Photo of Dr. Vicky McAlister

Dr. Vicky McAlister

Assistant Professor of History, Graduate Coordinator
Office: Carnahan  311B


Ph.D., Trinity College, Dublin, 2013
M.Phil., University of Cambridge, 2007
B.A. (Hons.), Trinity College Dublin, 2006

I offer courses mainly on medieval history, but also early modern and ancient history. I teach EH101 Early European Civilization, and at the upper-division level I teach Castles in Context, the Crusades, Medieval Europe, Early Modern Europe, and Britain to 1688. I work with students on Senior Paper topics relating to pre-modern Europe. I also have pedagogical interest in using tools of digital history in the classroom and in experiential learning (which is how we end up recreating jousting tournaments, and making an exhibition on 3D printing to-scale models of the Glendalough early medieval monastic site, among many other activities, in my classroom).

My research interests lie broadly in medieval socio-economic and environmental history and medieval archaeology. My current book project The Irish Tower House: society, economy, and environment uses the tower house castle as a methodological tool through which to examine wider historical issues, and medieval people’s interactions with the world around them. Built between c. 1350 and c. 1650, tower houses were occupied by gentry and elites, while people of lower status lived around them. They therefore present a unique opportunity to look at the lives of a broad section of medieval society. I am particularly interested in how these people interacted with their landscape for economic profit and how this then enabled them to participate in trade networks.

Select Publications:

Victoria McAlister, “Castles and Connectivity: Exploring the Economic Networks between Tower Houses, Settlement, and Trade in Late Medieval Ireland”, Speculum 91:3 (July 2016), 631-59.

Vicky McAlister, “The Death of the Tower House? Reasons for the decline of the ‘late medieval’ tower house in seventeenth century Ireland.” In Vicky McAlister & Terry Barry eds. 2015. Space and Settlement in Medieval Ireland. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 130-50.


Fax: 573.651.2146
Carnahan Hall 311

Department of History
One University Plaza, MS 4150
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701