Dr Elizabeth Kealy-Morris

Senior Lecturer in Dress and Belonging

Dr Elizabeth Kealy-Morris

Senior Lecturer in Dress and Belonging

Email: e.kealy-morris@mmu.ac.uk

Elizabeth is Senior Lecturer in Dress and Belonging at Manchester Fashion Institute. Originally from the States, she worked in printing and publishing in NYC before settling in Manchester, UK.  Elizabeth lectures across fashion studies subjects including critical theory, brand development, marketing principals, and graphic communication practice for fashion. She is Associate Editor of the journal Fashion, Style and Popular Culture, an imprint of Intellect Books.

Elizabeth's research is multidisciplinary in nature. She seeks connections between cultural memory, autoethnography, human geography, dress, identity, disability, belonging and wellness. She co-organised and co-led the January 2021 international symposium Face Off: The Provocation and Possibilities of Masks and Head Coverings which emerged from her interest in how society changed and adapted through the wearing of the COVID face masks during the pandemic. Elizabeth's paper for the conference, ‘Who is the Sick One Here: Mask Refusal and Ambivalent Social Identity in COVID America’, explored the links between American cultural memory of ‘The Frontier’ and the cultural trope of ‘Pioneer Spirit’ in the visceral rejection of the COVID medical mask as a symbol of fragility and sickness. This will soon be published as a chapter in an edited Intellect Books volume. She is Guest Editor of the Fashion, Style and Popular Culture Special Issue, 'Dressing through Pandemics'.

Elizabeth co-edited the Bloomsbury volume Memories of Dress: Recollections of Material Identities  (2023). Her solo chapter, 'The American Look: Memories of Not Fitting In', introduced the term ‘body dressing work’ to articulate her experience negotiating the social norms and expectations of clothing the suburban American female body with the anxiety of living with a spinal deformity and was highlighted in The Guardian (2022).

Elizabeth has developed the concept of 'cultural memory of dress' where national popular history and popular culture are woven as narratives into clothing tastes and styles. This is explored in her Bloomsbury solo chapter (above) and the publications “The American Look”: The transformation of women’s sportswear in 1930s and 1940s America’  (2023) and 'The Shift Dress as Cultural Meaning' (2018).

Elizabeth is also interested in the ways in which collaborative learning enhances students' creativity, self-confidence, and sense of self. Her practice-based doctorate, The Artist’s Book: Making as embodied knowledge of practice and the self, considered the role of creativity and the pedagogy of making in the development of identity via working through personal and cultural memory with visual practice.

Since 2020 Elizabeth has collaborated yearly with colleagues from Pearl Academy in Delhi and Mumbai to develop 'The Global Artisan Project', a collaborative online international learning (COIL) project. This co-creative project connects undergraduate fashion students in the UK and India with Indian artisans and their underrepresented brands. She and her Pearl Academy colleagues presented a paper introducing this project at the Future of International Fashion and Design Education hosted by Istituto Marangoni in 2022 which will soon be published as a chapter in a Routledge edited volume.

Elizabeth is also an artist bookmaker. Her handbound artist's books have been exhibited in the UK, Ireland, Germany, and the United States.

Academic and professional qualifications


  • PhD (2017): The Artist's Book: Making as emodied knowlege of creativity and the self (2017), University of Chester (practice-based, pass with no corrections)
  • MA: Visual Culture (2008), MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University (Distinction)
  • Postgraduate Certificate of Eduation (2004): Higher, Further & Adult Education
  • BA (Hons) Graphic Design (2003): Manchester Metropolitan University (First Class Honours)


  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Art (FRSA)
  • Higher Education Academy: Senior Fellow (SFHEA) 

Previous Employment

2018-2019 Senior Lecturer, Academic Professional Development, University Teaching Academy, MMU

2017-2018 Staffordshire University, Head of Department of Art & Design

2013-2017: Senior Teaching Fellow, Faculty of Arts and Media, University of Chester

2009-2017 University of Chester, Programme Leader of Fashion Marketing and Communication, Senior Lecturer Graphic Design, MA Design, MA Fine Art and Senior University Teaching Fellow.

