College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mary Byrd Kelly

Department of French and Italian
Multi-term Lecturer, French
Primary office:
Wescoe Hall, 2058
University of Kansas
1445 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045



ABD, MA in French, minor in linguistics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

BA in French with Honors, Hollins College


Mary Byrd Kelly is a multi-term lecturer who teaches advanced language classes for students majoring or minoring in French.  In recent years she has also been teaching a course in English, open all students, on France and the French.  When not teaching, she enjoys translating works by contemporary French intellectuals and scholars. In 2010 the Toni Morrison Society awarded her a grant to attend its Language Matters Workshop on translation at its biennial conference in Paris.  She has also been the recipient of an NEH grant to attend its Summer Institute in France, “History, Memory, and Dictatorship: The Legacy of World War II in France, Germany and Italy.”

Recent and Selected Publications

Book translations:

(With Ralph Schoolcraft).  Christian Delage, Caught on Camera: Film in the Courtroom from the Nuremberg Trials to the Trials of the Khmer Rouge, (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013).

Alain Finkielkraut, The Future of a Negation:  Reflections on the Question of Genocide, (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998).

Tzvetan Todorov, A French Tragedy: Summer 1944, Scenes of Civil War, (Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 1996).

Article translations:

Pascal Bruckner, “The Communist Tragedy,” South Central Review, vol. 31, summer 2014, p. 1-8.

Marc Dambre, “The Memory of Some French Texts in Les Bienveillantes: The  Explicit and the Implicit,” Yale French Studies, volume 121, summer 2012, p. 169-84.


“Saying by Implicature:  The Two voices of Diderot in La Lettre sur les aveugles,” vol. 12, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, (Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1983), p. 231-41.

Current Project

Translation of book chapter on Germaine Tillion from Insoumis by Zvetan Todorov  (Paris: Laffont, 2015), forthcoming in 2016.

Recent Undergraduate Courses Taught

Intensive Review of French Grammar

Applied French Grammar and Composition

France and the French

Areas of Interest

French language


French history and culture




Our Statement on Diversity in support of Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk and the University of Kansas Black Student Union’s efforts to combat racism.
The School of Languages & Cultures serves as a gateway to understanding the diversity of the world, through learning languages, literatures, and cultures, past and present. Through its research and teaching, the SLLC offers students opportunities for deep engagement with a wide range of languages, literatures, and cultures that provide the knowledge and skills to interact with and understand the world. The faculty and students who teach, research, and learn in the SLLC consider issues of diversity fundamental to all of our work. The study of others' languages, literatures, and cultures enables us to develop deep empathy and perspective informs the way that we approach issues before us, whether on a personal, local, regional, national, or global scale. Therefore take it as axiomatic that the SLLC stands for a campus that is committed to the meaningful sharing, contemplation, and discussion of ideas that emerge from multiple cultural perspectives and experiences. We continually rededicate ourselves to the principle of diversity. We strive to create an atmosphere where all students and faculty feel comfortable and welcome to express their views as well as work together to solve conflict. Further, we view our mission as a center of diversity on a flagship campus as requiring us to lead by example.

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