Dr Kristen Treen

Dr Kristen Treen

Lecturer in American Literature

Researcher profile

+44 (0)1334 46 2626
Office 4
Beethoven Lodge



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.

PhD supervision

  • Mara Curechian

Selected publications

  • Open access

    Literature and the material cultures of Confederate remembrance

    Treen, K. E., 4 Aug 2022, The Cambridge companion to the literature of the American Civil War and Reconstruction. Diffley, K. & Hutchison, C. (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 213-228 16 p. (Cambridge companions to literature).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

  • Open access

    "A Shell and What Became of It": missile narratives and commemorative trajectories at Gettysburg

    Treen, K. E., 31 Jan 2020, In: Mississippi Quarterly: The Journal of Southern Cultures. 70/71, 4, p. 453-470

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Open access

    Unraveling confederate sentiment: the unfinished story of a sock

    Treen, K. E., 1 Nov 2019, Visions of Glory: The Civil War in Word and Image. Diffley, K. & Fagan, B. (eds.). Athens: University of Georgia Press, p. 173-183 (UnCivil Wars).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

  • Open access


    Treen, K., Oct 2016, Writing, medium, machine: modern technographies. Pryor, S. & Trotter, D. (eds.). London: Open Humanities Press, p. 35-51 17 p. (Technographies).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

  • Open access

    Lincoln, Abraham - and Visual Culture

    Treen, K. E., 18 Dec 2018, (E-pub ahead of print) Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Helmer, C., McKenzie, S. L., Thomas Chr., R., Schröter, J., Walfish, B. D. & Ziolkowski, E. (eds.). Berlin: de Gruyter, Vol. 16. p. 702-703 (Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception Online).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


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