Stephen Kelly
    Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 3952

    For media contact email
    or call +44(0)2890 973091.

    View graph of relations


    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).

    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":
    • Expert commentary: BBC Northern Ireland/ BBC Two/ Waddell Media - "Five Fables":
    • Expert commentary: BBC Radio 4 - "Piers the Plowman Revisited":
    • 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)

    Willingness to take PhD students


    PhD projects

    Late medieval literature and culture
    Fifteenth century religious and devotional literature and culture
    Book history and digital textualities
    Historiographical writing
    Critical and cultural theory
    Translation theory
    Critical digital studies

    View all

    Frequent Journals

    View all »

    View all

    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 28060