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Dr Alice Kelly

FAB 5.23 Faculty of Arts Building
University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7EQ


I am Assistant Professor of Literature and History and the Co-Convenor of our English and History degree.

I studied at the Universities of Sussex (BA in English Literature), with a year abroad at Reed College, Portland, Oregon; Oxford (MSt in English and American Studies); and Cambridge (PhD in English Literature), with a Fox International Fellowship at Yale University. I then held a Women in the Humanities Fellowship at TORCH Oxford, followed by a three-year Junior Research Fellowship in History (Corpus Christi and the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford), and a year-long Lectureship in American Literature at the University of Sussex. I was the 2021-22 Gardiner Fellow at the New-York Historical Society.

I am currently a Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute (Oxford) and an Associate at the Institute for the Public Understanding of War at Imperial War Museum, London. I have previously held a Corpus Christi Fellowship at the Huntington Library, California (2017) and a five-month Remarque Fellowship at New York University (2018).

Before coming to Warwick, I taught at Cambridge, Yale, Wesleyan (CT), Oxford and Sussex. I really enjoy teaching and I was very pleased to win an ‘Extra Mile’ Teaching Award at Sussex.


My interdisciplinary research expertise is in twentieth-century literary and cultural history, particularly Anglo-American modernism (with a focus on book history: archival research, textual editing, and publication contexts), and literary and cultural memory, especially of war.

My monograph Commemorative Modernisms: Women Writers, Death and the First World War (Edinburgh UP, 2020) reconsiders the relationship between the Great War and literary modernism. Through analysis of writers including Edith Wharton, H.D., Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf and Jean Rhys, and drawing on international archival research, it provides the first sustained study of women’s literary representations of death and the culture of war commemoration that underlies English and American literary modernism. You can hear me talk about this book here and here. You can listen to my Katherine Mansfield Society Birthday Lecture, based on my chapter on Mansfield in this book, here.

My second book project is a literary and cultural study of New York modernism in the early 1920s, when we see the deliberate creation of a new ‘American’ literary and public intellectual culture. Drawing on extended archival research, I read the literature produced in this period through networks of literary and cultural production and publication. You can hear me talk about this project here. In May 2023 I gave the keynote lecture at the Warwick Postgraduate Symposium on ‘Fitzgerald’s New York, New York’s Fitzgerald’ - you can watch a recording of that talk here.

I recently edited an interdisciplinary Special Issue, ‘Over There: Rethinking American First World War Literature and Culture’ (First World War Studies, 2022), which reconsiders the impact of the war on American cultural development. My earlier publications include a critical edition of Edith Wharton’s First World War reportage, Fighting France (EUP, 2015) including archival material from Yale and Princeton on its book history, textual history and publication context; a journal article in Modernist Cultures considering the impact of military language on Katherine Mansfield’s writing; and a chapter on war letters in the Edinburgh Companion to the First World War and the Arts. In 2021 I wrote a public article on ‘COVID, Commemoration, and Cultural Memory’ for Modernism/Modernity Print Plus. I have an interest in comics journalism and graphic novels, seen in my interview with the comics journalist Joe Sacco in the 2020 TLS Graphic Novels Special Issue.

I won a British Academy Rising Stars Engagement Award for my interdisciplinary seminar series Cultures and Commemorations of War, which considered the literary and cultural memory of war. The five public workshops I organised in Oxford and at the Imperial War Museum, London, from 2017-2019, brought together academics with practitioners, policy makers, charities, and representatives from the culture and heritage industries, with keynote speakers such as the Turner Prize artist Jeremy Deller. The series sought to particularly highlight the work of junior scholars.

Public engagement is an essential part of my scholarship. I have appeared on BBC radio, most recently on a programme about Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, as well as various podcasts. You can listen to some of them here, here and here. As well as reviews in academic journals, I write features and reviews for the Times Literary Supplement, The Conversation, Times Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed.

Teaching and supervision

I am the English Lead on the joint degree programme in English and History. I co-teach the undergraduate courses History and Textuality and Writing History.

I would be pleased to hear from potential undergraduate or graduate students interested in pursuing research in any of my areas of expertise.

