• PhD University of California, Santa Barbara 2004
  • MA University of California, Santa Barbara 1999
  • BA Pennsylvania State University 1997


Jason M. Kelly is the Director of the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute and an Associate Professor of British History in the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at Newcastle University and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Dr. Kelly received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is the author of The Society of Dilettanti: Archaeology and Identity in the British Enlightenment (Yale University Press and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2010).

As Director of the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, Dr. Kelly supports IUPUI’s research mission by directing the IAHI grant programs, identifying and fostering transdisciplinary research collaborations, and organizing research workshops and symposia. He also acts as a liaison to the Indianapolis community, and in this capacity facilitates collaborative endeavors including performances, lectures, and research projects.

Dr. Kelly’s research projects focus on the histories of the environment, human rights, art. His current book project is A History of the Anthropocene, a deep history of human-nature relations. He leads a major international collaborative project, Rivers of the Anthropocene, which brings together scientists, humanists, and policy makers to study global river systems and policy since 1750. He directs The Cultural Ecologies Project, a public research program and PhD track that works with community stakeholders to examine cultural interventions across multiple scales — from the personal to the neighborhood to the city level. He also directs Digital Freetown, an immersive, virtual reality educational environment focusing on African American history.

Dr. Kelly is the recipient of the IUPUI Research Trailblazers Award (2013), two IU Trustees Teaching Awards (2011, 2008), and the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI Student Council Outstanding Academic Adviser Award (2010).

Academic interests

eighteenth-century Britain, history of archaeology, history of art and architecture, history of environment, Anthropocene, history of science, gender and masculinity, historiography and theory


Undergraduate Courses: Western Civilization, World History, Modern British History, Enlightenment Europe, Eighteenth-Century Britain, Gender in Modern Britain, Comparative British Imperialisms, Scientific Revolutions in Europe, Modern History of Science, The Making of the English Working Classes

Graduate Courses: Britain's Long Eighteenth Century, Gender in Enlightenment Britain, Digital History, Historiography and Theory


Awards and Honors Fellow, University of Chicago, Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society (2015-16) IUPUI Research Trailblazers Award (2013) Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (2011 to present) IU Trustees Teaching Award (2008, 2011) IUPUI School of Liberal Arts, Student Council, Outstanding Academic Adviser Award (2010) Representative Recent Grants and Fellowships IUPUI Welcoming Campus Innovation Fund (2017) Wenner-Gren Conference Grant, co-PI (2016) IU New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities New Currents, PI (2016) IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society: Religion and Ethics Seminar Funding, PI (2016) IU New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities Extraordinary Funding Grant, PI (2016) NASA/International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC)/International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme/Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences Travel Grant, PI (2015) Efroymson Family Fund, a CICF Fund, Grant (2014)  



(lead editor with Philip Scarpino, Helen Berry, James Syvitski, Michel Meybeck). Rivers of the Anthropocene. Oakland: University of California Press. In press (forthcoming June 2017).

The Society of Dilettanti: Archaeology and Identity in the British Enlightenment.  New Haven and London: Yale University Press and Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2010.

(associate ed., responsible for Britain) The International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest, 1500 to Present.  8 vols. Ed. Immanuel Ness. Oxford: Blackwell, 2009.

(ed.) Looking Up: Observation and Science in the Early Modern Period. Language, Media, and Education Studies, ed. Marcel Danesi and Leonard G. Sbrocchi, no. 24. Ottawa: Legas and the Center for Communication and Information Sciences, 2002.


“Reading the Grand Tour at a Distance: Archives and Data Sets in Digital History.” American Historical Review122.2 (2017): 451-463.

"A Classical Education: Naples and the Heart of European Culture." Seduction and Celebrity: The Spectacular Life of Emma Hamilton, ed. Quintin Colville and Kate Williams. London: National Maritime Museum and Thames and Hudson, 2016. 109-37.

"The Reception of Greek Architecture in Eighteenth-Century Britain." A Companion to Greek Architecture, ed. Margaret Miles. Oxford: Blackwell, 2016. 509-25.

"The Anthropocene and Transdisciplinarity." Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, Forum: Archaeology in the Anthropocene. 1.1 (2014): 91-96.

"Transdisciplinarity, Human-Nature Entanglements, and Transboundary Water Systems in the Anthropocence." The Global Water System in the Anthropocene: Challenges for Science and Governance, ed. Anik Bhaduri, Janos Bogardi, Jan Leentvaar, and Sina Marx.  Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2014. 173-82.

With Frank Salmon and David Yeomans, "James Stuart and the Geometry of Setting Out." Geometrical Objects: Architecture and the Mathematical Sciences 1400-1800, New Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology 38, ed. Anthony Gerbino. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2014. 281-312.

“British and Irish Artists in Rome during the 1730s and 1740s.” Richard Wilson and the Transformation of European Landscape Painting, ed. Martin Postle and Robin Simon. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014. 35-51.

"Letters from a Young Painter Abroad: James Russel in Rome, 1740-1763 [Introduction and Critical Edition of the James Russel Manuscripts]." Walpole Society 74 (2012): 61-164.

"Howard Zinn and the Struggle for the Microphone: History, Objectivity, and Citizenship." International Journal of Social Education, special Issue on "The Life and Work of Howard Zinn." 24.1 (2009 [2012]): 19-26.

"James 'Athenian' Stuart's Portrait of James Dawkins." The British Art Journal. 8.2 (2007): 24-25.

"The Portraits of Sir James Gray (c. 1708-73)."  The British Art Journal. 8.1 (2007): 15-19.

"Riots, Revelries, and Rumor: Libertinism and Masculine Association in Enlightenment London." Journal of British Studies. 45.4 (2006): 759–795.


Service to Discipline Sustainable Water Future Programme, Future Earth Scientific Steering Committee, 2016 to present Newcastle University Advisory Board, Anthropocene Research Group, 2016 to present American Historical Association Digital History Working Group, 2015 to present Co-Director (with Alex Lichtenstein), AHA 2015 Film Festival, 2014 to 2015 Midwest Conference on British Studies President, 2010 to 2012 Vice President, 2008 to 2010 Local Arrangements Chair, 2005 to 2006 North American Conference on British Studies Council Member, 2007 to 2015 Webmaster, 2007 to 2015 H-Albion (History of Britain and Ireland on H-NET) List Editor / Advisory Board, 2004 to present

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