CONTACT
Phone: 603.899.4392

Office: 310 Petrocelli Hall, Rindge

Mary C. Kelly Ph.D.

Professor of History

PH.D. Syracuse University; Modern U.S.
M.A. National University of Ireland, Galway
B.A. National University of Ireland, Galway

Professor Mary Kelley at her book signing

Professor Kelly’s new book Ireland’s Great Famine in Irish-American History is published by Rowman & Littlefield. The book was launched by Professor Catherine B. Shannon at an event hosted by the Eire Society in Milton Public Library, Milton, MA, on Sunday March 9, 2014. The book is available from the publisher and on Amazon.

Teaching Areas:

  • Modern United States: Cultural/Intellectual, Women’s, Immigrant, Irish-American, Religion and Politics
  • Modern Europe: Ireland

“My teaching interests include Modern American surveys and upper-level courses in Cultural, Intellectual, Women’s, and Ethnic History. As students encounter the events that shaped American history, and the personalities who enliven its narratives, they witness the interplay of such factors as diversity, gender, race, politics and ethnic identity. They start to think in new and exciting ways about the influence of history and its lessons for us today. Offering a Women's History upper-level course dovetails with my involvement in the Women in Leadership program, and I seek to more fully explore connections between politics and religion in the classroom. Speaking of politics and religion, the history of Ireland occasionally finds its way into our curricular offerings.”

Dr. Kelly's promotion to Professor of History took effect in fall 2013. She was honored with Faculty Appreciation Awards from the Franklin Pierce University Class of 2017, 2012, Class of 2011 and Class of 2009; and the Faculty of the Year award in 2002. Beyond her History Departmental course offerings, her pedagogical interests include the First Year Experience and curricular assessment.

Dr. Kelly was honored with a Keene State College President’s Outstanding Women of New Hampshire Award in March 2014.

Research Interests

  • 19th Century and Modern Irish-America, Cultural and Intellectual history; Irish-American Identity
  • Ireland’s Famine: History, Memory and Legacy
  • Modern Irish America; 1916-Era Irish-American Engagement; Irish-American Cultural, Intellectual, Identity

Current Research and Recent Publications

Dr. Kelly's book Ireland’s Great Famine in Irish-American History: Enshrining a Fateful Memory was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2014. She is currently researching 1916-era Irish-American engagement in preparation for the centenary of the 1916 Rising next year. 

Books:
Professor Mary Kelley
Professor Mary Kelley
Professor Kelly pictured beside the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians memorial to Famine Irish emigrants lost when the brig St. John went down off Cohasset, Mass. in 1849; less than a day's sail out from Boston."
Recent Publications:
  • Coarse cloth and clerical tailoring: negotiating Boston-Irish cultural imperatives in the Famine era”  in Irish Studies Review, 23, no. 1 (Spring 2015):
  • Review for New Hibernia Review; forthcoming 2016
    • "Irish-American Engagement with 1916 and its Legacy" book chapter forthcoming 2016
    • "Great Famine." Dictionary of American History. Edward J. Blum, ed. Charles Scribner's Sons, 2015

Professional Development, Presentations and Conference Attendance

  • American Conference for Irish Studies Dr. James S. Donnelly Book Prize Committee Member, 2014-15

Recent Conferences & Presentations:

  • Invited book talk: Ireland’s Great Famine in Irish-American History, Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, Quinnipiac University, September 25, 2014
  • Plenary: UMass Lowell, “The Irish in MA: Historical Significance, Lasting Legacy Conference,” September 25, 2014
  • Panelist: Roundtable; “Latitudes and Lassitudes: Interpreting Irish-American Identity,” ACIS Dublin, June 16, 2014
  • Presenter: “Long Threatening Comes at Last: The Famine’s Irish-American Legacy” New England Historical Association, Springfield College, MA, April 26, 2014    
  • Forbes House Museum, Milton, MA: Jamestown Exhibition Committee:     2014-
  • Address: Keene State College; President’s Outstanding Women of New Hampshire Award, March 25, 2014
  • Book Launch: Ireland’s Great Famine in Irish-American History, Milton Public Library, Milton, MA., March 9, 2014
  • "Still Useful? Teaching Gender History to Generation Blend," public talk to American Association of University Women chapter in Keene, NH; Nov. 18, 2013 
  • Chair and panelist, "Hyphenated Identities: The Many Meanings of Irish-American" (Roundtable Discussion), at "Irish Spirits, Irish Souls," New England ACIS Conference, Community College of Rhode Island, RI Nov. 1-2, 2013
  • Chair “Identity and Historical Memory,” Phi Alpha Theta New England Regional Conference, Quinnipiac University, April 27, 2013
  • Co-convener, Roundtable, “Challenges for the Small History Department: General Education, Assessment, Enrollment and Budgets,” New England Historical Association Conference, Westfield State University, April 20, 2013
  • Presenter, NYU 1916 Forum, April 2016
    • Chair Presenter. "Familiarity Breeds Speculative History: Three Boston Irish Examples" panel. American Conference for Irish Studies, University of Miami, 3.26.2015
    • Chair and Comment: U.S. Labor History" panel. New England Historical Association, Franklin Pierce University, October 18, 2014
    • Ireland's Great Famine in Irish-American History book talk: "Conversation with Author" series, Holyoke Public Library, Holyoke, MA; 3.14.2015
    • Ireland's Great Famine book talk: Charlestown Historical Society Speaker Series, Bunker Hill Museum, Charlestown, Boston. 3.12.2015
    • Ireland's Great Famine book talk: POLUS Center for Social and Economic Development, Clinton, MA; 3.7.2015
History Majors Alexa Wallace and Gabriel Norwood, with Criminal Justice major Jackie O’Flaherty, pictured at a Battle of Appomattox, VA, Civil War Enactment in April 2015.
History Majors Alexa Wallace and Gabriel Norwood, with Criminal Justice major Jackie O’Flaherty, pictured at a Battle of Appomattox, VA, Civil War Enactment in April 2015.

Professional Membership

  • American Conference for Irish Studies
  • American Historical Association
  • Charitable Irish Society (Boston)
  • New England Historical Association
  • American Association of University Women

Professor Kelly lives with husband Mike and daughter Eileen in nearby Keene, N.H. They continue to enjoy the occasional sojourn in the West of Ireland.