I have three main areas of research interest.
1. My doctoral research and subsequent first book examined the separatist tradition in Irish nationalist politics between the end of the Land War in 1882 and the nationalist rebellion of Easter 1916. It challenged the view that separatist nationalism was moribund in this period, suggesting instead that the boundaries between the home rulers and the separatists were less clear than has sometimes been supposed. This has since become a lively area of research among an emergent generation of Irish historians.
More recently, I've turned my attention to the development of nationalism in Ireland after the Great Famine, looking in particular at the nationalisms of Young Ireland, Fenianism, and early Home Rule. I'm particularly interested in the continental and global perspectives that shaped how Irish nationalists in this period conceived their aims and the readiness with which they ascribed events outside of Ireland a particular Irish significance. I've published several articles based on this research and, with additional pieces, have plans to draw them together into a book titled Anxiety and Assertion. The Languages of Irish Nationalism, 1848-1916.
2. My current major research project looks at the history of Dartmoor from the late eighteenth century through to the present. Influenced by the British landscape history tradition but drawing on insights from environmental history, it makes particular use of the great swathe of untouched public records relating to land use, the politics of amenity, and conservation. As a part of this project, I'm co-convening a workshop on the Nature State in July 2014 that will bring together scholars working on the environmental history of Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.
3. My Finding Poland. From Tavistock to Hruzsowa and Back Again was published by Jonathan Cape in 2010. It traces the experiences of the Poles deported by the Soviet Union from occupied eastern Poland in 1940, taking the reader to Kazakhstan, Iran, India and, finally, the UK. This highly contextualised foray into family history saw me get to grips with the history of early twentieth century Poland, the nationality policies of the Soviet Union, and the functioning of the British Empire, as well as the historiographies of memory and the relationship between Polish Jews and non-Jews. 'The Polish translation - Ocaleni. Wojenna tułaczka kresowej rodziny (2011) - was a finalist for the Ambasador Nowej Europy book prize, 2012.'
Dr Matthew Kelly
Building 65 Faculty of Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom
Room Number: 65/1049
Telephone: (023) 8059 9427