Nicholas is a Ph.D. student in the department of Anthropology. He holds a B.A. in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley (2013), where his undergraduate research focused on the use of microartifactual data in interpreting archaeological households structures through use of space, social access, and trade networks between communities in Jordan.

At Notre Dame, Nicholas’ research focuses on the social and geographical development of historically marginalized communities during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Working primarily in Ireland and the USA, Nicholas is researching how Irish immigrants remanifested local communities within the context of industrial America. Further, he traces how immigrant social engagement transformed into the distinct Irish-American identities seen throughout the U.S. today. Nicholas aims to use the conflation of social, political, and economic events experienced by the Irish to further develop our understanding of contemporary social and political engagement of immigrant communities. In addition, Nicholas is engaged with Kellogg fellows in developing an index of archaeological intra-site analysis that gages the degree of inequality experienced within past communities as expressed in the material record.

Nicholas is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow.

Thematic Interests

My research focuses primarily on definitions and expressions of community (i.e. how different groups define 'community', and what goes into the construction/expectation of community membership). I also investigate the changing social experience of emigration from a temporal lens, such as how the experience of 'leaving' changes based on age, sex, class, and period of departure. Lastly, I am interested in the 'act' of migration; what motivates people to stay or leave, and the networks that are constructed in the process. This includes tracing systems of 'chain migration' and the ways in which immigrant communities are (re)constructed within a new environment. These topics inherently involve community development (particularly the 19th century notion of 'improvement'), and social and economic inequality in the relationship between migrant and 'host' societies.