Undergraduate teaching

Elizabeth leads and contributes to undergraduate study across the Manchester Fashion Institute:

  • BA(Hons) Fashion Promotion
  • BA(Hons) Fashion Communication
  • BSc(Hons) Fashion Marketing
  • BA(Hons) Fashion Art Direction
  • Fashion Cultures and Critical Studies (department-wide units)

Postgraduate teaching

Elizabeth is the unit leader of the core research methods unit which is studied across all of Manchester Fashion Institute's Fashion Business masters programmes:

  • MSc Fashion Buying and Merchandising Management
  • MSc International Fashion Business Management
  • MSc International Fashion Marketing
  • MSc Luxury Fashion Management

Postgraduate research supervision

Elizabeth supports research-led students in their postgraduate enquiry, particularly the interdisciplinary areas of fashion and dress study and the intersectionality of practice-as-research and practice-led study.


  • Exploring Gender-Neutral Fashion as a Product of a Dual Heritage Maker (2023)

In Progress

  • Folklore on the Welsh Boarders (expected completion: 2025)

Forthcoming (October 2024 start)

  • Funding Awarded: AHRC & North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (NWCDTP) Doctoral Award: Re-Making Menswear: Crafting a modern Indian heritage model for inclusive, conscious style-fashion-dress

External examiner roles

  • MA Creative Direction in Fashion and Beauty, Solent University (from 2020)
  • BA(Hons) Fashion Branding with Communicaiton, Leeds Arts University (from 2023)

Consultancy and advisory roles

Consultant expert advisor on fashion inclusivity.

Impact and influence on policy

Founding member of the Turing Innovation Catalyst group at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Visiting and honorary positions

November 2023: Appointed as Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence by the Department of Textile and Apparel Managment, University of Missouri, Columibia, Missouri, USA.

Editiorial Board membership

September 2023: Appointed as Associate Editor of the journal of Fashion, Style and  Popular Culture (Intellect)

Membership of professional associations

Royal Society of Arts (Fellow)


Research Interests

  • Dress and belonging
  • Dress and exclsuion
  • Dress and health
  • Inclusive fashion
  • Human-centred design
  • 3D and AI apparel design
  • cultural memory of dress
  • 'The American Look' -- the historic and contemporary expression of "Americanness" through dress
  • performative autoethnography
  • visual ethnography
  • visual culture
  • cultural memory

Within 3D and AI apparel design, production, and communication I am leading on the development of an international collaborative network introducing the concept of "pixelated bodies" emerging as a unique intersection of fashion, technology, and human-centered design. Special interest is paid to the potential for adaptability in virtual apparel design to support the clothing needs of consumers with disabled bodies including AI, VR, AR and 3D technologies.

Academic collaborations

Invited Discussions

Key Note Address -- London College of Fashion, 2024

'Practice as Research: Performative autoethnography and embodied knowledge of the self through making', at Unfolding Practice as Research: Creative interventions, reflections, experiences, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, January 2024.

Conference organisation

2023-24: MeCCSA International Annual Conference: Member of the 2024 organising committee

2021: Face Off: The provocation and possibilities of the face mask and head scarf  -- Co-organiser of this international conference hosted by Manchester Fashion Institute.

Expert reviewer for journals and publishers

Elizabeth is Associate Editor of Fashion, Style and Popular Culture and an expert reviewer for the following peer-reviewed academic journals:




November 2023

UKRI (AHRC) North-West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership, on the Visual Art and Design pathway.

  • Three year fully funded doctoral studentship starting October 2024
  • Title: 'Re-Making Menswear: Crafting a modern Indian heritage model for inclusive, conscious style-fashion-dress'
  • Collaborative partner: Craftspace, Director Deirdre Figueiredo, MBE

Submitted (November 2023 -- results in April 2024)

  • November 2023 (results will be announced in April 2024)
  • British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant Scheme: Pixelated Bodies: Exploring human-centred apparel design in the era of Artificial Intelligence
    • The project introduces the concept of the avatar as a ‘pixelated body’, emerging as a unique intersection of fashion, technology, and HCD design. The possibilities of harnessing these technologies to enable integrated fit, style, and adaptability for PWDs will be explored with apparel industry stakeholders. The project’s focus will be to provide recommendations for academics, designers, manufacturers, and policymakers regarding the future of HCD in emerging virtual design environments to advocate the integration of user-focused virtual fashion solutions for underrepresented bodies.

