Dr. Ursula A. Kelly

Ursula Kelly I am a University Research Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where I have worked since 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. (See Related Content at the bottom of this page.)


In a recent research project arising from a career-long interest in the socio-cultural contexts of representation, I investigated songs and stories from the early NL forestry sector as meaning-making practices and historic literacies. The project was a collaboration with The Research Centre for Music, Media and Place (MMaP), in particular, Dr. Beverley Diamond, Canada Research Chair in Ethnomusicology, and Dr. Meghan Forsyth, Researcher and Project Coordinator. I produced and wrote Mentioned in Song: Song Traditions of the Loggers of Newfoundland and Labrador, which is the first collection of songs from this occupational culture of the province. It 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. 

Logging Songs CD Face

A followup publication, The Music of Our Burnished Axes, is a complete research account and includes an historical overview, cultural and musical analyses, transcriptions of songs and tunes, and commentary on all songs, recitiations, poems and short narratives included in the study. The book is co-authored with Meghan Forsyth and is published by ISER Books at Memorial University. 



Faculty of Education

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000