Faculty and Staff


Jill E. Kelly

Assistant Professor
African History
South African History

Dallas Hall Room 55

Educational Background

PhD, Michigan State University, 2012
BA, Saint Vincent College, 2004

Kelly CV 2017

Scholarly Awards, Fellowships, and Grants 

2016-2017 Sam Taylor Research Fellowship
2016 Engaged Learning Excellence in Mentoring Award
2015 Southern Methodist University Research Council Travel Grant
2015 Southern Methodist University Golden Mustang Teaching Award
2015 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship
2010-2011 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad, South Africa
2010-2011 Fulbright-IIE U.S. Student Fellowship (Declined)
2012 Michigan State University Graduate School Dissertation Completion Fellowship
2012 Donald Lammers Graduate Student Award
2008 Nnamdi Azikiwe Best Graduate Student Paper in African Studies (MSU African Studies)
2008 MSU Department of History Pre-Dissertation Research Grant
2007 Fulbright-Hays Zulu Group Project Abroad in South Africa
2006-2009 FLAS, MSU African Studies Center – Zulu



  • “Bantu Authorities and Betterment: The Ambiguous Responses of Natal’s Chiefs and Regents, 1955-1970,” Journal of Southern African Studies 41, no. 2 (2015).
  • “Women Were Not Supposed to Fight”: The Gendered Uses of Martial and Moral Zuluness during uDlame (1990-1994) in Jan Bender Shetler (ed.), Gendering Ethnicity in African Women’s Lives. University of Wisconsin Press (May 2015).
  • “‘It is because of our Islam that we are there’: The Call of Islam in the United Democratic Front,” African Historical Review 41, no. 1 (Jul 2009): 118-139.

Forthcoming Book

To Swim with Crocodiles: Land, Violence, and Belonging in South Africa, 1800-1996, under contract with Michigan State University Press

Personal website: https://jillekelly.com/