Erin Halstad McGuire

Erin Halstad McGuire
Associate Teaching Professor
Office: COR B225

PhD Glasgow

Area of expertise

Archaeology, material culture, funerary rituals, gender identities, Medieval North Atlantic, Historical archaeology, Experimental archaeology, teaching and learning in undergraduate education

I have been teaching at UVic since 2010. In addition to ANTH 100: Introduction to Anthropology, I teach courses on the archaeology of death (ANTH397), Viking archaeology (ANTH398), and medieval archaeology (ANTH361). The Heritage and Historical Archaeology field course (ANTH367) has been based at the Jewish Cemetery, in Victoria. Students in this course have been recording the cemetery for the Synagogue. From time to time, I also offer courses through the UVic Medieval Studies Program. In my teaching I aim to help students develop transferable skills relating to research, project design, group work, and technologies relevant to anthropology and archaeology. I am interested in how students learn, and so I strive to consistently further my knowledge in learner-centred theories and strategies for teaching. In 2016, I was honoured to become the first recipient of UVic’s Excellence in Teaching for Experiential Learning Award. In 2021, I received the Social Sciences Teaching Excellence Award and the Harry Hickman Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching and Educational Leadership.


  • Archaeology
  • Material culture
  • Funerary rituals
  • Gender identities
  • Experimental archaeology
  • Migration
  • Medieval North Atlantic IN THE NEWS...
  • Historical archaeology
  • Teaching and learning in undergraduate education


Fall 2023

  • ANTH 100 Introduction to Anthropology
  • ANTH 361 Archaeology of Medieval Europe

Spring 2024

  • ANTH 100 Introduction to Anthropology
  • ANTH 397 The Archaeology of Death

Current projects

Jewish Cemetery Field Course

The Heritage and Historical Archaeology field course (ANTH 363, formerly ANTH 395) has been based at the Jewish Cemetery, in Victoria. Students in this course have been recording the cemetery for the Synagogue. See the video of last year's course. This course is held only during the summer.  

Viking Lamps and Light Technology

Burning the Midnight Oil is an experimental archaeology project. It seeks to explore the use of steatite lamp technologies in the Viking Age through the reconstruction and testing of lamps, wicks, and fuel. Using a reconstructed pit house site, the efficiency of the lamps is being tested, in terms of light production, heat production, and portability. This project aims to inform understanding of light technologies in the Early Medieval period and to create a catalogue of Viking Age lamps. A side aim of the project is to explore the development of teaching-related resources centred on experimental archaeology.

Selected publications

Articles and chapters

2019 - McGuire, E. Whim rules the child: The archaeology of childhood in Scandinavian Scotland. Journal of the North Atlantic, Special Volume 11.

2017 - McGuire, E. Burning the Midnight Oil: Archaeological Experiments with Viking Lamps. In N. Gonlin and A. Nowell (eds), Archaeology of the Night. University Press of Colorado.

2017 - Baxter, Vey, McGuire, Conway, Blom. Reflections on Interdisciplinarity in the Study of Childhood in the Past. Childhood in the Past 10.

2016 - McGuire, E. Move along: Migrant identities in Scandinavian Scotland. In E. Pierce, A. Maldonado, and A. Russell (eds), Creating Material Worlds. Oxbow Books.

2010 - McGuire, E. Sailing Home: Boat-Graves, Migrant Identities and Funerary Practices on the Viking Frontier. In E. Anderson, A. Maddrell, K. McLoughlin and A. Vincent (Eds.) Memory, Mourning and Landscape. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

2008 - McGuire, E. Students and their Digs: An experiment in enquiry-based learning in archaeology. Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 3(1), 84-101.