Dr Cath Feely

Position: Senior Lecturer in History

College: College of Arts, Humanities and Education

Department: Humanities

Subject area: History

Research Centre: Identity, Conflict and Representation

Show All


I am a lecturer in modern British and European history and heritage, with research interests in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British cultural, social and intellectual history. I am Programme Leader for the MA Public History and Heritage.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach a number of modules across the History programmes.

At undergraduate level, these include:

Historical Methods and Sources (First year)

Britain in the Age of Innovation, 1790-1914 (First Year)

Triumph of the Dark: Europe Between the Wars, 1918-1939 (Second Year)

Contemporary Issues in the Creative and Cultural Industries (Second Year)

Exploring the Slum: The Politics of Poverty in Britain (Third Year)


At postgraduate level, I am the Programme Leader for the MA Public History and Heritage, and am also module leader for the following modules:

The Politics of History: Using the Past in the Present

Current Issues in Global Heritage

I also supervise research projects, independent studies, public history consultancies and MA dissertations

Research interests

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century British cultural and intellectual history; history of Marxism; history of reading, writing & publishing; history of the press

I am currently writing a book on the translation, publication, circulation and reading (and non-reading) of Karl Marx's Capital in English. I am also preparing articles on Marxist libraries and the memory of British Communism, the relationship between Marxism and psychoanalysis in the interwar period, and on Marxist approaches to biography in the twentieth century.

I continue to maintain an interest in the history of the press in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, on which I have also taught modules in the past. I have recently published on the prevalence of plagiarism in nineteenth-century periodicals and am also starting a major research project on the social and cultural history of the retail newsagent in modern Britain.

Membership of professional bodies

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Chair of History Lab Plus, Institute of Historical Research (network of early-career historians), 2014-2016


BA (Hons) Politics and Modern History, University of Manchester

MA Cultural History, University of Manchester

PhD History, University of Manchester: ‘Karl Marx, Capital and Radical Book Cultures in Britain, 1881-1945’.

Recent publications

'Karl Marx's Capital and Transatlantic Radical Book-Trade Networks in the Early Twentieth Century' in Catherine Feely and John Hinks (ed.), Historical Networks in the Book Trade (Routledge, 2017).

'Only a "Scrap of Paper": The Prison Reading of British Conscientious Objectors, 1916-1919', in Shafquat Towheed and Edmund King (eds), Reading in the First World War: Readers, Texts, Archives (Palgrave, 2015).

'"What say you to free trade in literature?" The Thief and the Politics of Piracy in the 1830s', Journal of Victorian Culture, 19:4 (2014).

‘From Dialectics to Dancing: Reading, Writing and the Philosophy of Everyday Life in the Diaries of Frank P. Forster’, History Workshop Journal, 69 (2010), pp. 90-110.

'Making Meaning from Material: New Histories of the Book', special dossier of articles co-edited with Kathryn Green and Matthew Yeo, European Review of History, 17:2 (April 2010).

Recent conferences

'The warm glow of the paper-shop window: Newsagents on Display in Britain in the 1920s and 1930s'. Given at workshop on 'Display', 20s30s Network, University of Nottingham, May 2017.

'Dona Torr and the Construction of the Marxist Individual, c. 1920-1956', North American Conference on British Studies, Little Rock, Arkansas, November 2015.

'"Don't think I read only novels": gendered understandings of the reading of imprisoned conscientious objectors in Britain, 1916-1919.' Given at 'The Great War at Home', Anglo-American Conference of Historians, University of London, 4 July 2014.

Additional interests and activities

Since 2014, I have been involved in building relationships with organisations in order to give our students opportunities to engage with a wider public. These include Derbyshire Record Office, Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, Derby Museums, Crich Tramway Village, the National Brewery Centre and Derby QUAD, amongst others.

From 2013 to 2016, I chaired History Lab Plus, the network  for early-career historians run from the Institute of Historical Research : http://www.history.ac.uk/historylab/plus 

I have also organised numerous workshops and conferences. Recent events include:

'Radicalism and Popular Protest in Britain, 1790-1820', Derby Museum and Art Gallery, June 2017 (with Dr Ruth Larsen and Dr Ian Whitehead) 

'Owning the Past: Academics, Communities and the Practice of Public History' with Dr Ruth Larsen and Dr Ian Whitehead, University of Derby, 30 May 2014.

History Lab Plus workshop on ‘Social Networking for Historians’ with Dr Kimm Curran, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, London, 8 February 2014.

'Unofficial Histories' with Fiona Cosson, Rebecca Andrew and Ian Gwinn, Manchester Metropolitan University, 15-16th June 2013.

'Politics and the Power of Print' with Dr Catherine Armstrong at Chetham's Library, Manchester, 30th November 2012.

History Lab Plus workshop on 'History and Consultancy' at the University of Manchester, 16th November 2012.

Find out how to update your staff profile

Edit your staff profile