Jillian Spivey Caddell is an experienced UK-based researcher, teacher, and writer. She has held faculty positions at the University of Kent, American University, George Mason University, and Glenelg Country School and is a tutor at the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Continuing Education.
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, examined 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.) In 2021, she served as a Quarry Farm Fellow through the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College.
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; Visions of Glory: The Civil War in Word and Image (University of Georgia Press, November 2019); and she has scholarly essays forthcoming in edited collections on the works of Herman Melville and literature of the Civil War and reconstruction.
Jill is also the author of a number of essays and reviews for general audiences on topics ranging from reading The Wind in the Willows in light of Brexit to the role of art in Sally Rooney’s Normal People. She is a regular contributor of essays, interviews, and reviews to Apollo: The International Art Magazine and has also written pieces for CNN Opinion, The Conversation, and The Rambling. (See Writing for a full list of clips.) She has also made a number of podcast appearances and delivered several invited lectures, which can be viewed on the Media page.
As a university and high school 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.