Eugene Costello

Forskare vid Institutionen för arkeologi och antik historia, Arkeologi

Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3H
Box 626
751 26 UPPSALA

Kort presentation

Detta stycke finns inte på svenska, därför visas den engelska versionen.

I am a historian and archaeologist interested in marginalised peoples and places, particularly rural areas of Europe. At Uppsala, I am based in the Global Historical Ecology cluster. I am a Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellow, and I am also Principal Investigator of a Swedish Research Council Project Grant based at Stockholm University.

Nyckelord: economic history historical ecology environmental humanities pastoralism environmental history historical archaeology

Having earned a BA at University College Cork and an MA at University of Sheffield, I completed a PhD in 2016 at NUI Galway funded by Irish Research Council and Hardiman scholarships. Since then, I have held a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship at University of Notre Dame, a postdoctoral fellowship in environmental humanities at Stockholm University, and the National University of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship in Humanities (based at UCC).


Recent teaching and supervision:

Uppsala University:

  • Supervision of two dissertations for Masters in Global Environmental History

University College Cork:

  • Leading new 5 ECTS case study for second-year History students, i.e. ‘Ireland in a New World: Climate Change and Atlantic Capitalism, c.1250-1750’ (HI2105: Case Studies in Research Skills)
  • Co-ordination of 5 ECTS second-year module in Heritage Management (AR2044, with Dr Colin Rynne)
  • Co-supervision of MPhil student, Katherine Dezsofi (with Dr Benjamin Gearey). Thesis title: Exploring Late Holocene Landscape Change in the south Kerry Uplands

Past teaching experience:

In the past, during my postdoctoral fellowship in environmental humanities at Stockholm University (2018-20), I taught on a first-year Medieval and Historical Archaeology module and held seminars with Masters students on human-animal relations. I also taught gender history for the interdisciplinary module, Spaces and Identities, as part of Stockholm University’s Doctoral School in Humanities. In the more distant past, I have served as lecturer and tutor in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Irish Studies in NUI Galway, and as a supervisor for a University of Notre Dame field school in anthropology.

Teaching qualifications:

Moreover, through Stockholm University’s Centre for the Advancement of University Teaching, I have completed two courses totalling 15 ECTS aimed at Professional Development in Teaching.

At present, I am using documentary, archaeological and environmental evidence to develop a radical periphery-centred perspective on the emergence of capitalism in late medieval and early modern Europe. Focusing on ‘marginal’ upland communities in Ireland and Sweden, I ask how farmers adapted to growing market demands for meat and dairy and determine their role, as food suppliers, in the development of commercial urban centres. This project will help the humanities to start contributing to the debate on rural sustainability by highlighting the agency of rural people and also the long-term consequences of commercial livestock production for community and landscape alike.


Peer-reviewed books:

Costello, E. 2020. Transhumance and the Making of Ireland's Uplands, 1550-1900. Garden and Landscape History 7. Boydell & Brewer: Woodbridge. 256 pp. ISBN: 9781783275311.

Costello, E. & Svensson, E. (eds.) 2018. Historical Archaeologies of Transhumance across Europe. Themes in Contemporary Archaeology 6. Routledge: London. 282 pp. ISBN: 9780815380320. DOI: 10.4324/9781351213394.

(Paperback edition published 2020)

Peer-reviewed articles:

Costello, E. In press. Agriculture and the integration of British colonial settlers in early modern Ireland. Journal of Migration History 8(2) (7,750 words)

Costello, E. 2021. The colonisation of uplands in medieval Britain and Ireland: climate, agriculture and environmental adaptation. Medieval Archaeology 65(1), 151-179. DOI:10.1080/00766097.2020.1826123.

Costello, E. 2020. Hill farmers, habitats and time: the potential of historical ecology in upland management and conservation. Landscape Research 45(8), 951-965. DOI:10.1080/01426397.2020.1798367.

Costello, E. 2018. Temporary freedoms? Ethnoarchaeology of female herders at seasonal sites in northern Europe. World Archaeology 50(1), 165-184. DOI: 10.1080/00438243.2018.1472633.

Costello, E. 2017. Medieval memories and the reformation of religious identity: Catholic and Anglican interactions with parish church sites in County Limerick, Ireland. Post-medieval Archaeology 51(2), 332-353. DOI: 10.1080/00794236.2017.1377512.

Costello, E. 2017. Liminal learning: social practice in seasonal settlements of western Ireland. Journal of Social Archaeology 17(2), 188-209. DOI: 10.1177/1469605317708378.

Costello, E. 2016. Feirmeoirí faoi cheilt: dul chun cinn agus dúshláin sa taighde faoi ghnás an bhuailteachais [The hidden farmers: progress and challenges in the study of transhumance]. Béaloideas: Journal of the Folklore Society of Ireland 84, 191-210. EID: 2-s2.0-85017292904.

Costello, E. 2016. Seasonal settlement and the interpretation of upland archaeology in the Galtee Mountains, Ireland. Landscape History 37(1), 87-98. DOI: 10.1080/01433768.2016.1176437.

Costello, E. 2015. Post-medieval upland settlement and the decline of transhumance: a case-study from the Galtee Mountains, Ireland. Landscape History 36(1), 47-69. DOI: 10.1080/01433768.2015.1044283.

Peer-reviewed book chapters:

Costello, E. 2022 (accepted). Adaptation at altitude: can we use mountains to explore the long-term resilience of Ireland’s rural settlements? In: Murphy, M. & Tracey, R. (eds.), Urban and Rural Settlement in Ireland through Time. Four Courts Press: Dublin. 6,580 words.

