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Dr. Ursula A. Kelly


Ursula Kelly

I have been a Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, my alma mater, since September 2000. Prior to this appointment, I was a full-time, tenured faculty member at Mount Saint Vincent University (1995-2000) and Saint Mary’s University (1988-1995) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. During that time, I was also an Adjunct Professor at Dalhousie University.  I began my academic career as an instructor in the Department of English of Memorial University in 1983, following several years of public school teaching.

My scholarly interests reflect my interdisciplinary background and fall within cultural studies, critical theory, and critical educational theory. My scholarship, research, and teaching are underscored by an ethic of justice, care, and mutuality.  I have been a principal investigator or co-investigator of research projects supported by external funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the National Literacy Secretariat, and Multiculturalism and Citizenship Canada. (You can link to further information about my teaching, research, and publications in the Related Content sections of the right hand menu.)


A current research project entitled Mentioned in Song: Song Traditions of the Loggers of Newfoundland and Labrador, funded by The Harris Centre, investigated logging songs as meaning-making practices and historic literacies. This project included a partnership with The Research Centre for Music, Media and Place (MMaP) through which I was able to document and to record a sample of the songs for the Back on Track CD and booklet series produced by Dr. Beverley Diamond, Director of MMaP and Canada Research Chair in Ethnomusicology and Dr. Meghan Forsyth, MMaP Project Coordinator.

Mentioned in Song: Song Traditions of the Loggers of Newfoundland and Labrador includes a CD of 27 song tracks (23 rare archival recordings and 4 new arrangements) and a 90 page booklet with the social history of logging songs, archival photos, song notes and lyrics, a historic timeline, and a glossary. The CD and booklet package is available at MMaP (709-864-2051 or and Fred's Records (709-753-9191 or

Logging Songs CD Face


The Great Auk sculpture is part of the Lost Bird Project by Todd McGrain to memorialize bird species that became extinct in the modern era. The project includes five sculptures installed in five different habitats where the birds were last seen: the Labrador Duck at Elmira, New York; the Heath Hen at Martha’s Vineyard; the Passenger Pigeon at Columbus, Ohio; the Carolina Parakeet at Okeechobee, Florida; and the Great Auk at Fogo Island.

The Great Auk was hunted to supply meat and feathers to European markets and was extinct by the mid-1800s. The two-metre Great Auk sculpture provokes a visceral reminder of the fragility of the natural world. It was installed at Joe Batt’s Point on July 23rd, 2010 and faces the Funk Islands, a traditional roosting place for the species that lies 60 kilometres east of Fogo Island. The sculpture site is a one-hour coastal hike from Joe Batt's Arm. This photo was taken in spring of 2016 during my residency as a Fogo Island Research Fellow.