Dr Catherine Morley

Head of School

School/Department: Arts, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2638



I completed my undergraduate and Masters studies at University College Cork after which I moved to Oxford Brookes University to complete my PhD with full AHRC funding. Upon completion of my doctorate I moved to the Rothermere American Institute (University of Oxford) as Academic Director before returning to Brookes to take up a UKRI postdoctoral fellowship in the Cultures of Modernism. I joined the University of Leicester in 2008 as Lecturer in American Literature; I became Associate Professor of American Literature in 2011 Director of Studies for English in 2016 and Head of the School of Arts in 2021.


I am currently writing a major new project entitled The Ache of Modernism which examines the painterly aesthetics of Willa Cather’s writing. I am also edited a centenary edition of Willa Cather's novel Death Comes for the Archbishop for Oxford University Press. I have published over thirty scholarly articles and chapters on American modernism American novelists such as Don DeLillo John Updike and Philip Roth genre 9/11 and the American imagination and transcultural and transnational influences upon American writers.


(0) Catherine Morley, ed., Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2025)

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

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

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

Catherine Morley, 'Agitators and Intellectuals: Radical Jewish Storytellers' in Ross Wilson, ed., The Cambridge Companion to New York Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), pp. 31-46

Catherine Morley, 'Women's Voices: The Assimilated Subject and the Persistence of Marginalisation' in Victoria Aarons, ed., The Cambridge Companion to the New Jewish American Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 156-168.

Catherine Morley, 'Architects of History: Protest and Experimentation in American Writing of the 1930s' in William Solomon, ed., The Cambridge Companion to American Literature of the 1930s (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp. 55-71.

Catherine Morley, 'The Book of My Life is a Book of Voices': Philip Roth and the Bloodlines of his Fiction', Philip Roth Studies, 15.1 (Spring 2019), pp. 98-104. 

Catherine Morley, 'Willa Cather and Dutch Golden Age Painting', Modernist Cultures, 11.1 (2016), pp. 118-136.

Catherine Morley, 'How Do We Write about This? The Domestic and the Global in the Post-9/11 Novel', Journal of American Studies, Vol. 45, Special Issue 04, 2011, pp. 717- 731.


I am happy to hear from potential students with an interest in any aspect of American literary or visual culture. I also have a keen interest in Irish writing from James Joyce through to contemporary writers such as Sally Rooney and Megan Nolan. Previous and current doctoral students have worked on topics such as multilingualism in the work of Willa Cather Gertrude Stein and William James the visual arts in John Updike's short stories and Italian American modernism.


I teach on the UG English BA degree the BA in English and American Studies the BA American Studies as well as the MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature.

Press and media

I am happy to field media queries on any aspect of twentieth and twenty-first century American literary or visual culture.
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