Dr Cath Feely

Cath Feely

Position: 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, with research interests in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British cultural, social and intellectual history.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach a number of modules across the History programme. These have included:

Historical Methods and Sources (First year)

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

Romanticism and Revolution: Europe, 1789-1914 (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)

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 planning a 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

'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 1930s', 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

'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.

'Books, libraries and the material memory of British Marxism.' Given at 'Objects and Remembering', University of Manchester, 20 June 2014.

'The circulation of Capital: publishing and reading Karl Marx in Britain, 1881-1945.' Given at the Modern British History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, London, 22 May 2014.

Additional interests and activities

Since November 2013, I have 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:

'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