In Progress (To submit in 2024)

  • AHRC Curiosity AwardFashioning Inclusivity: Developing an International Coalition for Human-Centered Apparel Design
    • The goals of this project is
      • to bring together academics, People with Disabilities (PWD), other marginalized consumers, industry, and advocates to work on developing a Coalition focused on developing a research track that will bring a human-centered approach to research through inclusive design thinking and practices.


Kealy-Morris, E., 2016. The Artist’s Book: Making as embodied knowledge of practice & the self, Foyer Gallery, University of Chester, 8/12/2016 - 16/12/2016.

Kealy-Morris, E., Clarke, S., 2016. Impressions Art Book Exhibition, Galway International Arts Festival, Galway International Arts Festival, 11/7/2016 - 24/7/2016.

Kealy-Morris, E., Dilworth, A., 2016. Gorderkreis Contemporary Art Gallery, Gorderkreis Contemporary Art Gallery, Euskirchen, Germany, 8/7/2016 - 21/8/2016.


Kealy-Morris, E., Clarke, S., Bodman, S., 2017. 'Artist’s Book Yearbook 2018-19', University of the West of England.

Kealy-Morris, E., 2016. 'A Walk of Twenty Steps', http://www.ekealymorris.com/a-walk-of-twenty-steps.html.

Kealy-Morris, E., Dilworth, A., 2016. 'Sailm', Förderkreis Contemporary Art Gallery, Euskirchen, Germany.

Kealy-Morris, E., Clarke, S., 2016. 'a strange field', United Kingdom.

Kealy-Morris, E., 2012. 'Leaving (a work in progress)', Contemporary Art Space Chester Gallery, Chester, UK.


Slater, A., Atkin, S., Kealy-Morris, E., 2023. 'Memories of Dress: Recollections of Material Identities', Bloomsbury, London.

Kealy-Morris, E., 2023. 'Not Fitting In: Preppy style and exclusion in American suburbia', Lived Places Publishing, New York, USA.

Journal Articles

Kealy-Morris, E., 2013. 'The artist book: Making as visual method', Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 6 (2), pp. 247-275.

Conference Papers

Kealy-Morris, E., 2018. 'Social media: making your presence count', The Fashion Network Conference, Manchester, 30/5/2018 - 30/5/2018.

Kealy-Morris, E., 2017. 'The Shift Dress as Cultural Meaning', Culture Costume and Dress International Conference, Birmingham City University, 10/5/2017 - 12/5/2017, in https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/5701/, 1 (1), pp. 122-131.

Kealy-Morris, E., 2016. 'A Walk of Twenty Steps: The return of the girl with the crooked spine from an upstanding town', College Book Arts Association National Conference, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA, 6/1/2016 - 9/1/2016.

Kealy-Morris, E., 2015. 'The Persistence of Memory', The International Journal of Art & Design Annual Conference, Glasgow School of Art, 6/11/2015 - 7/11/2015.

Kealy-Morris, E., 2015. 'The Bookbinding Workshop: Making as collaborative pedagogic practice', Group for Learning in Art & Design Annual Conference, Sheffield-Hallam University, 26/2/2015 - 27/2/2015.


Neary, R., Perry, P., Kealy-Morris, E., Scott, K., Price, H., Thornton, A., Muhammad Sayem, A., 2022. ''International Collaborative Project Framework for COIL in Fashion Education’, The Future of International Fashion and Design Education, Istituto Marangoni London, online, 29 Sept 2022. Available from: https://www.researchiml.com/events-the-future-of-international-fashion-design-education.', Online.

Theses and Dissertations

Kealy-Morris, E., 2017. 'The Artist's Book: Making as embodied knowledge of practice and the self'.

Other Outputs

Kealy-Morris, E., 2025. 'Guest Editor for the Special Issue: 'Dressing through Pandemics', journal of Fashion, Style and Popular Culture'.

Office Location

Room C2.24
Cavendish South
Manchester Fashion Institute
Manchester Metropolitan University
Cavendish Street
Manchester M15 6BG