About: Creator


Dr Laura McAtackney is an historical archaeologist and heritage researcher who is currently Associate Professor in Sustainable Heritage Management at Aarhus University, Denmark. Previously she was funded on an individual Irish Research Council postdoctoral research fellowship at the School of Social Justice, University College Dublin (2012-2014) under the mentoring of Dr Katherine O’Donnell, who she continues to work with. She has specialised in studying historical prisons, especially the experiences of political imprisonment in Ireland (with some interest in South African political imprisonment also). Her current research involves using a multi-material approach to exploring female experiences of imprisonment at Kilmainham Gaol during the Irish Civil War (with a concentration on extant institutional graffiti) and the historic Irish presence on Montserrat with the SLAM project. She has previously been a Research Fellow at the John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies, University College Dublin (January 2010-2012), where she researched politics, memory and identity in Irish and diaspora contexts. She is an alum of Trinity College Dublin, Emmanuel College Cambridge and the University of Bristol. She began her research in this area using archaeological methods to explore the Northern Irish Troubles and peace process and she continues to publish on this area. She has a monograph – An Archaeology of the Troubles: the dark heritage of Long Kesh / Maze prison – with Oxford University Press (2014).


Email: laura.mcatackney@gmail.com


Selected Publications


  • McAtackney, L. 2014. An Archaeology of the Troubles: the dark heritage of Long Kesh/Maze prison. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199673919
  • Fortenberry, B. & L. McAtackney (eds), 2012. Modern Materials: papers from CHAT Oxford (2009). Oxford: BARS Series.
  • Hicks, D. McAtackney & G. Fairclough (eds). 2007. Envisioning Landscape: perspectives and politics in archaeology and heritage. California: Left Coast Press
  • McAtackney, L., M. Palus & A. Piccini (eds). 2007. Towards Diversity: papers from CHAT. Oxford: BARS Series. ISBN 9781407301150


  • McAtackney, L. under review. Autograph books and female experiences of political imprisonment during the Irish Civil War. Éire / Ireland.
  • McAtackney, L. 2015. Memorials and Marching: archaeological insights into segregated tradition in Northern Ireland. In CHAT North Special Edition of Historical Archaeology.
  • McAtackney, L. 2013. Dealing with difficult pasts: the dark heritage of political prisons in transitional Northern Ireland and South Africa Prison Service Journal. Nov 2013: No 219: 17-24.
  • McAtackney, L. 2011. Peace maintenance and political messages: the significance of walls during and after the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland. Journal of Social Archaeology 11 (1) 77-98.
  • McAtackney, L. 2007. The Regeneration of the Maze prison site, Northern Ireland: the only way forward? Museological Review (12) 112-124.


  • McAtackney, & G. Devlin. 2014. Recovering Revolutionary Ireland: graffiti recording at the West Wing of Kilmainham Gaol. Archaeology Ireland. Summer 2014.
  • McAtackney, L. 2005. A new future for Long Kesh/Maze, Northern Ireland? Debates between retention/destruction and history/heritage. British Archaeology. Sep/Oct 2005. Number 84.
  • McAtackney, L. 2005. What can archaeology tell us about the Maze site? Archaeology Ireland. Vol 19 No. 1, Issue 71.


  • McAtackney, L. under review. Archaeological insights into the relationship between feminist and nationalist movements in early 20th century: the case of the Irish Civil War (1922-1923). The Routledge Handbook of Globalization and Archaeology. Routledge.
  • McAtackney, L. in press, 2015. Re-remembering the Troubles: community memorials, memory and identity in post-conflict Northern Ireland. In Irish Arts in Crisis (ed vol). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholarly Press.
  • McAtackney, L. forthcoming, 2015. Gender, incarceration and power relations during the Irish Civil War. In The State and Gender Violence: International Perspectives. NY: Rutgers University Press.
  • McAtackney, L. forthcoming, 2015. Prison-issue artefacts, documentary trails and the negotiated realities of political imprisonment: the case of Long Kesh / Maze, Northern Ireland. In B. Hausmair, B. Jervis, R. Nugent & E. Williams (eds) ‘Archaeologies of Rules and Regulations: between text and practice’. Manchester: MUP.
  • McAtackney, L. 2015. The power struggles of political imprisonment at Long Kesh/Maze prison, Northern Ireland. In Mark Leone & Jocelyn Knauf (eds) Historical Archaeologies of Capitalism. Second Edition.
  • McAtackney, L. 2015. Women’s autograph books: remembering the Easter Rising through the experiences of Irish Civil War. In J Brück & L Gosdon (eds) Making 1916: the material culture of the Easter Rising. Liverpool: LUP.
  • McAtackney, L, K Ryzewski & JF Cherry. 2014. Contemporary Irish identity on the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean: St Patrick’s Day on Montserrat and the Invention of Tradition. In Diane Sabenacio Nititham & Rebecca Boyd (eds) Heritage, Diaspora and the Consumption of Culture: Movements in Irish Landscape. Aldershot, Ashgate.
  • Ryzewski, K and L McAtackney. 2014. Remembering ‘home’? Contemporary Irish identity on Montserrat, the ‘Emerald Isle of the Caribbean’ In Caribbean Irish Connections. University of West Indies Press.
  • McAtackney, L. 2014. ‘Manifestations of conflict in a post-ceasefire state: material, memory and meaning in contemporary Northern Ireland’. In Ruin Memories: Materialities, Aesthetics and the Archaeology of the Recent Past. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780415523622.
  • McAtackney, L. 2013. ‘Sectarianism’. In P. Graves-Brown, R. Harrison & A Piccini (eds). The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary Past. Oxford: OUP 9780199602001.
  • McAtackney, L. 2013. Manifestations of hope in a place of fear: Long Kesh/Maze prison, Northern Ireland. In J. Symonds, A. Badcock & J. Oliver. Historical Archaeologies of Cognition: explorations into faith, hope and charity. London: Equinox Publishing. ISBN 1845535340.
  • Keitumetse, S, L. McAtackney & G. Seneta. 2011. Memory, identity and tourism development in southern Africa. In J. Guihama & R Isar Cultures and Globalization Series 4 Heritage, Memory, Identity. LA: SAGE. ISBN 08702390X.

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