History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

T. Mills Kelly

T. Mills Kelly

T. Mills Kelly


European History: Historical pedagogy, digital humanities, public digital history, modern East Central Europe, Appalachian Studies

Professor Kelly is a specialist in the scholarship of teaching and learning in history. His most recent book, Teaching History in the Digital Age was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2013. He is also the author of more than a dozen articles on the intersection of historical pedagogy and digital humanities. 

Kelly is also an associate director of George Mason's award-winning Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, where he has been either co-director or principal investigator on three major website projects funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities ($790,000 total funding). Two of these projects won the James Harvey Robinson Prize in 2007 from the American Historical Association.

His analog scholarship includes a book (Without Remorse: Czech National Socialism in Late-Habsburg Austria, 2007and a number of journal articles on Central European history. 

He has received university, state, and national awards for his work on historical pedagogy including a Pew National Fellowship from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (1999), the State Council on Higher Education in Virginia's Outstanding Faculty Award (2005), and George Mason University's Teaching Excellence Award (2005).

He is a trustee of the Romanian-American Foundation and from 1998-2002 he was Chair of the Board of Directors of the Civic Education Project, an international non-governmental organization working to promote democracy in post-Communist Eastern Europe and the states of the former Soviet Union. Kelly is an honorary associate of the Centre for Media History at Macquarie University (Australia) and a guest blogger for hist.net (Switzerland).

Current Research

"Nicholson Hollow", a proof of concept digital public history project on the history of the people expelled from their homes to make way for Shenandoah National Park.

Selected Publications

Teaching History in the Digital Age, (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2013)

World History Matters: A Student Guide to World History Online, with Kristin Lehner and Kelly Schrum, (New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009)

Without Remorse: Czech National Socialism in Late Habsburg Austria, (Boulder: East European Monographs/Columbia University Press, 2007)

International Perspectives on Public History, with Marko Demantowsky, (Munich: De Gruyter Oldenbourg), in progress

“Lying About the Past,” Change. The Magazine of Higher Learning, July/August 2014, 14-15

"True Facts or False Facts: Which Are More Authentic?" in Past Play, Kevin Kee, ed. (University of Michigan Press, 2014): 309-328

"But Mine’s Better: Teaching Students in the Digital Age," The History Teacher, 44/3 (May 2011): 369-378

“The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in History: Three International Perspectives,” with Sean Brawley (Australia) and Geoff Timmins (UK), in Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 8/1 (2009): 7-24.

“Tomorrow’s Yesterdays: Teaching History in the Digital Age” in Brave New Classrooms: Educational Democracy and the Internet, Mark Pegrum and Joe Lockard eds. (New York: Peter Lang, 2006): 213-224.

Grants and Fellowships

  • Presidential Fellow, George Mason University, 2014-2015
  • Provost’s Strategic Planning Fellow, George Mason University, 2013
  • U.S. Department of Education, UISFL grant Democratic North Africa: Strengthening the Study of
  • North  African Culture, Language, and Society, 2012-14 ($96,000)
  • Making the History of 1989: Sources and Narratives on the Fall of Communism, National Endowment for the Humanities ($190,000), 2006-2009
  • NEH Summer Seminar grant, Making Sense of 1989, 2007-2008 ($68,000)
  • Women in World History, National Endowment for the Humanities Exemplary ($250,000)
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Research Scholar, 2005
  • State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) Outstanding Faculty Award, 2005
  • George Mason University Teaching Excellence Award, 2005
  • Co-Director, World History Matters: Teaching and Learning Through Online Primary Sources, National Endowment for the Humanities and Delmas Foundation ($280,000)
  • Fellow, Visible Knowledge Project, 2001-04
  • Pew National Fellow, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1999-2001

Courses Taught

HIST 689 - Teaching and Learning History in the Digital Age

HIST 499 - Senior Seminar in History: 1989, The Year of Miracles

HIST 390 - The Digital Past

HIST 389 - Topics in U.S. History: Lying About the Past

HIST 312 - Nationalism in Eastern Europe

HIST 300 - Introduction to Historical Method: Dead in Virginia


PhD, George Washington University, 1996
MA, George Washington University, 1988
BA, University of Virginia, 1982

