Kelly J. Mays

Kelly J. Mays

Associate Professor

RLL 249
Mail Code


Kelly Mays specializes in 19th century British literature. Before joining the UNLV faculty in 2001, she served as preceptor in the Harvard Expository writing program and as assistantprofessor of English at New Mexico State University.

Mays is the author of "The Norton Introduction to Literature" (12th ed., 2015-16) — the textbook with which an estimated 33,000 undergraduates each year begin their college-level study of literature. Her articles on nineteenth-century publishing and reading practices, working-class poetry and autobiography, and the literary anthology have appeared in venues such as "Critical Inquiry," "Victorian Poetry," "Nineteenth-Century Contexts," and "The Blackwell Companion to Victorian Literature." Two other articles — "How the Victorians Un-Invented Themselves: Architecture, the 'Battle of the Styles,' and the Emergence of the Term 'Victorian'" ("Journal of Victorian Culture," 2014) and "Looking Backward, Looking Forward: The Victorians in the Rearview Mirror of Future History" ("Victorian Studies," 2011) — draw on material from her book-in-progress, "Victorian Self-Invention: Imagining an Era and a Style, c. 1838-1901." Funded in part by a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) fellowship, this project explores just how, when, and why nineteenth-century Britons began to imagine their age, themselves, their literature, and much else as peculiarly "Victorian."   

Mays regularly teaches ENG 449B: British Literature II, ENG 470B: British Novel II, ENG 298: Writing about Literature, and a range of other undergraduate and graduate courses on Romantic, Victorian, and contemporary British literature.  


• B. A. (summa cum laude) — Emory University (1986)

• Ph.D. — Stanford University (1994)