Kristen Ellen Treen

Kristen Ellen Treen


  • KY16 9AL

    United Kingdom

Personal profile


I studied for a BA in English at Jesus College, Cambridge, before completing an M.Phil in American Literature at King's College, Cambridge. I went back to King's as a Wolfson Postgraduate Scholar in the Humanities, and completed my Ph.D in American Civil War literature, memory, and material culture in 2017.

My research focusses on nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American literature and its formal intersections with objects and material states. My first book, currently under revision, traces how the material remnants left behind by the American Civil War shaped literary form, commemorative expression, and concepts of national identity between 1861 and 1905. My research took in battlefield souvenirs, the broken possessions of the invaded southern home, and commemorative monuments, among other bits and pieces.

I have written on the impact of Civil War objects on current affairs in the States for Apollo and the U.S. National Council for Public History. My interest in Civil War commemoration is also reflected in 'Commemorative Cultures: The American Civil War Monuments Project', a large, long-term, collaborative digital heritage project I am leading with Dr Alan Miller (St Andrews Computer Science) and Dr Jillian Caddell. Our growing website, data set, and collection of materials can be found here.

My next large research project will consider emergent approaches to commemoration and creative, intellectual, and political writing about memory during the Reconstruction era.

Alongside my work on the Civil War, I have published writing on nineteenth-century visual technologies and popular psychology, on Marianne Moore’s poetic experimentation with stenography, and on the library patrons of U.S. literature.

In addition to  my academic writing, I have contributed work to The ObserverThe Literary Review, and Apollo; I was contributing editor of online quarterly The Junket.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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