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Embroidery, India

Barbara Graham

I completed my PhD in Anthropology at Queen's University Belfast in 2009. My primary research was on the materiality of death in Ireland; an examination of  relationships with the dead through an analysis of how people remember  through objects, stories and places.Grave, Northern Ireland

I am interested in exploring further the emotional and sensory nature of various types of material culture and how narratives are re(created) and imparted though the different ways in which we interact with objects and images.

I have also conducted some preliminary research in Chennai, India on display in Christian graveyards and have made some initial comparisons between Ireland and India on the uses of artefacts on gravesites. I am hoping to expand on my research to investigate how people use both sacred and secular symbols in remembrance display and how symbols and artefacts are improvised and contextualised or re-contextualised.

Selected publications:

2011. A pair of spectacles and a lump of coal: objects of the dead and the stories they tell. Irish Journal of Anthropology 14 (1): 37-42.

2011. STARS (Striving to Achieve Real Success): A Report into the History and Work of the Playgroup.  A report commissioned by STARS Autism Project. Available to view at

(with F. McCormick) 2004. The headstones of James Connelly. Seanchas ard Mhacha 20 (1): 162-178.


Cemetary, Chennai, India