Kelli Nelson


Kelli Nelson

Instructor of Record, U.S. History


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Mississippi State University, 2012-Present
  • Master of Arts in History, East Tennessee State University, 2011
    Thesis: ""On the Imperishable Face of Granite": Civil War Monuments and the Evolution of Historical Memory in East Tennessee, 1878-1931"
  • Bachelor of Science in History, East Tennessee State University, Cum Laude, 2009

Academic Career

  • Teaching Assistant, Mississippi State University: 2012-Present
  • Museum Curator, Chester Inn Museum, Jonesborough, TN: 2011-2012
  • Graduate Assistant, Teaching American History Grant, East Tenn. State University: 2010-2011
  • Teaching Assistant, East Tenn. State University: 2009-2010
  • Preservation Intern, Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, Jonesborough, TN: 2009-2010

Research Interests

My research focuses on the antebellum history of Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia to understand the way ideas about nature work alongside ideas about death in a Victorian era of Romanticism.


  • "'A Nobler Victory': East Tennessee United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Search for Tradition, 1914-1931” in Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times, Volume II, eds. Beverly G. Bond and Sarah W. Freeman. University of Georgia Press (Forthcoming).
  • ""In Tongues of Stone": Civil War Monuments and the Evolution of Historical Memory in East Tennessee, 1890-1931." Journal of East Tennessee History 84 (2012): 40-62.
  • "Reunions with the Deceased." Review of Jabbour, Alan; Jabbour, Karen Singer, Decoration day in the Mountains: Traditions of Cemetery Decoration in the Southern Appalachians. H-Appalachia, H-Net Reviews."id= 30450, October 2011.


“Fearing the Reaper: Religion, Nature, and Death in Nineteenth-Century America,” Southern Forum on Agricultural, Rural, and Environmental History, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi: April 10-11, 2015

“’On the Imperishable Face of Granite’: Civil War Monuments and the Evolution of Historical Memory in East Tennessee,” Society of Appalachian Historians, Jonesborough, TN, May 23-24, 2011

“Memory in Monuments: How Knoxville, Tennessee Remembers the Civil War," Southwestern Social Science Association, Las Vegas, NV, March 16-19, 2011


Honors & Awards

  • Winterthur Research Fellowship: 2016
  • Virginia Historical Society Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellow: 2015


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