Costello, E. 2021. Imagining and identifying seasonal resource exploitation on the margins of medieval Ireland. In: P. Dixon, C. Theune (eds.), Seasonal Sites and Settlements in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Sidestone Press: Leiden, 125-136.

Costello, E. 2018. Morphology of transhumant settlements in post-medieval south Connemara: a case-study in adaptation. In: E. Costello & E. Svensson (eds.), Historical Archaeologies of Transhumance across Europe. Themes in Contemporary Archaeology 6. Routledge: London, 93-108.

Costello, E. & Svensson, E. 2018. Transhumant pastoralism in historic landscapes: beginning a European perspective. In: E. Costello & E. Svensson (eds.), Historical Archaeologies of Transhumance across Europe. Themes in Contemporary Archaeology 6. Routledge: London, 1-14.

Costello, E. 2016. Seasonal management of cattle in the booleying system: new insights from South Connemara, western Ireland. In: M. O'Connell, F. Kelly & J.H. McAdam (eds.), Cattle in ancient and modern Ireland: farming practices, environment and economy. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 66-74.

Major report:

Murphy, D. and Costello, E. 2019. Grousemount Wind Farm, Kilgarvan, County Kerry: Final Archaeological and Cultural Heritage Report. 205 pp. John Cronin & Associates Ltd., for ESB Wind Energy.

Other publications:

Costello, E. 2021. The lost art of 'booleying' in Ireland. RTÉ Brainstorm (‘most-read’ article for a week). See also video interview, and podcast.

Costello, E. 2021. Farmers and environmental change: new fieldwork in Kerry, Ireland. Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology Newsletter, Issue 88.

Costello, E. 2019. Studying high places. The Blog: Centre for Global Knowledge Studies. 19 February. Available online at

Costello, E. 2017. Recent advancements in the study of past Irish transhumance practices. Áitreabh: Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement Newsletter 21, 19-20.

Costello, E. 2016. Book Review: S. Ó Síocháin, E. Slater, & L. Downey, (eds.) 2015. Rundale: settlement, society, and farming. Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra. Journal of Irish Archaeology 24, 195-196.

Costello, E. & Corcoran, M. 2016. A report on the Annual Conference, Belfast, 8-10 May. Áitreabh: Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement Newsletter 20, 18-20.

Costello, E. 2015. Booleying in the Galtee Mountains. Kilbehenny-Anglesboro Journal 24, 11-13

Costello, E. 2012. Beithígh ar buaile: transhumance in 19th and 20th century Ireland. Trowel: UCD Postgraduate Journal 13, 88-104.

Costello, E. 2011. Blossom Gate: a Late Medieval Gatehouse. Kilmallock Journal 8, 11-16


  • Shortlisted for Irish Research Council Early Career Researcher of the Year Award 2021
  • NUI Publication Prize in Irish History 2018-21 – Special Commendation (€1,000)
  • American Conference for Irish Studies – Donald Murphy Prize for Distinguished First Book 2020 ( 500)
  • Swedish Research Council Project Grant in Humanities and Social Sciences, 2021-25 (SEK 4,360,000)
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship, 2021-23 (€191,852)
  • National University of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship in Humanities, 2020-22 (€109,840, of which I declined one year, i.e. €54,920)
  • Teach@Tübingen Fellowship, Apr. 2021 – Apr. 2022 (€29,236 – declined)
  • Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology Research Grant (£812)
  • Albert & Maria Bergström Foundation fieldwork scholarship 2019 (SEK 31,700)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Environmental Humanities 2018-20, Stockholm Uni. (SEK 935,000)
  • Landscape Archaeology Conference Bursary 2018 (£195)
  • Ruralia 2017 Jean-Marie Pesez Conference Bursary (€500)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship 2016-17 ( 60,000)
  • Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology Paul Courtney Student Travel Award 2016 (£45)
  • Sieg and Dunlop Bursary Award 2016 – International Congress on Medieval Studies (€1,500)
  • Irish Research Council New Foundations Award 2015 – funding my session with Dr Mark Gardiner and Prof Eva Svensson at EAA Glasgow on transhumance practices across Europe (€2,459)
  • Irish Federation of University Teachers 50th Anniversary Award 2015 (€2,000)
  • Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement Conference Bursary 2015 (€153)
  • Society for Medieval Archaeology Conference Bursary 2014 (£50)
  • NUI Galway Travel Bursary 2013/14 (€58)
  • NUI Galway Travel Bursary 2012/13 (€256)
  • NUI Galway Hardiman Doctoral Scholarship 2012-16 (€81,100 – of which I declined €60,825)
  • Irish Research Council Doctoral Scholarship 2012-15 (€60,825)
  • University of Sheffield Robert Kiln Bursary in Landscape Archaeology 2011/12 (£1,500)
  • Undergraduate of Ireland Award 2011
  • UCC College Scholar in Arts 2010/2011 (€1,000)
  • UCC College Scholar in Arts 2009/2010 (€1,000)
  • Colmcille Bursary for Irish learners of Scots Gaelic at Sabhal Mor Ostaig 2010 (£280)
  • National University of Ireland Dr. H.H. Stewart Literary Scholarship Award in Irish 2009
  • Student of the Year, Charleville C.B.S. 2008 (€600)

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Eugene Costello
Senast uppdaterad: 2021-03-09