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Personal profile


Stephen's interests span medieval studies, contemporary literary and cultural theory and philosophical hermeneutics, as well as memorialising traditions and historiographical writing.  He has also had a long-standing interest in digital humanities and visual studies (excerpts from work on the artist Susan Hiller appear in Susan Hiller, ed. Ann Gallagher, London: Tate, 2011, the catalogue to a major retrospective at Tate Britain on Hiller's work).

Stephen is a recipient of the Queen's Student Union Education Award for 'Most Inspiring/Motivating' teacher in 2016 and in 2019 he received a Queen's University Teaching Award in the student nominated category.

Research Statement

Stephen read for a PhD at Queen's (1998). He subsequently held a lectureship at the University of Kent at Canterbury, before taking up a post-doctoral research fellowship on the AHRC-funded Imagining History project (2003-2006) at Queen's. He commenced his present position in March 2006. 

Current research

Current projects include:  

  • Imagining History in Medieval Britain (Bloomsbury, 2020), an account of the ideological interests and literary strategies of English historiography from Gildas to John Stow.  
  • In preparation: ‘Meke Reverence and Devocyon': A Reader in Late Medieval English Religious Writing (Exeter Medieval Texts: Liverpool UP), co-edited by Ryan Perry (Kent), which will be the first representative anthology of Middle English devotional texts — many of which are edited for the first time — since Horstmann's Yorkshire Writers (1895-6). 
  • Essays on Reginald Pecock and London literature; translation, neoliberalism and ‘post-critique’; and digital textual scholarship are either ongoing or at press.


Completed projects

Geographies of Orthodoxy: mapping Pseudo-Bonaventuran Lives of Christ, 1350-1550
With Professor John Thompson and Dr Ian Johnson (St. Andrews), Stephen co-directed the AHRC-funded Geographies of Orthodoxy project (2007-2010). The project produced to major essay collections – The pseudo-Bonaventuran lives of Christ: exploring the Middle English tradition (eds. Ian Johnson and Alan Westphall, 2013) and 'Devotional Culture in Late Medieval England and Beyond: Diverse Imaginations of Christ's Life (which Stephen co-edited with Ryan Perry [Kent], 2014) – as well as online resources for the scholarly community, which Stephen designed.


Doctoral students 

Stephen welcomes proposals on any aspect of medieval culture with which his research intersects, particularly historiography, cultural history, medievalism, translation studies, and medieval religious studies.  

He currently co-supervises the following students:

  • With David Johnston (Translation): Catherine Coffey: ‘Translation in Transmission: A Case Study of Mechthild von Magdeburg’s Flieβendes Licht der Gottheit’


Completed PhDs – as primary supervisor

  • 2017 - Craig Wallace, A Fiend in the Furrows:the archaeological and antiquarian imaginary of the British Fiction, Film and Television Ghost Story
  • 2017 - Rachel Reid, 'Past, Present, and Hereafter to Be Written': the Polytemporal Identities of John Dee
  • 2016 - Natalie Calder, Modalities of Belief in the “Long” Fifteenth Century: Re-thinking English Religious Writing, 1370-1509 
  • 2015 - Aisling Reid: God Materialised: Theorising Religious Practice in Late Medieval Italy
  • 2013 - Louise Wasson: Untimely Meditations: female mysticism in medieval culture and modern scholarship
  • 2013 - Eamon Byers: ‘Folk kan synge hit bet than I' - The Medievalism of English Folkmusic, 1750-2013
  • 2013 - Will Liddle: The Virtue of Place in Late Medieval Lynn
  • 2011 - David Falls: Love's Mirror Before Arundel: audiences and early readers of Nicholas Love's Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ (revision published by Routledge)
  • 2011 - Daniel McCann: Possible Selves: Imagined Experience, Narrative Transformation, and Late Medieval English Literature (revision published by University of Wales Press)
  • 2011 - Elizabeth Scarborough: Continental Drift: the reception of European Visionary Writing in Medieval England
  • 2011 - Kathryn Stevenson: 'Of the Holy Londe of Irlande': A Reconsideration of Some Middle English Texts in Late Medieval Ireland
  • 2010 - Stuart McWilliams: Magic and Possibility: medievalism and the idea of the occult (revision published by Bloomsbury)

