Professor Victoria Kelley

Professor of the History of Design & Material Culture, UCA Rochester

Academic, School of Fashion

Dr Victoria Kelley’s expertise spans the boundaries between design history, fashion history, material culture and social history. Victoria teaches on the MA Fashion, Design, Contemporary Jewellery and Photography courses on our Rochester campus, as well as supervising a number of MPhil/PhD students

Victoria Kelley's interest in understanding the past through its material culture dates back to early passions for both history and design. She studied Modern History at Trinity College, Oxford, and Design History at the Royal College of Art/Victoria and Albert Museum. She returned to the RCA and V&A to study for her doctorate. 

She has taught in British art and design education since 1996, at institutions including the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts London). She has taught at UCA since 1996, and is concurrently Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies for Fashion, Fashion Communication, Textiles and Jewellery at Central Saint Martins, a half-time post that sits alongside her role at UCA. At UCA Victoria leads the research methods teaching for MA Printed Textiles for Fashion and Interiors, and also delivers interdisciplinary teaching across Textiles and Photography. Victoria is an experienced PhD supervisor, of both history/theory projects and practice-based research. She leads UCA’s Graduate Forum.

Dr Victoria Kelley staff profile picture

Professional Membership, Affiliation and Consultancy

Professional Membership, Affiliation and Consultancy:

Victoria has peer reviewed for a range of academic publications, including the Journal of Design History, Home Cultures, the Economic History Review, Journal of Modern Craft and Theory, Culture and Society.

External examination:

She is external examiner for BA courses at Birmingham City University and the University of Northumbria, and she has examined Ph.Ds at universities including the Royal College of Art and University College London.

  • PhD examination, practice-based research in ceramics, Royal College of Art, February 2015
  • PhD examination, thesis in urban history, University College London, April 2015

Awards, Grants and Commissions:

  • 2017 Hosking Houses Trust residency for March/April 2017 to work on her book on London’s street markets.
    Previous recipients include Joan Bakewell, Timberlake Wertenbaker and Wendy Cope.
  • 2015: Research sabbatical award, Central Saint Martins, UAL.
  • 2014: Research sabbatical award, UCA.
  • 2013: Communities of Practice award to support symposium at Central Saint Martins, Radical Gestures: protest, resistance and refusal.
  • 2009-2010: Funding from the Royal College of Art, the V&A Museum and the Design History Society towards research network events.
  • 2007: Award from the British Academy.

Recent commissions for curatorial essays:

  • ‘Finding and Making’, exhibition essay for ‘Second Hand First Hand’, exhibition of the work of Caroline Broadhead and Maria Militsi, Marsden Woo Gallery, London, 2015 

  • ‘Locus of the Dress’, essay for textile artist Shelly Goldsmith’s Crafts Council Funded project, 2016


Research Outputs

Key outputs on UCARO:

Loading articles...