Meredith Chesson on "Beautiful Things: Dressers and Delph Stories in Western Ireland"


Location: Room 1050, Jenkins Nanovic Halls

Cashel2 Dresser View 200dpi

What does an everyday Irish dresser and delph tell us about family life and culture?

As part of the multiyear Cultural Landscapes of the Irish Coast ProjectMeredith Chesson, professor of anthropology and Nanovic faculty fellow, has used the lens of the Irish dresser and curated ceramic and glass vessels to conduct an ethnoarchaeological analysis of homemaking on the islands of Inishbofin and Inishark (Co. Galway), as well as on Inishturk (Co. Mayo).

In this talk, Professor Chesson will show that dressers tell stories that transcend time and space, building connections between the living and loved ones lost to death and emigration, as well as serving as mementos of important life milestones like pilgrimages, births, deaths, and marriages. In the past and today, dressers and their contents transform a house into "home," working to anchor the home in a family, a community, and the heritage of rural Western island communities.

Hosted by the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies; co-sponsors include Notre Dame's Department of Anthropology and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.

This is a HYBRID event. While we hope that many will join us in person, for those unable to be on campus, please register for our livestream.

Originally published at