Rasa Davidavičiūtė (Rasa Davidaviciute), Social and Political Philosopher

portrait of Rasa

Hi, I'm Rasa.

I'm a social and political philosopher working at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. I work on cultural heritage, human rights, international criminal law and where the three intersect.

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Rasa Davidavičiūtė


Cultural Heritage and Human Rights

My current work on this topic builds on work started in my PhD thesis at the St Andrews and Stirling Joint Programme in Philosophy. There I provided a conceptual framework for treating obligations to preserve cultural heritage as human rights. The project is motivated by a practical concern. In recent years, global institutions like the UN and UNESCO have increasingly treated obligations to preserve cultural heritage as obligations to uphold human rights. Owing to the relative novelty of this approach, little work has been done to see what exactly such rights would be and how this treatment of cultural heritage could be justified. I am also independently interested in what cultural heritage is in the first place and how we should understand its value.

Cultural Destruction and International Criminal Law

I focus on ways in which cultural heritage destruction could plausibly be prosecuted as a violation of international criminal law. I am particularly interested in the question of whether and under what circumstances could cultural heritage destruction be prosecuted as a genocidal act.

Collective Memory and Agency

My work on this topic concerns collective memory and its importance to individual agency and the collective agency of political communities. There is extensive empirical work in psychology and memory studies on the influence of cultural background on individual decision making. Additionally, there is some work in philosophy on the relevance of autobiographical memory to our individual agency (John Christman, Marina Oshana), but there is very little done in contemporary analytic philosophy on the connection between collective memory and individual agency. Philosophers writing on such matters frequently note that our autobiographical memory is influenced by larger social structures, but how precisely this is done is seldom explored in any great detail. The combined insights of these two literatures suggest that collective memory makes meaningful contributions to individual and collective agency via autobiographical memory and other mechanisms. This in turn raises important questions about the ethics of collective memory.


“Cultural Heritage, Genocide and Normative Agency” in Journal of Applied Philosophy.
Review of Pierana Garavaso and Nicla Vassallo, Frege on Thinking and Its Epistemic Significance in Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy, 6:8.

Work in Progress

Drafts available upon request.

“A Human Right to Cultural Heritage”
“The Harms of Heritage”

Talks and Workshops

July 2021
“World Heritage and Collective Dignity”, Human Dignity and Human Rights: Rethinking the Connection, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia (online)
February 2021
“Cultural Heritage and the Symbolic Embodiment of Identity”, UMass Boston Monuments Lab Workshop Series, Boston, MA, USA (online).
January 2021
“The Harms of Heritage”, APA Eastern Division (online).
July 2020
“The Harms of Heritage”, 94th Joint Session of the Mind Association and Aristotelian Society (online).
July 2020
“What is Cultural Heritage?”, Society for Applied Philosophy Annual Conference, University of Edinburgh (event cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic).
November 2019
Comments on Susan Neiman’s talk “Justice and History”, The Royal Society of Edinburgh.
September 2019
“Cultural Heritage, Genocide and Agency”, Conference on Cultural Heritage and the Ethics of War, University of Cambridge.
June 2019
“A Human Right to Cultural Heritage”, Braga Meetings on Ethics and Political Philosophy, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal.
August 2018
Workshop and Summer School on International Criminal Law and Human Rights to Cultural Heritage, University of Leiden Law School, Den Haag, Netherlands.
May 2014
“Intuition and Elementary Mathematical Concepts in Early Husserl”, Pažinti Pasaulį, Kalbą ir Save, Conference in Memoriam of Rolandas Pavilionis, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania.


I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to teach a variety of undergraduate classes over the last several years, both as a teaching assistant and as an independent instructor. Here’s a list of them.

As an independent instructor

Issues in Moral Philosophy
University of Stirling
Summer 2021
Non-Western and Comparative Philosophy
University of Connecticut
Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2018
Philosophy and Social Ethics: Human Rights and Social Justice
University of Connecticut
Summer 2016, Summer 2017
Introduction to Bioethics
University of Connecticut
Spring 2016

As a teaching assistant

Moral and Political Controversies
University of St Andrews
Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020
Moral Philosophy
University of St Andrews
Summer 2019
University of St Andrews
Spring 2019, Spring 2021
Philosophy and Social Ethics
University of Connecticut
Fall 2014, Spring 2017
Problems in Philosophy
University of Connecticut
Fall 2015
University of Connecticut
Spring 2015

As a guest lecturer

University of St Andrews
Spring 2021
Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights
University of Connecticut
Spring 2018