Dr Catherine Morley

Associate Professor in American Literature

Director of Studies, English

Deputy Director, Centre for American Studies

Email: catherine.morley@leicester.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2638

Personal details

  • BA (Cork)
  • MA (Cork)
  • PhD (Oxford Brookes)
  • FHEA



  • Deputy Director of the Centre for American Studies



9/11: Topics in Contemporary American Literature, edited by Catherine Morley (London: Bloomsbury, 2016).

Modern American Literature (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012).

The Quest for Epic in Contemporary American Fiction: Philip Roth, John Updike and Don DeLillo (New York: Routledge, 2009; paperback edition, 2010).

American Thought and Culture in the Twenty-First Century, co-edited with Martin Halliwell, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008).

American Modernism: Cultural Transactions, co-edited with Alex Goody, (Durham: Cambridge Scholars' Press, 2009).


‘Modernist Prose in the Depression Era’ in William Solomon, ed., The Cambridge Companion to American Literature of the 1930s (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), pp. tbc.

'Sensibilities of Estrangement: Delmore Schwartz, Isaac Rosenfeld and Saul Bellow' in The Edinburgh Companion to Modern Jewish Fiction, eds. David Brauner and Axel Stahler (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015), pp. 32-42.

'Ethnic American Modernisms' in The Cambridge Companion to the Modernist American Novel, ed. Joshua Miller (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), pp. 52-67.

'Possessed by the Past: History, Memory and Nostalgia in The Human Stain' in Philip Roth: American Pastoral, The Human Stain, The Plot Against America, ed. Debra Shostak (London: Continuum, 2011), pp. 80-92.


‘Willa Cather and Dutch Golden Age Painting’, Modernist Cultures (Spring 2016), pp. 118-136.

'"How Do We Write About This?" The Domestic and the Global in the Post-9/11 Novel', Journal of American Studies, 45 (Fall 2011), pp. 717-731.

Other writings include review essays for the Journal of American Studies, European Journal of American Culture, Review of English Studies, Vagant, Philip Roth Studies and Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions.


I work on modern and contemporary American literature, with particular interest in

  • the epic novel
  • transnational literary exchange
  • fictional responses to the terrorist attacks of September 2001
  • American literary modernism

I have co-edited three collections of essays on contemporary American thought and culture and on transatlantic modernism, and have completed a book on modern American literature for Edinburgh University Press.

My first book, The Quest for Epic in Contemporary American Literature, was published by Routledge. My next major research project is a book entitled The Ache of Modernism. It will examine the work of a series of American writers on the cusp of modernism.

In 2007, I was elected Secretary of BAAS. I am:

  • a former Assistant Director at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford
  • a former editor of US Studies Online

I was:

  • a member of the BAAS (British Association for American Studies) Executive Committee from 2001-2011
  • editor of American Studies in Britain from 2004-2007

I served on the editorial board for the Journal of American Studies from 2007-2011 and I currently sit on the editorial board of

  • the Journal of American Studies
  • Philip Roth Studies
  • US Studies Online

Professional membership includes

  • the Modernist Studies Association (MSA)
  • BAAS
  • the Philip Roth Studies Association


I am currently working on a study of reluctant American Modernists, entitled The Ache of Modernism, as well as various essay projects on American writing of the 1930s.

I have recently completed editing a collection of essays on post-9/11 American literature for Bloomsbury.


I would be delighted to receive enquiries and applications from postgraduate students interested in modern or contemporary American topics, and especially in the following areas:

  • genre
  • the 'state of the nation' novel
  • Jewish-American fiction
  • African-American writing
  • fictions of New York City
  • the Lost Generation writers
  • transatlantic literary and cultural relations
  • American regional writing

I have supervised postgraduate dissertations on a range of authors including

  • David Foster Wallace
  • Willa Cather
  • Gertrude Stein
  • James Joyce
  • Philip Roth
  • Don DeLillo
  • the Beats
  • William Faulkner
  • Tony Kushner
  • John Updike
  • Carson McCullers
  • Susan Glaspell

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