Jillian Spivey Caddell is an experienced UK-based researcher, teacher, and writer. Since September 2019, she teaches on the English faculty of the University of Kent as lecturer in 19th-century American literature. At Kent, she convenes the module in 19th-century American literature and has taught on a variety of other modules, including American Modernities, American Crime Fiction, and Introduction to American Studies. She is also a member of the Centre for American Studies and supervises PhD/MA dissertations.
In 2015, Jill received her Ph.D. in English at Cornell University, where her dissertation received the Guilford Prize for Highest Achievement in English Prose. She specializes in American literature of the long nineteenth century, with a focus on issues of geography, genre, race, and gender. In her interdisciplinary research and teaching, Jill is interested in understanding the relationships between literature, history, and place. Her dissertation, for example, examines literary confrontations with the Civil War to ask how the war affected Americans’ sense of place and national belonging. (See the Research page for more.) Her scholarly work has appeared in the June 2014 issue of New England Quarterly; the collection Literary Cultures of the American Civil War (University of Georgia Press, August 2016); J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists; and Picturing Eloquence: The Civil War in Word and Image (University of Georgia Press, November 2019). She has also written occasional pieces on the afterlives of Civil War culture and contemporary art for Apollo: The International Art Magazine and essays for CNN Opinion.
As a university instructor, Jill has developed and taught courses that take up the questions that guide her research, including seminars on monuments and memory, girlhood in the nineteenth century, Southern literature, mystery stories, American tourists, and more. (See the Teaching page for syllabi and more.) Her teaching philosophy is grounded in a historicist and culturally contextual approach that asks students to delve deeply into close readings of texts while also considering the broader historical contexts and conversations in which they participate. She has also served as a volunteer language arts instructor in the DC public schools and with the Peterborough (UK) Asylum and Refugee Community Association.
At Cornell, Jill was an active member and leader of the Nineteenth-Century American Reading Group, where she planned an annual conference and brought many Americanist speakers to campus. In addition, Jill served as President of the English Graduate Student Organization and attended the Cornell Library’s inaugural immersion program for humanities students. She has won several university awards, including the Shin Fellowship for Excellence in Research and Pedagogy, the Alan Young-Bryant Summer Dissertation Research Fellowship, and the Moses Coit Tyler Prize for best essay in history, literature, or folklore.