Mary C. Kelly

Mary C. Kelly

Professor of History


  • B.A. (Hons.): History/English. National University of Ireland, Galway, 1988
  • M.A. (1st Class): Modern Irish History. National University of Ireland, Galway, 1988
  • Ph.D. Modern American History. Maxwell School (History), Syracuse University, 1997


  • Modern U.S. Surveys
  • American Intellectual & Cultural History
  • American Immigrant History
  • American/European Gender History
  • Modern Ireland/Modern European Survey


  • Modern Irish-America: Famine-1920s
  • Irish-American Cultural & Intellectual
  • Irish-American Identity


  • American Association of University Women
  • American Conference for Irish Studies
  • American Historical Association
  • Charitable Irish Society (Boston)
  • New England Historical Association
  • Organization of American Historians

  • EDUCAUSE Annual Conference
  • American Conference for Irish Studies (regional/national)
  • Organization of American Historians
  • New England Women in Higher Education Leadership
  • American Conference for Irish Studies (regional/national)
  • Organization of American Historians
  • New England Historical Association
  • New England Women in Higher Education Leadership

  • FPU Faculty Research Grants: 2017, 2016
  • FPU Faculty Development Grants (annual)

  • RFF Vice-President, Fall 2018-
  • FPU 5-Year Strategic Plan: Goal 3 Committee; Summer 2019-
  • History Club Advisor 2012-


  • 2017, 2012, 2011, 2009: FPU Faculty Appreciation Awards
  • 2016: City of Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Ambassador Award
  • 2014: Keene State College President’s Outstanding Women of NH Award



Ireland’s Great Famine in Irish-American History: Enshrining a Fateful Memory. 2014; Rowman & Littlefield. Paperback ed. 2016.

The Shamrock and the Lily: The New York Irish and the Creation of a Transatlantic Identity, 1845-1921. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2005.

Book Chapters/Articles

“The Hand of Friendship: Protestants, Irish Americans and 1916-era Nationalism.” Chapter in Ireland’s Allies: America and the 1916 Easter Rising, ed. Miriam Nyhan Grey. Dublin: UCD Press, 2016: 218-227.

“Great Famine, The.” Entry in Edward J. Blum, ed. America in the World, 1776 to the Present: A Supplement to the Dictionary of American History. 2 vols. Farmington Hills, MI: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2016.

“The Tip: Shoe Shops, American Dreams and the Ultimate Irish-American Hard Luck Story,” with Bill Brennan. Studies in Arts and Humanities, vol. 1, no. 2 (2015): 68-82.

“Coarse Cloth and Clerical Tailoring: Negotiating Boston Irish Cultural Imperatives in the Famine Era”. Irish Studies Review 23, no. 1 (Spring 2015): 135-153.

Book Reviews

Double review in American Historical Review; forthcoming, 2020

Review in Journal of American Ethnic History; forthcoming, 2019

Dagger John: Archbishop John Hughes and the Making of Irish America, by John Loughery. Journal of American History, 106, no. 1 (June 2019): 172–173.

Excommunicated from the Union: How the Civil War Created a Separate Catholic America, by William B. Kurtz. Journal of Southern History LXXXIII, no. 1 (Feb. 2017): 187-188.

Compassionate Stranger: Asenath Nicholson and the Great Irish Famine, by Maureen O’Rourke Murphy. New Hibernia Review 19, no. 4 (Winter/Geimhreadh 2015): 150-152.

Who’s Your Paddy? Racial Expectations and the Struggle for Irish American Identity, by Jennifer Nugent Duffy. American Historical Review 119, no. 5 (Dec. 2014): 1739-1740.

Between Raid and Rebellion: The Irish in Buffalo and Toronto, 1867-1916, by William Jenkins. Journal of American History 101, no. 2 (2014): 607-608.

Conference Papers/Keynotes/Invited Talks

Paper: “Keeping his Friends close: Dev and his Protestant Squad: 1919-21.” NE-ACIS Regional Conference, October 17, 2019.

Lecture: “Ireland’s Great Famine in Irish-American History.” Cathedral of the Pines, Rindge, NH; June 12, 2019.

Presentation: “Fateful History, Inexorable Memory: The Famine’s Irish-American Legacy.” New Hampshire Humanities Council, May 17, 2019.

Paper: “Not Strange Bedfellows: Boston Irish Nationalist Strains, 1919-1920.” ACIS National Conference, March 21, 2019.

Panelist: “What Were They Thinking? Irish-American Intellectual Strains 1919-1922.” Global Irish Diaspora Congress, UCD, Dublin; 15-19 August, 2017.

Keynote: “Irish-America & the 1916 Years.” Irish Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts, October 30, 2016.

Panel Chair and presenter: “BFFs or Frenemies? The Protestant Friends of Ireland post-1916.” Celtic Studies Northeast Popular/American Culture Association Conference, Keene State College, NH; October 22, 2016.

Invited presenter: “The Hand of Friendship: Protestants, Irish Americans & 1916-era Nationalism.” NYU Ireland House 1916 Forum “Independent Spirit,” April 22, 2016.

Paper, “Confounding Crusaders: The Protestant Friends of Ireland in post-1916 Irish-American Diaspora Nationalism,” ACIS, University of Notre Dame, March 31, 2016.

“From the Famine to the Rising.” Conversation with Author series, Holyoke Public Library, Holyoke, MA. March 19, 2016.