasters, longer trajectories of recovery and the role of climate change in producing specific kinds of heritage and memory.


BNAC PhD Dissertation Prize 2023

Event / Presentation

Automated Research Practices: AI and/as the Qualitative Researcher
Co-presented paper along with Assoc. Prof. Liam Magee (Western Sydney University) at '(un)Stable Diffusions', a two-day international symposium on AI’s publics, publicities, and publicizations at Milieux Institute, Tiohtià:ke/Montréal (23-24 May, 2023)

Co-Chair (Resilience), ICOMOS International General Assembly and Symposium, 2023
Co-chair for the Resilience Theme for the ICOMOS International General Assembly and Symposium on 'Heritage Changes'

Decoding the National Disaster Management Guidelines in India

Webinar on Cultural Heritage Disaster Risk Reduction of Historic Districts in India
The webinar was aimed to train the participants and validate a large-scale methodology for risk assessment and management in cultural heritage sites, taking into account their specific tangible or intangible values. It hosted professionals from the field looking at disaster risk reduction in different types of heritage centers. The objective of the webinar was to facilitate a cross-learning and awareness amongst professionals and students of Heritage -related disciplines about Disaster Risk Reduction in Heritage cities and relevant approaches and strategies to manage and mitigate risks for the present and future.

Workshop on Reimagining the Archive
Co-organised with Associate Prof. Liam Magee (Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University) Through this interactive workshop, participants were invited to collaboratively interrogate the visual archives upon which popular text-to-image models are based. Discussions on the nature of archives, imagery of heritage, relationships between text and image were discussed.

Other Academic Activities

Pre-editor Assistant for Landscape Research

Professional membership

Association of Critical Heritage Studies

British Nepal Academic Council



heritage, disasters, South Asia, urban regeneration, globalisation, post-colonial theory, climate change, visual analysis, generative AI

Outputs (18)


Book Chapter

Arora V (2023) The Politics of Post-Disaster Reconstruction of Heritage [Reconstruction as recovery:The politics behind why heritage is funded internationally, nationally, and locally]. In: Jigyasu R & Chmutina K (eds.) Routledge Handbook on Cultural Heritage and Disaster Risk Management. 1 ed. Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge.

Book Chapter

Arora V (2022) Reconstructing Memory and Desire in Bhaktapur, Nepal. In: "Invisible Cities" and the Urban Imagination. Literary Urban Studies. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, pp. 209-224. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-13048-9_16

Website Content

Arora V (2020) (Re)constructing heritage in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Issues [Online] 27.07.2020. https://issues-journal.org/2020/07/27/reconstructing-heritage-in-bhaktapur-nepal/

Conference Proceeding

Arora V & Murthy M (2016) Re‐discovering Uttarkhand’s Cultural Identity: Issues for consideration during post‐disaster reconstruction. In: Johnson C & Conference Scientific Committee (eds.) Reconstruction and Recovery in Urban Contexts. Conference Proceedings. 2015 international i-Rec conference Reconstruction and Recovery in Urban Contexts, London, 06.07.2015-08.07.2015. L’Observatoire universitaire de la vulnérabilité and la reconstruction durable (Œuvre Durable), funded by Fonds de recherche du Québec, Société et culture (FQRSC), Canada. http://www.grif.umontreal.ca/i-rec/i-Rec2015/conferenceIREC2015papers.htm



I design, coordinate, and teach across the MSc in Heritage (https://www.stir.ac.uk/courses/pg-taught/heritage/#panel_1_1) programme, including Heritage: critical perspectives (HERPP01), and recently introduced module: Heritage, Risk and Resilience: Managing Change in the Anthropocene (HERPP08 ). I also deliver guest sessions for Heritage, Identity and Place (HERPP04).

I am currently working on our soon to be released Heritage Placement (HERPP11) which will be on offer in 2024-25.

I also teach across the taught undergraduate programmes: History and Heritage (https://www.stir.ac.uk/courses/ug/history-heritage/) and Heritage and Tourism (https://www.stir.ac.uk/courses/ug/heritage-tourism/), including guest sessions for Interpretation and Exhibition Design (ARTUHR5), Heritage Portfolio (HISUHX7) and the recently designed module on Heritage, Colonialism, and Globalisation: Discourses, Institutions, and Practices (ARTUHE6).

I supervise both undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations in heritage.