BiographyI am originally from Belfast in the North of Ireland and have degrees from Trinity College Dublin (BA (Hons) in History & Ancient History / Archaeology, 1999), University of Cambridge (MPhil in Archaeological Heritage & Museum Studies, 2003) and University of Bristol (PhD in Historical Archaeology, 2008). I have also completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford (2008-9), University College Dublin (2010-12 and 2012-14; including funded by IRC).
I was appointed as Professor in Radical Humanities Laboratory and Archaeology in October 2022. Previously, I was Associate Professor in Sustainable Heritage Management at Aarhus University in Denmark, 2015- (and I will maintain a 20% contract until October 2024 as Professor in Heritage Studies https://pure.au.dk/portal/en/persons/laura-mcatackney(b4cbcfb9-562e-4d23-b681-18a8aaccfeba).html).
My areas of interest are contemporary archaeology, especially of conflict, institutions, colonialism and gender, and various facets of heritage, especially related to difficult or 'dark' pasts. I complete work on the Northern Irish conflict and peace process, gendered experiences of imprisonment and lived experiences of Magdalene Laundries and other gendered institutions in Ireland. I am currently completing an DFF Project 2 collaboration 'Enduring Materialities of Colonialism' on the former Danish colonial island of St Croix (current USVI), 2019-2024 with an emphasis on underexplored heritages.