Victoria McAlister, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


Contact Info

LA 4232
Mon & Wed 12:00p-1:00p
Mon 3:30p-4:30p
and by appointment


Ph.D., Trinity College Dublin, 2013

Areas of Expertise

Environmental History, Digital Heritage, Pre-Modern History, Medieval Archaeology


Victoria McAlister is a historian and archaeologist specializing in the landscapes and material culture of pre-modern Ireland. She joined the History Department in 2022, having previously been at Southeast Missouri State University. Her current book manuscript, The Insular Globe: Animals and Landscapes of Colonization, Ireland c. 700-1700, examines the landscape changes associated with colonization and the transition of medieval to modern. This work benefits from the digital heritage project Human-Environmental Exchanges in the Landscapes of Medieval Ireland on which she is co-Principal Investigator. This study uses data collected from drone flights combined with the historical record to trace the remnants of the Middle Ages in modern-day landscapes; explaining why some landscape remnants are particularly resilient in an era of mechanized and intensive land use. Her research has been supported by the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and the Castle Studies Trust. 

Selected Publications

  • Victoria L. McAlister and Linda Shine, eds., Rethinking Medieval Ireland and Beyond: Lifecycles, Landscapes, and Settlements (Leiden: Brill, Explorations in Medieval Cultures Series, 2023).
  • Victoria L. McAlister and Jennifer Immich, “What is Lost can be Found: History and Geographic Information Systems as Tools for Identifying Deserted Rural Medieval Settlement.” In McAlister & Shine, Rethinking Medieval Ireland and Beyond.
  • Victoria McAlister and Thomas Herron. “Experiencing the Irish Tower House: Kilcolman Castle in Virtual Reality.” Medieval Warfare Magazine 10, no. 6 (2021): 56-57.
  • The Irish Tower House: Society, Economy and Environment c. 1300-1650 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, hardback 2019, paperback 2021).
  • Victoria L. McAlister, “Castles and Connectivity: Exploring the Economic Networks between Tower Houses, Settlement, and Trade in Late Medieval Ireland,” Speculum: The Journal of the Medieval Academy of America 91:3 (July 2016), 631–59.
  • Vicky McAlister and Terry Barry, eds., Space and Settlement in Medieval Ireland (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2015).

Recent Book Reviews

  • Review of Nicholas Terpstra and Colin Rose, eds. “Mapping Space, Sense, and Movement in Florence: Historical GIS and the Early Modern City” (London: Routledge, 2016). H-Environment, H-Net Reviews. October 2020,
  • Review of Darren McGettigan, “Richard II and the Irish Kings” (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2016) in Studia Hibernica, 45 (2019), 155-6.
  • Review of James H. Barrett and David C. Orton, eds. “Cod and Herring: The Archaeology and History of Medieval Sea Fishing” (Oxford and Philadelphia: Oxbow Books, 2016) in Speculum, 93:2 (2018), 471–2.

Awards and Honors

  • Donnelley Family Fellowship, National Humanities Center, 2021-22
  • Lindsay Young Visiting Faculty Fellowship, University of Tennessee Knoxville, 2020
  • Keough-Naughton Library Research Award, University of Notre Dame, 2020
  • Excellence in Promoting Experiential Learning Award, Southeast Missouri State University, 2019
  • Grants and Research Funding Committee, Southeast Missouri State University, 2019, 2018, 2015
  • Award for Teaching Excellence, Southeastern Medieval Association, 2017
  • College of Liberal Arts Honors Award for Outstanding Teaching, Southeast Missouri State University, 2017
  • Summer Research Award, Southeast Missouri State University, 2015

Recent Lectures and Presentations

  • “Using UAV-Collected Data as a Medievalist and Early Modernist: Some Conclusions from Study of Irish Medieval Settlement,” 57th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2022.
  • “Bringing Liminal to Light: Finding Medieval Peasant Settlement with Drone Imagery” (with Jennifer Immich), 27th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists, 2021.
  • “Drone Data Delivers: Employing Topographic Models to Identify Irish Deserted Medieval Rural Settlement – Three Case Studies from Anglo-Norman Ireland” (with Jennifer Immich), Irish Conference of Medievalists, 2021.
  • “The HELM Project: Using UAV-generated Data to Reconstruct Medieval Housing and Landscapes” (with Jennifer Immich), Data Dialogues Seminar, Duke University, 2021.
  • “Seascapes of Necessity: Exploitation of Marine Resources in Medieval and Early Modern Ireland,” Triangle Medieval Studies Seminar, 2021.
  • “What Lies Beneath: A Digital Multidisciplinary Study of ‘Medieval’ Manors in Early Modern Ireland,” Sixteenth Century Society conference, 2019.
  • “Insularity, Interaction, and Integration: The Environmental and Ecological Impacts of the Anglo-Norman Conquest of Ireland,” Newberry Library Seminar in Irish Studies, 2019.


HIST 407: History of Ireland

TSEM 102: Explorations of Ocean History