Completed PhDs – as secondary or co-supervisor

  • 2018 -  Scott Eaton: John Stearne’s Confirmation in context: witchcraft, religion and popular culture in East Anglia, 1645-1648 (second supervisor with Professor Crawford Gribben)
  • 2018 - Padraig Regan: Creative Writing, Poetry - Accessus ad Auctores: Reading and Writing in Anne Carson and Medieval Literary Theory and Baroque: A Commentary on Pearl (second supervisor with Professor Ciaran Carson)
  • 2017 - Laurence Besnard-Scott: Translation Beyond Words: Film Adaptations of Classical Myths as Reverse Ekphrasis (co-supervisor with David Johnston)
  • 2014 - Paul Murphy: A Cultural History of Gesture: England c.1380-1559 (second supervisor)
  • 2011 - Amy Kieran: Orthodoxy, heresy and reform : rethinking devotion in late-medieval England (second supervisor)



  • Head of English (Subject Lead), School of Arts, English and Languages, 2016-18
  • External Examiner for English (UG and PG), University of Huddersfield, 2012-16
  • Director, Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities 2013-14 research group on Cosmpolitanisms, Pre- to Postmodern
  • Convenor, MA in English (Medieval Studies) - 2006-2012
  • Co-investigator, Geographies of Orthodoxy: Mapping English Pseudo-Bonaventuran Lives of Christ - AHRC-funded, 2007-2010
  • Expert commentary: BBC Northern Ireland - "Helen Waddell: Living the Past": https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0btt9pm
  • Expert commentary: BBC Northern Ireland/ BBC Two/ Waddell Media - "Five Fables": http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03ygf6x
  • Expert commentary: BBC Radio 4 - "Piers the Plowman Revisited": http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04dh39k
  • Expert reviewer, Canadian Research Council
  • Expert reviewer, Trinity Long Room Hub Marie Sklodowska-Curie COFUND Visiting Research Fellowship Programme



Semester One:

  • ENG 1008 Adventures in the History of Ideas (convenor)
  • ENG 2041 Havoc and Rebellion: Reading and Writing Later Medieval England (convenor) 

Semester Two:

  • ENG2045 Reading Revolutions: the English Bible, medieval to early modern (convenor)
  • ENG 3178 Digital Textualities and the History of the Book (convenor) 


  • ENG 7163 Literary Research Methods (convenor)

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

political theology Social Sciences
neoliberalism Social Sciences
modernity Social Sciences
hermeneutics Social Sciences
politics Social Sciences
globalization Social Sciences
valency Social Sciences
Medieval Period Arts & Humanities

Projects 2006 2006

Research Output 2003 2018

political theology
fifteenth century


Kelly, S., Aug 2017, The Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature in Britain. Rouse, R. & Echard, S. (eds.). Wiley-Blackwell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Green Knight

The Brut Tradition

Kelly, S., Aug 2017, The Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature in Britain. Rouse, R. & Echard, S. (eds.). Wiley-Blackwell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

12th Century
Late Medieval Period
Middle English

'The North Remembers': The Uses and Abuses of the Middle Ages in Irish Political Culture

Byers, E., Kelly, S. & Stevenson, K., 28 Sep 2017, The Middle Ages in the Modern World. Bildhauer, B. & Jones, C. (eds.). Oxford University Press, (Proceedings of the British Academy; vol. 209).

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

The Pre-Reformation Landscape

Kelly, S., 29 Jun 2017, The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern English Literature and Religion. Hiscock, A. & Wilcox, H. (eds.). Oxford University Press, p. 3-26 49 p.

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

Open Access
Medieval Period
Late Medieval Period
Religious Culture

Activities 2010 2019

Atlantic Communities III

Stephen Kelly (Organiser)
Nov 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Trinity Long Room Hub Marie Sklodowska-Curie COFUND Visiting Research Fellowship Scheme (External organisation)

Stephen Kelly (Advisor)

Activity: Membership typesMembership of external research organisation

I.B. Tauris (Publisher)

Stephen Kelly (Peer reviewer)
Apr 2017 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

Atlantic Communities II: Translation | Conflict | Belief | Ideology

Stephen Kelly (Invited speaker)
20 Oct 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

CHASE AHRC consortium - Material Witness: Taste, Contact and Memory

Stephen Kelly (Participant)
May 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Press / Media

BBC Northern Ireland / BBC FOUR - Unlocking the Past: Helen Waddell

Stephen Kelly


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

BBC Northern Ireland/ BBC Two/ Flickerpix Productions - "Five Fables"

Stephen Kelly


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment


'Of the holy londe of Irlande': A reconsideration of some Middle English Texts in late medieval Ireland

Author: Stevenson, K., Oct 2010

Supervisor: Kelly, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy