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19962018
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Personal profile

Interests

Brian Kelly is one of three historians in the School of History & Anthropology specialising in the US South. A labour historian with a special interest in race and class relations in the post-Civil War South, his early published work explored the record of interracial cooperation between black and white workers in industrial Birmingham, Alabama. His first book, Race, Class and Power in the Alabama Coalfields, 1908-1921 (Illinois, 2001), won a number of awards, including the Southern Historical Association's H. L. Mitchell Prize for an outstanding book in Southern working-class history and its Frances Butler Simkins Award for the best first book by an author in Southern history. In the years since he has published widely on the problem of racial antagonism and its impact on working-class politics in the US, with studies that range from labour abolition in the antebellum period through to the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike, during which the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Formerly a Walter Hines Page Fellow at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina, he holds non-residential fellowships at the Institute for Southern Studies (University of South Carolina) and the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute (Harvard University).

In recent years his research interests have shifted to the formative struggles that followed US slave emancipation. He directs the After Slavery Project, an international research collaboration funded by the AHRC. With project partners Bruce Baker and Susan O'Donovan he designed and built the After Slavery website, now recognized by leading international scholars as an exceptional resource for historians and educators working in African American and Southern labor history. He organized the 2008 Wiles Colloquium, on "Rethinking Reconstruction," and a major conference on "Race, Labor and Citizenship in the Post-emancipation South," held at the College of Charleston (South Carolina) in March 2010. He is completing an edited collection based on the Wiles papers and working on an extended monograph on grassroots political mobilisation in Reconstruction South Carolina.

Particulars

Brian Kelly is PI on an AHRC-funded research collaboration, the After Slavery Project. The project has hosted two major international conferences: the Ninth Wiles Colloquium, held at QUB in October 2008, and the Conference on Race, Labor and Citizenship in the Post-Emancipation South, held at the College of Charleston in South Carolina in March 2010.The AS Project has curated several major exhibits, including one at the Linen Hall Library in 2008 and a second, which was launched in Charleston in the spring of 2010 and which will travel throughout public schools in the Carolinas. Current information on the AS Project can be found at www.afterslavery.com .

Research Statement

Brian has published widely on the problem of racial antagonism and its impact on working-class politics in the U. S., with articles ranging from the antebellum period through to the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike, during which the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated. His current work combines a long-term commitment to labour history with an interest in the formative struggles that followed U. S. slave emancipation: he is working on a labor history of South Carolina during Reconstruction and has published a number of related articles. With project partners Bruce Baker and Susan O'Donovan he is designing and building the After Slavery website which, when completed, will provide an important resource for scholars working in African American and Southern labor history. He will be on leave during the spring semester 2009.

Teaching

Brian teaches on the American South survey at Level II and on two upper level seminars, After Slavery and The American Civil War & Reconstruction—both documents-based seminars. As director of the After Slavery Project, he oversaw the conceptual design and edited the content of the After Slavery website (www.afterslavery.com), now the leading eductional website for teaching the post-emancipation period in US university and college classrooms, and currently being extended to secondary-level education. He has been critically engaged in ongoing debates about online learning and history pedagogy, and continues to address the challenges facing educators in a changed learning environment in print and in conferences and seminars. Brian oversees undergraduate student exchanges between QUB and two HE institutons in the US, and contributes to the highly successful US pathway on the MA program. He has directed research on his areas of interest and is willing to supervise any advanced project on topics related to American social history. Dr Kelly teaches on the following programmes/modules:

 

Undergraduate

HIS2028: The American South, 1619-1865
HIS2029: The American South, 1865-1980
HIS3082: After Slavery: Race, Labour and Politics in the Post-Emancipation US South
HIS3035: The American Civil War & Reconstruction

 

Postgraduate:

HIS7035: Themes in American Historiography
HIS7056: Topics in US History

  

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Brian Kelly is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

emancipation Social Sciences
slavery Social Sciences
slave Social Sciences
labor Social Sciences
mobilization Social Sciences
website Social Sciences
Slaves Arts & Humanities
reconstruction Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2005 2015

Research Output 1996 2018

Gathering Antipathy: Irish Immigrants and Race in America's Age of Emancipation

Kelly, B., 16 Mar 2018, Rethinking the Irish Diaspora: After The Gathering. Pierse, M. & Trew, J. (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan, p. 157-185 29 p. (Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

emancipation
immigrant
social reform
antagonism
diaspora

Difficult Labor: Troublesome Company at the New Birth of Freedom

Kelly, B., 05 Dec 2016, In : Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society. 19, p. 474-478 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Labor
Labor Movement
Industrialization
Wartime
Working Class
1 Citation (Scopus)

Jubilee and the Limits of African American Freedom after Emancipation

Kelly, B., Jan 2016, In : Race and Class. 57, 3, p. 59-70 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

emancipation
slave
Republican Party
slavery
repression

W. E. B. Du Bois, Black Agency and the Slaves' Civil War

Kelly, B., Feb 2016, In : International Socialist Review. 100, p. 48-68 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Slaves
W. E. B. Du Bois
Civil War
Slavery
Emancipation

Prizes

Francis Butler Simkins Award

Brian Kelly (Recipient), 2000

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

H.L. Mitchell Award

Brian Kelly (Recipient), 1999

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Milo B. Howard, Jr. Award

Brian Kelly (Recipient), 1999

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Richard L. Wentworth/Illinois History Prize

Brian Kelly (Recipient), 2000

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2002 2013

  • 4 Participation in conference
  • 4 Editorial activity
  • 4 Membership of peer review panel or committee
  • 1 Contribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

Steering Committee, Southern Labor Studies Association

Brian Kelly (Board Member)
01 Apr 201301 Apr 2014

Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

Workshop on Teaching the New History of Emancipation

Brian Kelly (Organiser)
01 Feb 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (Journal)

Brian Kelly (Editorial board member)
Oct 2012

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

Southern Labor Studies Conference

Brian Kelly (Member of programme committee)
2010

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Conference on Race, Labor and Citizenship in the Post-emancipation South (US)

Brian Kelly (Member of programme committee)
20092010

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference