Introduction

Alessandro Ceccarelli - President - University of Cambridge Graduate Union GU
Alessandro Ceccarelli – President of University of Cambridge Graduate Union 2019/2020

Dr Alessandro Ceccarelli (he/him) has extensive experience in research, equality and human rights, and education policy, building on his career in academia, the charity sector and the public sector in Italy, Spain, India, England, and Wales.

He’s an Affiliated Scholar at the University of Cambridge and works as a Senior Associate (SEO) Research Manager for the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). He is also a member of Fast Track Cardiff & Vale Steering Committee, an initiative to end new HIV transmissions and stigma by 2030; he is social media and Wales representative for Queer Britain; and he is Content Author for International Gay Rugby (IGR). 

Alessandro completed a PhD in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. His research in South Asia aimed to rediscover ancient technologies, teaching and learning behaviours, and mechanisms of resilience in the face of urban ‘collapse’ and climate change in the third millennium BC. His research is part of the TwoRains project funded by the ERC European Research Council. He was also supported by the Nehru Trust, V&A Museum, London, and by the Fitch Awards, British School at Athens, Greece.

His dissertation was a study of transmission of skills and knowledge in the Bronze Age, using ancient crafts of the Indus Civilisation to explore past human behavior, combining traditional and scientific analyses of ancient artefacts with ethnographic work in modern India. His PhD project re-discovered ancient ceramic technologies and traditions of the Indus Civilisation (c. 2500-1900 BCE) in North-Western India, using a holistic approach. This includes (a) the use of multi-site materials for regional studies and clarifications on ancient landscapes; (b) identification of production sites or provenance of materials; (c) an interdisciplinary cooperation between experts, e.g. archaeologists and geologists; and (d) the integration of combined archaeometric techniques, such as petrography and geochemistry, along with experimental archaeology and archaeological ethnography.

He was President of the University of Cambridge Graduate Union (GU 2019/20), Chair of the GU Board of Trustees, and a Trustee of the Cambridge University Council. His main concerns are minorities, vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, postgraduate access to education and research, as well as climate change conversations within academia. He is an openly gay man, the previous LGBT+ officer at Cambridge University, and he actively promotes and advocates gender and sexual diversity and equality in Cambridge. A list of works done with LGBT+ communities in the UK over the past few years is available here.

He was part of the ARC Archaeology Review of Cambridge editorial committee, an archaeology journal, and he ran the Asian Archaeology seminar group at the University of Cambridge. He was a visiting researcher at British School at Athens, Greece in 2018, and Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India in 2017-18. He holds an MA in Archaeology (University of London, SOAS), BA in Archaeological Sciences at University ‘Sapienza’ of Rome, Italy, including an Erasmus Scholarship at UAM, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain.

Besides his career as policy specialist and researcher, he is an accredited member of archaeological bodies, i.e. CIfA, and worked at European and British museums, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum (Assistant Lecturer, Learning Centre), British Museum (Consultant, South Asian Department) and National Museum of Oriental Art “Tucci”, Rome (Department of Education).

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