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Dr. Ursula A. 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 member of faculty 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 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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 find descriptions of recent research projects on Yaffle, the University research portal.

A current research project, funded by The Harris Centre, investigates the occupational songs of the logging industry in Newfoundland and Labrador as meaning-making practices and historic literacies. This project includes a partnership with The Research Centre for Music, Media and Place (MMaP) to document, to analyze and to record these songs for the Back on Track CD and booklet series produced by the Director of MMaP, Dr. Beverley Diamond, Canada Research Chair in Ethnomusicology.


My niece, Allison Hicks, graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration at the 2013 Fall Convocation. Allison represents the third generation of women in our family to attend Memorial University of Newfoundland.  Margaret Waterman Kelly, my mother and Allison's grandmother, was the first generation to attend and she remains an example for all of us.