Lauren Finnigan


Lauren is a historical archaeologist who studies relationships and experiences of women and power in the American Gilded Age.

Her doctoral dissertation, titled The Necessary and The Ornamental: Women’s Empowered Labor in Pullman, Chicago, 1880-1894, was completed in 2023 at the University of Notre Dame. She used archaeological and historical data to illustrate some of the ways women used their labor to empower themselves and their families in an otherwise paternalist and planned industrial town.

Lauren is a passionate teacher committed to a student-centered learning pedagogy that uses anthropology as a resource for transformative learning.

She also performs cross-disciplinary research on 19th-century brickmaking in the Great Lakes region of the American Midwest. Data from her studies support the recycle and repair of historic brick in preservation and adaptive reuse programs.

Lauren holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Notre Dame and performed her undergraduate work at Indiana University South Bend.