Emma McAlister

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Personal profile

Research Focus

Emma is working towards her PhD in Public History at Queen’s University.

Her research examines how architectural space, display and ritual performance affects the perception of religious objects. To conduct this research, Emma uses a mixed-methods approach; using participant observation, interviews with custodians of objects, museum visitor interviews and archival material to find the provenance of objects. Emma investigates how sacred space, such as churches, use religious objects and juxtaposes these findings with the treatment of religious objects in museums.

She holds a BA in Modern History and a MA in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies.

Outside of academia, she has worked in several art galleries and museums, which has enriched her interest and understanding of objects and exhibitions.


Emma has taught on the following modules:

Undergraduate History: 

HIS1005: History and Society 

HIS2067: Cabinets of Curiosity: Museums Past and Present

Postgraduate Arts Management:

SCA7006: Research Methods in Arts Management