I have an interest in healthy writing practices and postgraduate and early career support. I established and led the TORCH Academic Writing Group at Oxford from 2015-2021, as well as led undergraduate-focused and subject-specific groups at Oxford and Sussex. I have written about this academic support model in Times Higher Education and given invited talks on this at other universities.


Commemorative Modernisms: Women Writers, Death and the First World War (Edinburgh University Press, 2020)

Critical Edition of Edith Wharton’s Fighting France: From Dunkerque to Belfort (Edinburgh University Press, 2015)

Edited Special Issue on ‘Over There: Rethinking American First World War Literature and Culture’ (First World War Studies, May 2022)

‘COVID-19, Commemoration and Cultural Memory’, Modernism/Modernity Print Plus (April 2021)

‘Mansfield Mobilised: Katherine Mansfield, the Great War and Military Discourse’, Modernist Cultures, Vol. 12: Modernism and the First World War (Edinburgh University Press, 2017), ed. by Andrew Frayn, pp. 78-97

‘Words from Home: Wartime Correspondences’, in The Edinburgh Companion to the First World War and the Arts (Edinburgh University Press, 2017), ed. by Ann-Marie Einhaus and Katherine Baxter, pp. 77-94

‘“Can one grow used to death?”: Deathbed Scenes in Great War Nurses’ Narratives’, in The Great War: From Memory to History, ed. by Jonathan Vance, Alicia Robinet and Steven Marti (Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2015), pp. 329-49

‘Katherine Mansfield, War Writer’, Introduction to Katherine Mansfield Studies, Vol. 6: Katherine Mansfield and the World War One, guest ed. by Alice Kelly and Isobel Maddison (Edinburgh University Press, 2014), 1-10

Selected Public Scholarship

‘Here to Extract Something’, review article on Joe Sacco’s Paying the Land, including interview with the author, TLS Special Issue on Graphic Novels (1 May 2020), pp. 8-9

‘Notre Dame: Writers and the Shock of Destruction through History’ (The Conversation, 16 April 2019)

‘They Shall Not Grow Old: World War I film a masterpiece of skill and artistry – just don’t call it a documentary’ (The Conversation, 5 November 2018)

‘The American Friends – Nurse, Suffragette, War Writer: Ellen N. La Motte’s Life in Letters’ (TLS, 29 March 2017), pp. 17-19

‘“The Field of Honour”: An Unknown First World War Story by Edith Wharton’ (TLS, 6 November 2015), pp. 15-16

Publications on Writing Practices, Academic Skills and Early Career Support

‘Struggling to focus at home? You’re not alone’ (Times Higher Education, 26 March 2020), p. 27

‘Involving Early Career Researchers in Conference Organisation is Good for Everyone’ (Times Higher Education, 30 August 2018)

‘How to Make Writing in the Humanities Less Lonely’ (Times Higher Education, 2 March 2017), p. 30 (about my experience devising and leading my Academic Writing Group)

Recent Reviews

Sheila Liming, What a Library Means to a Woman: Edith Wharton and the Will to Collect Books, American Literary History (Fall 2022)

Marita Sturken, Terrorism in American Memory: Memorials, Museums, and Architecture in the Post 9/11 Era, TLS (April 2022)

‘As American as apple pie’, review of War and American Literature, ed. Jennifer Haytock, and A History of American Literature and Culture of the First World War, ed. Tim Dayton and Mark Van Wienen, TLS (16 July 2021)

‘Zen and the art of a life in ink’, review of John Porcellino, King-Cat Classix, Map of My Heart and Perfect Example, TLS (30 April 2021)

‘Letters to the Editor’, review of The Times – Great War Letters: Correspondence from the First World War, ed. by James Owen and Samantha Wyndham, TLS (13 September 2019), p. 35

‘War Writing’, review of Dead Ground: 1918-2018, ed. by Andrew McNeillie and James McNeillie, TLS (16 April 2019), p. 35

‘Halls and Stones’, review of the Making a New World season at IWM London and IWM North, TLS (6 November 2018), p. 15

Hazel Hutchison, The War That Used Up Words: American Writers and the First World War, Modernism/Modernity, 23.1 (January 2016), 266-68








Office hours

Tuesday 11am-12noon

Wednesday 2-3pm

FAB 5.23

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Undergraduate modules

EN126 History and Textuality

EN2J9 Writing History

EN3K9 English and History Dissertations