Dr Margaret Comer

Postdoctoral Researcher

Contact Information
School of Humanities
Tallinn University
Uus-Sadama 5, 10120,
Tallinn, Estonia


2019 PhD, Archaeology (Heritage Studies), University of Cambridge


Margaret’s research focuses on the heritage of mass repression, Soviet and post-Soviet memorialization and heritagization, grievability and memory, and contested memory. She is specifically interested in how post-repression societies variously portray suffering, loss, perpetration, and victimhood at sites associated with mass violence. The overarching goal is to analyze how the heritage of past violence can be instrumentalized in order to avoid reckoning with past violence and, further, how this heritage can be weaponized in order to further contemporary violence. Her research interests also include preservation and tourism at sites of mass repression, materiality and memorialization, and heritage and climate change. In 2019-20, she was the Research Assistant on ‘Safeguarding Sites: The IHRA Charter for Best Practice’, an interdisciplinary project funded by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). This ongoing project aims to identify types of risk that threaten the preservation of Holocaust sites and then draft ‘best practices’ guidelines to protect them. She remains involved with the project, which will run through 2023. Her PhD (2015-19) was funded by the Gates Cambridge Trust.


Special Issues

Co-edited with Pablo Alonso González, Dacia Viejo Rose, and Tom Crowley. Themed Section: Heritage, Revolution and the Enduring Politics of the Past. International Journal of Heritage Studies 25(5).

Co-edited with J. Eva Meharry and Rebecca Haboucha. On the Edge of the Anthropocene? Modern Climate Change and the Practice of Archaeology. Archaeological Review from Cambridge 32.2.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

‘Heritagization of the Gulag: A Case Study from the Solovetsky Islands’ in M.L. Stig Sørensen, D. Viejo-Rose, and P. Filippucci (ed.), Memorials in the Aftermath of Armed Conflict: From History to Heritage. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 95-125.

(with Pablo Alonso González, Dacia Viejo Rose, and Tom Crowley) ‘Introduction: heritage and revolution – first as tragedy, then as farce?’ International Journal of Heritage Studies 25(5), pp. 469-477. DOI:

‘Uncovering violent narratives: the heritage of Stalinist repression in Russia since 1991’ in M. Frihammar and H. Silverman (ed.), Heritage of Death: Landscapes of Emotion, Memory and Practice. London: Routledge, pp. 164-177.

‘Harald Bluetooth’s Welfare State: The Archaeology of Danish Royalty and Democracy’ in A. Brooks and N. Mehler (ed.), The Country Where My Heart Is: Historical Archaeologies of Nationalism and National Identity. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, pp. 202-221.


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