Dr. Ursula Kelly Awarded 2018 University Research Professorship.

Dec 18th, 2018

Tess Burke

Dr. Ursula Kelly Awarded 2018 University Research Professorship.

Dr. Ursula Kelly of the Faculty of Education has been awarded a 2018 University Research Professorship. It is the University’s most prestigious award given for research and / or creative activity. The award honours a faculty member at the rank of Professor who has demonstrated a consistently high level of scholarship and whose research is of a truly international stature.

Dr. Kelly has authored several books and articles and led and collaborated on Tri-Council and other funded research in the areas of cultural studies, critical literacies, and critical pedagogy.

“My research is driven by a desire to understand the intricacies and intersections of culture, identity, and place, and the rich opportunities— as well as challenges— they provide in teaching and learning, broadly speaking.”

Dr. Kelly’s most recent research, a study in historic representational practices, focuses on the songs and stories of the early Newfoundland and Labrador forestry sector. Over the past five years, this research has resulted in a CD and booklet set (Mentioned in Song), a book (The Music of Our Burnished Axes), and a multimedia travelling exhibit (Songs and Stories of “The Forgotten Service”). The exhibit is an international partnership with Scottish Highland communities where wartime foresters served.

“I value interdisciplinarity, collaboration, and community engagement. These projects encompass all of these features. They also address significant gaps in research on our cultural legacies.”

Additional projects continue to emerge from this research. Dr. Kelly is currently engaged in a sociocultural study that examines intersections among oral history narratives of teaching, education, and forestry in the province. “These sectors greatly influenced the development of this place in the first half of the twentieth century. Narratives that emerged about them are both interesting and insightful, in terms of cultural politics.” She adds, “There is also a component that is a personal, family, and community story. My father was a logger and my mother was a school teacher. They met in Gambo, which, at that time, was a key logging centre. It is where I was born and raised.”

Dr. Kelly came to Memorial University in 2000. The University Research Professorship is her second President’s award. In 2006, she received the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.