Ximena Vial Lecaros

Ximena Vial Lecaros

International Centre for Heritage
Doctoral researcher

Contact details


Ximena earned her Master’s degree in Museum Anthropology at Columbia University as a Fulbright Fellow in 2016 and her baccalaureate at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Cultural Heritage at Birmingham University. Her research area includes memory and identity of migration and the construction of national narratives through museums. She has used oral history as a medium to explore collective and private memory regarding different communities’ experiences.



  • Part-time professor for General Discipline Courses (2017- 2022)
  • Course: “Migrants: Dreams and Conflicts Across Borders” (class taught in Spanish)


  • Course: “Migrants: Dreams and Conflicts Across Borders” (class taught in Spanish)
  • Course: “Migrants: Dreams and Conflicts Across Borders” (class taught in English)
  • Course: “Night at the Museum: a walk through its stories and silences” (class taught in Spanish)


  • Professor of Excellence 2017 School of International Relationships

Doctoral research

PhD title
A home away from home: Latin American Migrant Communities in Chile and Identity Building Across Borders
Dr Helle Jørgensen and Dr Emanuelle Santos
Cultural Heritage MA by Research/PhD (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)


This research intends to explore ordinary migrants’ identities from a micro perspective, focusing on working class Latin Americans (from Venezuela, Haiti and Peru) that have arrived in Chile during the last two decades. It seeks to address migrant material culture as an expression of a deeper identity construction phenomenon, understanding how memory and intangible heritage surrounding the home and neighbourhood differ and overlap reflecting their groups’ identity. Examining the material culture associated to narratives, festivals and multiple cultural practices within the migrant home and neighbourhood can give us answers into their systems of value and identity. Studying how the neighbourhood and home are conformed, their role and how they are mapped in a city like Santiago, this research can shed light into how identity is negotiated and how the multiple links between tangible and intangible heritage within peoples lives’ develop.

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