I joined Keele in September 2016. Prior to joining Keele, I taught at the University of York and was a research fellow at the University of Virginia. I received my degrees from Cambridge (PhD), London School of Economics (MSc) and New York University (BA).

My research has been supported by the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, Virginia Historical Society, German Historical Institute (Washington, DC), Center for Southern Jewish Culture at the College of Charleston and the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech, among others.

Research and scholarship

I specialize in the social and cultural history of the nineteenth-century American South. In particular, I am interested in the interplay between gender, race and nationalism in the American Civil War.

My future research will focus on the transatlantic relationship between Britain and the Confederacy outside of formal diplomatic channels, including an exploration into the significance of British pro-Confederate aid societies to the Confederate war effort.

I am happy to supervise postgraduate research on most aspects of the history of antebellum and Civil War America.



AMS-30043 Violence and Power in Antebellum America

AMS 30042 Violence and Power in Civil War America

AMS 20073 New World in Chains: Slavery and the Bonds of Race in America

AMS-20079 Rebels, Bandits and Outcasts in Colonial America

AMS 10026 The American Past: Explorations in US History


Authored Books

  • Brill, K. (2022) The Weaker Sex in War: Gender and Nationalism in Civil War Virginia (Charlottesville, University of Virginia Press)
  • Brill, K. Sojourner Truth’s “Ar’n’t I A Woman” (1851): Race, Gender and Reform in the 1850s (New York, Routledge), Critical Moments in American History Series, under contract.

Edited Books 

  • Brill, K. (ed.) (2021) Elite Women in the American Civil War: Lived Experiences in the Nineteenth Century (London, Routledge)
  • Brill, K. (ed.) (2017) The Diary of a Civil War Bride: Lucy Wood Butler of Virginia (Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press)

Book Chapters

  • Brill, K. (2019) Britain in the American Civil War: Gender, Humanitarianism and Confederate Recognition, in MARIE MOLLOY and LAURA SANDY (eds.) Negotiating the Peripheries: The Civil War and Slavery Reconsidered (New York, Routledge) pp. 37-52.
  • Brill, K. (2015) Winfield Scott in Central Mexico, in CHRISTOS FRENTZOS and ANTONIO THOMPSON (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of American Military and Diplomatic History: The Colonial Period to 1877, eds. Christos Frentzos and Antonio Thompson (New York, Routledge) pp. 275-85.
  • Brill, K. Dismantling Scarlett O’Hara: How Slaveholding White Confederate Women Challenged Emancipation, in MATTHEW CAMPELL (ed.) Teaching Emancipation and Reconstruction (New York, Peter Lang) forthcoming 2022.


  • Brill, K. (2022) The Rhetoric of Enslavement in White Confederate Planter Women’s Civil War Diaries (1861–65), Women’s Writing, e-pub ahead of print:
  • Brill, K. (2022) Home Nursing, Gender and Confederate Nationalism in the American Civil War, 1861-65, Nursing History Review 30, pp. 97-120.
  • Brill, K. (2021) Inclusivity in Module Design and Assessment Methods in the Humanities, Journal of Academic Development and Education 13, pp. 19-28.
  • Brill, K. (2017) ‘I had the men from the start’: General Benjamin Butler’s Occupation of New Orleans, Women’s History Review 26.3, pp. 319-328.

School of Humanities
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