Recent Presentations

“Playfulness, Authentic Learning, and the Future of Teaching,” invited lecture at the conference Public History International: Beyond school? Comparative Perspectives, Basel, Switzerland, September 2015

“Playfulness, Authentic Learning, and the Future of Teaching,” keynote address, University of Kansas Teaching Summit, August 2015

Phi Beta Kappa keynote speaker, Elon University, April 2015

“Assessing Authentic Learning in Digital Assignments,” a workshop at the annual meeting of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Quebec City, Canada, October 2014

“Counting Digital Humanities Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion,” University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, October 2014

“Lying About History,” David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, Brigham Young University, September 2014

“Blogging for the Historian: Building a Scholarly Career in Social Media,” University of Basel, Kolloquium zur Didaktik der Geschichte und Politik, June 2014

“Exploring, Remixing, Analyzing: Teaching History with Digital Media,” University of Kentucky, April 2014

“Digital Humanities and the End of Selective Ignorance,” Indiana University, Catapult Center for Digital Humanities and Computational Analysis, March 2014

“Building a Career Around the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,” American Historical Association national conference, January 2014

“Pedagogies of Disruption: What Happens When You Teach Students to Lie?” Invited lecture at the Scholars Lab, University of Virginia, October 2012

"If I stop blogging, what will you tweet about?", invited presentation at the conference Geschichtswissenschaften und Web 2.0, Basel, Switzerland, November 2010

"Embracing Failure: A workshop on failure in the scholarship of teaching and learning and learning from mistakes," International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning annual conference, Liverpool, England, October 2010

"True Facts or False Facts--Which Are More Authentic?" Invited presentation at the conference Playing With Technology in History, Niagra-on-the-Lake, Canada, April 2010

"1989: Looking Back, Looking Forward," Roundtable Chair for discussion between Mikhail Gorbachev, William Webster, and Sergey Chumarov, George Mason University, March 2009

"The demise of the socialist state and the disintegration of the communist parties in Central Europe", invited presentation at the conference “The impact of 1989 on Europe: structural integration but ideational divergence?” European University Institute (Florence), November 2008

In the Media

“History Department at George Mason U. Puts the Kibosh on Lying About the Past,” Dan Berrett, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 3, 2013

“Interview: T. Mills Kelly on ‘Lying About the Past’,” Aleks Krotoski, DML Central, April 2, 2013

“Mischief,” BBC Radio 4, Digital Human series, April 1, 2013

“As Colleges Evolve, So Must Their Presidents,” Jeff Selingo, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 4, 2013

“Flipping the Curriculum: Introductory Courses Should Be Just as Good as the Capstone Experience,” Jeff Selingo, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 2, 2012

 “Here There Be Monsters,” Brendan Fitzgerald, The Morning News, September 21, 2012

 “Hoax history is bunk but there are truths to be learned from it,” Times Higher Education, August 2, 2012 

“The 10 Most Creative People in Higher Education Today,” OnlineColleges.org, June 20, 2012

 Spark: With Nora Young (CBC), interview, June 8, 2012

 “The anatomy of the online hoax,” Voice of Russia, May 22, 2012

 “How Reddit Caught The Professor That Tricked Wikipedia,” Caribbean Media Vision, May 21, 2012

 “GMU Prof Teaches How To Falsify Wikipedia — and Get Caught,” SlashDot.org, May 17, 2012

 “Reddit culture well-tuned to spot hoaxes,” BoingBoing.com, May 16, 2012

 “The Junkman’s Dilemma: How The Internet Has Changed How We See History,” TechCrunch.com, May 16, 2012

 “How the Professor Who Fooled Wikipedia Got Caught by Reddit,” TheAtlantic.com, May 15, 2012

 "Graveyard visits offer a lesson in history to Mason students," WashingtonPost.com, March 9, 2011